The only cautionary note we want to stress is to make perfectly sure you’ve removed all the reference GPU cooler’s screws. If you have stickers or any sponge like spacers like the ones on the NVidia GTX 480 we’re using, double check that there aren’t any hiding underneath. I found two which you couldn’t see by just looking at the bottom of the card. And, we don’t want any of our readers breaking something by accident.
The second note worth mentioning is to thoroughly clean off your bare GPU. Some Artic Silver Thermal Paste Remover and Purifier work great for this. Otherwise, you’ll want to use something that has a solvent in it to cut through the thermal goop. Once this is done, evenly spread Coolit’s special secret-sauce thermal paste on there. After prep is done, all you have to do is lay the Omni ALC on its top side and and then lower the video card on top. That way you can see all the screw holes. Use your video card’s original screws to fasten the card to the Omni and you’re done.
I found installing the video card first and then the radiator to be the easiest method. There was enough Omni-tubing to fit over the massive VenomousX CPU cooler. I plugged the 3-pin fan wire in to the chassis fan port because it has thermal control options in the BIOS. Otherwise, you can use a fan controller if you like full control.
As you can see above, the Omni A.L.C. really puts the ZOTAC GTX 480 on a physical diet. The question is, how does this equate to its thermal performance? Remember, this is an area that nVidia has been criticized for almost as much as Apple has for their iPhone 4 antenna problems. Can the Omni A.L.C. tame the GTX 480? Let’s find out!
Using FurMark, we can generate an artificial, but completely reproducible environment where we can see uniform increases in temperature. But, in order to add a real world perspective to it, we also used 3DMark Vantage and Battlefield Bad Company 2.
Whether running FurMark or BFBC 2, the Omni pleasantly managed the GTX 480. It really gave our former champion the GELID Icy Vision cooler a run for its money. This was largely in part due to fan speeds being used. I found that auto settings balanced temps the best as well as keep the noise in check. As far as value goes, the GELID was really a surprise as it is a very inexpensive solution for around the $40 US price point while the Omni A.L.C. tips the wallet at around $200 US.