The original cooler installed on the GeForce 8800 GT was been criticized harshly by the users. Trying to make the card compact, the developer chose a single-slot format for the cooler. Relying on the 65nm tech process, the company underestimated the heat dissipation of the new graphics core and made a number of flaws in the cooler design. Particularly, the cooler was equipped with a very small fan while the heatsink was not large enough to cool a chip with a heat dissipation of 80W. As a result, the cooler often failed to perform properly and some cards even died from overheat.
Releasing the GeForce 8800 GT 256MB, Nvidia made some corrections and installed a second, improved, version of the cooler on the whole series. This is the cooler you can see on the Sparkle card.
The new cooling system is almost the same as the older one externally but the larger fan is noticeable. There are, however, more changes than visible to the eye. The new version of the cooler has a different shape and area of the copper piece that contacts the GPU die. The configuration of the heat pipes has been optimized. The heatsink area has been enlarged considerably by reducing the distance between the ribs and increasing their number.
The shape of the base has become different, too. The holes near the fan have been enlarged, probably to improve the cooling of the PCB. Instead of Nvidia’s traditional fabric pads soaked in thermal grease there are elastic pink-colored thermal pads now. The cooler’s casing is still metallic, but it is now fastened to the base with screws rather than latches.
With all the changes in the design, the new cooler seems to be more efficient than the older one, yet you still have to take care about proper ventilation of your system case at large.