Date: May 7th, 2007
Article by: Joe Anderson (Hardware Reviewer)
Edited by: Nathan Glentworth (Owner / Head Editor)
Product was submitted by: Zerotherm
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ZEROTHERM GX815 INTRODUCTION
While CPU temperatures have been on the decline recently, graphics processors seem to be taking the opposite course. For the most part, the OEM coolers on these newer graphics cards are loud and their cooling performance can be described as adequate at best, especially if the user wishes to do some overclocking. More often than not, PC enthusiasts in general and gamers in particular, are searching for aftermarket solutions that not only improve cooling and reduce noise, but are compact enough to utilize two cards in SLI.
Apack has been around for some time, but their ZEROtherm division, is a relative newcomer to the cooling aftermarket. ZEROtherm has recently released a “gamer edition” GX815 VGA cooler that certainly looks impressive and promises improved cooling with less noise. Like its siblings the GX700, GX710 and GX810, the 815 is relatively compact as well. The GX815 employs a copper base and fins with improved mounting. I've been fairly impressed with their CPU and VGA cooler products; let's see how the GX815 stacks up against the competition.
ZEROTHERM CORPORATE PROFILE
APACK is a heatpipe technology based thermal solution provider which provides customized designing and engineering solutions and, ultimately, provides best-of breed thermal solutions.
APACK's design and manufacturing is based upon an engineer's passion for innovation and progress. APACK was established in 1999 by 3 engineers from ETRI (Electrics and Telecommunications Research Institute) who have 10~17 years experience in thermal solutions and advance packaging technology (packaging referring to the structural and functional integration of multiple technologies). Based in the city of Daejeon (Korean Silicon Valley and high-tech capital), APACK is staffed with top engineers who have extensive experience.
APACK is currently entering into its second phase of business development after accomplishing its first goals of developing a strong R&D core in thermal technology and efficient manufacturing capabilities. Phase one was marked by strong revenues and growth in the OEM and custom solutions market producing for such clients and Samsung, Dell and LG.
Backed by investors such as Intel Capital, a strong backbone of R&D with continued cooperation with ETRI and APACK is seeking to become a global player in the thermal solutions market.
SMALL HEATPIPE TECHNOLOGY TUTORIAL
I am going to keep this as simple as possible to get the basic premise across to all of the Tweaknews readers. Please don't be insulted if this is too simple for your education level. I have to cater my writing to the least technical reader looking for information.
The basic idea behind heatpipe technology is really simple.
1.) With a tube containing a compressed fluid/gas, the fluid comes in contact with the heat source (the CPU core, in this case) which heats up the volatile fluid and turns it into a gas. The energy is absorbed in the gas production process and is ready for transportation.
2.) The heated gas now travels along the inner portion of the tube where it comes to the cooling portion of the heatsink in this example.
3.) The radiator, with or without a fan, will cool the liquid and transfer the energy (AKA heat) to the radiator to be dispersed to the surrounding air. With the heat removed, the vapor quickly condenses back to a fluid and runs along the inside surface of the pipe back down to the bottom where the process can be started all over again.
For another example, you can consider a boiling pot of water with a glass lid as a very very basic heatpipe. When the water boils, the water vapor comes in contact with the cooler glass pot lid which forces the vapor to condense back to water where is dribbles back down the inside of the lid back into the pot.
It's basic, but it gets the point across.