Zalman VF900 @ CES 2006

They make noise, too.

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Slaugh
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Zalman VF900 @ CES 2006

Post by Slaugh » Sun Jan 08, 2006 4:44 pm

A new GPU cooler from Zalman has been announced at CES 2006: The VF900. According to Matbe, it weights 187 grams, it's made of copper, has 2 heatpipes, and it measures 96x96x30mm. No AlCu version will be released.

Image Image Image Image

(Click on a picture for a close-up)

jb_
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Post by jb_ » Sun Jan 08, 2006 5:09 pm

Nice. Though it still occupies an adjacent slot, it appears to have a lower profile than the VF700, which will improve airflow into the fan when the next-to-adjacent slot is occupied.

spolitta
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Post by spolitta » Sun Jan 08, 2006 5:57 pm

looks ok, I dont think its worth an upgrade over VF700.

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Post by mathias » Sun Jan 08, 2006 6:16 pm

Back to square one, eh? I wonder why they didn't just make it like the CPU version in the first place, my guess is that either this one is shaped in such a way that it wouldn't transfer heat effectively to the outside of the fins without the heatpipes, or it won't be compatible with as many cards.

And it's not lower profile, they're both 30mm high.

m0002a
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Post by m0002a » Sun Jan 08, 2006 6:22 pm

What they need is a quieter fan than the VF700, not more cooling capacity on the HS. This would not be a big issue except that replacing the fan on these is not as simple as just buying a new fan. Of course, I don't knoow anything about the fan on the VF900, but one can only hope.
Last edited by m0002a on Sun Jan 08, 2006 6:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by JazzJackRabbit » Sun Jan 08, 2006 6:44 pm

Elixer wrote:Waste of heatpipes. The ends of the fins are going to all be about the same temperature so there's no point in moving the heat from fin to fin. Heatpipes only transfer heat, not get rid of it, so they're almost worthless in this design.
I would agree, but for a different reason. If you look closely, the heatpipes are connected to the 'core' so to speak, so potentially, if we assume that heatpipes are more efficient in transferring heat than solid copper fins, there is a potential for lower temps. However, that said VF-700 is a very good cooler already, so by integrating heatpipes Zalman will increase the cost significantly while the gain in temperatures probably won't be big enough to justify it. Looks like a classic PR to me, heatpipes are the next big thing, if your cooler does not have them, it is not a cooler.

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Post by mattthemuppet » Sun Jan 08, 2006 6:58 pm

wonder how well the heatpipes will work with them being upside down? Guess they must have wicks.. Still, if it can cool better for the same airflow then it'd be a good option for silencing hotter high power cards. No way of telling by just looking at it though :)

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Post by wundi » Mon Jan 09, 2006 12:06 am

FYI, the VF700 measures 91 x 126 x 30 mm. So the VF900 is not any lower than its predecessor.

The light weight of this thing puzzles me though. The VF700 weighs 270 grams, that's a remarkable difference. It even makes me wonder if that 187g spec is totally accurate. Despite that, from the pictures it seems that the VF900 has more effective cooling area thanks to more fins. Maybe the heatpipes have something to do with it all...?

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Post by Tzupy » Mon Jan 09, 2006 4:16 am

Maybe the VF900 uses thinner fins than the VF700, in which case the heatpipes are a must, in order to maintain thermal conductivity.

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Post by stupid » Mon Jan 09, 2006 1:37 pm

I wonder when reviews of the vf-900 will be available. I will be upgrading from an Athlon XP to an A64 X2 4600+, 4800+ or 5000+ within a few months so a zalman vf-700 or vf-900 will be nice to drop onto a 7800GT.

TheAtomicKid
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I dunno.....

Post by TheAtomicKid » Sat Jan 14, 2006 7:33 am

Heat pipes exchange heat by dumping from the high heat source, to the material inside, which gassifies/boils/whatever. With the card installed in a tower case, this unit will be hanging upside down, with the graphics card above, like normal.

All this means, all the fluid inside the heatpipe, gravity will be holding it down in the ring around the fins, with no/almost no fluid, in contact with the gpu block. I have the feeling that the heatpipe in this case, will add almost no cooling power to the unit... normally, you put the 'cooling' portion of the pipe, above your heat sources, so gravity can work properly to set up the exchange... aka, the fluid inside absorbs heat, rises through the pipe (heat rises), then it enters the cooling section of the unit, possibly changing back to a liquid state, whereupon it returns to the heat source, again, via gravity.

