VGA Cooler Roundup April 2006

Cooling/VGA & Other Cooling by jmke @ 2006-04-24

6 different VGA coolers are tested in our latest roundup, products from Arctic Cooling, Sytrin and Zalman stressed using an XFX 7800GT running at default and overclocked speeds, while each heatsink is tested at different fan speeds and GPU temperature and noise readings are recorded. What cooler will suite you best? Read on to find out.

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Overview & Conclusion

Performance and Noise Overview

The charts are sorted by GPU temperature; please keep a close eye on the yellow bars which represent the noise level.

While the ambient noise was 35.6dBA during tests, the system, when powered on without VGA fan, generated 37.8dBA; if the result of a certain heatsink + fan speed has this value, than it means the noise level was below case ambient, keep this in mind.

Madshrimps (c)

The second chart with the VGA card overclocked is a bit smaller because the VF1 with 92/120mm fan did not keep the GPU cool enough, so those entrees are missing:

Madshrimps (c)

Closing thoughts

This roundup took quite some time to finish with the different VGA coolers and configurations to test, however I hope that the end result was worth the trouble I went through and gives you an idea of the performance/noise one can expect from the products tested today.

As it currently stands, the Accelero X1 offered the best performance/noise ratio on the 7800GT, however if you are looking for a cooler which offers wider compatibility, the VF1 Plus and Zalman VF900-Cu will make an excellent option (if you are running in SLI, VF1 Plus might pose some issues due to its larger size). The VF700 and FS-V7 are actually last generation products and they can’t quite keep up with the competition, even the stock cooling from nVidia is able to best them.

As mentioned in the introduction, I’m still missing a large name: the Thermalright V1 Ultra arrived too late to be included in this roundup, expect a follow-up review soon where I’ll test it head to head to some of the products tested today.

Update 25/04/06:: Attentive forum reader ddawson from OC-Forums pointed out that on his system he had troubles fitting two VF900-CU units in SLI. Turns out that the SLI slots on the Asus A8N Premium I'm using for the tests has its two PCIe slots further apart from each other than on other motherboards. ddawson is using a DFI nF4 SLI DR. The MSI SLI boards also seem to have its slots closer to each other. Keep this in mind when deciding which VGA cooler to get, check the dimensions of your motherboard and those of the third party VGA cooling.

Thank you for reading, question/comments/remarks: forum thread

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See you all at our next roundup!

Madshrimps (c)
The Shrimps love their "round ups"

I always picture cowboy hats and corrals when I hear the term “round up”, don’t you? In this case, it would be tiny little mad shrimp...with little cowboy a corral...with VGA coolers...nevermind.

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