Everything looks decent, and the coolers weight is average when comparing to other after market coolers. According to the specifications, the fan is low noise with about 18dBA at low speed. The Zalman VF1000 uses 4 heatpipes to remove as much heat as possible from the base. It’s going to be interesting to see how the Zalman VF1000 performs in the test. But before testing we need to mount the cooler.
In time I’ve used Zalman coolers for many systems, and one thing you’re always guaranteed beside good performance, and low noise levels, it’s a detailed and well illustrated instructions manual. The same goes for the VF1000, where the manual describes how the cooler must be mounted, which holes, screws, rubber rings etc. to use, and it all depends on which graphics card you’re using. 8 RAM heatsinks is bundled with the cooler, all equipped with thermal tape, making the installation of these very easy.
Below, the Zalman VF1000 has been mounted on a 8800GT with the original cooler at the top for comparison:
The Zalman VF1000 is a bit smaller in lengths and width, but also about 2cm higher. If the PCI-E slots is placed close together, this could be a problem, but not likely. There’s no problems in the MSI P35 Platinum board, which is used in the test.
The test of the Zalman VF1000 will be conducted in the following system:
• MSI P35 Platinum
• Intel Core 2 Duo E8400
• Inno3d 8800GT 512MB
• 2 stk. Crucial Ballistix 1024MB PC6400
• 1 stk. SATAII 7200 RPM disk
• Compucase m. 1x120mm front and back.
Because a Fan mate 2 fan controller is bundled with the VF1000, the cooler will be tested at low and high fan speeds. To put some load on the card, an artifact scan is performed with ATITool.
First we look at the temperatures without any load (idle).
As the charts reveal, the Zalman VF1000 performs a lot better than the stock cooler. Up to 12 degrees less at full fan speed. Let’s find out if the picture is the same with some load.
Again, the Zalman VF1000 performs much better and keeps the graphics card 16 degrees cooler at full speed, compared to stock cooling.
It’s hard to find anything bad about the Zalman VF1000, but if we must go in details, we could mention the fact that the hot air from the case isn’t transported out of the case. But the reference cooler on the 8800GT does the same thing, so between those two coolers the difference isn’t worth mentioning. This isn’t a critical problem and the Zalman VF1000 performs a whole lot better than Nvidia’s reference cooler, and doesn’t make as much noise either. At highest fan speed, the fan is noticeable, but only just. I doubt one will notice it in a system with noisy CPU fans and power supplies. I can’t hear it in daily use. With a price tag at around 300kr, Zalman has created a competitive product, which might battle coolers like the Thermaltake Dual Orb, which has also been tested here at Tweak.dk
• Easy installation
• Fits a lot of graphics cards
• Good performance
• Low noise
• Does not blow the hot air out of the case (minor problem)