Aerocase Condor: A Massive, Passive VGA Cooler

Cooling
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INSTALLATION

Installing the Condor is about as simple as it gets, but, because of its size, good system planning is essential. Each cooler is customized for a specific card, so there is no confusion with multiple brackets or which mounting holes to use. Installing it is as simple as placing the card onto the base and screwing them together. It can be a little difficult to align the screw holes properly, so Aerocase includes two toothpicks to help keep the card aligned while the screws are installed. This low tech solution worked well so long as the card was level (which required the base to be propped up), but the card had a tendency to slide out of alignment if given a chance.

Aerocase recommends using the metal backplate that comes with the stock cooler if there is one, but this is not a requirement and no backup plate is included. Our test card did not have with a backplate, but we had no problems installing it without.


A pair of toothpicks are included to help align the screw holes.


Fully installed — simple.

Not surprisingly for such a large cooler, the Condor is quite heavy, and placed our test card under a lot of stress when installed. It weighs more than a pound, and most of that is suspended above the top of the card, producing a lot of cantilever force. When the card was installed in the system, it was visibly twisted. If possible, it is a good idea to support the back corner of the card in some way.

The photo below shows where the heatsink hangs in relation to the video card. Our sample was the reverse wing version that is intended for use in systems with tall, tower-style CPU heatsinks. The regular version positions the heatsink over the CPU, where it borrows airflow from the CPU heatsink and the system fan. The reverse cooler will be out of system airflow in most cases, as it is in our test system; the regular version is probably preferable if it will fit. Alternately, Aerocase recommends using the reverse wing model in systems with both exhaust and intake fans to ensure that the bottom portion of the case gets adequate airflow. Another trick is to remove the covers of the PCI slots to encourage additional in/out flow near the heatsink.


Our sample hung over the expansion slots, but there is also a version
that positions the heatsink over the CPU socket.



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