Zalman VF700 AlCu Install/Review

Zalman VF700 AlCuAs mentioned previously, the dodgey install of an Arctic Cooling VGA silencer resulted in a noisy, rattly fan. On top of this, the AC cooler does not leave enough room to mount two cards in SLI mode.

I have to say that the alternative cooler, a Zalman VF700, is approximately a billion times better. It is quieter (ball bearing vs ceramic sleeve), lighter (180g vs 243g), easier to install, and takes up less room. It also appears to cool the card better than the AC, with the fan running slower and quieter. Even with the fan at full speed, the cooler is barely audible, and provides more than adequate cooling for an NVidia GeForce 6600GT. After several hours of single and multiplayer Call of Duty 2, the NVidia control panel was reporting a maximum temperature of 53°C. Winding the GPU fan to full speed resulted in a drop to 41°C at idle within a few minutes.

Installation was a breeze, requiring a simple installation of threaded mounting lugs in the existing mount holes, then mounting of the back plate and cooler onto those lugs. The VF700 also comes with optional heatsinks for the RAM chips – simple aluminium heatsinks with sticky heat transfer tape to mount them. The VF700 when mounted extends over the RAM heatsinks, meaning that the cool air from the fan also blows over the RAM. Ingenious. In comparison, the AC cooler pretty much obscures the RAM from any existing case airflow, which seems to be a Bad Thing.

The single downside of the VF700 is that the fan connector is a standard 3-pin system fan connector. VGA cards normally power their fans via a two-pin connector. This means that you can’t plug the VF700 directly into your VGA card, but instead have to use either a motherboard fan header, a fanbus, or the supplied molex connector. Having said that, the supplied connector is better than most, and gives you the option of running the fan at either 12V or 5V. I can suggest that 5V will be plenty for all but the most overclocked super-cards.

So overall, if you’re looking for a VGA cooler, and your card is compatible, you can’t go past the VF700. If you’re choosing between the Arctic Cooling product, or the Zalman product, go Zalman for sure.

46 Replies to “Zalman VF700 AlCu Install/Review”

  1. Video RAM does get pretty warm. The chips on my card were warm to touch when I removed it, despite no recent 3D activity.
    The latest 7800GTX cards have RAM clocked at 900MHz, which gives effectively 1800MHz DDR RAM speed. Cycling silicone that fast is bound to get hot, even if it is just setting row/column access addresses.

  2. Dude… you should read what you just wrote. Seriously, bro, am I going to have to fly back to NZ and kick your geeky ass outside for some fresh air, or openmedicinecabnt or something?

    (Actually secretly I enjoy geekspeak… you wait till i’ve been in this job another month or so and am fluent in webappflashmetatagalog – I’ll have ya!)

  3. I blame my fellow LAN men. I was so ashamed by having to use a barely functioning girlfriend’s PC (the PC was barely functioning, not the gf) at a LAN game, that I had to go out and get my own again. In a small house, I set myself the task of making the PC as quiet as possible, and it’s turned into something of a fetish.

    I’m currently assessing various hard drive quietening methods, from elastic-band sling mounting, to mega-dollar acoustic damping enclosures. Also on the list is some sort of sound-deadening material for the sides of the case.

    And there is a very annoying tick-tick-ticking which I suspect is coming from the PSU fan. I must investigate that.

  4. Ben, that tick-tick-ticking is actually coming from a nearby timebomb known as your wife, who is (a) wondering how long before she has to have you committed, and (b) thinking of a way to make sure you have to re-arrange the sentence “a barely functioning girlfriend’s PC (the PC was barely functioning, not the gf)” in the near future…

    PS: Once you’ve dampened your hard drive, insulated the case, and all that, and can finally actually hear individual electrons running along inside the cables, THEN what will you do? Eh? Eh? Well?

  5. It is so great for me to read this.I also own a geforce pciexpress 6600gt and I was about to buy a new cooler instead of the stock fan because my gpu was pretty hotter these days (50 degrees idle –
    60 degrees working -wow) so I was between picking up arctic cooling or zalman vf700 alcu.Now after reading this I am definitely going with the zalman vf700 alcu.Also I am going to buy the newest cpu cooler from zalman,
    the Zalman 9500.I think those two will make a big cooling in my system.Thanks to zalman for such great products.

    Bugra
    Istanbul/Turkey

  6. Definitely go for the Zalman instead of the Arctic Cooling VGA cooler. The AC looks great, but it seems too complex, and it is huge (SLI is not an option). The Zalman VF700 seems so much simpler, easier to install, and quieter.

    The 9500 CPU cooler looks great in terms of efficiency, but I personally like the 7700 for simplicity. No heat pipes, just a huge chunk of pure copper 😀

  7. Well I am having some overheat problems in my amd athlon64 3000+ venice cpu,used to be around 30 degrees celcius when I bought it at idle,which was summer-so hotter- and now we are in winter and the idle temperature is 40 degrees.
    So it needs some boost :).And the 9500 looks amazing.I have a lot of room for that in my XG Viper tower 😉 So no probs for me 🙂

    Bugra
    Istanbul/Turkey

  8. This is a very good cooler. I used it to replace the crappy stock cooler on a Radeon X300 SE (yes I know it may seem pointless), but only because the stock had several problems. Now I can run games with no crashing, even in Sydney Summer heat. 😀

  9. i just got one ans install not good.geforce 5500.I can screw the fan down because there is a bog resister or diode/whatever in the way.This sux.Supposed to be compatible too.