(I'm not at all sure if the fluid inside actually undergoes a phase change or not... you would think not, the pressures would be tremendous...I remember reading recently an article or something stating heatpipes were filled with distilled water... water undergoes a 1600:1 expansion when converting to steam, it would have to be a VERY tiny amount of water)

To me, it looks like zalman simply redesigned the unit to go with the 'heatpipe fad' that's sweeping the industry... It will be interesting to find out how the unit performs in the real world, compared to the vf700.

TAK

TheAtomicKid
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Just read through the thread again...

Post by TheAtomicKid » Sat Jan 14, 2006 7:39 am

Saw the post about wicks... Hmm... Maybe? Dunno.

TAK

Michael_qrt
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Re: I dunno.....

Post by Michael_qrt » Sun Jan 15, 2006 3:01 pm

TheAtomicKid wrote:Heat pipes exchange heat by dumping from the high heat source, to the material inside, which gassifies/boils/whatever. With the card installed in a tower case, this unit will be hanging upside down, with the graphics card above, like normal.

All this means, all the fluid inside the heatpipe, gravity will be holding it down in the ring around the fins, with no/almost no fluid, in contact with the gpu block. I have the feeling that the heatpipe in this case, will add almost no cooling power to the unit... normally, you put the 'cooling' portion of the pipe, above your heat sources, so gravity can work properly to set up the exchange... aka, the fluid inside absorbs heat, rises through the pipe (heat rises), then it enters the cooling section of the unit, possibly changing back to a liquid state, whereupon it returns to the heat source, again, via gravity.

(I'm not at all sure if the fluid inside actually undergoes a phase change or not... you would think not, the pressures would be tremendous...I remember reading recently an article or something stating heatpipes were filled with distilled water... water undergoes a 1600:1 expansion when converting to steam, it would have to be a VERY tiny amount of water)

To me, it looks like zalman simply redesigned the unit to go with the 'heatpipe fad' that's sweeping the industry... It will be interesting to find out how the unit performs in the real world, compared to the vf700.

TAK

Modern wicked heatpipes work almost as well in any orientation. A simplified version is this: The wick moves the fluid from where there is excess fluid to where there is less. That is, when the fluid in the hot end of the pipe is evaporated it means there is less fluid there so the wick moves the fluid towards teh hot end. The vapour in the pipe will condense at the cold end of the pipe creating a cycle.

As far as temperature and pressure are concearned I've heard somewhere that you don't want to heat a heatpipe up to a few hundred Celcius as it will rupture because of the internal pressure or something like this. However there's nothing to worry about at normal operating temperatures.

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Post by Igor » Mon Jan 16, 2006 1:54 am

wundi wrote: The light weight of this thing puzzles me though. The VF700 weighs 270 grams, that's a remarkable difference. It even makes me wonder if that 187g spec is totally accurate. Despite that, from the pictures it seems that the VF900 has more effective cooling area thanks to more fins. Maybe the heatpipes have something to do with it all...?
Looks to me like the fins aren't connected to the base of the cooler at all :shock: Kinda like the CNPS9500, but with different orientation. The heatpipes are infact holding the fins in place. That would explain the low weight.

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Post by oscar3d » Thu Jan 19, 2006 2:50 pm

Good catch on the news...

But IMHO there is nothing interesting in the 900's series.
I was expecting something that blows the air outside the case, like a better version of the Arctic Silencers.

Zalman is dissapointing me.

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Post by Mats » Thu Jan 19, 2006 9:20 pm

Elixer wrote:Waste of heatpipes. The ends of the fins are going to all be about the same temperature so there's no point in moving the heat from fin to fin. Heatpipes only transfer heat, not get rid of it, so they're almost worthless in this design.
Not really, it works pretty much like a SI-120 or a CNPS9500, the only thing that connects the fins with the base are the pipes. The only question right now is how orientation dependant it is.
It's been a while since SPCR made a Zalman VGA cooler review... :wink:

Edit: Where did Elixer's post come from? Can't see it. :?

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Post by PCMonkey » Thu Jan 19, 2006 11:15 pm

Any word on price and release date?

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Post by Igor » Thu Jan 19, 2006 11:38 pm

Mats wrote:The only question right now is how orientation dependant it is.
Vast majority of gfx cards are installed so that the chip faces down, and I don't think that Zalman would make a cooler the doesn't work in that orientation. And if it works like that (the hot end up), then it'll work in any orientation.

AFAIK heatpipes were originally designed to handle the cooling (or heat transfer) in satellites (where heat does not rise up 'cause there is no "up" ;)), but there are "cheap imitations" that don't have the same structure and thus need certain orientation.

More detailed info:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heatpipe
Last edited by Igor on Thu Jan 19, 2006 11:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by thetoad30 » Thu Jan 19, 2006 11:40 pm

Hopefully this thing cools better than the VF700. I had one of those, and in order to keep my X800GTO^2 cool, I needed it to be full blast all the time. Otherwise temps just kept going up and up...

