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Aug 16, 2006 by Devon
Cooke with Mike Chin
Sytrin KuFormula VF1 Plus
Aftermarket VGA Cooler with Crossflow Fan
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.
|Both NVIDIA / ATI for AGP
or PCI-E Video Cards
Pipe Cooling Module
||106 × 88 × 33
||Aluminum + Copper
||Dual Heat Pipes
Cross Flow Fan
||124 × 55 × 51
||1550 / 2400 / 3150 RPM
||24 / 28 / 32 dBA
|Dual Heat Pipe Cooling Module
Link Sets for NVIDIA & ATI
Fan Frame Holder
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