Zalman's ZM80A-HP passive GPU cooler

The sounds of silence

NVIDIA'S GEFORCE FX has made it painfully clear that there's more to a graphics card than its performance in 3D games and benchmark suites. The noise levels generated by NVIDIA's Dustbuster cooling system reportedly vary from mildly annoying to completely unbearable depending on background noise. There has to be a better way.

In fact, there is. Zalman's ZM80A-HP graphics chip cooler hasn't been validated for use with NVIDIA's upcoming GeForce FX, but the ZM80A-HP is a completely passive cooling solution for today's top commercially available graphics cards. Without moving parts, the ZM80A-HP promises to be impervious to fan failure and completely silent. It looks pretty slick, too.

Is the ZM80A-HP a worthy graphics chip cooler for an enthusiast's high-end graphics card? Join me as I examine the ZM80A-HP's impact on system noise levels and its ability to dissipate the heat generated by stock and overclocked graphics cards from ATI and NVIDIA.

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