The times of graphic cards being cooled with a heatsink & fan not larger than the gpu itself are sadly over. Modern graphic cards like the Radeon 9800 (Pro/XT) or GF FX59x0 (Ultra) consume as much energy as low end processors. While speed freaks are thrilled with the rapid evolution in the graphic card industry, people who adore silence have no choice but to buy a - nearly obsolete - passive cooled GF4 MX or Radeon 9200.
Luckily for us PC enthusiasts who want a silent yet performant gaming system there is another option. Zalman was the pioneer of passive graphic card cooling solutions, and the popular big yellow Zalman 80A-HP is well known by most tweakers. Recently other manufacturers introduced silent graphic card cooler solutions, like Arctic Cooling and ThermalTake.
Not everybody cares about silence. Others aim for better cooling to reach higher clock speeds. To satisfy both we tested a range of popular VGA card coolers, aiming for silence and/or performance.
suitable vga cards
|80C-HP+FAN||silence & performance||Zalman||ANY|
|Vga Silencer||silence & performance||Arctic Cooling||R9x00|
*: fits all graphic cards, but not motherboards