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Review: Akust Ramsink VI BGA copper ram sink
Written by Samuknow   
Friday, 26 January 2007 18:41
Article Index
Review: Akust Ramsink VI BGA copper ram sink
The Problem
Card Removal
Cleaning the Card
Installing the Ram Sinks
Installing the Ram Sinks
A Potential Problem
Installing the Card
Testing
Results
Results
Conclusion
All Pages

As with any computer enthusiast, I like to push my hardware to its limits. Over clocking allows me to get the most from my hardware. As you know in order to achieve the best over clock possible, it is often necessary to increase the voltage. Unfortunately, the byproduct of this added voltage is excess heat. 

 I had pushed my 6800nu to it's limit due to heat. So I picked up a new water block to take over where the stock cooler was falling short. This cooled the GPU but did nothing for the video ram. So now I was looking for a solution to this new problem.

This is why I bought the  Akust Ramsink VI BGA ram sinks.

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I recently added water cooling to my 6800nu. It is an older card but still serves me well. I have been pretty successful in over clocking this card, and since I have upped the voltage in the bios, I wanted to make sure it was staying plenty cool. The Stock cooling option was nothing to sneeze at but was not quite doing the job with the added heat. So I picked up a Danger Den Maze 4 block on the cheap and got it bolted on. I noticed a huge drop in GPU temps immediately. 

So off to game play I went. This is where there was a problem. Artifacts were showing up in game play.  You see, the stock cooling on my card incorporated the Video ram. After installing the water cooling, the video ram was just sitting there naked and was clocked at 800 MHz from the default 700 MHz.

 This was just not going to do. I know I needed something to cool the video ram. I needed ram sinks. So I hopped on the forum and asked for suggestions for what ram sinks I should buy. After looking through the suggestions, I stumbled across FrozenCPU that had some Akust Ramsink VI BGA ram sinks.  They were a whopping 20x20x15 mm. Plus the price was hard to beat. So I placed my order and a few days later they arrived. 

 After tearing into the packaging, I gazed upon their greatness. The first thing I noticed was the weight. Theses things were heavy. I became a little concerned. I have already added a water block, and now these behemoth chunks of copper were going to be hanging from my card. Then I thought, the stock cooling from this card was massive, and also made from copper. So I dug the cooler out and did a quick scientific comparison. You know, hold one in each hand and act as a scale. The stock cooler was still heavier, so I shut down my rig to begin the install.

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I then removed the video card from the computer, removed the block, and placed the card on the anti static plastic bag. 

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So now it is time to clean all the surfaces. I used alcohol and a paper towel. It is important to get all of the compound off of the chips. 

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I peeled the blue plastic from the bottom of the sink and found the adhesive to be thin enough and it seemed of good quality. 

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I decided to go ahead and give the stock adhesive a try. I firmly but carefully pushed the sink onto the chip. The chip surface was dwarfed by the foot print of the ram sink. I repeated the process until all of the ram sinks were installed. 

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I let the card sit for a bit to ensure that the adhesive had time to bond to the chip surface. I now applied my thermal compound to the GPU and prepared to install the water block.

 

 

 

 

While installing the water block, I noticed how tight the clearance was from the top of the ram sinks to the barbs on the block. This will vary with different block manufactures and styles, and you may have to modify the ram sinks in your case. I was lucky and had enough room for the block to seat squarely on the GPU core. 

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I then installed the card. I was curious if the ram sinks were going to stay on the card once it was installed. All seemed well so far. After rechecking the block and fittings, I fired up my rig. It posted and went right into Windows. Yay. 

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I then went right in to check the card temp. I used Everest Home as well as the nVidia driver based temp monitor. Idle temps looked great. I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that it was now idling around 41C. This is about 2C less that the block alone. I let it idle for a bit before stressing the card. 

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I ran 3D mark 05 and after a bit I jumped back to the temp monitor. I was pleased to see a temp of only 46 C. I touched the ram sinks and could feel that they were a little warm. That is a good sign that they are doing there job of removing the heat from the ram chips. I then fired up ATI tool to check for artifacts. I ran the check for over 15 min and found nothing. I did notice the temp of the card going close to 50C at this point. Obviously ATI tool stresses the card quite a bit. So I bumped up the fan speed on my radiator and it slowly dropped back to about 47 C. 

It was now time to see if I netted a better OC. The max this card has ever seen is 415/815.

I kept pushing the ram while leaving the artifact tool running. I got it all the way up to 880 on the ram.I figured this was far enough for now.  I would really like to see this reach a  900 MHz memory clock.  I then pushed the GPU up to 425.  

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 The card temp rose to about 52C at this point. I bumped the fans up a little more. This got the temp back to 49C.  I do run the fans at about ¾ speed while running a 3D application, and it seems to hold this temp. Again, this is while ATI tool is running. The temps remained 41C at idle.

NOTE: All temps were taken with Folding at Home still running. This added a little heat to the loop. I imagine that the temps would be quite a bit lower with no load on the CPU.  

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The next thing I did was fire up FEAR. This is the game I noticed the most artifacts. It was great. Not only were the artifacts gone, but it played very smooth with the bump in clock speeds.

 


 

 

If you are looking at water cooling your video card and are looking for some great ram sinks to compliment your GPU water block, then the Akust Ramsinks are for you. My idle and load temps dropped a couple of degrees and I netted a massive over clock. They performed much better than I had ever hoped. The size of them can be a little intimidating, but it is that size that gets the job done.

 

 

I absolutely give these a big thumbs up... 

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