Thermaltake Extreme Giant III 0

Thermaltake Extreme Giant III

Performance



After mounting the clip that fixes the front side heatsink base the heatsink was removed and the contact area was inspected. As you can see the contact area is excellent, a lot of thermal paste has been squished out. I originally believed that it would require a large amount of thermal paste in order to make proper contact with the core due to the shape of the heatsink base. After the first mounting I came to find that such amounts of thermal paste are not necessary. Good job Thermaltake.



I also tried to overtighten the mounting screws to find out if something bad could happen. The above picture shows the mounting screws screwed in as far as the drilled holes allowed. The only thing that bends is the mounting clip, which is fine in my opinion, much better than a bent (which usually means dead) video card.



For the overclocking tests I used my ATITool overclocking utility version 0.0.19. ATITool has the unique ability to detect artifacts, or flaws, in a rendered image. As defined by ATITool, the maximum stable overclock on a card is the speed at which it is able to consistently (15 minutes in this test) produce no errors, or artifacts. ATITool detects ANY artifacts, even ones which will not be visible in game. Using the human eye to detect artifacts introduces subjectivity into the test, so despite the fact that an ATITool tested overclock will be characteristically lower than a human one, I will use this.

Temperature was measured with one case side open by putting a thermal probe on the backside of the Radeon 9800 Pro opposite to where the GPU is. Idle temperature was measured after letting Windows sit one hour at the desktop. Load temperature was measured after running 3DMark2001 looped for one hour. Both at the card's default clock of 380 / 340 Mhz.

Arctic Silver 5 was used as thermal interface material for the GPU core in all installations. I used Arctic Silver 3 for all other contact surfaces of the Giant III.

Maximum
Core Clock
Sound level Temperature
Idle
Temperature
Load
Stock cooler 416 MhzAcceptable45°C55°C
Giant III Low427 MhzAcceptable42°C56°C
Giant III Medium428 MhzNoisy41°C52°C
Giant III High429 MhzLoud40°C48°C
Giant III Low + Blower 430 MhzVery Loud36°C42°C
Giant III Medium + Blower 432 Mhz Very Loud34°C41°C
Giant III High + Blower 435 Mhz Very Loud33°C40°C
Watercooling (Water ~33°C) 435 MhzInaudible35°C37°C




The first thing I noticed after installation is that the Giant III is not the product for the 'silent' overclocker. Even at the 'low' setting with the blower switched off I find it is too loud. The other main fan speed settings do not really make much of a difference in performance - it just gets louder.

The extra-switchable blower has an annoying high-pitched whining sound coming with it, but when switched on it really gives you much better overclocking results. Running at maximum, the Giant III gives the same maximum overclock as a watercooling solution. I would even say it is a good thermal solution with some voltmodding.

Value and Conclusion

Rating
Aesthetics7.0
I don't like the overall look of the Giant III. The blower fan looks somewhat out of place.
Ease of use8.0
Complex installation but good instructions. Impossible to break your card.
Performance8.5
Outstanding performance but not quiet. Eight Ramsinks included.
Blower fan is useless for day to day usage because it is too loud.
Quality8.5
Everything looks well built, no sharp edges, nice sleeved cabling.
Spare parts.
Value8.0
With a price tag of about {$price} I think it's too expensive.
Especially if you consider the available alternatives.
The Bottom Line8.0