GeForce 8800 GTS 512 O/C

My PowerColor Radeon X1950 with its supposedly ultra-silent Arctic Cooling cooler was beginning to make annoying noises. Seems like the cooler’s bearing is broken after just 14 months of usage. I tried cleaning it out, squeezing some oil where I suspect the noises to be coming from (no idea if this is a good idea :/), but it didn’t change anything.

So before I have to take another forced break from my work, I decided to upgrade to a new graphics card. Currently, the second generation GeForce 8800 GTS based on nVidia’s G92 chip is fresh in stores. The overclocked versions some manufacturers are offering are faster than the original GeForce 8800 GTX, so nVidia is not allowing production of any further overclocked G92 cards starting at the end of february.

This has caused a tremendous demand for these overclocked graphics cards. But I’m in luck: I got one of the last Asus G92 TOP cards. Those are the highest overclocked G92 graphics cards on the market *happy*

An Asus EN8800GTS TOP graphics card in front of its package

…only that mine seems to be running a little too hot. During normal usage, everything is fine, but when I play a demanding game, my PC will lock up or weird graphics garbage will be visible on the screen after some time. If I lock the fan to 50% in the nVidia nTune control panel, it works but is louder then my old graphics card 🙁

Of course, you can solve any problem by throwing money at it. *throw*

So decided to re-activate the water cooling system I built into my tower years ago but which, after several upgrades, was reduced first to only cooling my CPU and ultimately to doing nothing at all (because each time you upgrade something, you have to buy a matching water cooler which comes at an average $50).

I went for the AquaGraFX G92 from AquaComputer, known for their flawless precision work.

An Asus EN8800GTS TOP graphics card in front of its package

As a side effect, this has reduced the height of the graphics card from two slots to just a single slot. It’s completely silent now, doesn’t crash anymore and instead of running at up to 90° C, it now doesn’t manage to even go above 45° C anymore. If I had more money, I’d be tempted to upgrade my home server with a water cooling system as well 🙂

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