Thermalright HR-03 Plus VGA Heatsink Review

Cooling/VGA & Other Cooling by geoffrey @ 2007-04-24

The NVIDIA Geforce 8800 VGA cards are available for some time now, but the amount of aftermarket heatsinks is still rather scarce for those power beasts. Now Thermalright steps forward with their HR-03 Plus, capable of cooling the G80 passively? Read on to learn more.

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Test setup & Benchmark methodology

Test setup

Geoffreys' Intel Test Setup
CPUIntel E6600 @ 3,35GHz
CoolingZalman 9700 LED
MainbordAbit Fatal1ty FP-IN9 SLI
Memory2x1Gb TEAMGROUP Xtreem 800MHz 4-4-4-10
  • Silverstone DA750 PSU
  • 2 x Maxtor 80Gb PATA HDD
  • Seagate 200GB SATA HDD
  • CD/RW drive
  • floppy disk drive
  • Antec Nine Hundred housing
  • 20" Dell UltraSharp 2007FP TFT monitor

  • The CPU was running at 3,35GHz by setting the front side bus to 1450MHz and keeping the multiplier at default (9). The memory was running @ 510MHz (1020MHz DDR) with 4-4-4-10 timings 1/1 with the FSB.
  • ForceWare 97.92 drivers
  • While Windows Vista is now officially launched, and G80 are the only DX10 capable cards for now, we decided to test with a mature Windows OS (XP SP2), even if we wanted to, the lack of none-beta NVIDIA drivers for Vista keeps us from testing on the new platform.
  • The fan used on the HR-03 Plus is a SUNON 12VDC KDE1209PTB1-6 92mm Fan

    Benchmark methodology

    Our benchmarks were completed with a Sparkle 8800 GTS at stock speeds as well as stable overclocked settings (core: 600MHz, V-RAM: 2000MHz) to increase heat output. We tested the two mounting methods as well as check for maximum overclock.

    The Antec Nine Hunderd Gaming chassis was used for the thermal tests, front and rear 12mm fans set to low speed as well as the top 200mm monster. In our first mounting test you can see that the HR-03 Plus is close to the Zalman CNPS9700 CPU cooler, also note that the CPU cooler’s airflow will reach the fins of the HR-03 Plus.

    Madshrimps (c)
    #1 mounting method

    The second install method takes up a lot of space under the VGA card, especially when you mount a 92mm fan, any PCI(e) slots on the motherboard are now blocked. At this setting the PSU fan is acting out-take for the case and should help remove hot air generated by the HR-03 Plus heatsink. (please note that the additional fan hovering over the RAM banks was removed for the thermal stress test)

    Madshrimps (c)
    #2 mounting method

    To measure the impact of the GPU/MEM overclock I ran some additional benchmarks, all tests were done with a 20” LCD monitor with maximum resolution of 1600*1200. For high-end VGA cards this resolution can be quite stressful in newer games especially when higher quality settings are enabled like anti aliasing and anisotropic filtering.

    FRAPS was used to measure the FPS during repeated manual run-throughs of a certain part of the games tested, the minimum, maximum and average values were recorded.

  • FEAR
  • Futuremark 3DMark 2006
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    Comment from jodiuh @ 2007/04/24
    Printing now! Please never, ever take that feature away.

    I've had this sink sitting on my desk for almost a month now and just can't decide if it's worth it. It'd be paired w/ a Scythe SFLEX E 1200RPM 120mm fan.

    I used the original HR-03 on the X1900 because it's OEM cooler sounded like a jet engine, but this 8800GTX cooler never gets loud. Tho it does get up to 80ish C when gaming...

    EDIT: Just finished reading...still not convinced this is the cooler for me...oh well.
    Comment from jmke @ 2007/04/24
    print feature won't leave site soon
    the original HR-03 features less heat pipes, so might end up less effective than the stock cooling