Arctic Silver 5 thermal compound was used on all the coolers. Idle temperature was recorded after reboot and the system at desktop for one hour. Load temperatures were recorded after one hour of 3Dmark05 loops. A constant ambient temperature of 21C was maintained in the testing environment and the results are as follows:
Even though the stock cooler covers all components (GPU & RAM), it still cannot compete with the superior design of the Zalman Fatal1ty heatsink. At high speed, the Zalman was almost able to reduce the GPU to temperatures to the idle temperature of the stock cooler! This certainly will give you room to overclock your video card, and can extend the life of your video card. You can certainly game for hours and hours with no fear of lockups due to heat buildup (which happens occasionally with stock coolers).
Zalman FC-ZV9 Performance on XFX 7800GT
The Zalman FC-ZV9 also looks great. The red LED is not affected by lower voltages and remains bright in low or high modes. The copper construction is solid, and the workmanship is absolutely perfect. The fins and the heatpipes reinforce each other, so this cooler will remain in near-mint condition for most of its life. As long as video cards continue to use standard mounting methods, you will be able to use this cooler and many generations of future video card upgrades.
REPORT CARD : Zalman Fatal1ty FC-ZV9 VGA Cooler
The copper heatsink is extremely sturdy, expertly machined, and has an attractive nickel coating. You cannot do much better.
The use of heatpipes while maintaining a low profile is extremely creative. Is designed to accomodate AGP-to-PCI bridge chips, and memory heatsinks.
The results speak for themselves. More powerful than stock cooling, and outperforms other VGA coolers.
Installation takes a few more steps than other heatsinks, but ensures that it will not bend, warp, or otherwise fall off or lose contact with the GPU. Memory heatsinks aren’t reusable.
At $50 this is a rather expensive VGA heatsink, but the quality is supurb and can will certainly last for generations.