  10. When i installed, zalman, i quit heatsinks´s HSI, but quickly i installed. But i broken two plastic screw, i had to install plastic screw of my old cool. the problen then it is that heatsinks is some free.

    when i´m playing in games 3d, ten minutes after the computer always “reset” but when i´m in windows desktop, is PERFECT.
    with riva tuner centigrade GPU, is correctly 54 in games and 42 in desktop.

  11. matzz says:

    can i install it to nvidia 6600 AGP ?

    Here is a list that resides on the zalman site stating all cards it should be compatible with as posted in review as a hyperlink even “compatible” 😉

    http://www.zalman.co.kr/product/cooler/VF700_compatiblelist_eng.html

    i got myne today VF700-AICu for 38$ Australian for my Ge Cube 9800 Pro 128mb stock speeds R350 core, i will post up after i fit it and give my 2 cents worth!

    regards

    Ravenmeifter

  12. matzz says:

    can i install it to nvidia 6600 AGP ?

    Here is a list that resides on the zalman site stating all cards it should be compatible with as posted in review as a hyperlink even “compatible” 😉

    http://www.zalman.co.kr/product/cooler/VF700_co

    i got myne today VF700-AICu for 38$ Australian for my Ge Cube 9800 Pro 128mb stock speeds R350 core, i will post up after i fit it and give my 2 cents worth!

    regards

    Ravenmeifter

  13. 4 days since being installed and i will say after first unpacking the contents and spilling them next too the Ge Cube 9800 Pro i was unsure if the ram sinks would be problematic (i.e not enuf height between HSF and sinks) and added them after fastening the VF700 firmly, Yes they were fine i was just unsure at first though.

    I have taken some pics of the VF700 ALcu on my ge Cube 9800 pro front and back shots with a side view also, personally i found the installing part quite simpler than id first thought (hats off too Zalman for their flash tutorial on theri site also it was a great help as too was this review guide by Ben 🙂 )

    http://tinypic.com/view/?pic=4hd7ac4 (front)
    http://tinypic.com/view/?pic=4beg3kw (back)
    http://tinypic.com/view/?pic=2mydtef (side)

    One gripe is the 3 pin cable for the fan wasnt long in my view could be just me though but tbh i had too have it run infront of my HSF and it aint the best place for it but sitll my card is no longer artifacting after long hrs of Battlefield II and other games i had seen overheating issues with (best thing ive done was too buy this heatsink fan)

    BTW here is soem mroe info for the 6600 GT owners around from the zalman site it will explain why or why not u can run the cooler with your Nvidia 6600 GT

    http://www.zalman.co.kr/product/cooler/VF700_6600GT_eng.html

    Thanks and bye

    Ravenmeifter

  14. ” Do any of you know wether the ‘fan’ goes with Asus ATI Radeon EAX 1600? This is a ATI X1600 I think. But the holes to fit the VF700 on card don’t match.

    What to do? ”

    Im sure the ATi card you have is a PCI express card? as opposed too AGP.
    And was it a silent / passive version (i.e no heatsink/fan combo on it?) Reason i ask about passive version is i know that card has 3 models and one is passive anyway the Zalman site notes at bottom of compatibility table it says ” Heatsink-only (fanless) and low-profile products are excluded.” (i.e not compatible if thats the case with yours?)

    apart form that i dont know why not tbh, i did find on the asus site your model card as i said 3 variants live if u can see your one leave a msg about it ill do soem hunting on google if i can help, here is the asus site with the EAX1600 cards.

    http://au.asus.com/products3.aspx?l1=2&l2=8&l3=241&slname=Radeon%20X1600

    the compatibility will i guess come down too which of the three you own i guess and if the holes as you say your outta luck mate id ask the retailer too let you swap for another if thats teh case check out the Zalman website they have a whole heap of coolers newer than the VF700 even im sure your supplier would be able too swap it over at the least just pay difference if any.

    regs,

    ravenmeifter

  15. The EAX1600PRO is with FAN, is PCI-e and is NOT compatible. The holes do not fit.
    Which sucks, especially since X1600 is supposed to be supported.

    Probably, ATI used the same holes for the fanless(“SILENT”) version of the card.

    Which sucks even more, since the fan on this card is louder than all my other fans combined. And since this card was designed as fanless, it doesn’t have smart control of the fan also.

    So to sum up: no zalman, loud card (due to “silent” design) and a fan from hell.

  16. My GFX Gpu 6600GT PCIe is currently running at 64deg C ( idle ) and 90deg C when under load. The problem with the standars HSF is that Gigabyte uses a thermal glue instead of thermal paste. The glue is known for cracking and as a result the heat from gpu is not transfered correctly to HSf. I am going to purchase the Zalman and hope it cures the problem.

  17. What software do you guys use to check GPU temperatures? There’s no temp indication anywhere on my forceware (v.93.71).

    btw, its a Inno3d 6800GT (AGP) with a VF-700.

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