Zalman’s ZM80A-HP passive GPU cooler

Manufacturer Zalman
Model ZM80A-HP
Price (street) US$31
Availability Now
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.

The cooler
Passive cooling solutions are usually pretty simple affairs, but the ZM80A-HP is quite a bit more intricate than even most active cooling systems. What’s in the box?


A heat pipe to connect two massive heat sinks

First, the big stuff. Zalman’s ZM80A-HP uses two massive passive heat sinks to radiate heat away from the graphics chip. A U-shaped copper heat pipe connects the two heat sinks, helping to share the cooling load between the two.


Two mounting blocks for different GPU bolt patterns

The copper heat pipe gets sandwiched between the passive heat sinks. Zalman includes two different block sets to accommodate mounting hole patterns on GeForce4 and Radeon 9×00-based graphics cards, and users may be able to install the ZM80A-HP on future graphics cards, as well.

Both the mounting blocks and passive heat sinks have grooved channels to sandwich tightly the copper heat pipe, which is long enough to accommodate even NVIDIA’s behemoth GeForce4 Ti 4600.


They even include a screwdriver!

Zalman includes all sorts of screws, nuts, and washers with the ZM80A-HP in addition to a tube of thermal compound. They even include extra thermal grease and a set of spare screws should a thick, shag carpet ingest one of the tiny screws. As if that weren’t enough, Zalman also throws in a screwdriver. Everything a user would need for installation is right in the box.

Compatibility and installation
Because it ships with two sets of GPU blocks, the ZM80A-HP is compatible with the two different sets of heat sink hole patterns for GeForce4 and Radeon 9×00 cards. Unfortunately, Parhelia owners are out of luck; the ZM80A-HP isn’t compatible with Matrox’s unique board and chip layout.


Remember to apply a little extra goo to make up for the shim’s height


The GeForce4 Ti 4200’s much wider hole spacing

We can get away with applying a razor-thin layer of thermal compound between a GeForce4 chip and the ZM80A-HP, but a little extra thermal compound must be used with Radeon 9500 and 9700 chips to ensure complete contact with the ZM80A-HP. ATI’s GPU shim is just a hair taller than the actual graphics chip. Incidentally, shim clearance is an issue with any cooler used with ATI’s latest Radeons; this problem isn’t unique to the ZM80A-HP.

Once a correct amount of thermal compound has been smeared over the GPU, installing the heat sink’s GPU blocks takes just minutes. Unlike many cooling solutions which use plastic push-pins, Zalman’s ZM80A-HP blocks are secured with a set of metal screws.


Screws for the front


… and the back

Zalman’s use of metal screws to secure the ZM80A-HP is a nice touch, especially since the locking nut makes it impossible to over-tighten the cooler. Zalman supplies some rubber nuts to ensure the screws and mounting brackets don’t make inadvertent contact with the graphics card, possibly shorting essential connections. At first, I marveled at the ZM80A-HP’s slick retention system, but the tiny metal nut used to secure the rear mounting block is really a pain to install. Trying to adequately tighten this diminutive nut is frustrating since fingers must be used; screwdrivers, wrenches, and even needle-nose pliers don’t work. In the end, I managed to secure the rear mounting block, but not without almost wearing my fingertips raw. Zalman would do well to key this tiny nut for use with a screwdriver or even pliers to make installation easier.


The massive cooler dominates the front

Once the mounting blocks are installed, one need only slide in the heat pipe and secure the massive heat sinks to the front and rear blocks. Zalman’s excellent installation instructions recommend spreading thermal compound between the GPU blocks, heat pipe, and passive heat sinks for more effective cooling. Zalman includes plenty of thermal compound to cover all necessary surfaces.


… and the back of a graphics card

As you can see, the ZM80A-HP easily overwhelms a Radeon 9700 Pro. As large as the rear passive heat sink looks, it’s not actually making any direct contact with the back of the card:


Avoiding PCB contact is a delicate balancing act

Rather that sandwich the PCB between the cooling system’s GPU blocks, Zalman suspends the rear mounting block just millimeters above the PCB. The rear mounting block is held off the board’s surface by its mounting bracket and by the assembly’s copper heat pipe. Just in case, Zalman provides a clear sticker for the bottom of the mounting block to avoid any potential metal-on-metal contact that could short the graphics card.

Stealing slots?
Because the ZM80A-HP relies on passive cooling, it needs more surface area than your average GPU cooler to pull heat away from the graphics chip adequately. All that extra surface area makes the ZM80A-HP massive by today’s standards, but the cooler creates fewer clearance problems than one might expect.


