Zalman have produced a handful of videocard heatsinks
in the years since the original ZM17CU model was
patented by Mr. Sang-cheol Lee (Patent #467559). That passive VGA
heatsink was held on with Loctite adhesive, and its
compact size would probably make a good chipset cooler in this day and age...
Now a days, there are a variety of heatpipe-based
passive and active videocard heatsinks to choose from, and
with each new iteration Zalman has advanced its thermal solutions in remarkably clever ways.
The companies newest videocard heatsink is called the Zalman
VF900-Cu, and it offers wider GPU compatibility
with the large variety of ATI and nVidia videocards that on the
market. In fact, five different mounting hole styles are supported! Unlike the
ZM80D-HP which used heatpipes and front and rear mounted aluminum cooling fins,
the Zalman VF900-Cu occupies space on the front of the videocard only. Measuring
about 96mm in diameter, the VF900-Cu is entirely constructed of copper
components, with two 5mm diameter heatpipes looping around the outside of
its many thin cooling fins.
The unit weighs about 186 grams, and stands no more than 30mm high above the GPU, so it will
occupy one additional PCI slot worth of space. Included along with the VF900-Cu heatsink
are eight small 13x13mm blue aluminum DRAM heatsinks, which can be stuck
onto the videocard memory for additional cooling. The installation process for the VF900-Cu
heatsink is remarkably straightforward, but because there are a great
many little screws and washers that have to be oriented in the correct way we'd
highly suggest you flip through the illustrated instruction pamphlet first.
The Zalman VF900-Cu VGA heatsink retails on average for about $38USD
($43CDN), and as you'll soon see it offers great cooling
performance without much noise.
VF900-Cu VGA Heatsink|
| Model No.: VF900-Cu|
heatpipes, and base, cast aluminum.|
Mfg: Zalman ZF8015ATM|
| Fan Spec: 1350-2400RPM, 12V, 0.14A|
|Fan Dim: 15x80x80mm|
|Heatink & Fan Dim: 30x96x96mm |
|Weight: 185 grams|
| Includes: (8) memory
heatsinks, thermal compound, multi-socket mounting hardware, instructions, fanmate II.|
Compatible Videocards: various ATI/nVidia models with two
through-PCB holes, or four through-PCB
holes around the GPU.
|Est. Pricing: $38USD
The Zalman VF900-Cu VGA heatsink is built much like
the CNPS9500 AMD Athlon64 processor heatsink. Its heatpipes
are integrated into the curvature of the fanned out cooling fins, in a way that doesn't
impact airflow significantly. In this case however, the VF900-Cu has a much lower profile, and uses just two short lengths of copper
heatpipe to connect to the base to the fins. A cast,
or injection moulded aluminum frame supports the fan, mounting hardware, and copper fins above
the videocard GPU.
With the 80mm fan removed from
the center of the Zalman VF900-Cu it's easier to see how the entire unit
is pieced together.
Flipping the small VGA heatsink over reveals a polished
copper base that should reduce thermal resistance between the heatsink and
silicon GPU, or GPU heatspreader as the case may be. The cooling fins actually float above
the base of the unit, so heat energy is entirely transmitted
by the two copper heatpipes. The thermal conductivity of copper is used very elegantly
in this heatsink.
Next up we'll look at how the Zalman VF900-Cu VGA
heatsink mounts to a videocard, and take a quick peek at the FanMate 2
fan speed controller.