Sytrin KuFormula VF1 Plus graphics card cooler

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Aug 16, 2006 by Devon Cooke with Mike Chin

Sytrin KuFormula VF1 Plus
Aftermarket VGA Cooler with Crossflow Fan
Sytrin Corporation
Market Price

Cooling a CPU quietly is relatively easy these days. A plethora of new low-power processors after several years of intensive development to cool >100W Prescotts makes it easy to find heatsink/fans that provide great cooling and make little noise. Not so for a graphics card. The heat output of high end video cards has recently caught up (and even surpassed) the heat generated by CPUs. Because video card cooling has not seen the same kind of sustained development that CPU cooling has, there are much fewer powerful cooling solutions for them.

VGA coolers face size and weight limitations that are much more restrictive than those for CPUs. The current generous allowances for heatsinks on Intel and AMD motherboards did not appear overnight; they evolved over nearly a decade of rapid, dramatic increases in CPU heat output. Even though PCIe 16X and AGP are specialized slots, they are still just daughter cards that hang off the motherboard. They were never meant to hold components that can generate in excess of 100W. There is little room allowed on either side of the card for large heatsinks, nor is there any special allowance for additional airflow. The exception to this statement is Intel's Thermally Advantaged Chassis (TAC) specification, which stipulates a vent on the cover directly opposite the video card slot area to allow additional airflow. It's no coincidence that high-end graphics cards are so noisy; the easiest way to improve cooling without increasing size or weight is to increase airflow by cranking up the fan.

The KuFormula VF1 Plus addresses this issue partly by changing the fan altogether. Instead of an integrated blower fan like those found on most VGA cards, it includes a metal cross-flow fan that hangs above the expansion slots — out of the way of any cards underneath. Sytrin also sells a version without the fan (KuFormula VF1 — no "Plus") for users who would prefer to use an axial fan (the kind used on most CPU coolers). However, axial fans do not focus airflow in the way that the cross-flow fan does, and a quick glance at the VF1 shows that it needs focussed airflow.

The VF1 bears the Sytrin brand — a company whose claims to fame seem to be air conditioned cases and an incomplete, poorly translated web site. However, the product also shows up on Masscool's web site (still bearing the Sytrin name), which is itself a part of Fanner Tech — a large OEM that also owns Spire.

The foam packing material provides plenty of protection.

The fan comes with a substantial bracket to support its weight.

SPECIFICATIONS: Sytrin KuFormula VF1 Plus
Sytrin's web site)
Both NVIDIA / ATI for AGP or PCI-E Video Cards
Dual Heat Pipe Cooling Module Dimensions 106 × 88 × 33 mm
Weight 242 g
Material Aluminum + Copper
Heatpipes Dual Heat Pipes
Cross Flow Fan
Dimensions 124 × 55 × 51 mm
Speed 1550 / 2400 / 3150 RPM
Noise 24 / 28 / 32 dBA
Package Contents
Dual Heat Pipe Cooling Module
Link Sets for NVIDIA & ATI
Fan Frame Holder
PCI Holder
Cross-Flow Fan
Speed Controller
RAM Heatsinks
Misc Accessories

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