The reference single-slot cooler Nvidia developed for the GeForce 8800 GT proved to be not quite good. It even didn’t cope with its job in cramped system cases with poor ventilation. The GeForce 8800 GTS 512MB being based on a G92 chip in which all 128 shader processors are active and having higher clock rates than the GeForce 8800 GT, Nvidia has to return to the solution that was tested on the GeForce 8800 GTX and older GeForce 8800 GTS to avoid overheat-related problems.
Notwithstanding a differently shaped casing and a different base, this is still the same design with a blower and a heavily ribbed aluminum heatsink. It exhausts the hot air out of the system case through the slits in the mounting bracket. Three heat pipes are utilized to distribute heat evenly in the heatsink. Two of the pipes transfer the heat right to the spot from where the hot air is exhausted. The third pipe connects the base with the edge of the heatsink in front of the fan. The sole of heatsink, which contacts with the GPU die, is made from copper, of course. Ordinary dark-gray thermal grease is used as a thermal interface.
The base the rest of the cooler components are installed on has juts at the places of contact with the memory chips and load-bearing elements of the power circuit. Fabric pads soaked in white thermal grease are used there to ensure proper thermal contact.
The cooler has a Delta BFB1012L fan (5.67W, 0.48A, 12V) with PWM-based speed regulation. Its speed in 3D mode is normally not higher than 1000-1100rpm, which is perfectly silent. This indicates high efficiency of the cooler. The whole arrangement is secured on the PCB with a number of spring-loaded screws and additionally fastened to the mounting bracket to prevent the cooler from misaligning and damaging the GPU die. The rectangular casing of the cooler is embellished with a picture of the robot. The fan bears a Leadtek logo. These are the only things that differentiate the card from the reference one.
So Nvidia secured its new product against overheat with a high-performance cooler that may cope with the card even at overclocked frequencies. This cooler features a clever design, a high quality of manufacture and high reliability.