Passive Geforce 7900GT (Aerocool VM-102, Scythe Ninja, P180)

They make noise, too.

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davidstone28
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Passive Geforce 7900GT (Aerocool VM-102, Scythe Ninja, P180)

Post by davidstone28 » Sun Apr 23, 2006 4:49 am

I finally got round to installing the Aerocool VM-102 passive GPU cooler onto my overclocked Geforce 7900GT. The absence of noise compared to the mini-bansaw sounding reference cooler is absolutel bliss!

Original setup:-

- Antec P180
- 2 x Antec tricool fans on lowest settings, which in turn are then connected to a fan controller set at 50%
- Inno3D Nvidia Geforce 7900GT (overclocked from 450/1320 to 570/1600)
- Scythe Ninja
- Athon64 3200+ (Venice core) overclocked from 2.0ghz to 2.6ghz @ 1.4v
- Cool 'n Quiet disabled
- Asus A8N SLI Premium
- Crucial Ballistix (2x512mb)
- Arctic Silver 5
- Silverstone 30NF PSU (passive)
- CPU (35c idle, 45-47C load)
- GPU (38c idle, 49 load)

After Aerocool VM-102 installed
- CPU (40c idle, 48-50C load)
- GPU (52-58c idle, 65-71C load)

Only had time to run a couple of 3DMark05 loops but the temperatures of the GPU seem well within range and certainly alot lower than the last passive graphics card I had (Gigabyte Geforce 6800 - 70c idle, 90c load, with an additional 20C reduction in temps when using a Zalman fan bracket and Nexus 80mm fan at 12v)

I expected CPU temperatures to increase slightly because the copper heatsink of the Aercool is only about 1cm away from the fins of the Ninja, so presumably the P180 case fan will suck hot air from the GPU area onto the CPU heatisnk.

My standard setup is very sensitive to temperature changes (Tricools on low + additional 50% reduction using fan controller). For example if I have the central heating in the house on high, 50% fan controller, Tricools low, CPU and GPU temps can hit 65c and 85c respectively when under load such as 3D gaming. Having the central heating off and Tricools on low only (no fan controller), temps go back down to 45C and 65C on load. When gaming, I tend to put the fan controller on maximum so that the Tricools revert to running at standard stock speed (their standard "low" setting) without an further reduction.

I don't see any reason why it wouldn't be possible to use the P180 GPU fan bracket (though I don't see why it would be necessary).

Additional comments:-

- the Aerocool isn't difficult to fit, but its slightly fiddly (more so than the Zalman passive heatsink) because lining up the screws can involve some guesswork / trial and error.

- when fitting the heatsink onto the GPU block, you have to make sure that the heatisnk (alu/copper part) isn't positioned too far down along the heatpipes (ie not too close to motherboard). Otherwise it can intefere with the RAM. On my first attempt at fitting the copper/alu heatsink onto the GPU block, I fitted it far too low down and the fins ended up touching the tops of my DDR ram heatspreaders.

- the fins of the Aercool heatsink almost touch the frame of the P180 rear case fan (probably about 0.5mm away).

- The price of heastink is good (�22 here in the UK) and comparable to the Zalman VF-700 �18 or the VF900 �25. Alot cheaper than the Thermalright V-1.

- the GPU block is not "spring loaded", so you have to be careful not to screw it down too much so that it damages the core. Would have been nice if Aerocool could have provided some springs to reduce the risk.

Overall, I'm extremely pleased with the heatsink and the temperature results. The sound of silence is truly bliss!

Image Image ImageImage
Last edited by davidstone28 on Sun Apr 23, 2006 3:13 pm, edited 9 times in total.

JazzJackRabbit
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Post by JazzJackRabbit » Sun Apr 23, 2006 12:00 pm

That's pretty much the same kind of setup I run, only I use VM-101 (102 isn't available in the US) and I use 6800GT at ultra speeds. Given the fact that 7900GT is about as hot as 6800GT I always thought it would have no problem cooling 7900GT as well, but it's nice to have some confirmation.

Tzupy
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Post by Tzupy » Mon Apr 24, 2006 2:06 am

It seems that you didn't use ramsinks on the 7900's overclocked memory.
I think you should, 1600 MHz (well, 400 x 4 actually) is a lot, and I believe those memory chips are running hot under load.
I wonder how much higher your GPU temps would rise when playing Oblivion, by comparison with 3DMark.
My only reason to upgrade now is playing Oblivion, and from all I heard about it, it's worth playing.

davidstone28
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Post by davidstone28 » Mon Apr 24, 2006 2:57 am

Temps during Oblivion are absolutely fine - certainly not higher than temps generated by 3DMark05/06 which I suspect puts more stress on the video card (certain scenes in 3DMark06 result in 1fps) whereas in Oblivion, fps never seem to drop lower than 40.

