Spire CoolForce II CF202-NBL Graphics Card Cooler Review

Cooling/VGA & Other Cooling by jmke @ 2004-12-06

Spire?s CoolForce II is made to fit any card in the Geforce 4 Ti series and includes everything necessary to switch from the current ?stock? cooling to the brand spanking new one and squeeze out a bit of extra performance at the same time.

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Performance, Noise, Conclusion

Test Setup

JMke's A64 Test Setup
CPU AMD Athlon 64 3200+ S754 “CG” stepping
Mainboard DFI Lanparty UT NF3 250Gb (Oskar Wu’s 10/15 Beta Bios)
Cooling Stock AMD Heatsink and Fan
Video nVidia Geforce 4 Ti4600

Madshrimps (c)


The full copper heatsink and extra memory sinks should give us some headroom when overclocking. With the stock cooling the maximum OC previously obtained was 330/720 (GPU/MEM) from the default 300/660. Not too bad, let’s see if the CoolForce II can improve this:

Madshrimps (c)

Using 3DMark2001SE and MotoGP2 to check on stability and artifacts, the maximum OC reached was 335/735. While the GPU is pretty much near the OC limits with air cooling, it’s good to see the memory able to take a small bump in Mhz.

In the performance results seen above, the average FPS goes up by ~4FPS, which translates into a ~11% increase in performance, not too bad!

Noise and Temperatures

When first looking at the stats the 5500rpm of the fan did not look promising, after plugging in the 3-pin connector on free fan header on the motherboard the maximum fan RPM read only 4800rpm. Using the DFI’s built in fan-speed control software the RPM could be reduced to a mere 2250rpm, which made it whisper quiet!

Since no dBA meter was present we used the next best thing: recording the noise at the same distance and then comparing the clips head to head.

  • Sound recorded about 10cm away from GPU core
  • Other noisy components are: PSU fan & HDD no other moving parts, CPU fan disabled.

    1) No fan
    2) Stock GF4 fan
    3) CFII @ High
    4) CFII @ Low

    Madshrimps (c)
    Click the picture to download a small .mp3 with all 4 sound clips

    The CoolForce II at full speed is practically as noisy as the stock cooling, however when reducing the fan’s rotation speed it becomes as silent as if there was no fan running at all! Quite impressive.

    To measure the maximum temperatures reached we placed a probe between the CoolForce II and the CPU core, and other probe near the memory chips. Looping 3DMark2001Se for 30 minutes we got the following readouts:

    Room temperature: 24°C
  • Fan @ 4800rpm: GPU 45°C / MEM 45°C
  • Fan @ 2250rpm: GPU 50°C / MEM 57°C

    Very good results to say the least as the GPU core and memory both remain well within safe operating temperature limits.


    Spire has made an excellent product for those people who still use their trusty Geforce 4 Ti card, with a low price point (~$10), excellent performance and easy installation it would be hard not to recommend this product.

    The only thing which could spoil the party is the absence of a fan controller (think Zalman Fanmate) as the CoolForce II can efficiently run at low fan speeds, and deliver good performance! If you have a fan controller or a motherboard capable of the same thing then this point is of course moot.

    Those who have a window in their side panel might find the LEDs which shine through the transparent fan blades an extra selling point, as it makes the whole unit look even sleeker:

    Madshrimps (c)

    Madshrimps (c)

    If you want quiet down your Geforce 4 card, or boosts its performance, then you can’t go wrong with the very competitively priced CoolForce II from Spire.

    I would like to thank Mark from Spire for the evaluation sample;

    Questions/Comments: Forum thread
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