Date: February 8, 2006
Author(s): Drew Smith
Looking for a better way to keep your GPU cool via air cooling? Titan may have the answer with their new Eagle cooler. We have seen this design before, but do they do it better?
Today’s video cards run at very high clock speeds and even higher temperatures, which makes cooling an extremely important concern for gamers. Today at Techgage we are looking at two universal VGA card coolers from Titan, makers of several fine cooling products. The Coolers looks sweet but looks aren’t everything, let’s see if this cooler can keep us cool gamers or will it crash and burn?
The Copper and Aluminum Titan Coolers
My first impressions of these coolers were their much larger size than the stock cooler and their impressive looks and styling. These coolers are very sturdy and weigh a considerable amount more than the stock cooler. The Copper offered more cooling power but it’s up to your taste which style you would like to choose, my preference was still the Aluminum. The RAM heatsinks that come with the cooler are a very excellent touch in order to provide a total cooling product to keep that video card safe under extreme loads.
Installation is relatively simple; remove the stock cooler, size up the holes on the cooler with the holes on the card. The application chart that comes with the coolers packaging makes this very simple. Clean the GPU with alcohol and clean the RAM heatsinks as well. Install the RAM heatsinks first just by peeling the tape from the back of the heatsink and sticking it to the RAM chips on the VGA Card.
Once the heatsinks are in place you can begin the installation of the cooler itself. First you must secure the mounting screws to the cooler making sure not to forget the rubber washers. Apply a thin layer of thermal paste (supplied with the cooler) to the GPU, then place the cooler on the GPU and align the screws to the holes on the Card. Flip the card over, place additional rubber washers over the mounting screws and secure the cooler with the nuts. Once the cooler is securely fastened to the card you can install the card back in the computer and connect the cooler’s power supply, and you’re done.
There were only 2 problems I had with this installation;
1. When tightening the securing screws, I wasn’t sure how tight they were supposed to be, this was made difficult by the springs on the bottom of the screws which provide extra resistance. You are not sure whether it is the spring pushing back or that the screw is tight and they cannot go any further. Due to this, I stripped one of the nuts; luckily I had a similar nut on hand to use as a replacement.
2. When connecting the cooler to power, the instructions are not clear where to connect the coolers plug. Since the stock VGA cooler had a power connector I assumed that the Titan cooler should be connected there, after inspection I realized this was not going to be possible. The connector on the card has 2 prongs and the plug on the cooler has 3 prongs. After further inspections and a phone call for some advice it turned out the cooler uses the Chassis Fan connector on your Motherboard for its power supply. I used an adapter I had on hand to connect the cooler directly to my power supply, as I still wanted to use my chassis fan. After investigation, this is due to the cooler requiring more power than the card can provide, hence why it requires external power.
*All testing was performed with an ambient case temperature of 29 degrees Celsius using an NVIDIA Geforce 6600 GT*
As you can see from the graph there is a significant temperature difference from the stock cooler to the Titan Coolers. Even though the Copper cooler performed better than the Aluminum version, I could not get over how much I preferred the look of the Aluminum model and I will be continuing to use it. Another area of interest involving this cooler is the noise level. Immediately after powering the computer back up there was a noticeable difference in noise levels from the stock cooler to either of the Titan Coolers. Both the Titan Coolers are much quieter than the stock cooler.
Overall I found the Titan Coolers to be both very valuable products, with great styling, impressive temperature results, and much improved sound output these products would be a great buy. I would recommend the Titan Copper or Aluminum coolers to any serious gaming who wants to protect their large investment in their video card from the dangers of heat. The only thing holding this product back from a perfect score on the Techgage product scale is the weak mounting screws (they should not become stripped that easily) and the lack of clarity in the instructions (if you are installing an upgrade on a product that can run you upwards of $300 you don’t want to be guessing at where to plug it in). For that I give the Titan Aluminum Cooler and 8 out of 10 rating and the Copper gets a 9 out of 10 rating, for its superior performance in testing.
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