It looks big, and it is

Before I get into clearance issues, it’s important to note that the ZM80A-HP weighs nearly 400 grams, which is quite a bit heavier than the average graphics cooler. An AGP slot retention mechanism is all but essential to ensure that the cooler’s weight doesn’t help unseat the graphics card when a system is moved. With careful transportation, a securely-attached cooler and graphics card should survive multiple LAN party trips, but it’s a good idea to be extra gentle.


Plenty of DIMM and chipset cooler clearance

Though the ZM80A-HP adds a lot of height to the back of an AGP card, there’s still plenty of clearance for DIMM slots and large north bridge coolers. Even the tallest of motherboard capacitors are well clear of the rear passive heat sink.


Some motherboards won’t even lose a PCI slot

Depending on the motherboard, the ZM80A-HP may not even rob users of a PCI slot. As you can see here, there’s plenty of room between the front passive heat sink and the AT7 MAX2’s closest PCI slot. The ZM80A-HP will, however, create clearance problems for the first PCI slot on many motherboards. Small form factor PCs like Shuttle’s XPC series are also incompatible with the ZM80A-HP without extensive case modifications.

Our testing methods
All tests were run three times, and their results were averaged, using the following test systems.

Processor Intel Pentium 4 2.4B
Front-side bus 533MHz (4x133MHz)
Motherboard Abit IT7 MAX2 Version 2.0
Chipset Intel 845PE
North bridge Intel 82845PE (MCH)
South bridge Intel 82801DB (ICH4)
Chipset driver Intel 4.10.1012
Memory size 512MB (2 DIMMs)
Memory type CAS 2 PC2700 DDR SDRAM
Graphics Abit Siluro GeForce4 Ti 4200
VisionTek GeForce4 Ti 4600
Tyan Tachyon G9700 Pro
Crucial Radeon 9700 Pro
Graphics driver NVIDIA Detonator 41.09 ATI CATALYST 3.0
Storage

Maxtor 740X-6L 40GB 7200RPM ATA/133 hard drive

Operating System Windows XP Professional SP1

Since the ZM80A-HP is compatible with GPUs from NVIDIA and ATI, I’ve rounded up a handful of cards from each for testing.

All noise testing was done with an Extech 407727 digital sound level meter that can measure sound levels above 40dB. Noise tests were conducted with the sound level meter positioned one inch (not directly in the path of air flow), one foot, and five feet from an open test system with only one low-RPM, 80 mm fan blowing over the processor. At a distance of 10 feet, noise levels were below 40 dB and thus immeasurable with our testing equipment.

We used the following versions of our test applications:

The test systems’ Windows desktop was set at 1024×768 in 32-bit color at a 75Hz screen refresh rate. Vertical refresh sync (vsync) was disabled for all tests. Most of the 3D gaming tests used the high detail image quality settings, with the exception that the resolution was set to 640×480 in 32-bit color.

All the tests and methods we employed are publicly available and reproducible. If you have questions about our methods, hit our forums to talk with us about them.

Noise testing
NVIDIA’s Dustbuster GeForce FX cooling solution has thrust noise levels into the spotlight, but there’s more to sound than just decibels. First, we’ll cover the decibels.

While the fan noise from Tyan’s Tachyon G9700 Pro and ATI’s stock Radeon 9700 Pro cooler get louder as we get closer to the GPU, the ZM80A-HP is incapable of making any noise at all. In fact, the ZM80A-HP-equipped system is silent enough at a distance of five feet to evade our noise testing equipment.

Our comparison coolers for GeForce4 Ti cards are a little more closely matched, but the ZM80A-HP is just as silent here as with our Radeon 9700 Pros.

As I mentioned earlier, there’s more to noise than just decibels. The decibel scale is logarithmic, so the two previous graphs don’t really communicate how loud the different cooling solutions really sound. A more appropriate way to represent noise levels is in terms of wattage per square meter. I’ve crunched the numbers and displayed our decibel results in watts per square meter below.

With watts per square meter, the numbers are a little messy, but we see a truer representation of each cooling system’s “loudness.” Zalman’s ZM80A-HP is still easily the quietest of the lot.

