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Graphics Card Installation Tips

Thermalright T-Rad2 GTX is compatible with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260/275/280/285 and ATI Radeon HD 4870/4890 grap0hics cards. In fact, you can try and install this cooler on some other graphics cards, too, if you measure the distance between the retention holes carefully. T-Rad2 GTX has 53 mm between the retention holes on the inner perimeter and 63 mm between the retention holes on the outer perimeter. At this point, the compatibility is still a question, because of the heatpipes coming out of the cooler base and twisted in a pretty sophisticated manner, as they can interfere with the graphics card connector panel. In this case you have to take into account the distance from the center of the heatsink base to the end of the cooler side with the heatpipes: 83 mm. In other words, if the distance between the GPU center and the connector bracket is bigger than 83 mm on your graphics card, then you may be able to install Thermalright T-Rad2 GTX onto your graphics accelerator.

I am going to talk about the installation procedure using Radeon HD 4890 1 MB graphics card as an example. First, you have to remove the reference cooling system and wipe off the thermal interface and the remainder of the thermal pads from the GPU and graphics card VRM:


After that you have to install the VRM heatsink. First you remove the protective film and stick the enclosed thermal pad, then fasten the heatsink on the graphics card with two screws and two plastic washers:


This is what Thermalright VRM2 heatsink looks like on Radeon HD 4890:

Thermalright T-Rad2 GTX also installs very simply and intuitively. You have to insert the mounting spindles into the loops of the retention frame, put the graphics card over the cooler and tighten large screw-nuts with rubber washers beneath them:


In the end the “armored” graphics card looks really beautiful, and with two 92 mm fans – even better:


This is what Radeon HD 4890 with installed Thermalright T-Rad2 GTX and VRM2 looks like inside the system case:


As you can see, with a tower cooler inside, it makes more sense to use a second modification of the VRM heatsink, as it will provide higher cooling efficiency. Although Thermalright VRM1/2 won’t be compatible with any tower cooler (for example, you won’t be able to install IFX-14). Therefore, I would like to provide you with the measured distance from the graphics card connector bracket to the side of the heatsink: 178 mm. I have to add that when you install Thermalright T-Rad2 GTX with fans, two PCI slots next to the graphics card will be blocked.

Instead of two 92 mm fans, you can equip Thermalright T-Rad2 GTX with a single 120 mm fan using two wire clips included with the cooler:

Here let me tell you that a single 120 mm fan is not as efficient in terms of cooling as two 92 mm fans.

Thermalright T-Rad2 GTX can be installed onto graphics cards based on Nvidia GPUs, such as GeForce GTX 260/275/280/285. This is what a graphics card like that will look like with this cooler on it:


At this time Thermalright doesn’t offer any VRM heatsinks for these graphics accelerators and when I asked a company representative about the possible ETA for these solutions, I got no definite answer.

Another issue with T-Rad2 installation onto GeForce graphics cards is the absence of a special heatsink for the NVIO chip. In fact, there is a heatsink among the bundled accessories, however, it simply doesn’t fit beneath the heatpipes hanging over the chip:

I even tried to stick a small aluminum heatsink intended for the memory chips onto the NVIO, but the glue wasn’t sticky enough to securely hold the heatsink in place.

I have to admit that even though Thermalright T-Rad2 GTX solution is compatible with Nvidia graphics cards, unfortunately, you won’t be able to create proper cooling for all thermally challenging PCB areas.

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