Hello, I'm a typical "long time lurker, first time poster" who needs some advice as to which aftermarket cooler is the best choice for the Sapphire Vapor-X Radeon HD 4890.
I'm going to describe the specifics of my situation, but for those who'd rather not read all that: in your opinion, what is the best cooler for the Vapor-X 4890 and why?
Obviously, any suggestion can be based on the cooler's performance on other video cards, not just my specific model. Also, as I'll address further below, I think I have narrowed the options down to the Zalman VF1000, the Zalman VF2000 and the Zalman VF950.
So, a little background. My current system is the first I've built myself from scratch: about five months ago, I decided to replace my old Pentium 4 build with a brand new machine. Being relatively inexperienced in hardware, I spent quite some time researching about all the options I had. During my research, I inevitably stumbled upon SPCR, which made me realize not only that my computer produced an awful lot of noise, but also that it didn't have to be that way.
However, having lived with small, high speed, bad sounding fans for an incredibly long time, I didn't put silence very high in my list of priorities, as I thought I would be more than happy with just a "quiet" system. Two months later, I ordered the following components:
CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 955
Motherboard: MSI 770-C45
RAM: Kingston 2 GB DDR-1333 ValueRAM x 2
GPU: Sapphire Vapor-X Radeon HD 4890
Hard Drive: Seagate 500 GB Barracuda 7200.12
DVD Drive: LiteOn iHAS124
Case: Cooler Master Sileo 500
PSU: Cooler Master Silent Pro M600
(peripherals omitted: if you think they are relevant please say so)
I was initially completly satisfied with my new build, as it was far better than the old one in all aspects, but I soon found the CPU's stock cooler too loud when the CPU was under load. I replaced it with a Noctua NH-U12P and, once again, all was good.
But now here I am. After replacing the CPU's cooler, the GPU's stock fan became the loudest component in the system, at least when the GPU was under load. I tried reducing its speed to the maximum I could stand in idle, as well as underclocking the GPU, but the GPU would get too hot under load (and I obviously didn't appreciate the performance drop). I don't really understand how I could stand the older system when I'm now so annoyed at the (far less) noise coming from the new one.
Anyway, this is the context from which my question as to what cooler is the best for the Vapor-X 4890 emerged. In my research, I found the Zalman VF1000, the Zalman VF2000 and the Zalman VF950 to be the ones with greater probability of fitting and adequately cooling my graphics card, but I don't have any practical experience with aftermarket GPU coolers. For example, will I be able to connect the 3-pin fan of one of these coolers to the 4-pin fan connector in the GPU, like what happens in the case of a 3-pin CPU fan and a 4-pin motherboard CPU fan connector?
Thanks in advance.