GTX 480 Spitfire Cooler - Wow!

alxnet2003

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 19, 2009
Messages
271
Just got my hands on this cooler, a Thermalright Spitfire VGA:

http://www.amazon.com/Thermalright-...1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1275212389&sr=8-1

I was able to use this on my GTX 480 with this adapter:

http://www.coolerguys.com/840556092841.html

The result is amazing, not just for the clocks on air cooling but the lack of noise, which was a very important factor for me. I'm running at 860MHz core at stock voltage with 2100MHz memory clock (Vantage Performance score of 26298 with a i7 920 @ 3.7GHz and a GPU score of 22043).

With the stock Nvidia shroud, my core would reach 91 degrees on a few benchmarks at 70% fan usage. I'm now seeing a max of 66 degrees (an astounding 25 degree drop on air cooling) and best of all, this is all done with a 1000rpm 120mm fan. WHISPER quiet! No more dealing with 70% fan speed on the stock cooler on full loads.

One caveat though. Due to the size of the cooler, it's a tough fit in a few cases. I use a skeleton case (a tech station case from HIGHSPEEDPC) so it's not a big deal but it might be for you. But damn, this is probably the best air cooler out there for a GTX 480 with very low noise at full tilt.
 

GHarris

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jul 20, 2006
Messages
178
I really like the idea of the Thermalright Spitfire. The PCI Express card format is badly suited to hardcore cooling needs, frankly. Tower coolers have been awesome for CPU cooling for a while now and the Spitfire gives some of that same cooling performance to graphics cards.

I myself don't need one for now because I am using a 5870 that gets by without needing heavier duty cooling. And it may remain a niche option, for the very highest-end cards running in cases large enough to fit it, but I am glad it is available. Having the option for heavier-duty cooling raises the ceiling on graphics card power consumption/heat generation and that's a good thing.
 

IRSmurf

2[H]4U
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Apr 1, 2007
Messages
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Creative. I never thought to put a tower on a PCI-e card.

I have not used an aftermarket cooler on a video card before, so I'd appreciate you explaining one detail.

If you are using this tower on the gpu, what do you use to cool the memory? Is that really necessary? Does the gddr5 require a heatsink on each module or will decent airflow suffice?
 

alxnet2003

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 19, 2009
Messages
271
Creative. I never thought to put a tower on a PCI-e card.

I have not used an aftermarket cooler on a video card before, so I'd appreciate you explaining one detail.

If you are using this tower on the gpu, what do you use to cool the memory? Is that really necessary? Does the gddr5 require a heatsink on each module or will decent airflow suffice?

The Thermalright kit comes with ramsinks for your gddr5 chips and vrm modules. Clean the surfaces with alcohol and stick them on. To be on the safe side grab some Sekisui thermal tape from ebay - they're only $4 total shipped. Took me about an hour and about $70 odd dollars all said and done. To me, this was a better option than running a water cooling setup with a much cheaper price, no worries of maintaining water levels, and even better noise levels with a single 1000 rpm 120mm fan. I just love the lack of noise at full GPU usage.
 

MJZ

[H]ard|Gawd
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Oct 25, 2009
Messages
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The VRM GTX 480 is released?

What are you doing about the VRM cooling?

Pics?
 

HORNO

Weaksauce
Joined
Mar 25, 2010
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alxnet2003:

Is there a chance you could post some pics of your setup? I'm confused at how this is supposed to be setup on the card orientation wise. I know you said you have an open bench case but I just wanted to see what this thing looks like to see if I could maybe fit it in my case. Thx!
 

Matrices

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Feb 5, 2003
Messages
5,256
SLI can only work if you have a low-profile CPU cooler, which realistically means you need to watercool your CPU. Maybe use an H50.

Meanwhile, your case is going to look kind of nuts internally with two huge heatsinks sticking out, and then you have to worry about the VRMs...
 

Builderbobftw

Limp Gawd
Joined
Apr 6, 2010
Messages
429
SLI can only work if you have a low-profile CPU cooler, which realistically means you need to watercool your CPU. Maybe use an H50.

