The Latest GPU Fatal1ty - Zalman FC-ZV9

Article Index
The Latest GPU Fatal1ty - Zalman FC-ZV9
Test Setup and Installation on 7600GT
Cooler Performance and Conclusion

Product: Zalman FC-ZV9 HSF
Provided By: ZalmanUSA
Price: ~ $58.00CDN

Introduction:

One company that always manages to improve upon its products is Zalman.  While some may claim that if a company makes good products, there is not need to improve them.  While that may be true in some industries, in the world of computing - and more specifically cooling computers, there is always room for changes and improvement.

A while back Zalman introduced the VF900-Cu series of Graphics Card Coolers that incorporated a couple of heatpipes as well as an adjustable speed fan.  The first iteration of this cooler was an all-business copper cooler that got the job done.  The next version, the VF900-Cu LED was a little fancier as Zalman used a nice blue LED fan with this cooler.  Both GPU coolers spun at the same speed and performed equally well.  They destroyed the performance of the stock cooling as well as much of the competition.

Package - Front & Back
Package - Front & Back

 

Zalman has recently launched the third version of their Heatpipe packing GPU cooler.  This cooler bears the Fatal1ty branding and is in fact not a VF900-Cu series cooler at all.  You'd never know it by looking at it though as the design appears to be identical.  What separates this cooler from the previous coolers is the fact that it is nickel plated copper and it comes with a faster red LED fan.  Let's take a look at the FC-ZV9.


 

First Look:

One thing that is great about Zalman's GPU coolers is that they are made to fit virtually every graphics card on the market.  Other GPU cooling companies produce different models for ATi and nVidia cards and even different coolers for different series of graphics cards.  They will have an updated version that will only fit on the new cards and the older cooler simply will not work.  Zalman has made things somewhat "future-proof" so that you will be able to upgrade your video and still keep in quiet as you move over your GPU cooler.

The Bundle o' Joy
The Bundle o' Joy

As you can see above, the bundle includes the FanMate 2 Controller, an installation guide, case badge, thermal paste, some screws and washers as well as 8 red aluminum ramsinks.  This will get you up and running on anything from a Radeon 9x series to an X19x series from ATi and on the nVidia side, you are supported from the GeForce 4 Ti series up to the latest GeForce 79x series.  Very nice cross-platform support indeed.

Unfortunately, pictures don't do this cooler justice and simply don't show the beauty that this unit exudes.  We're talking nickel plated copper than gleams like a bar of pure silver.  The build is very sturdy as the heatpipes pass through the fins which give them greater stability.  As usual, the Zalman name is stamped onto each individual fin.  The base is very smooth, flat and has been polished to a perfect mirror finish.  I'm very impressed with the fit and finish of this cooler.

Close Up
 Close Up

Zalman Pride
 Zalman Pride

Shiny Bottom
 Shiny Bottom

On the next page we'll take a look at our victim and get this cooler installed.