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 Post subject: Zalman ZM80-C on FX5900U: my experiences so far
PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2003 6:22 am 
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Well, I installed the Zalman heat pipe effort on my FX5900 Ultra yesterday. My card is the Creative Labs 3D Blaster, the Ultra version. As far as I know this card is based on the reference retail design, so I'm guessing most other cards will be the same.

Fitting wasn't too difficult, took about half-an-hour. I had thought that it would be difficult to remove the stock HSF combination, but I found an easy way to do it (* I'll explain later :oops: ).

Zalman recommend the use of the optional fan kit with this combination. To date I've been running with the fan fitted, but running in reduced voltage mode (contrary to their recommendation to run at 12V). My GPU core temps seem to max out about 75C, which is a bit higher than I'd seen with the stock HSF, but not that bad I think. I'm a bit wary about removing the fan altogether, as the heatpipe doesn't cover the RAM chips, so a little extra moving air to keep them cool won't hurt. The result is pretty good, much much quieter. If nothing else it's less distracting because the fan now runs continuously, rather than throttling up and down every now and again. Bear in mind though that I'm striving for a quiet PC, not a silent PC.

The only downside is that the combination interferes with the fan bracket for the Zalman flower cooler, so I'm going to have to replace that (probably with a Thermalright HS and 92mm fan).

* Easy way to remove the stock HSF: remove your graphics card, fiddle about with it. Unscrew the RAM heatsinks, ping off the little clips that hold the main cooling block and fan. Lose one of the clips. Re-fit heatsinks, re-fit the card in the computer. Switch on, and play your favourite 3D game. After 3 hours, notice a strange sound coming from case. Check GPU core temperature on control panel, notice it's about 135C, just short of slowdown temp. Panic. Check graphics board. Notice that the stock HSF has now dropped off the GPU, and is dangling on the PCI card below. Panic even more. Switch off machine just as the display begins to break up. Allow to cool. It's now easy to remove the stock HSF before fitting the Zalman heatpipe. :oops: :oops: :oops: :) Don't try this at home kids! Ahem. All makes for an entertaining Sunday afternoon.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2003 7:47 am 
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135c, holy crap (!) that's 275 degrees F.

I also express my weight not in Kilos, but in Stone.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2003 7:57 am 
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Isn't 75C :!: a little too high for comfort? Why not just run your fan at 12V (assuming this is still quieter than stock nvidia cooler). If temps are too high, then why not get a 120mm fan over the fx5900u? Maybe it's just me, but if I paid $300+ (assuming 128mb) or $499 for a video card, 75degC seems too risky...

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2003 8:36 am 
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MGP wrote:
Isn't 75C :!: a little too high for comfort? Why not just run your fan at 12V (assuming this is still quieter than stock nvidia cooler). If temps are too high, then why not get a 120mm fan over the fx5900u? Maybe it's just me, but if I paid $300+ (assuming 128mb) or $499 for a video card, 75degC seems too risky...


Hmmm. That's 75C under extreme load, while idling along in 2D mode it's down in the low to mid 50's. I don't see why 75C should be that risky.

The fan at 12V is much more noisy than at 7V, though still better than the stock fan. To be honest a 80/92/120mm Papst/Panaflo/whatever might be a better option than the Zalman offering, I'm not sure, I think I'm going to give it a go.

Still, live and learn :)


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2003 10:42 am 
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75C seems okay to me, too. You say the stock HSF reached temps almost this high, and I doubt that video card manufacturers would ship a card that's already close to the breaking point. A few more degrees shouldn't push the card over the edge. Besides, the card lived through a 135C ordeal, so 75C should be no sweat.

Thanks for the report, nutball! It was very entertaining. ;)


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 15, 2003 10:55 am 
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Yeah, 75°C is fine.

You need to remember that architecturally and materially GPU's are very different from CPU's. The graphics card will shut itself down before any damage happens.

And I don't think the "shortened lifespan" reasoning applies to GPU's either. Not that high heat doesn't shorten their theoretical lives, I'm sure that it does, but because the speed of advancement in GPU's is so fast that it'll be obsolete before its MTBF is reached. Heck, it'll be obsolete before it's warranty is reached. :lol:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2003 1:34 pm 
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Rusty075 wrote:
Yeah, 75°C is fine.

You need to remember that architecturally and materially GPU's are very different from CPU's. The graphics card will shut itself down before any damage happens.