I have an Arctic Silencer right now, and I hear clicking on it... I thought this was supposed to be fixed, but in their defense I did see some paper or something stuck under the fan, so it might be throwing it out of balance. I tried to use canned air to remove it, but it's in there tight.

I was sort of hoping that Zalman would release something that blows outside the case, as this seems like the best option for a chip that constantly stays at or above 60C when in use. It would also help to maintain the next card over in terms of longitivity because it removes the heat instead of blowing it onto the next card over, which is my brand new X-FI... don't need that dying!

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Post by Mats » Fri Jan 20, 2006 7:24 am

Igor wrote:
Mats wrote:The only question right now is how orientation dependant it is.
Vast majority of gfx cards are installed so that the chip faces down, and I don't think that Zalman would make a cooler the doesn't work in that orientation. And if it works like that (the hot end up), then it'll work in any orientation.
Well, it could be a BTX tower only design, who knows? :D I doubt it though.
Igor wrote:AFAIK heatpipes were originally designed to handle the cooling (or heat transfer) in satellites (where heat does not rise up 'cause there is no "up" ;)), but there are "cheap imitations" that don't have the same structure and thus need certain orientation.
AFAIK, the reason why people wonder if it will be orientation dependant is that Zalman's last VGA heatpipe cooler was that, the ZM series. It was designed for desktop and ATX tower use, and simply didn't work with the GPU facing up like it does in a BTX tower.

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Post by Rusty075 » Fri Jan 20, 2006 10:29 am

Zalman, like pretty much every other top-tier HSF manu, uses wicking heatpipes now, which are orientation independent.

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Post by derekva » Fri Jan 20, 2006 10:36 am

It seems to me by looking at the design that the benefit in using heatpipes on the VF900 are twofold:

1) The pipes allow the heatsink 'flower' and fan to be moved up in relation to the card and GPU so that you can have a full 360 degrees of heatsink fins around the fan. Maybe this will improve cooling...

2) The brazed (or crimped) connections of the outer edge of the fins to the heatpipes will reduce the potential of the fins to vibrate and make noise.

On the other hand, the VF700 is a pretty rock-solid product.

-Derek

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Post by boe » Sun Feb 05, 2006 1:30 pm

Please let us know if you've seen any actual tests/reviews of this unit. I am very hopeful this will be the right solution for me.

I have a 700 on my 850 which works fine but if I go crossfire or sli - I'll have little space and two fans so I'll need them to be quiet.

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Post by JVM » Sat Mar 11, 2006 8:23 pm

I'm surprised no one has mentioned the new way this VF900 connects with the fan. I can recall some people wanting a different setup with a fanmate instead of going to the PSU. Well, the VF900 connects to Fanmate 2 and to the motherboard, eliminating the PSU connection. There is also the option to connect the fan to the fanmate attached to the outside of your computer case.

But I'm not so sure that will be a viable solution for everyone since a fan header may not be available, and then what?

So, overall this VF900 would be an improvement if it does cool better than the VF700 allowing use with higher powered cards, or just being able to run it at 5 volts if not practical with VF700, but I don't know if I like the idea of having to use a fan header on the motherboard, probably depends on your MB and what you have available.

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Post by rpsgc » Tue Mar 14, 2006 5:24 am

First review here.

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Post by Ackelind » Thu Mar 16, 2006 4:23 am

If I would have been the one to do the review, I would definitely have thrown in the VF700 for comparision insteas of just the stock cooler.

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Post by spolitta » Fri Mar 17, 2006 10:15 am

Ackelind wrote:If I would have been the one to do the review, I would definitely have thrown in the VF700 for comparision insteas of just the stock cooler.

True, I don’t know why companies send samples to these reviewers which technically know nothing. How many case reviews you seen without the reviewer bothering to install a system in it?

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Post by diver » Fri Mar 17, 2006 11:22 am


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Post by TooNice » Mon Mar 20, 2006 9:11 am

^ Touche! :D

I am wondering how this compares to the stock cooler of the X1800/X1900 series. They don't seem bad at all in terms of cooling.

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Post by Derek Baker » Mon Mar 20, 2006 10:08 am

thetoad30 wrote:Hopefully this thing cools better than the VF700. I had one of those, and in order to keep my X800GTO^2 cool, I needed it to be full blast all the time. Otherwise temps just kept going up and up...
I have an unlocked and overclocked X800Pro and my VF700 keeps it cool at 5v. Currently GPU=38C in a room at 21C.


Derek

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