When you want to stick to AIR cooling, you have an intense decision to make. There is far too much choice! We are taking a look at three great coolers from Zalman and pit them against each other to see which one comes out on top.
Basically what you see is what you get.
This was a snap to install and was not as complicated as the ZM80C was. Zalman was thoughtful enough to include spare parts such as screws and those tiny rubber "O" rings. I am always dismayed when a manufacturer includes exactly the number of screws and washers needed. I seem to drop one of the important pieces and it invariably rolls under my desk or finds it’s way to the floor vent. A philips screwdriver was the only tool needed. RTM or go to the site and view the installation movie. It’s important to tighten the screws as directed. A turn on one then a turn on the other until tight.
One of the things I found interesting was the design of the thing. The fins and the base are made out of one piece of copper. Take a close look at the base (See the pictures below) and you will see what I mean.
Now I’m no expert on conductivity or heat transfer but it certainly makes sense to me that because the base and fins are made out of one piece that it would be more efficient than a base with the fins attached to it. Did I fail to mention the sweet red LED in the fan? Also I want to point out that there are two speeds for the fan but because it is a Fatal1ty and in keeping with the performance aspect of the shootout we ran it wide open.
Now to the numbers:
I have seen lower idle temps out there but I couldn’t get mine lower. The thing that impressed me was the slight rise in temps at load.
This thing rocks. The temperatures were below what I had expected and it just looks sweet especially with that swank red LED. Although it was easier to install than the older ZM80C it still had more parts to deal with. This had no effect on performance I just like fewer parts to keep up with. I like the way the fins and base are one piece and the way they expanded the fins on the one side to make up for the short side gives you the same surface area for heat dissipation as a round cooler.
So all that said I give it a solid 9.