Video card vendors always seem to manufacture graphic cards that have undersized heatsinks with incredibly loud fans and that are almost as hot as the surface of the sun. One would think that after decades of building these things they’d take a hint and build reference cards with thermal solutions that are adequate for stock performance. However, due to this inadequacy many other companies have found a market to fill and Thermalright is a company with proven designs and great success.
Today I’ve got the Thermalright T-Rad2 for review. Thermalright is most well known for its HR-03 VGA cooler and Ultra 120 Extreme CPU cooler, both of which have a reputation for being some of the best heatsinks on the market. Unfortunately, the HR-03 is large heatsink that takes three slots by itself and Thermalright has taken notice of this with the launch of the T-Rad2. The heatsink itself is only two slots thick, just as thick as the stock cooler for the HD 4870 or GTX 280. Strapping a necessary fan to the heatsink makes it three slots thick — just as thick as the HR-03 without a fan.
The T-Rad2 has an incredibly thin and unique design that makes it incompatible with a few card designs. Before deciding to purchase the card, make sure to check out Thermalright’s ATI and NVIDIA graphics card compatibility check list to insure that your card will be able to fit the T-Rad2. During testing I checked some of the cards I had lying around and had a few non-reference cards that did not fit due to capacitors and chokes being in the way of the heatpipes.