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
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
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.
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.