Date: August 17th, 2006
Article by: Joe Anderson (Hardware Reviewer)
Edited by: Nathan Glentworth (Owner / Head Editor)
Product was submitted by: Zalman USA
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PRODUCT INSTALLATION AND TESTING
If one follows the detailed user's guide supplied with the ZM-RF1 kit, installation is quite simple. You merely slip the duct/fan assembly over the reserator, making sure to line up the insert holes in the duct with the round fins on the reserator. After routing the cable along the round fin and securing the clips, it's a simple matter to attach the FanMate and plug the unit into a suitable power source (I used a 3-pin motherboard header). We're now ready to fire up the system and see what happens.
My testbed for this review consists of the following:
Intel Pentium D 805 processor
Asus P5LD2 motherboard
OCZ Gold Series RAM (2X515 Mb. PC2 5400)
Thermaltake 600W PSU
EVGA 6800XT graphics card
Western Digital WD800 SATA hard drive
Sony CDRW/DVD Combo drive
Windows XP SP2
The following parameters were used throughout testing:
1) Arctic Silver 5 TIM used on all waterblocks.
2) Ambient temperature kept at a constant 21C.
3) All blocks allowed to burn-in at maximum heat setting with Prime95 for two hours to partially set the thermal paste. The computer was then shut down overnight.
4) Idle temperatures were recorded every 30 minutes until temperatures stabilized.
5) Load temperatures were recorded every 30 minutes during maximum heat torture testing using Prime95. Each core was assigned its own iteration of Prime95 and run simultaneously.
6) Idle and load temperatures were recorded at stock CPU speed (2.66 Ghz.) and at a 20% overclock (3.2 Ghz.). Vcore was raised from 1.45V (stock) to 1.60V during the overclocking runs. Temps were monitored with the fan at minimum and maximum speed.
The results follow.
The fluid temperature reached a maximum of 40C.
Frankly, I was a bit disappointed by these results. I'm also at a bit of a loss to explain the marginal gains seen here. The fan moves a lot of air at 1800 RPM and the duct directs the airflow down the fins just as would be expected. I spent several days trying to get the ZM-RF1 to put up some better numbers, but was unsuccessful. I'll admit that the unit looks good sitting on top of the reserator with its LEDs and top grill, but the performance is disappointing, given the increased noise level.