Overclocking performance
Without any fans or moving parts, it’s no surprise the ZM80A-HP is quieter than active GPU cooling solutions, but how effective is Zalman’s heat sink at cooling the graphics chip? Because overclocking potential is very much dependent on the characteristics of each individual chip, I overclocked Tyan’s Tachyon G9700 Pro and Abit’s Siluro GeForce4 Ti 4200 with their standard coolers and with the ZM80A-HP to measure the passive heat sink’s cooling prowess.

In testing, I was able to overclock our Tachyon G9700 Pro to core and memory clock speeds of 380 and 620MHz, respecitvely, with the card’s standard cooler. The card hit speeds of 370 and 640MHz with the ZM80A-HP. With our sample, the overclocking penalty incurred moving from the Tachyon G9700 Pro’s high-performance stock cooling solution to the ZM80A-HP was only 10MHz, which is a testament to the passive heat sink’s ability to keep things cool. Interestingly enough, our ZM80A-HP-equipped Tachyon G9700 Pro’s memory actually overclocked a little higher with the ZM80A-HP than with the card’s stock cooler. This is likely because the Tachyon’s stock cooler directly connects the GPU and memory chips, radiating heat from the former to the latter.

With our Siluro GeForce4 Ti 4200, I was able to get core and memory clock speeds up to 320 and 620MHz with the card’s stock cooling and 315 and 615MHz with the ZM80A-HP. Unlike with the Tachyon G9700 Pro, the GeForce4 Ti 4200’s stock cooler doesn’t make any direct contact with the card’s memory chips, but since the ZM80A-HP hovers directly over the memory chips, radiating heat may have slightly hindered our memory overclocking. Still, using the ZM80A-HP only forced a 5MHz drop in overclocked core and memory clock speeds; that’s not much of a penalty at all.

So the ZM80A-HP isn’t quite as good for overclockers as active cooling solutions, but how much of an impact does the ZM80A-HP’s slim overclocking disadvantage have on actual game performance?

Not much. While graphics card overclocking can have a definite impact on frame rates in Unreal Tournament 2003, especially with our GeForce4 Ti 4200, the performance impact of the ZM80A-HP’s slight overclocking penalty is negligible.

Conclusions
I have to admit I’m a sucker for passive cooling, not so much because I find ordinary graphics chip coolers to be unbearably loud, but because I’m all for eliminating noise where possible. I’m also all for innovative graphics card cooling solutions, especially those compatible with multiple graphics cards from different card manufacturers using different graphics chips. So, from a purely academic perspective, the ZM80A-HP is great. The cooler is dead silent, free of failure-prone mechanical parts, and compatible with numerous graphics cards. The only thing that annoys me is that tiny nut that can’t be tightened with a screwdriver.

But just how silent can a passive graphics chip cooler make a system?

Well, a closer examination of the ZM80A-HP’s impact on system noise levels reveals a dramatic reduction in sound intensity an inch away from the graphics card, but as we move farther away, even active graphics cooling becomes nearly as silent. That doesn’t mean that there’s no value to passive graphics cooling, but only those with near-silent systems will likely notice much of a difference in real-world noise levels.


Zalman ZM80A-HP
February 2003

I expected the ZM80A-HP to be silent, but what surprised me was how little it affected my ability to overclock my GeForce4 Ti 4200 and Radeon 9700 Pro graphics cards. Overclocking success is generally very dependent on the characteristics of individual graphics chips, but it’s still impressive that the ZM80A-HP allowed overclocking to within just a few MHz of what was possible with active cooling solutions, at least with the cards I used. At just over $30, the ZM80A-HP isn’t cheap, but its price isn’t outrageous. There aren’t many passive graphics chip cooling solutions available today, and there are even fewer appropriate for high-end cards and overclocking. The fact that there’s potential for the cooler to last through multiple graphics card upgrades makes it even more attractive. In the end, the ZM80A-HP is the ultimate graphics cooler for a high-end silent gaming rig.

Comments closed
    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    Watch ZALMAN hoem page !!!!!!!!!

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    There is something wrong in all this stuff with case temperature, and will be solved once that the CPU hot air will be blown outside the case !!!!!! I think that some tubes (plastic) a copper heatsink and a 80 mm fan can solve the job. (I fogott … tape too).
    Me

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    would this thing fit a Abit OTES Ti4200? Seemd like a good idea at the time, now pissing me right off.

    • Slade
    • 17 years ago

    I just resently installed this on my GeForce 4 TI 4400 and it works great. I’m surprised at how effectively the heatpipe transfers heat to the rear heatsink. Just touching the rear heatsink with my finger, it felt just as warm as the one directly connected to the GPU. I also used Artic Silver 3 instead of the pack-in goop. Here are some impressions:

    Case temps are down a few degrees. I attribute this to not having a fan on the VGA card blowing warm air around the M/B sensor.

