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Thermalright T-Rad² review

Thermalright T-Rad² review

There are usually two types of people looking for aftermarket video card cooling; those who want to overclock the card for additional performance, and those who want a quieter solution from the often times audible stock cooling solutions prevalent on many of today’s offerings. Whatever the case may be, Thermalright is there to help with its new T-Rad² GPU cooler.

The T-Rad² GPU cooler caught in the wild.

The T-Rad² GPU cooler caught in the wild.

The T-Rad² combines everything Thermalright is known for; precision design, copious heat pipes and cooling fins, and a quality mounting system — all in a compact package. In fact, the T-Rad² is one of the few high-performance coolers on the market that can work in SLI and Crossfire setups for today’s scorching-fast cards. With the cooler under 25mm thick, it can work in a multi-card environment as long as there are two PCI slots between the the video cards presuming standard 25mm thick fans will be used. The slim design also fits in most mATX environments, making it attractive for HTPCs and LAN gaming.

The front of the T-Rad².

The front of the T-Rad².

The mounting surface is covered for your protection.

The mounting surface is covered for your protection.

Specs

  • Dimension:228(L) x 104(W) x 24.3(H)mm
  • Weight:360g
  • Recommended Fan:All 92 x 92 x 25 fans / All 120 x 120 x 25 fans
  • Heat pipes:Six heat pipes / Nickel Plated
  • Base material:Copper Base

The T-Rad² is compatible with ATI’s Radeon HD 3800-series and 4800-series cards, and many NVIDIA offerings including the 8800GT and 9800GTX+. A complete list of compatible cards from both manufacturers is available here.

Everything you need, plus a sticker!

Everything you need, plus a sticker!

Included components:
1 T-Rad² GPU cooler
1 syringe of Chill Factor thermal interface material
2 thin RAM heatsinks
10 standard RAM heatsinks
2 VRM heatsinks
4 black soft washers
4 white hard washers
4 double-thread screws
4 cap screw nuts
2 wire fan clips
9 M3 screws
2 M3x27 screws
1 Thermalright sticker

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Comments

  1. Komete
    Komete Wow that thing looks monstrous. Looks like video card heatsinks are catching up with cpu heatsink in size and design categories. Great review.
  2. BuddyJ
    BuddyJ Thanks Komete. It's pretty large, but when compared to what else is out there on the market, it's a small fry.
  3. Komete
    Komete I guess it's been about two years since I last looked at VGA coolers. I once had a zalman v something. Taking a look on newegg, they are bigger. But that one looks like it is running with the pack. I'm thinking, sooner or later they'll have to redesign cases and cooling paths to accommodate the need for future gpu coolers.
  4. BuddyJ
    BuddyJ Yep, from what I gather, this one runs well above average, but if you want the best in VGA air cooling, there are others that'll net you a few more degrees. The other Thermalright model is one of them, and the Arctic Cooling Accelero Twin Turbo supposedly is equal to or better than the TRad2. I'd love to review both of them and compare results to the TRad2.
  5. Leonardo
    Leonardo
    the Arctic Cooling Accelero Twin Turbo
    I don't know about the "Twin Turbo" part, but I run two of the Accelero coolers on 8800GTs. They are superb. Although you can easily run video cards with the Accelero with no fan at all, I've mounted low-flow (quiet) 120mm fans on mine. Overkill? Definitely! :bigggrin:

    With these big coolers, I assume the T-rad thing also, you can run video cards dead silent at full load.

    Nice work on the review, Buddy J!
  6. BuddyJ
    BuddyJ The engineers at Thermalright don't recommend running the TRad2 without a fan for whatever reason. I took their word for it instead of risking roasting my only good video card. ;)

    The Accelero Twin Turbo is pretty much what you've got, but they've gone and mounted dual 80mm thin fans to it. The guys over at Legion Hardware have reviewed both coolers if you're interested.
  7. Leonardo
    Leonardo OK, I know what you're talking about now. I already had quiet, low-flow 120mm fans in my parts bin, so I just mounted them. Think back to just a few years ago. Who would have thought of a VGA cooler that would easily accept a 1 2 0 millimeter fan! LOL

    I have two machines running 8800GTs, overclocked and at full load. Both those video cards are cooled with Acceleros mounted with 120s. Ambient room temperature now is 74F (heat in the house radiates up to the top floor). One card is running at 41C and the other at 44C.

    I think the TRad2's design and execution is very good, but at 50-80% higher cost than the Accelero, I just don't see it.

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