Thermal and Acoustic Performance
First of all let’s see how our testing participants coped with the graphics processors cooling:
I would like to start with the overclocked GeForce 7900 GS. Although the new Zalman solution coped with the graphics card cooling, the temperature was still too high. Moreover, it was comparable to the results of the noisy default reference cooler as well as the results of Gigabyte V-Power in the passive mode. So, Zalman VNF100 is evidently intended for cooling mainstream and budget graphics cards with not very high heat dissipation. And as for Gigabyte V-Power, its 90-mm fan increases its cooling efficiency a lot: in quiet mode at 1200rpm fan rotation speed it catches up with Zalman VF900-Cu LED and at maximum fan rotation speed it becomes the second best of all the testing participants. So, everything looks pretty good, only the Arctic Cooling Accelero S1 solution left all the rivals very far behind. I wish we could check it out on the hotter Palit Radeon X1950 GT, which is the next topic of our analysis.
The stricken-through temperature values at the maximum Radeon X1950 GT load indicate that Zalman VNF100 and Gigabyte V-Power failed the test and 97o C is the last temperature reading from the log before the graphics card shut down. The preliminary conclusion therefore would be that Zalman VNF100 doesn’t suit for cooling of graphics cards like that and hence will hardly be of any interest to overclocking fans. As for Gigabyte V-Power, the cooler becomes highly efficient with the fan turned on and wins the race at maximum rotation speed on Radeon X1950 GT.
In addition I would like to offer you the temperature readings from the graphics card PCB for Radeon X1950 GT:
The overall picture is the same as in case of GPU temperature test. The difference may be more noticeable on the warmer Radeon X1950 XT or Radeon HD 2600 XT, however, we didn’t have these graphics cards at our disposal at the time of tests.
In conclusion here are the results of our acoustic measurements (the subjective comfortable noise level is marked with a dotted blue line):
The only system that can be called really noisy is the reference GeForce 7900 GS cooler and default Palit Radeon X1950 GT cooler at maximum fan rotation speed. Zalman VF900-Cu LED at 2650rpm, Gigabyte V-Power at maximum 2000rpm and the 120-mm fan of the Accelero S1 (with some allowances) can be regarded as not really importunate, but noticeable against the background system case noise. At medium fan rotation speed these coolers are very quiet and all the others are simply completely noiseless (passive mode).