    The heatpipe actually works! Note: this is the only means of heat transfer to the rear heatsink. The rear heatsink does not touch the back of the card, as first impressions may imply.

    The setup is quite a bitch. Little screws, little thumbscrews, little rubber mounts. All these little parts while trying to place heavy heatsinks together can be a bitch! Especially if you don’t want to spread goop on everything. I had to carefully manipulate the heatpipe in the heatsink in order not to smear goop along the pipe. After all was said and done though, I feel the setup is stable and works well. Oh, getting that shyt Nvidia put on the GPU originally was also a pain. I had to use Goo Gone, razor blades and bunches of swabs.

    Stress tests had no effect on the setup and it works flawlessly.

    For users of Antec (or equivilent) cases. The bottom rear fan mount is perfect for your case fan. It will sit right between the CPU and VGA card, just lining up with the rear VGA heatsink. I’m sure this is really good for cooling. When putting my hand there, the air is noticeable cooler. So now the heat can be sucked right off the heatsink out the case. (Another reason case temp is down?) That solves my VGA fan problem. ^_^

    This is one of a couple of noise reduction parts I have installed in my computer (noise reduction seems like a popular fad now a days):
    Antec True Power 330 which controls my one case fan to around 1500RPM (quiet). It’s supposed to go faster as case temps rise, but it’s never needed to so far.
    Zalman Gold Northbridge heatsink which replaced my AMD761 HSF.
    Taisol AMD heatpipe HSF. This is new from Taisol and uses a copper plate with copper heatpipes (just like the VGA heatsink) going into an aluminum heatsink cooled by a 3500RPM fan (quiet).

    Sorry for the long post. I just had a lot to write. ^_^

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    *[

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    *[

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    #41,

    If you could do better with a cheap Celeron fan and a big hunk of copper, then why does the Zalman do nearly as well in tests as the stock coolers?

    Those move WAY more air then an old Celeron cooler.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    [q]Another point. After ten months, by north bridge fan is the noisiest in my box. I haven’t seen any solutions to tackling this particular problem [/q]

    Zalman Northbridge cooler is the answer.

    – Euro Gerbil

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    NUMBER 35 SAID ” #34, regardless of how heat is removed, it will end up heating up the inside of the case, unless you’re using refrigerative cooling with an external radiator”

    This is absolutely right and it is derived from thermodynamics.When you apply a fan on a video card,the heat produced still ends up in the case,even more than the heat produced by passive cooling..do you know WHY? Simply because the kinetic energy of the air molecules trensfered by the fan,is also converted into heat and added to the heat produced by the card core.Therefore the video card may be cooler but the case warmer! Have you ever tried a ventillator in the summer in a small room?Have you measured temps before and after 4 hours of use?Once I measured 3 C increase (from 31 to 34!).

    Alex1974

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    #41, that sounds pretty right. The thing about the Zalman, though, is that in most cases (heh) the backside heatsink should be right under a case fan, so it’s not [i]entirely[/i] passive. Still, I was pretty surprised at how quiet yet effective my undervolted Crystal Orb was.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    Active GPU coolers are loud and ineffective for two reasons. One is the archaic ATX spec never assumed ATX cards would get hot and leaves no room for a decent sized fan and sink without protruding into the next slot. A tiny sink needs alot of air to work at all, and the only way to make a tiny fan move alot of air is to spin it so fast it whines. The other reason is penny pinching, margins for boardmakers are razor thin and a 75 cent cooler that makes twice as much noise as it needs to until it breaks at the 3 month mark is good for the bottom line.

    These are not flaws of active cooling, they are flaws of implementation.

    Passive cooling is not the way around this. The heat still needs to go somewhere, and you are still going to need air movement to do that, all you’ve accomplished is moving the fan from the most effective posible position for that (right on top of the heatsink) to a much less effective position elsewhere in the case.

    For those reasons, to even match the heat dissipation of the tiny stock sink, you need a double sided $40 monstrosity which takes two slots, and furthermore need good case airflow (ie, another $10 in fans) around it.

