The reference GeForce GTS 250 is equipped with a cooler that represents another variation of the GeForce 8800 GTX’s cooler. It offers an acceptable combination of cooling performance and low noise level. However, Palit goes its own way and equips its version of GeForce GTS 250 with a nonstandard cooler.
There is nothing extraordinary about it, though. Moreover, its design is very questionable. The cooler has of a low-profile heatsink consisting of thin aluminum plates. The heatsink is connected to the copper base with two heat pipes and is topped with a fan.
Two drawbacks of this cooler design are obvious at once. The heatsink is rather small, and the axial fan cannot cool the latter efficiently because the air flow must turn by 90 degrees at a distance of 1.5 centimeters for that. A large portion of the air flow from the fan goes sideways and is actually wasted. As opposed to the GeForce 7900 GTX’s cooler, there are no additional heatsink sections here to use that air. The slits in the card’s mounting brackets have little practical value with this cooler design.
The cooler uses an Everflow R128015BH fan (80mm diameter, 15mm height, 3.84W output power). The fan is rather noisy at maximum speed.
Like on the Gainward HD 4850 1024MB GS, there is a layer of very dry light-gray thermal interface on the copper sole of the heat-exchanger. It actually glues the cooler with the GPU die. The heatsink is fastened to the PCB with four screws, which is quite safe due to its light weight. The GPU is also equipped with a protective metallic frame that prevents the cooler from misaligning. The memory chips on the face side of the PCB are covered with an L-shaped aluminum plate. The chips on the reverse side are cooled with a larger such plate. These plates are fastened together with six screws. Elastic thermal pads are used as thermal interface.
So, this cooler claims to deliver high cooling performance at low amount of noise, but it has a number of obvious defects. Anyway, we will check this out in the next section of our review.