I bought VM-101 which arrived yesterday.
For a mini-review go here
Hi, not often that I start a thread here, but here goes.
I recently transfered my system from an aluminum case to a P180 and bought a Scythe SCNJ-1000 as well. The system would be pretty quiet if it wasn't for two things: four harddrives, most of which have 3 platters and noisy Arctic Silencer 5 Rev1 which howls at anything greater than 7V and clicks at all voltages even when fed through a motherboard/fan controller. I can't really do anything about hard drive noise except to try to apply some noisedampening foam around the case and around hard drive cage specifically which might slightly alevate the problem. But what to get for a video card cooler is a problem. So far there are several choices:
1. Arctic Silencer 5 Rev 3
2. Zalman VF-700 (either CU or AL-CU)
3. Aerocool VM-101
4. Aerocool VM-102
5. Thermalright V-1 Ultra
Ideally I would have preffered one of the Scythe prototype coolers that have a big heatlined heatsink sitting outside the case so that I could duct my 12cm exhaust fan to it with no additional increase in noise, but alas, those are not available for sale, so I'm stuck with the 5 choices listed above. The videocard in question is 6800GT overclocked to 6800ULTRA, the card is downclocked to 200Mhz in 2D mode, but unfortunately this doesn't bring the temperature down much.
The first two choices are painfully oibvious.
1. The first choice is to get another Arctic Silencer. There are several problems with it however. One is that with every new revision Arctic Silencer promised no click, and yet, both Rev1 and Rev2 typically develop a click pattern after a few months. AFAIK Rev3 has been out for only a few months so there is no reliable information if the third reincarnation clicks or not. Even if it does not click, it will most likely emit a low frequency growl as my current AS5rev1 does. On the bright side it does exhaust the not air out of the case.
2. Zalman VF-700. Another well established cooler. Should cool the GPU very effectively, even at the lowest voltage. However it dumps all the heat back into the case and according to some users here at SPCR it's not that quiet. Several users reported inconsistent sound character and some clicking. Can anyone comment on how quiet VF-700 fan actually is compared to reference 80mm panaflo at identical voltages?
Now the last three collers is where it gets interesting.
3/4. Aerocool VM-101/VM-102
I merged these coolers together because they are very similar in build and should be pretty similar in cooling capacity as well. VM-102 availability in the US is a problem so I may have to settle for 101. According to the reviews this cooler works very well with 6600GT, but not with 6800GT or higher. I actually find this surprising because at 7V my Arctic Silencer barely moves any air, and yet my card is totally stable, so I find it hard to believe that a heatsink with such huge area of dissapation cannot cool 6800GT. Well, let's suppose this is true, did anyone try this heatsink with 6800GT and a fan running at low RPM to move some air through the fins? How does it perform then? Another concern is clearance, I have no idea if the heatsink will fit below my SCNJ-1000. Anyone have any information on how high VM101 and 102 rise above the back of the videocard (102 appear a little slimer than 101, but I still don't have any reliable information).
5. Thermalright V-1 Ultra. Another heatpipe cooler. Once again there is a concern if this is going to fit into my system. In any case if I'm going to be running this cooler, I would rather run it with a 25mm panaflo in pull configuration as opposed to stock 15mm fan in push configuration. This review ( http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Ther ... /V1Ultra/3
) shows that V-1 could potentially fit into my system, maybe even with a 25mm pahaflo. The only thing I'm concerned about is proximity of the heatsink to the back of the videocard. This potentially creates three problems. One is that heatsink may inadvertedly touch the card, two - there may be a an increased turbulence noise as the air gets drawn through the fins in such close proximity to the card and three is that the efficiency suffers since the air will take the way of the less resistance around the edges of the heatsink. So the actual effectiveness and quietness of the cooler is under the question.
Right now I'm leaning to V-1 Ultra, if I can make sure it does fit into my case. It doesn't require any fan ducting, should be pretty quiet with 80mm panaflo and it exhausts air very close to the case exhaust fan which is next best thing to arctic silencer. The next choice is Aerocool, but that will probably require some ingenious fan mounting/ducting to make sure it 's getting enough air which I'm reluctant to do (yes, I'm lazy).
So.... What are your thoughts? Can anyone comment on any of the cooling choices, especially on the last three? I know there are quite a few of reviews on each one of these coolers on the web, but I'm more interested in SPCR review/opinion.