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Zalman ZM50-HP VGA Heatpipe Cooler Review
Zalman ZM50-HP VGA Heatpipe Cooler Review
Overall Rating:   80%
Abstract: The ZM50-HP cooler has a slightly less complex appearance than its larger brother, but is based upon the same principles and construction methods.

 Company link     Category     Published     Author    
Zalman   $$ Price It! ££ Cooling / Heatsinks   Feb 12, 2003   Max Page  

Zalman ZM50-HP VGA Heatpipe Cooler Review

While there are currently a handful of after market videocard heatsinks, there is only one entirely silent type. Zalman are known for the ZM80A-HP heatpipe based ATI Radeon 9700 and GeForce Titanium series cooler, but what happens if you are running with a slightly less powerful VGA adaptor?

While it is true that a Radeon 7000 series, or GeForce MX based card are hardly what any modern day gamer would settle for, they are good budget systems, or in instances where you want a cooler running AGP card.

To ensure that even folks with a lowly GeForce 4 MX can run dead silent, Zalman have created the ZM50-HP heatsink. This cooler was released before the ZM80A-HP model, but aside from a smaller set of heatsinks uses the same grade heatpipe.

The passive heatpipes may be smaller, and the videocard GPU slower, but when it comes to thermals the Albatron GF4 MX440 card we tested with still managed to stay within the same thermal range. The smaller size of the heatsink Zalman use would choke on a more powerful GPU, but in this case it kept the core running under 59 degrees Celsius with entirely passive cooling.

The ZM50-HP cooler has a slightly less complex appearance than its larger brother, but is based upon the same principles and construction methods.

The small front heatsink is necessary to keep out of the way of standing capacitors which would otherwise pose as obstacles, and rear mounted heatsink floats about 9mm above the PCB surface. This cooling solution does no block off the adjacent PCI slot which is nice.

The gold-plated heatpipe has a diameter of 5mm and the instructions which are a must read, give clear concise, and well illustrated directions. In addition to the heatpipe, front/rear heatsinks, and core mounting base, Zalman also include a small phillips screw driver, a pack of screws with thermal compound and a small spares kit.

VGA Card Cooler Specs

Parameter ZM80A-HP ZM80-HP ZM50-HP
Weight: 400 grams 385 grams 130 grams
Surface Area: 1300 cm2 1000 cm2 400 cm2
Material: extruded aluminum extruded aluminum extruded aluminum

Since there isn't much variation in the mounting points with these class of videocards, there is only one base set to use, which makes installation less complex. Before we go any further, we'll show you what is inside that gold plated heatpipe, and explain why it works the way it does.

° Next Page 

Article Contents:
 Page 1:  — Zalman ZM50-HP VGA Heatpipe Cooler Review
 Page 2:  How does the heatpipe work?
 Page 3:  Temperature Testing Results

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