Zalman VF900-Cu SLI Performance

Article Index
Zalman VF900-Cu SLI Performance
Prepping the Card for Installation
Performance Testing and Conclusion

Product: Zalman VF900-Cu Cooler
Provided By: Zalman USA
Price: $54.95 @ MemoryExpress

Update: Due to the request of Zalman and for the best interest of our readers, we have published some single card temperatures of the VF900-Cu as compared to the FS-V7 Fatal1ty HSF.  These numbers and new chart can be found on Page 3.

Introduction:

After taking a look at the Zalman Fatal1ty FS-V7 GPU cooler back in January, I was quite interested in taking a look at the VF900-Cu cooler.  This cooler uses two heatpipes to transfer heat from the base to the fins.  The Fatal1ty GPU cooler performed quite well, but had a couple of shortcomings.  The FS-V7 had no fan controller, and could only be operated at 5v or 12v using the included "Y" adapter.  Zalman has responded and included a fan controller in this setup.  With the incorporation of a couple of heatpipes, VF900-Cu cooler holds some promise.  Let's take a look and see how it stacks up to the previous generation FS-V7.

VF900-Cu Box
VF900-Cu Box

First Look:

The VF900-Cu comes in a flashy box that showcases the dual heatpipe design.  The box has windows that allow you a look at both the top and bottom of the cooler.  Around each of these windows is a bright "chrome" trim that draws your attention to the unit.  The packaging is very eye-catching and shows off the craftsmanship of the product.

VF900-Cu - Bundle
 VF900-Cu - Bundle

VF900-Cu - Top View
 VF900-Cu - Top View


 

The bundle included with the VF900-Cu is a little different than the FS-V7 Fatal1ty cooler.  Instead of a red theme, Zalman has chosen to go with the more popular blue theme.  They include 8 aluminum BGA ramsinks that already have thermal tape applied.  They include all the mounting hardware needed for mounting to either ATi or nVidia based cards.  They also throw in some thermal paste for the GPU core, a case badge, and a Fan Mate 2 controller with cable.  The Fan Mate 2 controller plugs into your motherboard's 3-pin fan connector and allows manual fan speed control as it adjusts the voltage from 5.02 volts to 10.84v.  To achieve 12v you must plug the fan directly into the motherboard.  More on this in the performance section.

As usual, Zalman's attention to detail on this heatsink is excellent.  The fins are each stamped with the Zalman name and the appearance of the heatsinks itself is very good.  It oozes quality, as it is very solid thanks to the heatpipe being soldered to the fins. 

VF900-Cu - Bottom View
 VF900-Cu - Bottom View

VF900-Cu - Shiny Bottom
 VF900-Cu - Shiny Bottom

The base of the VF900-Cu is very flat and extremely smooth.  There are no traces of machining marks as this has been polished to a mirror finish.  As you can see in the picture on the left above, there are numerous mounting holes in the unit.  This allows mounting on almost every current GPU on the market.  There are a couple of models of 6600GT that are not compatible, but mainstream cards should all work fine.  In the picture above on the right, you can see just how shiny the base of this heatsink is.  It's remarkable how excellent this is finished.

In this heatpipe design, there is no direct contact of the fins to the base, so all cooling must be done through the heatpipes.  Before we head on over and see if this is a good move, we'll take a look at the specs of this cooler and then mount it to an eVGA 7800GT.

Features & Specs:


1. Pure copper heatsink base and fins maximize cooling performance.
2. Use of two high performance heatpipes maximizes heat transfer.
3. Circular heatsink formed by radially aligned ultra-thin(0.2mm) fins minimizes airflow resistance
    and maximizes heat dissipation surface area for excellent cooling performance.
4. Fan installed in the heatsink cools not only the VGA chipset and VGA RAM, but all other VGA
    components.
5. Does not exert any excessive force on the VGA card due to the product’s light weight.
6. Improvement in the installation structure provides excellent compatibility and easy installation.
7. Adjustable fan speed controller(FAN MATE 2) enables control of noise and fan speed.
8. Does not generate noise or vibration in Silent Mode.
 
Specifications

  • Dimensions : 96(L) X 96(W) X 30(H)mm
  • Weight : 185g
  • Base Material : Pure Copper
  • Bearing Type : 2-Ball
  • Speed : 1,350 ~ 2,400rpm ± 10%
  • Noise Level : 18.5 ~ 25.0dB ± 10%

This unit is lighter than the Fatal1ty FS-V7 cooler, and it has the same height off the card.  It is rated a bit quieter as well.  Of course because it includes the Fan Mate 2 controller, you have better control over performance and noise.  Please head over to the next page as we install this cooler.