|Zalman VF900-Cu Ultra Quiet Heatpipe VGA Cooler|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Cooling|
|Written by Bruce Normann - Edited by Olin Coles|
|Wednesday, 18 June 2008|
Page 4 of 7
Zalman VF900-Cu Installation
Now we start to work with the actual cooler. I deviated from the manufacturer's instructions somewhat here. They recommend applying the thermal compound to the GPU chip at this point, and I'm thinking, "But, but, but....I KNOW I'm going to mess it up. Let me try putting it together first without the goo." Sorry, I'm firmly in the measure twice and cut once camp, especially when there's messy, sticky stuff involved. I also left the protective film on the base of the cooler until the last moment; the marks seen in the photos are the result of three rounds of cleaning as I moved it between different video cards. The surface finish as it came out of the box was flawless, partly as a result of the copper plating on the base.
When I removed the stock cooler, I noticed there were two sets of holes in the board, so there was potentially a choice. Upon closer inspection, I saw that there was a capacitor located very close to one of the inner set of holes. I test fit one of the insulating washers and quickly saw that the outer set was OK and the inner set wasn't.
A quick measurement showed that the outer set of holes on the board matched up perfectly with the outer set of mounting holes on the cooler. The information in the manual and on the website doesn't list any of the 8-Series nVIDIA products, but two things work in our favor; the flexibility of the cooler design and the standardization of video card designs. I grabbed four of the plastic-bodied standoffs and threaded them into the cast aluminum mounting arms of the cooler.
The threads mated perfectly and there were no rough spots; a simple thing, but always appreciated.
The small rubber o-rings went on over the longer threaded section of the standoff and it was time for a test fit-up to check for proper alignment of the base and clearances between the cooler and components on the card.