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Building a Pretty Little Computer

3. Upgrading VGA to Geforce 8800GT

I became a bit tempted to try some of the new heavy games, like World in Conflict and Crysis, so I decided to see if it would be possible to upgrade my 8600GT to 8800GT, while keeping the same low noise and decent temperatures.

I ordered XFX 880GT (reference design, no OC), Accelero S2 cooler and Noctua 120 mm fan. Reason for omitting the highly recommended S1 was mainly that I couldn't find it in stock anywhere. Besides, the smaller size of the S2 doesn't hurt in a mATX case. It also leaves the SATA ports fully accessible.

When mounting the cooler, I almost regretted that I didn't choose Zalman VF1000 instead. When it comes to mounting system and quality feeling, Zalman is superior. The S2 was rather fiddly to mount, and when mounted, I still felt a bit unsure. Had I tightened the screws too much, or to little, or uneven so the cooler wasn't seated properly? With Zalman you only have to tighten four springloaded tumb-nuts until they stop. Finished. No doubts.

Actually, the topmost fin fell of one of the heatpipes. But never mind, now it's held together by the fan and it does the job very well. I have about the same temperatures as before, only a few degrees higher GPU-temp under load.

VGA Temp
Idle: 45C
Load: 61C (playing World in Conflict)

I am still very pleased with the reversed airflow in this case. Obviously, the increased heat produced by this card is directly exhausted through the front fan, since temps in the rest of the case is unaffected.

Since all fans are spinning at the same rpm as before, the noise is also the same. Perhaps Noctua at 600 rpm is a bit 'more inaudible' than Zalman VF900 was.

I was a little conserned about the HDD, sitting in the middle of the hot airflow, so I moved it up a bit.

HDD Temp
Idle: 30C
VGA-load: 35C

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