Meanwhile, your case is going to look kind of nuts internally with two huge heatsinks sticking out, and then you have to worry about the VRMs...

1. Sticking out? What?

2. Only Watercoolign to work with SLI? What?
 

alxnet2003

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 19, 2009
Messages
271
Can we get pics please? I really want to see this thing in action!

http://www.thermalright.com/new_a_p...pitfire/installation_vga_cooler_spitfire.html

They've got really detailed pics about the whole process.

For precise detailed disassembly instructions of the GTX 480, go here:

http://www.atomicmpc.com.au/Gallery/170368,nvidia-gtx480-disassembly-guide.aspx/1

For those asking about VRM temps, my laser temp reader says no higher than 60 celsius on the sinks with the larger VRMs. There are also smaller VRMs that I left uncovered because of the tiny size. They read max of 68 celsius under full load. Not bad at all.

If you want to really be safe, I suppose you could point another 120mm fan towards the VRM, but I've been running this setup full tilt (860MHz core at stock voltage) for the better part of a couple of hours with complete stability.

860 core with almost zero fan noise no matter how hard you push the GTX 480 for about $70 = WIN!

Edit: Thermalright is supposedly soon releasing a complete VRM cooling kit to supplement the spitfire, but from my setup this is unnecessary. Temps on the VRMs remain stable at full load with the supplied ramsinks.
 
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alxnet2003

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 19, 2009
Messages
271
This would be great for me.. if I knew it worked in sli.

Dan

Spitfire is bidirectional so you really could use two in opposing directions for an SLI setup. Only downside is you'd need a low profile CPU cooler with one of the spitfires hovering partially over your CPU. Still, if you're looking for really low noise with excellent air cooled performance this is it right now.
 

natural

n00b
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Jul 11, 2005
Messages
8
Spitfire is bidirectional so you really could use two in opposing directions for an SLI setup. Only downside is you'd need a low profile CPU cooler with one of the spitfires hovering partially over your CPU. Still, if you're looking for really low noise with excellent air cooled performance this is it right now.

I have a h50, so I don't think that it would be a problem.... Just would like to see pics to prove it can be done first.
 

Galvin

2[H]4U
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In that pic with the fan ontop of the cpu cooler. I think that increases fan noise a lot where as if the fan was on the bottom it would be more quiet. Probably better just go with a low profile CPU cooler with spitfire.
 

alxnet2003

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 19, 2009
Messages
271
In that pic with the fan ontop of the cpu cooler. I think that increases fan noise a lot where as if the fan was on the bottom it would be more quiet. Probably better just go with a low profile CPU cooler with spitfire.

The heatpipe itself is so efficient you could get away with a low rpm 120mm fan that produces almost no noise like these:

http://www.amazon.com/Scythe-S-FLEX...1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1275264332&sr=1-1

http://www.amazon.com/Scythe-S-FLEX...3?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1275264332&sr=1-3

Heck I've read some reports of 5870 users foregoing the fan altogether on the spitfire and just using it passively which I could see happening with how well it conducts heat away from the GPU.
 

Toonie

Limp Gawd
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Dec 5, 2006
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239
Darn! this is not an option for me, using an Thermalright Ultra-120 extreme here :(
 

alco23

Weaksauce
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Nov 13, 2007
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I just installed this a few days ago and I'm impressed so far.

Idle temps on the 480GTX (dual monitor setup) from 79degrees to 55degrees. Load temps from 10minutes furmark tops out at 88degrees. This is all done with a less than optimal setup, I don't have a fan attached to the spitfire but only a side panel fan blowing across it (miscalculated on the size of the thing in a CM832 case).
 

natural

n00b
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Jul 11, 2005
Messages
8
I just installed this a few days ago and I'm impressed so far.

Idle temps on the 480GTX (dual monitor setup) from 79degrees to 55degrees. Load temps from 10minutes furmark tops out at 88degrees. This is all done with a less than optimal setup, I don't have a fan attached to the spitfire but only a side panel fan blowing across it (miscalculated on the size of the thing in a CM832 case).

