Hi there people and welcome to my short review on the Thermalright Shaman GPU cooler, Thermalright have kindly sent me a Shaman to test so today Im testing on the AMD Radeon HD6950 Graphics card.
Asrock P55 PRO Motherboard
Intel Core i5 750 CPU running at 4.00GHZ
Gskill 4gb DDR3 ram running at 1600mhz CL7-7-7-18
Corsair H70 modified liquid cooling system
Antec 900 case
Monitor will allways be running at 1920×1080 resolution for the test.
Hopefully this setup is a good reflection on your average PC gamers rig.Method
Okay dokay what Im going to do here is focus more on temps and thresholds on the stock cooler first so you can get a feel for what a HD6950 runs like in gaming situations, be it in writing or screenshot, most here will know the cards limits by now but I wll just show this to be clear to all how these work under stress.
Next I will get on to the unboxing and fitting of the shaman, I will try to be clear in pics to kinda show how easy this is to do.
Then Im sure after that you will need something good to see, Thermalright have certainly shown they are very much into overkill cooling and will hopefully show you this running with some very healthy overclocks at temps and silence that you thought youd only see with water
The shaman hadnt arrived yet but set to work on taking the card apart.
There are 10 screws on the backplate that need taking out and 4 screws on the x clamp, remember once you do this you may have warranty problems but this is vendor specific so please contact them to see where you stand. Be carefull of the fan wire at the left bottom of the card, the wire is short but will lift off fine if your carefull.
Then you will have a bare card, what you will need to do now is clean away all the thermal paste and get all the greasy residue off the RAM chips and voltage regulators, I use Isopropyl alcohol and cotton buds but there are lots of ways of getting this stuff off, take your time and double check!
You should end up with something like this, the chip has a mirror shine and the ram chips are a dark black
In your thermalright box you will have a bag of small ram sinks and vrm sinks,anti vibration strips, paste, manual and a nice thermalright sticker. You must stick the ram and vrm heatsinks on firmly and hold pressure for a few seconds before releasing them to ensure a good bond, if theres any greasy residue left at all the sinks wont stick so please be thorough! There is a nice tutorial on thermalrights main website.
The main heatsink itself has a mirror sheen on the base and is very flat, heres a promo pic to show you what I mean
Its fitted using four thumb screws , four rubber washers and four regular nylon washers, its very simple to fit. After that its the fan. This is one of thermalrights own designs and I must give them a pat on the back for this fan, its exellent for shifting lots of air and is a surprisingly silent fan aswell, heres the specs
Dimention: Length 160mm x Height 140mm x Width 26.5mm
Weight : 140g
Fan speed: 900~1300RPM (PWM)
Connector: 4 Pin (PWM Connector)
and heres the finished article
beastly right! lets go to the test!TESTING
Righty I would like to first show you a couple of stock cooler temps so you have a good feel about the HD6950 unlocked card, some is written and some is screeny’s untill I can figure out how to make charts method will be xx,xx,xx (temp 1, temp2, temp 3 gpuz) on metro bench maxxed 1920×1080 looping for 5 minutes or 3dmark test 4 looping for 5 mins, tbh both were pumping out very similar results, metro is beastly on hardware!!HD6950 stock speed unlocked
avg idle : 44.5, 41.5, 47 celcius
avg load: 83.5, 86, 92 celcius
result= stableHD6950 DARING OC 950/1475mhz 1.260mv 60%fan
avg idle : 42.5, 39.5, 44 celcius
avg load: 87, 89, 96 celcius
result= stable (note, at stock fan speed this test failed hard)
feel the burn lol, that was very toasty and my ears are still ringing from the hoover fan hehe, I think its time for a few Shaman results eh?Shaman idle
Right, so Ive been running the pc now for a couple of hours, its had a few backround apps running like fraps,utorrent, msi ab,steam. Your typical apps a gamer would run. Ive got an old school mercury thermometer and the reading right now is 17.5 celcius. So here is the first pic, its of my desktop with gpuz and msi ab. Hope the pic isnt to big.
pretty good, 24, 18, 22 celcius, please note I hadnt checked the temp just before running the test and said 19 celcius, it had dropped to 17-17.5 celcius as id not allowed enough time for the thermometer to settle.
Now I will run the same test as the stock oc config 950/1475 and see how we do
max gpu temp of 47,45,49.5 celcius, not bad for metro maxed out but I thought lets torture the card a little more and loop 3d mark test 4 for a while at 720p, this is a real killer on the card and raises temps considerably, lovely stuff room temp has dropped to 17c
I really tried to get it to make higher temps but it wasnt happening, 47.5, 45, 50 celcius was the very max temp running this test , safe to say this cooler is doing a fine job
Onto the conclusion of this short reviewEnd of review and thoughts
well well, the results speak for themselfs I would say, the card was failing at those clocks with a stock cooler and now they arent, a drop of 40c load is pretty shocking .
I would like to say that there is a whole bunch of pro’s to this cooler and the sheer brute force approach to cooling really pays off, hats off to thermalright for that. One small problem I am facing right now is that Thermalright havent seen enough of you guys saying you want one so they have decided not to make a VRM solution for the 69xx cards, all though Im assured by Thermalright and through my own tests the supplied heatsinks do their job very well and there is really nothing at all to worry about. The card supports most fermi cards and most cypress/cayman parts.
As for the quality of the product Im ranking it very high, the finish on this cooler is superb as is the packaging, accessories and documentation. Fitting was a doddle and shouldnt pose problems for anyone, if you do have problems drop me a PM I am happy to help .
Clearance could be an issue for CFX/SLI users but Ive been googling and have found a few 12mm height 120mm fans that would give enough space and clearance, I do not have a card to test but if I do I will add to this review. Also I must note that thermalright do another cooler that would work really well coupled with the shamn, the Thermalright Spitfire, I may have one in to test very soon, watch this space
The price, well at around £50 its at the high end for air cooling but water blocks cost £70 upwards so Im not arguing tell the truth for this price you are getting a very high quality product that feels and performs as though its worth much more, coupled with the fact its almost a certainty that it will fit your future cards then it is worth every penny IMO.
Hope you enjoyed the review.