And I don't think the "shortened lifespan" reasoning applies to GPU's either. Not that high heat doesn't shorten their theoretical lives, I'm sure that it does, but because the speed of advancement in GPU's is so fast that it'll be obsolete before its MTBF is reached. Heck, it'll be obsolete before it's warranty is reached. :lol:


Heat can't matter for video cards, I mean, my Voodoo3 3500 survived 3 years in a relatively unventilated case... and those cards run HOT.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 23, 2003 7:20 pm 
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I just picked up a ZM80A-HP for my wife's computer to replace her super noisy Ti 4200 fan. This thing is neat!

I was going to ask what is the fastest, hottest video card anyone has tried this on-- I guess I don't have to ask any more. ;) The FX 5900 generates the most heat of any modern video card, substantially more than an ATI 9800. But then again, you had to use the optional fan kit.

What's the fastest videocard anyone has installed the Zalman ZM80 (C or A) on, in fanless mode?

I think, for anything except the fastest nVidia videocards, you could get by with a lot of case airflow across this thing, because it's so dang huge. Then again, I doubt in a silentpc forum many people have a "lot of case airflow", either.. ;) The Zalman site "requires" the fan only for Parhelia and high end FX cards; it is "recommended" for the 9800 pro.

Anyway, a fun product, and it definitely works. I recommend it. The only long-term concern I have is about weight on the video card and slot. If you're moving the PC around a lot (LAN machine?) probably not a good bet.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 24, 2003 2:43 am 
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I run a FX 5600 with the ZM80A-HP. Then again, I have fairly good airflow, concidering that I am running my 2100+ without any dedicated cpufan.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 26, 2003 12:04 pm 
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wumpus wrote:
I just picked up a ZM80A-HP for my wife's computer to replace her super noisy Ti 4200 fan.


My wife's Ti4200 is running with a ZM80A without a fan for about half a year now. Highly recommended :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 26, 2003 3:52 pm 
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Today I just fitted a ZM80C to my BBA ATI 9800 Pro. I don't have any equipment to measure temps, but the heatsink does get warm (not hot, I have the Zalman fan running at 5v), but I haven't had any problems. I ran a 3d game for an hour (started a level, set up SPACE as left turn key, keep key down by having a bottle of lotion on top).

Unfortunately, I can't run 3dmark in a loop for an hour... The 2001 version won't work under directx 9(?) and the 2003 version requires registration to do ANYTHING other than run the stock settings for the programs.

Still. everthing seems okay.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 26, 2003 5:12 pm 
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Just to affirm rusty's comment... GPUs are designed with higher temps in mind; just look where they have to be kept. With one thin little slot and a PCI right below it can be problematic and the GPU still has to survive it fine.

I stuck a fan on my card (stock AMD heatsink on a Geforce3 Ti200) simply because I don't like feeling an aura of heat around the card.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 26, 2003 5:19 pm 
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Quote:
he 2001 version won't work under directx 9

Oh? I've got DX9 on all my systems, and can run 3DMark2001 with no problems. Sounds like ya might have something else going on.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2003 2:52 am 
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hey i got the new zalman cooler on my geforce 4600 and all is fine. I run a vantec stealth fan slightly undervolted over it. the heatsink gets warm but not very. the heatpipe gets nice and hot (but not to hot, its about 55C).
that is under load.
I am in love with this thing


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 12, 2003 12:14 pm 
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I installed the ZM80A today -- without a fan -- on my FX5600. I found the installation to be rather time consuming and cumbersome, but it's worth it alright!
After playing JediKnight: Jedi Academy (multiplayer) for 2 hours the heatsink was warm, but not hot. So that's good I guess.
I'm afraid I don't know how to figure out the core temperatures ..


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2003 6:28 am 
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Gandalf wrote:
I installed the ZM80A today -- without a fan -- on my FX5600. I found the installation to be rather time consuming and cumbersome, but it's worth it alright!
After playing JediKnight: Jedi Academy (multiplayer) for 2 hours the heatsink was warm, but not hot. So that's good I guess.
I'm afraid I don't know how to figure out the core temperatures ..


Can't speak for the FX5600, but I can read the core temperature for my FX5900 from the NVIDIA control panel. You might need the most recent (official) NVIDIA driver set to get this though, dunno.

Just an update to my experiences, as the Red Hot Heat of "Summer" has passed here in the Good Old Isles of Britain, and it is now officially Winter, my temps have dropped a fair bit, and now typically stay between 40C idle and 55C under load, even with the fan in "quiet" mode. Maybe there is something to be said for living in a cold, damp climate after all :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2003 9:31 pm 
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Shadowknight wrote:
I ran a 3d game for an hour (started a level, set up SPACE as left turn key, keep key down by having a bottle of lotion on top).


Hmm...lotion....

sure its not vaseline, mr girly man?


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