X1k series of graphics cards are certainly a powerful
solution for gaming, however whether purchasing
a X1900XT or the older X1800 - the coolers are
some of the loudest we have heard in our labs.
We made it very clear to ATI that their noisy
cooling solution needed addressed in the future
because this was never an issue for the 78x or
79x Nvidia boards.
to the racket created by high end ATI cards (and
older models of Nvidia cards) there is a real
market out there for alternative cooling solutions.
A well designed cooler can make a huge difference
to overall system noise and even over clocking
potential, so when one of the world’s leading
after market cooler makers produces a VGA cooler
we had to have a look.
Zalman VF900-CU comes packaged in a relatively
small box which is well designed. On the front
of this packaging we can see the full size of
the fan as well as the design of the cooling fins.
We can also clearly see the type of metal used.
the box over reveals the specifications of the
product as well as some of the main features.
There is also a small window at the bottom of
the packing which allows potential customers to
inspect the heat sink base.
opening the box the first thing we find are the
bundled components. These consist of a well written
instruction manual that includes very easy to
understand diagrams, thermal paste, sticker, cables,
memory heat sinks and Fanmate 2. Fanmate allows
you to connect the GPU fan to a motherboard fan
header for monitoring and also features a dial
to vary the cooler fan speed.
the small bag pictured contains the various screws,
bolts etc. used to attach the cooler to the graphics
removing the bundled components we find the cooler
itself suspended in some hard protective plastic.
The picture below shows the cooler from a top
down view. Clearly shown are the 0.2mm fins which
dissipate the heat passing through the 2 copper
heat pipes. The fan used on the VF900-CU is a
variable speed model which runs from 1350rpm to
2500rpm. This variable RPM means that the noise
generated is also variable between 18.5dB to 25dB.
turning over the cooler we can see the method
used to attach the unit. There are 6 arms extending
from the base which feature numerous holes. These
various holes correspond to almost all mounting
holes used on graphics cards within the last 2-3
years. Our X1800XTPE uses hole set 5 (which is
the outermost hole on the 4 main arms).
clearly shown by the shot below is the base of
the cooler, it is very highly polished copper.
we take a look at the installation process here
is a note of the cards full specifications (which
also state that the cooler is a very light 185g)
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Review coding Zardon.
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