Date: May 19th, 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 PICTORIAL AND WALKTHROUGH
The VF700-Cu is another in the long and wildly popular line of “flower” cooler designs pioneered by Zalman some years ago. This one is all copper (with the exception of the fan and mounting features. Personally, I find this design pleasing to the eye and very elegant in its simplicity.
Viewing the cooler from its side gives us a look at the construction and fastening elements of the design. While the VF700 series coolers have a relatively low-profile design, the slot below the graphics card will become unusable with this cooler installed. Depending on the slot spacing of the particular motherboard, SLI may not be possible either.
The base is flat and smooth, though it lacks the highly polished finish of some of Zalmans other cooling offerings. As you may have surmised from the photo, I’ll be using Arctic Silver 5 during testing.
INSTALLATION AND TESTING
Here’s our test mule for this review. It’s an eVGA 6800 XT with S-Video and HDTV support. Since I’ll be putting this card in a HTPC box, it has to be quiet, and the stock solution just won’t cut it. It’s too loud. Another problem with the stock cooler is that it directs some of the GPU heat directly at the chipset cooler of my motherboard, causing temps there to rise a few degrees. Admittedly, this is not a huge issue, but in the confined space typically found in a HTPC case, every little bit counts.
As I mentioned above, complete compatibility (as well as incompatibility) information is available from Zalman’s website, but the above chart will give you some idea of the wide variety of graphics cards the VF700 will support.
After testing the card in its new environment, I pulled it out and removed the OEM cooler, cleaned the GPU and memory chips and, following the instructions carefully, installed the nipples, washers and brace assembly. DO NOT OVERTIGHTEN these components, finger tight is fine!