The problem I find with Oblivion is not the video card, but the game engine itself not being particularly well optimised and / or problems with paging / disk caching etc. Lots of posts about this on the official forums

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Post by mongokitten » Mon Apr 24, 2006 3:07 am

Nice rig! :D

How are the fans set in the p180? Are they blowing inwards or outwards? Have you tried different combinations for top and rear case fans? e.g.

rear blowing in, top out
top in, rear out
top out, rear out?

Does the 30NF do fine without a fan?

I have heard that opening up the pci-slot underneath your GPU would suck cool air past the VM-102, if you have top and rear case fans blowing outwards, resulting in a 10 degree C temperature drop on the GPU. However I guess it would effect the HDD cooling negatively.

I will build an almost identical rig but with a Smart Drive 2002 Copper for the HDD.

Best/
Johan
mongokitten

Tzupy
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Post by Tzupy » Mon Apr 24, 2006 9:52 am

@davidstone28: thank you for the info, it's good to know Oblivion doesn't heat up the 7900GT too much.
@mongokitten: opening the PCI slot would allow air to cool the back side of the VM-102's lower part, also would cool the GPU memory.
The impact on HDD temps should be minimal, if there's enough opening in the front of the case.
For best cooling performance, at least for the 7900GT / VM-102 combo, both fans should blow out.

stupid
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Post by stupid » Mon Apr 24, 2006 4:12 pm

I hope the Aerocool VM-102 will be available in the US by the time I upgrade to AM2 or Conroe. I would like to have a passively cooled PC using my Centurion 532 with only 1 intake fan, 1 exhaust fan, and my Seasonic S12.

JazzJackRabbit
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Post by JazzJackRabbit » Mon Apr 24, 2006 9:01 pm

stupid wrote:I hope the Aerocool VM-102 will be available in the US by the time I upgrade to AM2 or Conroe. I would like to have a passively cooled PC using my Centurion 532 with only 1 intake fan, 1 exhaust fan, and my Seasonic S12.
It won't. Apparently there are some patent issues that won't let Aerocool sell VM-102 in the US.

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Post by Ackelind » Tue Apr 25, 2006 1:13 am

Do you have the rear vents still open? I taped mine up.

Also, have you tried removing the slot cover just below your card? I tried that and it reduced my temps from 50-55C to 45C idle!
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Post by Fat_bloater_dave » Tue May 02, 2006 9:10 am

Hey how far above the Graphics card does the VM-102 go?

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Post by Tephras » Wed May 03, 2006 1:15 pm

Fat_bloater_dave wrote:Hey how far above the Graphics card does the VM-102 go?
34mm

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Post by SLOTh » Thu May 04, 2006 8:09 am

JazzJackRabbit wrote:
stupid wrote:I hope the Aerocool VM-102 will be available in the US by the time I upgrade to AM2 or Conroe. I would like to have a passively cooled PC using my Centurion 532 with only 1 intake fan, 1 exhaust fan, and my Seasonic S12.
It won't. Apparently there are some patent issues that won't let Aerocool sell VM-102 in the US.
Where is our undercover importer when we need one :P do you guys think that silencio 777 (or whomever that is) on ebay might offer some?

(i recently got my computer down to having the zalman 700x on my 7800gt to be the loudest thing in my case...)


EDIT!!!!!

Infact having just checked: he does sell them for 29.00 plus 15 shipping

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Post by Fat_bloater_dave » Thu May 04, 2006 8:53 am

Tephras wrote:
Fat_bloater_dave wrote:Hey how far above the Graphics card does the VM-102 go?
34mm
Thanx

Ozy666
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Post by Ozy666 » Wed May 17, 2006 11:14 am

SLOTh wrote:
JazzJackRabbit wrote:
stupid wrote:I hope the Aerocool VM-102 will be available in the US by the time I upgrade to AM2 or Conroe. I would like to have a passively cooled PC using my Centurion 532 with only 1 intake fan, 1 exhaust fan, and my Seasonic S12.
It won't. Apparently there are some patent issues that won't let Aerocool sell VM-102 in the US.
Where is our undercover importer when we need one :P do you guys think that silencio 777 (or whomever that is) on ebay might offer some?

