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Copper Ram Sinks
By: Justifier
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    Copper ram sinks huh? Yup. Ross over at Tweakmonster was kind enough to hook us up with some of his yet to be released ram sinks, and he wanted us to put em thru the paces and see where they stand. We're not exactly the private type, so we figured that we'd do as he requested, but we'd do it here in front of you guys so that you too can form an opinion.

    Manufacturer: TweakMonster.com
    Availability: Unreleased
    Price: Undetermined
    Reviewed by: Jim (Justifier)
    March 2001



    Copper ram sinks huh? Yup. Ross over at Tweakmonster was kind enough to hook us up with some of his yet to be released ram sinks, and he wanted us to put em thru the paces and see where they stand. We're not exactly the private type, so we figured that we'd do as he requested, but we'd do it here in front of you guys so that you too can form an opinion. 



    There are many reasons people may come up with for having these things.. Faster speeds, life span of the memory, etc. But the main reason to have these, I don't care what ANYONE says, is they simply look friggin' cool as hell! Yup, there it is, the truth, they look good. Someone with a window in there case that says these shiny copper beauties mounted on their video card won't look good is just plain lying.  

    Tweakmonster is a CNC machinist by trade that has a few extra projects he does on the side. His first "extra project" was CPU copper spacers, and I'm telling ya from experience, they are the best ones I've come across. However, just because he makes the best spacers, doesn't automatically mean that he knows what he's doing with ram heatsinks. So let's take a closer look at what he has to offer. 






    The application we chose to give these things a whirl on was out old Hercules GeForce2 MX card. Before the addition of the Tweakmonster Ram Sinks and the Blue Orb you see above, the card would run 220mhz core/205 memory but with a few anomalies during heavy 32bit applications. It was rock stable at 215/200 with absolutely no anomalies. After adding the sinks and Blorb we were pleasently supised. The new speeds this card ran STABLE and anomaly free at was 232mhz core and a whopping 209mhz on the memory!  


    Overclocking Results (In Mhz)










    Now personally I have never been a believer in the idea that memory will OC higher with heat sinks, I had just never seen a case where it helped. Maybe this is the odd exception, maybe it's the norm, but I do have a theory. Most memory is not pushed to its limit, therefore it does not get hot. This memory my friends, actually got very warm to the touch. Not scolding mind you, but very warm all the same. Perhaps it usually doesn't help, because rarely is heat the reason for the memory failure, in this case perhaps we found memory that actually DID need that little bit of extra help.  

    I can tell you this, overclocking this card brought this MX from a great bargain graphics card to a respectable solution for the average gamer. My 3dMark2000 scores went from 4600 marks at the default speed of 175/166 to a whopping 6029 marks with the new clock speeds!  

    We applied these with Arctic Silver thermal adhesive and they aren't coming off anytime soon.. Word to the wise if your using the adhesive, COVER THE CONTACTS WITH SILICONE!! You don't know the importance of that till ya see a card ruined, and I have! These sinks fit over the SDR chips like they were made for them, maybe cause they were! The quality of these sinks is impressive. The bottom is smooth and flat (which is hard to find in a heat sink) and the finish is gorgeous!  

    Here's a few more detailed pics, click em to make em grow.... 




    All in all I was very pleased with these Ram sinks. I was probably more suprised than anyone reading it that they actually gave a performance increase, but they damn sure did. It may not have been a ground shaking increase, but in the OC community we take whatever we can get! 

    There are just two "cons" to these sinks, but unfortunately they are big ones. The first is the size of them, they are not made to fit on the bigger DDR modules. I have discussed this with Ross over at Tweakmonster and he assured me that if/when these go into production he will have a larger version available for those chips. So that "con" kind of takes care of itself. The second con is price. You'll notice that I've yet to mention price in this preview. After several discussions with Ross, the plain and simple answer is that these are simply NOT cheap to make. He has tried to come up with cheaper solutions, but he refuses to sacrifice his quality for price and I applaud him for that. The way it's looking right now is that they will run in the USD$5.00 per piece range. Yep folks, that ain't cheap at ALL! These, like everything else in the world, fall under the "you get what you pay for" umbrella. There are cheaper ram sinks out there, but they're not copper and they're not custom made by an overclocker here in the USA.  

    Ross has let me know that due to the high production costs, he may not go full scale production with these, but that doesn't mean you can't get some. He is willing to work on a case by case basis with anyone willing to pay the price. Believe me, Ross ain't out to rip ya off, but he can't be selling things at a loss either. The Ram sinks start as a solid block of copper, it's not fins pressed into a base like you're used to seeing. So whether you are willing to pay for em or not is up to you. If you hound 'ol Ross enough he may go ahead and get some out to the retailers he uses, so drop him a line if you're interested in these things. 

    That about sums it up I reckon, Ross has definitely come thru with another kickass product, but now the question is can he come thru on a price? Let's hope so because these things rock too hard to be stuck sitting on a template forever... Seriously, shoot Ross an email and let him know your thoughts on this, and if you're in Southern California at a bar, look around, that mofo likes beer as much as I do and ya just might find him!! 

    Questions, prop, flame, or comment?? Let me know....
    DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by Developer Shed, Inc. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. As such it is incumbent upon the reader to employ real-world tactics for security and implementation of best practices. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials. If this is a hardware review, it is not recommended to open and/or modify your hardware.

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