Sytrin KuFormula VF1 Plus graphics card cooler

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The VF1 is about as large and chunky as can reasonably be expected to fit into the confines of a pair of expansion slots. When installed, it covers almost the full height of the graphics card and about half of the length. Like most aftermarket coolers, it occupies the expansion slot directly below the graphics card, effectively converting the card into a double-slot card if it was not already.

Most of the fins are enclosed in a tunnel that directs airflow from one end to the other.

The body of the heatsink is made of 48 aluminum fins that sit directly over the base of the heatsink. Two heatpipes that extend from the copper base help distribute heat evenly across the fins. The heatsink is fairly unremarkable for a heatpipe cooler, with one exception: About three quarters of the top surface is sealed to make a "tunnel" for the airflow. Airflow is intended to begin from one end of the heatsink (corresponding with the top edge of the graphics card), and flow lengthwise through the heatsink until it is exhausted at the other end near the motherboard. The exhaust end of the heatsink is open, allowing the airflow to find an easy exhaust path and reducing the amount of impedance introduced by the second heatpipe.

A major difference between the VF1 and many other video card coolers is that there is no recess to accommodate a fan in the midst of its fins. This means that the total cooling surface area of the fins is not reduced by the fan recess. In this regard, it resembles the various Silencer cooler models from Arctic Cooling, which also use a tunnel through the fins, and a fan — a more conventional one — perched outside the fins area.

Two heatpipes transfer heat from the copper base to the fins.

Inside the tunnel, the fins are spaced about 2mm apart — wide enough that it can be expected to do fairly well with low airflow. Given the reputation of cross-flow fans for generating high air pressure, the fan may be able to run at low speed while still providing plenty of airflow.

Fin spacing is quite wide for such a small heatsink.

The machined copper base is small, but big enough to the GPU die and the secondary chip on our test card. It did not appear to be as smooth as some heatsinks, but it was perfectly flat, and it should have no problems maintaining good contact with the GPU.

The copper base is quite small.

As the VF1 only covers the GPU die, eight tiny ramsinks are included to cool the memory, but — beware — they are only included with the "Plus" package. It's not clear how much this matters. Conventional DDR and DDR2 RAM chips are perfectly happy without heatsinks, and it's hard to believe that GDDR3 should be any different. We know of at least one heatsink manufacturer (Aerocool) that claims they are unnecessary.

The ramsinks are anodized to a gold color.

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