(i recently got my computer down to having the zalman 700x on my 7800gt to be the loudest thing in my case...)


EDIT!!!!!

Infact having just checked: he does sell them for 29.00 plus 15 shipping
Yup, I got one from him and now I'm waiting for my EVGA 7900GT

Ozy

Engine
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Post by Engine » Thu May 18, 2006 10:59 am

Hmm. I've been considering doing almost exactly this - although with a 7600GT - but was concerned that even with 120mm Nexus fans both on the "front" of the Ninja and "behind" it on the exhaust vent in a push/pull configuration, I wouldn't be able to manage decent temps with a passive GPU cooler. And here, apparently, you've managed reasonable temps without any fan on the Ninja at all.

I also am interested in knowing what direction you're blowing the exhaust fan; if it's blowing out, you're not even bringing cool air directly onto the two [!] passive coolers you're running. That's...audacious. And, apparently, effective.

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Post by Fat_bloater_dave » Sat May 27, 2006 12:34 pm

Hey i was wondering how you installed your VM-102, ive got one now and im getting quite high temps even with active cooling, did you use quite alot of thermal paist on the groves in the bottom bit and the GPU block?

JonV
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Post by JonV » Sat May 27, 2006 1:35 pm

Engine wrote:That's...audacious. And, apparently, effective.
I can offer my setup as another data point... slightly different components, but similarly audacious:

An Athlon64 X2 4200+ (2 x 2.2Ghz) and a 7800GT, both passively cooled - the CPU with a fanless Ninja and the GPU with a Thermaltake Schooner. The only fan in the system is a 120mm Nexus in the rear, at 5V, making it completely inaudible to my ears.

This is at idle, the temps reach 47C for the CPU and 59C for the GPU. Under load they only climb marginally because Asus QFan2 kicks in and ramps up the Nexus as needed.

Engine
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Post by Engine » Sun May 28, 2006 1:57 pm

JonV wrote:This is at idle, the temps reach 47C for the CPU and 59C for the GPU. Under load they only climb marginally because Asus QFan2 kicks in and ramps up the Nexus as needed.
Well, that is /pretty/ warm, but not unmanageably so. What direction are you blowing the Nexus at the rear? Inward, or outward?

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Post by Ozy666 » Sun May 28, 2006 6:30 pm

Fat_bloater_dave wrote:Hey i was wondering how you installed your VM-102, ive got one now and im getting quite high temps even with active cooling, did you use quite alot of thermal paist on the groves in the bottom bit and the GPU block?
Yeah, I loaded up the grooves with the paste they sent. I had AS5, but couldn't find it. I'm getting loaded temps in the upper 50's lower 60's, which is cooler than the passive 6600GT I had and low enough for my purposes.

Initially, I had a lot of problems geting the card installed and keeping the heatsink seated flush against the GPU, it kept hitting the top of my memory and other motherboard components. Then I moved the heatsink pipes up a bit on the grooves and it sits will now. When it wasn't seated properly, the card would hit it's thermal limits as soon as I started loading it, and it would throttle back.

What temps are you getting idle and loaded?

Ozy

JonV
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Post by JonV » Mon May 29, 2006 5:12 am

Engine wrote:What direction are you blowing the Nexus at the rear? Inward, or outward?
Outward.

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Post by davidstone28 » Tue Aug 08, 2006 3:29 pm

Fat_bloater_dave wrote:Hey i was wondering how you installed your VM-102, ive got one now and im getting quite high temps even with active cooling, did you use quite alot of thermal paist on the groves in the bottom bit and the GPU block?
Good contact with the CPU core seems to be everything ie it has to really press down onto the GPU core. The graphics card is upside down so gravity will tend to pull the heatsink away from the GPU core unless you've got it screwed in as tight as you can onto the GPU core - the 2 metal pins are pretty soft and bendy, so its unlikely you'll do any core crushing.

I replaced my soundcard recently and slightly knocked the VM-102 by accident. During a gaming session, I started getting artefecting - I checked the temps and they had shot up to 109degC! When I took the heatsink apart and repositioned everything, temps went back to the 60-70C range. The paste that I had used, had also thinned out in a a clearish oily substance from the original grey coloured paste.

Make sure that the heatsink is directly over the GPU core. No matter how much you tighten it, the heatsink can slide slightly over the core, so make sure you position it well.

Also make sure that the 6 screws going into the black heatsink are screwed in very very tight. Make sure the heatpipes are straight and you're using some decent quality thermal paste eg. ArcticSilver5 and you've spread it in the grooves, along the heatpipes - basically everywhere where there's metal to metal contact.

