CrazyPC sent me this Zalman VF700-Cu VGA cooler, and it is good. It is very good. I went into this expecting my VGA temperatures to drop, not
to fall through the floor. Yes, this VGA cooler is so cool it comes with nipples (I'm not kidding, check out the package contents).
SPECS AND PACKAGE CONTENTS
Dimensions : 91(L) x 126.4(W) x 30(H)mm
Weight : 270g
Base Material : Pure Copper
Bearing Type : 2-Ball
Speed : 1,350 ~ 2,650rpm +- 10%
Noise Level : 18.5 ~ 28.5dB +- 10%
Heatsink Assembly (VF700-Cu)
Eight RAM Heatsinks
One Brace Plate
Two Nipple A
Two Nipple B
Four Bolt A
Four Bolt B
Six Rubber Rings
User's Manual - in English and Korean
Full Tower case with Antec TruePower430
MSI K8T Neo Motherboard
1GB Kingston PC3200 RAM
AMD 64 3200+ Processor
nVidia GeForce 6800 reference board with 128MB RAM
Microsoft Windows XP Pro with SP2 and DirectX 9.0c
Some optical and hard drives
Well, technically the first step is removal of your stock heat sink and fan. To make my video card naked, I needed to get out an
eyeglass repair kit to get some of the screws off. There are 18 total screws to be removed, and the assembly
on the reference card disassembles into 5 pieces, which are now lying in a pile on my desk. I wish I knew what
to do with them, because they've been getting in the way a lot lately.
Stock Heat Sink and Fan
After everything was yanked, I cleaned the RAM and GPU so that the new parts could be applied cleanly. Following
the instructions, I installed the nipples and brace plate on my video card...after laughing like a juvenile at the
word 'nipple'. I applied the heat sinks for the RAM next. This was pretty easy. If you know how to use stickers,
you can apply the heat sinks.
Naked Video (Card)
Then it was time to slather the GPU with some thermal grease. Unlucky for me, I
couldn't find my Arctic Silver 5, so I used the grease that was supplied in the package. Installation of the fan
and heat sink assembly was easy; just make sure to get the clip over the nipples (nipple clip...tee-hee-hee) and
the larger fins over the heat sinks on the RAM. I then slapped the video card into the PC, and attached the fan
connector to the supplied multi connector, and then to the power supply. Overall, I would say that installation
was easy. This is one sexy heat sink and fan.
The Zalman has an all copper heat sink. Its color is, you guessed it, an orangey-red copper color, with the RAM
heat sinks being blue. It is rather large, and will render the PCI slot next to the AGP useless.
Card with Zalman Installed
The GPU heat sink hovers above the RAM heat sinks, allowing air to circulate and keep the RAM cooler, as well. You
have to make sure the RAM heat sinks are fully attached with the thermal tape before mounting your video card in your
tower case, or the sink might actually fall off with some vibration.
OPERATION AND TEMPERATURE RESULTS
The packaging warned me that there would be a temperature drop, and it turns out they were right! It claims a 7-10 degree
difference in the VGA Chipset temperature and a 10-15 degree difference in the VGA RAM temperature. One of the neat things
about the VF700-Cu is that you can plug it into a 5V or 12V connector for power. 5V will of course be the Silent Mode setting,
while 12V will be the Normal Mode setting. I tried both, and both were much quieter than stock. I didn't notice any sound
outside the case when in Silent Mode, but there was a slight bit of noise in Normal Mode. Both were quite tolerable.
Power Connection Options
Using the 5V connector, I saw my VGA Chipset temperature drop 17 degrees at idle, and 15 degrees when playing Half-Life 2
(what I would consider to be under load). That's a 27% decrease while idle, and a 21% decrease under load.
When I changed to the 12V connector, I saw my VGA Chipset temperature drop 18 degrees at idle and 16 degrees under load.
That's a 29% decrease while idle, and a 22% decrease under load.
I did not chart the temperatures here, but when I turned on all of my case fans, I noticed an additional 5 degree drop at idle.
There was an additional 4 degree drop under load. Because my case fans are sometimes noisy, I don't run them all the time, so
I don't always see these temperature drops.
Holy Cow! Not only did the Zalman VF700-Cu significantly drop the temperatures on my video card (better than advertised),
but it also cut out a lot of noise. Both of these are problems with stock systems, but with the Zalman they're totally taken
care of. My machine is quieter and cooler at the same time, which is quite a feat. At $29.99, it's well worth the price.
I'd like to thank CrazyPC for providing the sample.