Tweak3D - Your Freakin' Tweakin' Source!

Posted: March 13th, 2003
Written by: Adam Honek


Year by year we see increasing system performance progressive through the IT industry promising to deliver the speed we need for tomorrow's every day tasks. Electronic devices sadly reward not only in extra speed but also heat, as the die sizes and clock speeds increase so does the hot factor. Over time manufactures specializing in cooling devices have offered hundreds of fan/heatsink combo products assisting in keeping the heat levels down. This method has been the cheapest and most effective over the two decades that personal computing now spans. Every technology has its so called product lifespan that acts as an indicator determining when it's time to move on and go about the future in a different way. This is how water cooling techniques evolved into consumer based computers removing the noise associated with higher powered fans away from the system. Although certainly a way forward it does have its complications and usually requires somewhat professional knowledge from the end user, something that not everyone possesses. Zalman is a company positioned at extracting the noise from cooling and replacing it with smartly engineered offerings making it possible to run but not be heard. Today we take Zalman's VGA Heat pipe Cooler (model ZM80A-HP) and put it to the test, does it do the job well? Allow us to investigate to find out.


First impressions

Zalman's silent VGA cooling solution ships neatly packaged in a visible plastic enclosure showing most of the components that assemble the full product. One of two notable aspects of the package is that Zalman generously includes a small screwdriver making installation that little bit less of a nuisance. Secondly Zalman also goes thinking ahead alike a very good chess player by bundling two sets of screws, nuts and thermal grease, this clearly is good thinking as essentials such as these are bound to come in handy if not immediately then surely within the future. The VGA cooler is made up of several key elements, two of which are front and back large heatsinks for dissipating heat on the grand level. Adding to this two smaller pairs of heatsinks along with a heatpipe form part of the contents, all of these are made of aluminum coated to give a gold effect finish. The retail package is rounded off with an excellent manual written in good English spanning many photos of the installation process making it easy for even novice computer users. A strong recommendation before purchase is to check if the cooler is compatible with your graphics card, this can be quickly done by simply verifying whether your card has two holes at diagonal corners around the GPU. Overall Zalman has marketed its VGA heatpipe cooler remarkably well addressing key factors such as design, contents and documentation showing signs of good planning.


Package Contents

One Front Side Heatsink
Front Side Heatsink Base Assembly
One Heatpipe
Back Side Heatsink Base Assembly
One Back Side Heatsink
One Bag of Assembly Parts
One Bag of Spare Parts
One Screwdriver
Installation Manual

Next Page: Installation

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