Zalman VF-1000 put to the test: the Arctic cooling killer for graphics cards

Zalman VF-1000 put to the test: the Arctic cooling killer for graphics cards

Test system

  • Intel Pentium XE 840, 3.2 GHz
  • Scythe Ninja Mini [80 mm fan @ 2000 rpm]
  • Intel D955XBK motherboard
  • 2x 512 MB Corsair CM2X512A-5400UL CL3
  • Asus Radeon X1900XTX
  • Western Digital WD1200 [decoupled by Zalman ZM-2HC2]
  • Silverstone Strider ST06F 600 watts [with Papst F2GLL @ 1100 rpm]
  • Thermaltake Shark [completely insulated, Papst F2GLL @ 1100 rpm case fan]
  • Room temperature 21 ° C
Cooler test system in the TT Shark
Asus Radeon X1900XTX

In contrast to our processor cooler tests, nothing was changed on the test system except for the graphics card. As a rendering board, the Radeon X1900XTX from Asus, one of the graphics cards with the highest loss of performance in the past year, produces enough waste heat to set up a well-selected test field. In the meantime, the test procedure provides for a 30-time 3D-Mark-06 loop, through which the system and in particular the graphics card is stressed and warmed up accordingly. During this period, all important sensor parameters (temperatures, speeds, etc.) are documented with the Tool Everest . We use the maximum values ​​from these measurements to compare the products.

The volume is measured, if possible, in individual operation of the respective cooler witha Voltcraft 320 sound level meter, which interprets the noise emission according to the known A-weighting curves in a range from 30 to 130 decibels. The basic volume of the measuring room with subjectively perceived silence is 30.4 dB (A). Up to about 35 dB (A), depending on the sensitivity of the user and the frequency character of the sound, it can be assumed that the fan noises can no longer be heard when the housing is closed. From 40 dB (A) on our scale the noises can be clearly heard, from 50 dB (A) the disturbing area begins.

In addition to the measurements of the sound pressure, we also offer small audio recordings for the graphics card coolers. These were recorded in the immediate vicinity of the running fan and thus allow particularly good conclusions to be drawn about the sound character of the fan. You can download the mp3 files by clicking on the logo above.

Performance check

Cooler [voltage] speed [rpm] idling [° C] load [° C] Noise [dB (A)] AC Accelero S1 [12 Volt] 1850 GPU: 35Umg: 33VRM: 52 GPU: 53 Surround: 44VRM: 74 35.4 Zalman VF-1000 [12 Volt] 2500 GPU: 36Umg: 33VRM: 52 GPU: 56 Surround: 44VRM: 72 46.7 AC Accelero S1 [5 Volt] 750 GPU: 37Umg: 36VRM: 60 GPU: 58 Surround: 49VRM: 90 30.6 Zalman VF-1000 [5 Volt] 1450 GPU: 38Umg: 35VRM: 56 GPU: 61 Surround: 48VRM: 81 32.8 Zalman VF-900 [ 12 Volt] 2470 GPU: 38Umg: 32VRM: 52 GPU: 74 Surround: 46VRM: 77 48.2 ZEROtherm GX810 [thermo-regulated] 800 -1950 GPU: 40Umg: 36VRM: 59 GPU: 75 Surround: 51VRM: 78 35.1 - 50.3 Zalman VF-900 [5 Volt] 1350 GPU: 39RM: 35VRM: 55 GPU: 85 Area: 54VRM: 86 34.1Standard cooler [thermo-controlled] N.A. GPU: 50Umg: 44VRM: 63 GPU: 89 Environment: 64VRM: 92 N.A.

'GPU': chip temperature | 'Umg': Environment sensor on board | 'VRM': Voltage converter temperature

Zalman's VF-1000 does well and clings to the heels of the Arctic-Cooling Accelero S1 with double-ventilated turbo module. In view of the volume caused, the cheap Swiss is and remains the undisputed reference. Because the Korean development is clearly noticeable with a maximum of 2500 rpm and only becomes interesting for use in a quiet system in 5-volt operation. Nonetheless, the performance increase compared to the in-house VF-900 and the constancy of the performance are decent.

On the next page: Conclusion