    If you’re going to give up the next slot and so have a reasonable amount of room to work with, you can get better cooling than the Zalman with a $3.50 aluminum sink with a whisper fan onboard. (AKA a generic celeron sink). If you’re going to give up the next slot and spend 40 bucks, you can get a 1U solid copper thing with a whisper fan that cools much better than this thing ever could.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    g{

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    For my Radeon 7200 -166/166 (I guess in fact orig. Radeon 32ddr) I simply unplugged the fan. Usually I keep it at 146/146 using Rage 3d tweaker – I don’t know why they didn’t provide a lower value.
    More than that I played entirely NOLF2 at 180/180 – without the fan of course and without any blue screens :-).
    It’s true that the heatsink is very hot compared with the case when the fan is connected. But I care much more about the noise level.
    Undervolting the fan would be a better idea but I don’t have now the necessary tools/connectors to do that.
    Since is no quite off topic I want to express my opinion about overclocking that it is much more a matter of chip capability than a matter of heat.

    Jean

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    41dB at 5 ft is too loud
    redoing this with a near quiet pc (which may have a higher temp in box) would be more useful

    • wesley96
    • 17 years ago

    For those of you wondering if this thing will fit a Radeon 8×00 series or any AIW stuff, the answer is yes. I’ve seen them testing the ZM80A-HP on a 9700Pro AIW and the front-side heatsink clears all the components, including that tuner module. Them being the Zalman lab technicians, that is (yes, I visit their headquarters a lot).

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    No, passive cooling will never sound noisier … directly, by itself. However, it would be impossible to have a case 100% passively cooled. Cool air into the case and hot air out has to happen somehow … and that somehow is called fans. If the amount of heat dissipating into the case requires adding a fan, there is no gain. Depending on that position of those heatsinks, how much heat is going to be dissipating right near the CPU(s)?

    What I want to see is a comparison in overall case temp using the computer intensively (over a longer period of time with the case closed). Does having one less internal fan result in equal case temps or does the case temp end up hotter by the end fo the day?

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    #34, regardless of how heat is removed, it will end up heating up the inside of the case, unless you’re using refrigerative cooling with an external radiator.

    But my point is that although an out-of-the-box system may be only slightly noisier for having fan cooling it may sound like a coffee grinder after ten months use. A system with passive cooling will never get any noisier.

    Another point. After ten months, by north bridge fan is the noisiest in my box. I haven’t seen any solutions to tackling this particular problem

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    One thing I didn’t see mentioned here. How much does a passive cooling system like this add to the overall case temp vs. a more active cooling system? When the CPU is at full intensity, raising the box temp, where is the heat dissipating to? When the external temperature is high, how effective (or ineffective) is this passive cooling system? Not all of us live in air-conditioned rooms.

    Kind of strange to see a cooling system review with absolutely NO temperature graphs. I understand the lack of a temp guage for the GPU, but NO case temps and NO consideration of temps close to the heat sinks and how those affect anything else in the vicinity.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    How good would this thing cool a video card if you add a fan to the heatsink using a fan braket (also from Zalman)? Considering how it cools without a fan that may be more interesting for overclockers then how it performs without a fan.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    Dissonance,

    How did you insert the heat pipe without smearing the tip with thermal paste?

    • sativa
    • 17 years ago

    [quote]and the rubber ring from the heatsink squeezed it off. It landed in my Diet Coke.[/quote]LOL

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    Oh, and I lost both sets of screws. Anyone know where I can get more? ๐Ÿ™

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    My ZM80A-HP killed my VisionTek GF3 Ti200. Turns out there’s a resistor on the back of the board fairly close to a mounting hole, and the rubber ring from the heatsink squeezed it off. It landed in my Diet Coke. The card still sorta works, but there’s strange ghosting as if the screen were being smeared to the right.

    Before the ZM80-HP was a ThermalTake Crystal Orb at 5V. Before you call me a retard, let me say that it kept the GF3 adequately cool and was nearly inaudible in a case with [i]no other fans[/i].

    I’m looking for another victim for my ZM80-HP tho, thing’s too expensive to leave lying around, and the S3 Virge I’ve been using in the meantime just wouldn’t do it. Heh.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    *[

    • Forge
    • 17 years ago

    I went back from my ZM80A to the stock ATI cooler. The Zalman just got too hot. Now that I have a 7V’ed 120mm fan in the case side over the AGP slot, though, I’m going to give it another shot.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    AG 11, I’m just saying you guys.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    When you leave your computer on 24/7, quiet is good!
    I’ve been holding out on a new card because of the extra noise, heat, and of course the money! But I just got a Samsung 191T and need a DVI to make it perfect. Analog VGA through a cheap KVM gives a bit of ghosting!

