Articles: Cooling

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Compatibility and Installation

Considering the size of ZEROtherm CoolMaxx 4000 and its small effective heatsink surface, we assume that this cooler can only work find with not very hot graphics accelerators. And ZEROtherm does understand that well enough, as they market it for Nvidia GeForce GTS 450 and GTX 460. Nevertheless, the cooler may theoretically be compatible with all graphics accelerators, which have a diagonal distance of 75.4 mm and 79.4 mm between the retention holes:

Among them are quite a few graphics accelerators including those on AMD GPUs, too. For example, Radeon HD 6850 and Radeon HD 6870 also fit this profile, but the question is: will the cooling efficiency of the small ZEROtherm CoolMaxx 4000 be sufficient to handle them well?

ZEROtherm CoolMaxx 4000 installation is very simple and looks as follows:

We are going to explain it step-by-step using Gigabyte GeForce GTX 560 1 GB Ultra Durable (GV-N56GOC-1GI) graphics card as an example.

First we have to remove the default graphics card cooler, stick the heatsinks onto the memory chips and apply a new layer of thermal paste onto the GPU previously wiped clean. After that we have to get ZEROtherm CoolMaxx 4000 ready for installation by inserting threaded mounts into the holes in its retention brackets:

Then we have to put the cooler onto the graphics card and tighten the spring-screws with plastic washers on the back of the card:

The next step is to connect the power cable to the graphics card (or to the mainboard via the included adapter) and that’s it:

Quick and easy. This is what ZEROtherm CoolMaxx 4000 looks like installed onto the above mentioned AMD Radeon HD 6870:

It seemed to fit perfectly and to have proper retention pressure, but unfortunately, one of the fans wouldn’t rotate because it was blocked by the graphics card capacitors:

The same thing happened with AMD Radeon HD 6850, and of course, it simply doesn’t make sense to use this compact cooler with powerful Radeon HD 6950 and HD 6970. Especially, since there are no VRM heatsinks included with the cooler anyway.

The new cooler fit best of all onto Inno3D GeForce GTX 560 Ti, where there were no conflicts with any of the graphics card electronic components and there was a special additional cooling plate used for them:

However, we can’t expect this cooling combo to work too well, because of the extremely uneven base, which we have just described above.

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