We intended to test the Everocool Formula 2 VGA Heatsink against one of the latest the industry has to offer: The ATI 4870 Toxic video card (which is pre-overclocked). After initial testing it was clear that this cooler was much more comfortable with milder fare, so we also tested with a GeForce 7800 GT, which is now three generations old.
We monitored the GPU’s core temperature using each driver’s standard application (Catalyst for ATI and video properties for nVidia). We allowed the card to sit at idle for ten minutes before doing any load testing, to make sure the idle temperature was stable. We then ran several games, including Crysis Warhead, Call of Duty 4, and even 3dMark Vantage. After load testing, we allowed the card to idle again, to verify the idle temp was the same before any torture-testing.
We compared Evercool’s offering with a Zalman VF-1000 and the stock coolers of the GeForce 7800 and ATI 4870. It must be noted that only the stock coolers exhaust air directy outside of the case. All of the third-party coolers expel heat back into the case’s air supply. There usually isn’t a huge difference, as we only detected a 4°C temperature difference in extended use, but others have reported much larger temperature differences.
You can usually tell how well a heatsink is going to perform by just feeling its weight, and this test is no exception. The heavier coolers performed better. The stock cooler of the 4870 is actually rather robust, and the light Formula 2 just can’t keep up with the heat demands. The Evercool cooler is much more comfortable with entry-level or mid-range cards that just don’t produce as much heat, as it performed slightly better than stock cooling on our 7800 GT.
We didn’t expect the Formula 2 to come anywhere close to the Zalman cooler; we just threw that in there for comparison purposes. We figured the Evercool would be better than stock, and we needed a high and low range to see where the Formula 2 fit within that range. Frankly I was disappointed how poorly the Formula 2 did on the 4870, but I wasn’t actually surprised. The 7800 test is much more fair, in my opinion, and the results agree with what we expected: the cooler performs better than stock cooling, but only slightly.