Zalman VF1000 LED Graphics Card Cooler

Cooling
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November 5, 2007 by Lawrence Lee

Product
Zalman VF1000 LED VGA Cooler
Manufacturer
Zalman Tech Co.
Market Price
US$50

Ever-growing demand for more sophisticated PC games has resulted in increasingly power hungry graphics cards. Consequently, more extreme cooling solutions are required. The reference coolers traditionally employed by the majority of manufacturers are usually adequate at best and rarely quiet. Now they routinely ship video cards with large, dual slot heatsinks. If these stock heatsinks represent the minimum standards, a third party solution has to be quite the performer to justify its existence.

Inclusion of a high power graphics cards in a PC represents a backward step in terms of system cooling, energy efficiency and low noise capability. There's no denying that the SPCR forums are increasingly filled with gamers looking to quiet their noisy systems, however, and low noise graphics card cooling is a key element for their success.

It is in this spirit that we examine the Zalman VF1000 LED VGA cooler. It features a 100% copper design, four heatpipes, and massive array of linear fins. It has all the makings of a lean, mean cooling machine, and it's itching for a fight. We're going to pit it against one of its predecessors, the Zalman VF900-CU — which for more than a year has been a favorite for those seeking quiet graphics card cooling in a relatively compact form. Will it be a fair fight, or will the VF1000 reduce it to the role of punching bag?


VF1000 and VNF100 boxes side by side. The VNF100 is Zalman's new passive VGA cooler and will be reviewed at a future date.



The mounting hardware is almost identical to the VF900-CU — low profile memory heatsinks and a Fan Mate 2 manual fan speed controller are provided.


Zalman VF1000 LED: Feature Highlights (from the product web page)
Features & Brief
Our Comment
The product is equipped with Zalman’s patented VFP (Variable Fin Profile) technology. Fan installed inside the heatsink maximizes the cooling efficiency and the product’s maximized dissipation surface area provides excellent performance.
Aside from accommodating the fan's presence, 'the variable fin profile' seems aesthetic rather than functional.
Use of four high performance heatpipes maximizes heat transfer.
Twice as many heatpipes as the VF900-CU.
Pure copper thin fins (0.3mm) for excellent cooling performance.
Copper is an excellent heat conductor.
Cools not only the VGA chipset and VGA RAM, but all other VGA components as well.
It is a top-down cooler, so nothing surprising here.
80mm Slim LED Fan for excellent performance and great aesthetics. Appears to be the same fan as the VF900-CU LED.
Newly improved installation structure provides easy installation and broad compatibility. An extra set of mounting holes compared to the VF900-CU.
Adjustable fan speed controller (FAN MATE 2) enables control of noise and fan speed. Useful for those with no other fan control options; probably essential to achieve very low noise.
Does not generate noise or vibration in Silent Mode. In many systems, it will probably be drowned out.

Zalman VF1000 LED: Specifications (from the product web page)
Heatsink
Dimensions 160(L) X 80(W) X 30(H) mm
Weight 380g
Materials Dissipation Fins : Pure Copper, Base : Pure Copper, Heatpipe : Pure Copper
Fan
Dimensions 80(L) x 80(W) x 15(H) mm
Bearing Type 2 Ball-Bearing
Speed (using FAN MATE 2)
Silent Mode
1,400rpm ±10%
Normal Mode
2,500rpm ±10%
Noise Level (using FAN MATE 2)
Silent Mode
18dBA ±10%
Normal Mode
28dBA ±10%

Zalman VF1000 LED: Compatibility (from the product web page)
ATI Radeon ATI Radeon 9*** Series (except 9550/9600)
ATI X1300 Series
ATI X1650 Series
ATI X1600 Series
ATI X1800 Series
ATI X1900 Series
ATI X1950 Series
nVidia Geforce NVIDIA Geforce4 MX Series
NVIDIA Geforce4 TI 4 Series
NVIDIA Geforce FX 5200
NVIDIA Geforce FX 5500
NVIDIA Geforce FX 5600(FX 5700)
NVIDIA Geforce FX 5700(Ultra) Series
NVIDIA Geforce FX 5800 Series
NVIDIA Geforce FX 5900 Series
NVIDIA Geforce FX 5950 Series
NVIDIA Geforce 6600 Series(except 6600 AGP Series)
NVIDIA Geforce 6800 Series
NVIDIA Geforce 7300 Series
NVIDIA Geforce 7600 Series
NVIDIA Geforce 7800 Series
NVIDIA Geforce 7900 Series
NVIDIA Geforce 7950 Series
NVIDIA Geforce 8500 Series
NVIDIA Geforce 8600 Series
NVIDIA Geforce 8800 Series
Cautionary Notes 1. By installing this product on a VGA (Video Graphics Array) card, a PCI slot adjacent to the PCIe (or AGP) slot will become unusable.

2. The product cannot be installed on Matrox VGA cards, NVIDIA PCX 5*** , NVIDIA Geforce 6600 AGP Series, Geforce 7600/7900 AGP Series, and ATI Radeon 9550/9600 Series.

3. If the VGA card and/or its components interfere with the installation of this product, then stop the installation, refer to the list of compatible VGA cards at Zalman’s website, and install this product with one of the compatible VGA cards.

4. NVIDIA’s Geforce 8800 Series requires the installation of Zalman’s RAM Heatsink ZM-RHS88 before installing VF1000 LED.

5. The use of a fan positioned on the front side of the case and an exhaust fan positioned on the rear side of the case is recommended for enhancement of product performance.



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