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The VF900-Cu is an evolution of Zalman’s previous design, rather than an extreme makeover. While the previous model used a copper base plate with thin copper fins, the new model adds two copper heat pipes to improve heat transfer from the base to the fins.
Zalman also changed the way you control fan speed. Previously, you had just two options for fan speed, either slow or fast, which you set by plugging in one of the fan’s two power leads. There was no in-between—and the slow mode ran hot and the fast mode was louder than we like. The VF900-Cu includes a knob that’s capable of incremental fan-speed adjustments, without having to open the case. It’s a far superior method.
The VF900 includes the same RAM heatsinks as the previous model, but unlike its predecessor’s, these stuck like glue to our videocard’s memory.
Installation was incredibly simple, with no tools required. You place the cooler onto the GPU core, and then secure it from the other side with small thumbscrews. During testing, the VF900 did an amazing job cooling our card, with an acceptable amount of noise, even with the fan cranked to the max. It ran 26 C cooler under load than the stock heatsink/fan, which is stunning. Still, the VF900-Cu was 3 C hotter under load than the Accelero and Sytrin coolers.
The VF900-Cu is a fantastic GPU cooler, no doubt. But its nifty adjustable fan isn’t enough to topple Accelero’s product. After all, you have to adjust the VF900-Cu to its slowest setting for silent operation, while an Accelero is silent without requiring any adjustment.
Month Reviewed: June 2006
+ COPPER: Impressively cool; tool-less installation; elegant looks; adjustable fan speed.
- ROBBER: Not as cool as its competitors.