Wow, so you're running your 480GTX passively? Got any pics?
 
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alco23

Weaksauce
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Nov 13, 2007
Messages
83
Wow, so you're running your 480GTX passively? Got any pics?

It's not quite passive, but with a fan blowing on it from the CM832 side panel fan rack. I'll try and get a photo tomorrow. Think I may need a bigger case :S...
 

BababooeyHTJ

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jan 21, 2009
Messages
6,951
Creative. I never thought to put a tower on a PCI-e card.

I have not used an aftermarket cooler on a video card before, so I'd appreciate you explaining one detail.

If you are using this tower on the gpu, what do you use to cool the memory? Is that really necessary? Does the gddr5 require a heatsink on each module or will decent airflow suffice?

I had to hack a uni-sink to work with my GTX280. The memory sinks that came with my HR-03 GTX aren't enough. They got very hot and after installing the uni-sink and stock back plate I was able to OC my memory by an extra 50mhz. Keep in mind that was with GDDR3 which runs cooler. It may have been less but it proved a point that those aluminum sinks aren't enough to me.

Most importantly was the vrms which I was never really able to tame. I started with Enzotech MOS C-1s which did a decent enough job but on a hot day really started to get uncomfortably hot. The uni-sink helped but my vrms still hit 90C yesterday while playing HL2 with CM10.4 with my thermostat reading 84F. At about 70F those are furmark load temps.

Does the 480 use those volterra vrms?
 

Lateralus

More [H]uman than Human
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Aug 7, 2004
Messages
16,300
Looks like this thing performs amazingly well. I wonder if it would clear the side fan in my HAF 932?
 
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Can you tell us how you're cooling the vrm? I don't really understand since stock plate doesn't seem like it would fit.
 

alxnet2003

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 19, 2009
Messages
271
Can you tell us how you're cooling the vrm? I don't really understand since stock plate doesn't seem like it would fit.

The Spitfire comes with a number of ramsinks - little aluminum heatsinks that you adhere to the bare DDR5 chips and VRMs. From my measurements with a laser thermometer, the VRMs with sinks don't get all that hot (60-70 celsius). The stock adhesive on the sinks are pretty good. To be on the safe side, grab yourself some really good Sekisui thermal tape from ebay - they're generally available from $2 - $6 (free shipping).

Here are some pics of the ramsinks:

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Thermalright/HR-03Plus/images/ram_sinks_on.jpg
 
Joined
Jul 25, 2006
Messages
733
Wondering if I can jam this into my case with my Antec 900 + TRUE setup.

This thing would be the perfect replacement for the stock cooler on the 470 and would allow me to pump more volts via a modded BIOS :cool:
 

ebolamonkey3

[H]ard|Gawd
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I wonder if there is actually a case tall/big enough to fit 2x GTX 480s in SLI w/ Spitfire.
 

mrnoob123

Weaksauce
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May 7, 2010
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116
Try Googling Tom's Hardware and Spitfire Crossfire. \

I post on tom's and somebody there had 2 of these in CFX with 5870s.
 
Joined
Jul 25, 2006
Messages
733
This thing needs 15cm clearance :mad:

Anyone using a tower cooler like a TRUE or a Megahalems with a midtower is SOL.

I guess some cases with the PSU still mounted upwards might work but for most forget it.

Is there a half decent VGA cooler for the 400 cards that DOESN'T require a tower?
 

Lateralus

More [H]uman than Human
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Aug 7, 2004
Messages
16,300
I'm tempted to dump my TRUE for an H50 and try this thing out, but that would end up making my 480 a really expensive upgrade...wow. My temps aren't bad now, but it would be awesome to have load temps of 66 degrees! This thing is sick. It's a big brute force cooling solution for a big brute force graphics card. Quite fitting to have a ridiculous, over-the-top cooler for a GPU that's has a rep for having the same qualities, lol.
 
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