DG
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Post by DG » Thu Aug 10, 2006 3:24 pm

I too managed to run a 7900GT passive with a vm102. And mine is upside down :D:
http://forums.silentpcreview.com/viewtopic.php?t=32166

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Post by manc » Sat Sep 16, 2006 1:33 pm

Hi,

I have just put together a HTPC and the noiseist part in it is the 7600GT which is actively cooled by the standard HSF, before swaping the standard HSF for a Aerocool VM-102 I have a quick question: -

Did you remove the "shim" surrounding the GPU core, I've read that removing this gives a better contact thus giving better heat dissipation, davidstone28 have you done this?


TIA.

ManC
Last edited by manc on Mon Sep 18, 2006 3:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

davidstone28
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Post by davidstone28 » Sat Sep 16, 2006 2:34 pm

I wasn't aware that there was a shim. Basically I look to make the same contact as with the original HSF:

http://www.phoronix.net/image.php?id=41 ... 1_off1_lrg

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Post by manc » Sun Sep 17, 2006 5:01 am

Having fitted it now and also seen your image you are correct, there is no "shim" surrounding the core :) thx. idle I am getting 45c & on load I am getting 47c which is good going :)

Have another question thou, I have four memory chips on my gfx card which when I hover my hand over them seem excessively hot "on load", there is not not enough room between the new heatsink and card to touch them but I am sure they would be untouchable, have you fitted additional heatsinks on these memory chips on your gfx card?

I've also noticed that a reasonable knock to the new heatsink will shift the heatsink on the core :( , I did a little experiment to test this, I left a game running "windowed", had nvidia tools open showing the gfx card temps and applied a little force to the the new heatsink, to my surprise I found instantly that the temps increased :( I feel I am going to have to dis-assemble it all and re-fix the core heatsink but this time tighten the nut & bolt to the maximum.

ManC

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Post by josephclemente » Sun Sep 17, 2006 10:58 am

manc wrote:idle I am getting 45c & on load I am getting 47c which is good going :)
Those temperatures are incredible for a VM-102 on a 7900GT... Do you have a fan blowing on it or something??
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Post by manc » Mon Sep 18, 2006 1:50 am

josephclemente wrote:
manc wrote:idle I am getting 45c & on load I am getting 47c which is good going :)
Those temperatures are incredible for a VM-102 on a 7900GT... Do you have a fan blowing on it or something??
Oops, shall modify my post/s, I have a 7600GT not a 7900GT :roll: hence the cooler temps :D

There's no fan directly pointing at the vm-102 but the case (Silverstone LC03) is pretty well ventilated (2x80mm rear & 1x80mm front), I also have the huge Zalman 7700cu which is in close proximity.

Just had a look at prices for GFX card ram heatsink, cheapest I could find was £10 :shock: for £17 I could get Arctic NV5 that would also cool the ram chips on my GFX card :(, now the question is "how" loud is the Arctic NV5 :?

ManC

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Post by Half Baked » Mon Sep 18, 2006 6:23 am

Congratulations davidstone28 :D . You did better than me, I fried my 7900GT when installing the VM-102 :cry:
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Post by Tzupy » Mon Sep 18, 2006 9:17 am

@manc: the NV5 is for 7800 series, it can be modified for the 7900 GT, but IMO not for the 7600 GT.
Maybe the NV6 would work on the 7600 GT, if the layout matches that of the 6600 GT, but it has no RAM cooling.
IIRC maximum fan speed for the NV6 is 1,500 rpm, which would be quiet, but not silent.
If the thermal control works on the 7600GT, then in 2D it should stay below 1,000 rpm which would be silent.
Well, until it develops some bearing noise. :wink:

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Post by AZBrandon » Mon Sep 18, 2006 10:11 am

davidstone28 wrote:Temps during Oblivion are absolutely fine - certainly not higher than temps generated by 3DMark05/06 which I suspect puts more stress on the video card (certain scenes in 3DMark06 result in 1fps) whereas in Oblivion, fps never seem to drop lower than 40.
The 1fps sections are the CPU test. If you datalog your card temps, you'll see the video card drops to idle during those tests. If you want to max out your card temps, the latest version of ATI Tool works with nVidia. For my 7800GT, I've found no utility that consistantly maxes out temperatures better than ATI Tool. For example, Battlefield 2 results in temps of 65-70C but ATI Tool will max it out at 75C.
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