Zalman VF1000LED and Zalman ZM-RHS88 GPU Cooling Combo - Testing and Installation

Article Index
Zalman VF1000LED and Zalman ZM-RHS88 GPU Cooling Combo
Zalman VF1000 LED Specifications
Zalman ZM-RHS888 Ram Heatsink Specifications
Testing and Installation
Final Conclusion and Scores

 

Zalman ZM-RHS88 and VF1000 LED Testing and Installation:

Well on to the fun part, the installation. I have installed a quite a few aftermarket coolers over the years on video cards, and was expecting this to be about the same; however I was in for a little surprise.

Now the installation wasn't terrible and it all worked out in the end, but it definitely takes a bit of time and you are kidding yourself if you think you can have both the ram heatsink kit and the gpu cooler installed in 5 minutes, it's going to take a bit longer than that. Most aftermarket coolers are pretty straight-forward, but this one you're going to want to read the instructions as you go, otherwise you're going to get it half together and realize you've forgot a washer or a spring and have to start over again. I can't really blame Zalman for this too much, as the 8800GTX is a pretty big card and there are a lot of components that need to be installed, but it makes for a few head scratching moments when you're trying to piece everything together and figure out what screws go where, and if you need the bag of screws from the ZM-RHS88 or the bag of screws from the VF1000 LED for certain spots.

I would estimate that the entire installation took about 30 minutes from start to finish, and that included removing the original stock cooler. Your also going to need to refer to the instructions a few times, otherwise it is going to take even longer, if you the kind of person who doesn't need instructions, then maybe do this install when no one is watching and if you just happen to have to peek at the manual, you can keep it your own little secret.

 

card front
Nvida 8800GTX Bare
ramsinks installed
ZM-RHS88 Heatsink (Installed)

 

installed close
VF1000 LED Installed (Bottom)
installed top
Zalman VF1000 LED Installed (Top)

 

installed side
Zalman VF1000 LED (Side View)
back installed full
VF1000 LED Installed (Back View)

 

So there we go, it's all installed and it doesn't look half bad either. Everything went together well, and I must note that the thumb screws for the back of the video card were a nice touch, I'm always a fan of thumbscrews and I really think they make things just a little bit easier.

 

The real question though isn't how nice the cooler looks, or how easy the installation was or was not, but how it performs. As many of you undoubtedly know, the 8800GTX produces a lot of heat, and temperatures can almost reach 80 degrees, which isn't exactly cool.

 

 

Chart

 

So there you have it, the results are in. The biggest surprise was the amount of difference in the memory temperatures, and I would assume that this is due to the stock cooler being a one-piece design and the Memory and GPU core are cooled by the same metal piece, so once you move to a two-piece design like you have with the ZM-RHS88 ramsink and VF1000 GPU cooler those temperatures are naturally going to drop.

I was a bit surprised to see that the GPU full load temperatures were as close as they were, normally when you move to an aftermarket solution the temperatures drop significantly, but in this case it wasn't so dramatic.

The biggest advantage of moving to an aftermarket cooler such as the VF1000 LED is the noise level. The stock cooler running at idle temperatures honestly isn't that bad, but once you start gaming you do notice it rising as the temperatures go up, and that's probably where you will notice the biggest difference going to the VF1000.

Now the only question remains is whether it's worth the money? The temperatures are a bit better than stock cooling (not by as much as you might be expecting) and it is going to be quieter than stock cooling, so I guess at the end of the day if you want a few extra degrees to help with a bit of an overclock, or want a quieter rig, then you're probably going to be interested in this card.