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Reviewed by: Carl Nelson [01.29.04]
Manufactured by: Thermaltake


Extreme Copy

You might recognize the fundamental design of the "Extreme Giant" series of video card coolers from Thermaltake; they ripped directly from the well designed original fanless video card cooler by Zalman, which we featured in our "Build a DEAD SILENT PC" article back in 02.

Can you blame them? It really is an ingenious design, using heatpipes in a REAL manner to significantly increase the effective surface area of a heatsink by employing both sides of the video card.

Thermaltake has a much greater retail reach than Zalman, and if it weren't for Zalman's other excellent products geared to the low-noise and silent-computer users, their video heatsink would be long forgotten by now, with Thermaltake's cooler tattooed into our memories as a replacement.

Of course, video cards are getting hotter, and Zalman has had to change their design a little. Their latest model is the $26 "ZM80C-HP", which allows for a slim, quiet 80mm fan. Zalman will continue to develop their products to be the best for keeping high end PC parts quiet, while running smoothly.

Thermaltake has taken the Giant series the opposite direction...

Thermaltake is more into the 'performance over silence' scene, and in many cases 'looks over anything'. In the case of the "Extreme Giant III", you would probably think this to be a case of the latter. Thermaltake has upped the heatpipe count to two, has integrated an adjustable fan, and even added a blower that can be switched on for "Turbo Mode".

Let's take a deeper look at the package...

I really like the fact that a set of ram sinks were included in the package. I was skeptical of the use of heatsinks on ram chips for the longest time, but with memory reaching upwards of 1 Ghz DDR, they can get EXTREMELY hot. And when overclocking, you will be pushing it that far, believe me.

There is one small problem with these sinks, however; their shape may be suitable for rectangular TSOP chips, but will not cover an entire BGA chip. Installing them at an angle will help, but it would have been better if they were square in design, to cover an entire BGA chip, and maybe over-cover rectangular chips (too much heatsink is better than not enough!).

All the necessary tools are included, with a small diagram written into the manual. I would suggest ripping this page out so you can refer to it while installing it on your video card; you may be left with only one hand trying to figure out if it is "Bag A" or "Bag C" that contains "Screw F" and "Bolt B".

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