A few days ago I took a look at the Thermaltake Armor LCS case, today I have sort of a compliment to that, the Thermaltake ND3 VGA Cooler Kit for Nvidia cards. I have two BFG 7900GT OC cards running in SLI, and I found that these Thermaltake kits easily fit with running SLI and are also silent and keep my cards running nice and cool. Since the connectors are a standard size, these ND3 kits can be used with pretty much any Thermaltake kit or other liquid cooling kit that uses the same size tubing. Thermaltake included two different sized fittings for tubing as well, so it is almost universal…
Thermaltake ND3 Liquid VGA Cooler in SLI for Nvidia
Reviewed by: Kristofer Brozio AkA Dracos
Tech Specs,Features or the Basic Info:
Thermaltake ND3 Liquid VGA Cooler for Nvidia
Super Silent at 16dBA.
Super quiet 60mm low speed fan .
Unique 60mm fan blade design to optimize the airflow while keeping the noise
at minimal .
Effective cooling for the GPU and the video card memory at the same time.
Brazing Pure Copper Waterblock for maximum heat conductivity from
Maximum & Effective Cooling
Pure Copper Base for maximum heat conductivity from heat source.
Advanced Brazing Technology enhances the thermal efficiency.
Effective cooling for the GPU and the video card memory at the same time with
bundled aluminum memory heatsink.
Special fan shroud concentrates the airflow and focuses the air to the hotspot
Easy to install
-Blower fan with special blade design : rotating extremely silent.
-Brazing Pure Copper Waterblock
-Flawless contact surface
-Copper base with high performing thermal grease Dow Corning TC-5200
-Industrial-Grade tube with EPOXY
-Quick Install Connectors
-Thermal pads give good contact between BGA memory and copper base which conduct heat quickly
-Aluminum memory heatsink
Compatibility: nVidia 6800 Ultra nVidia
-7800 GT / GTX nVidia
-7900 GT / GTX
Waterblock Material: Brazing pure copper waterblock
Copper base Material: Brazing pure copper base
Fan Dimension: 60x10mm
Fan Speed: 1500rpm
Noise Level: 16dBA
Life Expectation: 50,000 hrs
Quick install connector: For 6.4mm ID (1/4) tubing
-For 9.5mm ID (3/8) tubing
Weight: 362 g
A Better Look at Things
The Thermaltake ND3 kits come in easy open plastic clamshells, they are essentially clear so you get a nice look at the actual cooler on the front of the package.
On the back of the package the specs and features are listed and you can see the tubing fitting and the PCI slot ventilation cover.
Included with those things is the install manual, mini-heatsinks for the ram, thermal pads and mounting screws as well.
Here’s a few pics of the tubing connectors themselves, they use Thermaltakes quick connect system for easy installation with any Thermaltake liquid cooler or other system you might have.
A case badge is included also so you can show the world you are using quality Thermaltake products in your system. The ram heatsinks are aluminum low profile so they fit nicely with the ND3 cooler.
A Better Look at Things
The Thermaltake ND3 VGA coolers seem large and I thought they weren’t going to work running in SLI but you’ll see in the installation section they fit just fine. There is a standard pass-through Molex connection to power the blower fans on the ND3 coolers so you can chain two of them together if need be.
The ND3 coolers actually look very nice, the clear plastic cover lets you get a nice view at your coolers, one thing nice about this is that it isn’t just a waterblock to cooler your GPU but the copper plate extends to cover the ram chips as well. The blower not only helps to cool the copper plate and your ram chips but it aids in keeping the GPU waterblock cool as well, a very efficient system overall.
The copper waterblock and plate are essentially one piece, the ND3 comes pre-applied with thermal compound , which is Dow Corning TC-5200.
The blower pulls the air in from outside and across the copper plate and waterblock.
The tubing is industrial grade with Epoxy to insure no leaks. The ends are threaded to fit either size of included connector for ease of use and the ability to upgrade if need be.
Here’s a couple random close up pics before we move to the installation section:
Overall I like the system, and it fell solid and very well made, it appears it should be easy to install as well.
Installation, Testing and Comparison
The first thing to do is remove the stock BFG cooler from the video, easy to do just remove a few screws. Of course you’ll need to clean the old stock thermal grease from the GPU core as well.
Next step is to install the thermal pads, these just stick on, they feel soft and mushy, almost a jelly consistency.
Next thing is to place the Thermaltake ND3 in place and attach it with the included screws and nylon washers, very easy to do.
And that’s it for the installation, the BFG 7900GT OC does not have ram chips located on the back side of the card so there is no need for the added heatsinks, other cards might need them though.
I installed the Thermlatake ND3 VGA coolers in my existing Thermaltake Armor LCS (review HERE) liquid cooling loop. Of course I needed to add more coolant etc, but the Armor LCS case came with coolant to spare actually.
The ND3 VGA coolers have blue LEDs in the blowers to add to the appearance of your case, looks great in the Armor LCS case.
Since this was done in SLI, I have a chart for you showing the temps of both cards with the stock cooling and with the Thermaltake ND3 installed and I also had my Zalman VF7000-CU LED cooler installed as well for comparison.
The ambient room temperature during testing was 25C.
In the chart Card 1 is the top card or main card, and Card 2 is the bottom card.
I used Nvidia monitoring software to log the temperatures and the temps you see are the lowest and highest the GPU cores hit for each part of the graph. I ran 3dMark06 to achieve load on the cards in SLI mode.
As you can see from the charts the Thermaltke ND3 VGA coolers blow the air coolers away. In the loop I have running the CPU is first, then the first card and then the second or bottom card. You can see the temps are a couple degrees higher for the bottom card but that is expected as the warmer coolant is traveling from the top card to the bottom card.
All in all the cooling performance is excellent for the Thermaltake ND3 VGA coolers, very nice indeed, and yes they are silent, they added no additional noise to my system at all.
What more could you ask for? Excellent performance, easy installation and great looks, these are just some excellent VGA coolers overall. The ability to work with almost any system is a major plus, so you are not limited to using just a Thermaltake branded liquid cooling setup either, you can add them to your own existing cooling loop very easily. Thermaltake has other versions of this VGA cooler available as well for various brands and models or video cards, it’s the same thing just different styles for the models.
DragonSteelMods gives the Thermaltake ND3 Liquid VGA Cooler for Nvidia a 5 out of 5 score and our Editor’s Choice Award as well.
-Very easy to install
-Works great in SLI
I would like to thank Thermaltake for the chance to review the Thermaltake ND3 Liquid VGA Cooler for Nvidia and for their support of DSM.