    I’m sorta with #19, those graphs should be log scale.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    Why aren’t the db charts on a log scale?

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    I was interested at what kind if temperatures the card was getting up to at idle and under load as compared to the stock active cooling. Is silent operation that great if it shortens the life if your video card?

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    AG 14,

    No, you aren’t. I thought it was absurd. The Zalman makes ZERO noise….Any noise picked up by the decibel meter is background noise from other fans and what not.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    *[

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    I have one. The GF2 overheated because the thermal paste they supply is absolute shit. I’m in the process of replacing it with quality stuff (what a pain that is).Overall it works, so it’s nice. Can’t hear my PC turned on.

    – euro gerbil

    • Bryan
    • 17 years ago

    You’re misinterpreting things by “crunching the numbers” to show sound pressures. The ear does not perceive sound pressures linearly, it interprets things on a logarithmic scale, as do most of our senses. Although it may be true to show the sound pressures, they don’t mean what they seem to – you won’t perceive the difference between sound pressures nearly as pronouncedly as your graphs show.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    I replaced my eVGA stock cooler with the Thermaltake GF4 cooler (GF4400) because my stock fan was making funny noises at boot which I assumed were sounds of death.

    After 2-3 months with the Thermaltake, guess what… More death sounds after a power off then back on. The whining sound goes away after spin up but I am not taking any chances.

    I ordered one of these puppies today before reading this article (I have read others) and I am more than happy I did.

    =D

    -Synpase

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    i too would like to know if the cooler would fit on an AIW…the 9700, to be exact. i can always do with one less fan in my system.

    • yarbo
    • 17 years ago

    did you try putting a fan on the heatsink to see if that’d help overclocking?

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    Zalman’s ZM80A-HP passive GPU cooler is huge LOL

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    Am I the only one who sees the hilarity of comparing the sound level of a piece of metal against a fan?? This would be like Car & Driver measuring the top speed of a car that’s turned off against one that’s turned on!
    [q]”… and as this graph indicates, no matter how close we positioned our radar gun to the vehicle while off, it still gave a reading of 0.00 MPH…”

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    when you have a silent or nearly silent pc,every added fan makes a big difference.I have no case fans apart from the cpu fan and I intend to get this hs as soon as possible!Well……it is just wonderful to sit just next to a silent pc…

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    Huh? From a distance of one foot or more, it makes no difference which cooling solution is used. Who sits with their ears closer than one foot to their graphics card? Duh.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    lmao at ag10 you keep posting that in comments to articles that have nothing to do with NVDA!

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    Yes! Yesss!! Oh, let me taste your tears, Nvidia! Mm, your tears are so yummy and sweet. Oh, the tears of unfathomable sadness! Mm-yummy. Mm-yummy you guys!

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    Nice article Diss, on a subject that kinda caught me off gaurd. I’ve got 4 case fans and a Swiftec heavy duty air cooler going on, so soundless Vid Card cooling doesn’t appeal to me at the moment.

    However, someday when I’m watercooling, this boy might have a spot in my case.

    • Zenith
    • 17 years ago

    I like it. I would get one if i needed one, but my GF3 is happy as is. Besides, that money is going towards a NV31 or a cheap 9700 ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    Good ole sweat-shop diss.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    *[

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    Mboard manufacturers just need to remove that PCI slot near the AGP slot :P! Todays video cards make it pretty useless.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    I’d love to get this, but I haven’t found any documentation regarding whether or not it will work with Radeon 8X00 cards… or how about an AIW card like the one I have (AIW Radeon 8500). It looks like the plate the heatsink hooks onto is high enough to clear the Coax in box on the Wonder card. Any ideas? I may just buy one to screw around with some time…
    -Kev

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    It looks like a pretty decent HS to me. Since it’s able to over clock pretty well and makes no noise that’s a good bonus. Considering it’s all copper I wasn’t surprised at the price and since they give you the whole kit it’s really not bad at all. Seeing as I have a 120mm fan blowing into my system, noise is a rather moot issue until that can be eliminated. Not bad although it did seem a little odd to attribute a 50 db sound level to a silent part. I guess you did that just because there were other fans creating noise and you wanted an equal comparison?

    • Freon
    • 17 years ago

    Somehow I don’t think that sucker is fitting in my XPC.

    • Anonymous
    • 17 years ago

    First post…

    Hrmm interesting… $30 too much… heh but I really dont mind my G4 fan at all… got some massive case fans that drown it out ๐Ÿ˜‰

    -Nuke

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