Articles: Cooling

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Thermal Performance

The average speed of the fan of every tested cooler is shown as reported by the monitoring tools. Here are the results on the GeForce 7600 GT:

Even though the GeForce 7600 GT doesn’t generate too much heat, the new cooler from Cooler Master shows its worth, outperforming the Zalman VF900-Cu LED by 5°C under peak load. The latter doesn’t cool the overclocked graphics card any better even when its speed is increased by 800rpm. Perhaps the card just is not hot enough for the Zalman cooler to show all it can do.

Now let’s see how the coolers perform on a very hot graphics card, a Radeon X1950 XT 512MB.

First of all, I’d want to say a couple of words about the native cooler of the Sapphire Radeon X1950 XT graphics card. In automatic mode the cooler performs unsatisfactorily. It is no good having a heater with a 90°C hot chip inside your system case. Moreover, the cooler’s fan is irritatingly noisy at 3800rpm. Even though it has no rivals in terms of performance at 5130rpm, the noise of the blower is downright unbearable then. To cut it short, the stock cooler of the Radeon X1950 XT is awful because you have to choose between having a very hot GPU at an acceptable level of noise (if you adjust the fan speed manually) or a cool GPU and unbearable noise. It’s good that ATI’s top-end graphics card, Radeon X1950 XTX 512MB, employs a different cooling system, quieter and more efficient.

But let’s get back to the hero of this review. Under peak load the CoolViva Pro in its quiet mode beats the Zalman VF900-Cu LED which works at its maximum 2600rpm. The high GPU temperature in idle mode is due to the low fan speed, which is only 600rpm. Working at a quiet speed of 1880rpm, which is its maximum, the CoolViva Pro leaves no chance to the Zalman VF900-Cu LED, outperforming it by 10°C!

So, the CoolViva Pro cools the GPU all right, but what about cooling the voltage regulator and the surrounding elements? The new cooler is claimed to cool them too, which is emphasized in the press release as one of its key features.

Here are the results:

Well, it is no worse than the Zalman VF900-Cu LED in terms of cooling and is better in terms of noise.

To wind up this review I’ll show you a diagram with frequencies, temperatures and the fan speed of the CoolViva Pro as it was being tested on the Radeon X1950 XT:

I just wonder if there’s any other air cooler for graphics cards that is able to work at a very quiet 1880rpm and yet keep the temperature of the Radeon X1950 XT 512MB that low?

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