ZEROtherm make products that cool and stay quiet, as our GX700 series review showed. But today I have the GX810 which is a step up from the GX710, with more fins, LEDs, temperature controlled fan and other extra fancy bits. Lets have a look.
About ZEROtherm (APACK is ZEROtherm’s parent company)
APACK is a heatpipe technology based thermal solution provider which provides customized designing and engineering solutions and, ultimately, provides best-of breed thermal solutions.
APACK’s design and manufacturing is based upon an engineer’s passion for innovation and progress. APACKwas established in 1999 by 3 engineers from ETRI (Electrics and Telecommunications Research Institute) who have 10~17 years experience in thermal solutions and advance packaging technology (packaging referring to the structural and functional integration of multiple technologies). Based in the city of Daejeon (Korean Silicon Valley and high-tech capital), APACK is staffed with top engineers who have extensive experience.
APACK is currently entering into its second phase of business development after accomplishing its first goals of developing a strong R&D core in thermal technology and efficient manufacturing capabilities. Phase one was marked by strong revenues and growth in the OEM and custom solutions market producing for such clients and Samsung, Dell and LG.
Backed by investors such as Intel Capital, a strong backbone of R&D with continued cooperation with ETRI and APACK is seeking to become a global player in the thermal solutions market.
|Dimension||116(L) x 100(W) x 32(H) mm|
|Rated Input Current||0.2A|
|Rated Input Power||2.4W|
|Fan Dimension||70 x 15 mm|
|Max Air Pressure||6.95 mmH2O|
|Max Air Flow||9.25 CFM|
|Bearing Type||2-Ball bearing|
|Life Expectance||50,000 hours|
|Fan Connector||3-pin, 3-wire (to M/B or to PSU)|
|Weight||188 g (w/o optional components)|
GX810 reporting for duty
Unlike the GX700’s (read the review here), the GX800 comes in a nice silver shiny box, which is a lot easier to open than the clamshell method. From the very outset, you can tell that this is going to be a quality product.
Once you’ve popped the box, you’ll find everything labelled and in its right position. For example, there is a space for SLI/Crossfire nuts and bolts, and another for standard installation. The RAM heatsinks (which are the same as the ones packaged with the GX700’s) are also in their own cubby hole. Other than this, you’ll find the cooler itself, a shrunken toothpaste tube of heatpaste, and the installation manual.
The RAM heatsinks have many fins, which branch out meaning a higher surface area, which means more space for heat to escape from. They are all self adhesive making installation easy.
The GX810 is fully copper, apart from the mounting bracket which is aluminium; all 140 fins are copper and each have a little ZEROtherm logo on them. Just like the GX700 and GX710, the extra 10 means that it’s made of copper. Today I only have the copper version which weighs in at 188.2g while the aluminium version is a meagre 148.5g.
Unlike the GX700’s, there isn’t a shroud to redirect air, instead there are fins which mean more surface area = more heat lost. The fins are provided with heat by the circular heatpipe which moves heat away from the interface pad.
This pad is nicely polished and you can easily see your reflection in it. There are no distortions in the reflection which means that it’s nice and flat.
To keep the temperature of the fins down, there is a radial blower which forces air to radiate from it, rather than forcing it through itself. This method has become increasingly popular recently as it means that the fan is quieter and uses up less space. Speaking of space, the cooler is quite slim, meaning that you can use it in a multi-GPU situation.
To power this fan, there is a 3 pin connector which simply slots into a motherboard fan header. The fan itself is temperature controlled by a built in temperature sensor. When the heat starts to rise, so does the fan speed. This translates to having the quietest case, while maintaining a safe operating temperature.
The fan on this cooler is actually a little bigger than the ones used on the GX700’s. It rotates between 900~2500RPM making between 16.95~29.85 decibels in the process. This is actually louder than the GX700’s. However, this is designed for high-end cards, rather than the older generation of graphics cards.
These coolers are compatible with pretty much all of the ATI and nVidia cards on the market bar 8800’s.
Radeon X**** series
Geforce 6600 series (not AGP)
Unlike the GX700’s, this cooler could probably cope with cooling an 8800. Instead, the space between the mounting holes on the 8800 are too fan apart, meaning that the mounting bracket simply won’t reach.
Using the diagram and picture packed manual, attaching the GX810 was a walk in the park.
There are two types of nuts and bolts that you can use. Either method is as good as the other, but the single GPU nuts are the thumbscrew type meaning that you don’t have to find your screwdriver. I decided to use the SLI/Crossfire screws which look a little cleaner and I had a screwdriver to hand anyway.
Once you’ve attached the RAM heatsinks, you have to attach the knurling nuts, which are essentially spacers between the bracket and the front of your card. Through the back, you have to screw the spring screw, or attach the thumb screws.
Once that’s done, all you have to do is plug the 3 pin fan plug into place, and everything is ready to go.
I’ll be testing the cooler on a Connect3D X1950 Pro card which has the stock cooler installed. The card will be running in a Lian Li PC-B20 case with the side graphics card 120mm fan removed as most people don’t have one.
The case is closed during testing and there is one front 120mm fan and one rear 80mm to provide case ventilation. The AM2 3800+ CPU is cooled by a Thermaltake Max Orb and the system is powered by an Enermax Liberty 400w.
The ambient was constantly at 19C throughout the testing.
The temperature was taken with the onboard thermal diode on the X1950, and monitored by ATI Tray Tools taking measurements every tenth of a second.
To load the card, RTHDRIBL was used at 1600×1200 with 16x multisampling which ran at 5fps which shows that the card was being fully used. The test phase ran for 30minutes after 30minutes of idling.
The stock heatsink and fan present on the X1950 Pro was set for automatic function where the fan speed changes depending on the temperature in order to keep noise levels down. I tested with automatic mode enabled which ran the fan at 40%, and then force the fan at 100% for the second test. At 40% is audible and even more so at 100%. Neither speed could be categorised as silent or quiet.
The results are shown as idle temperatures plus load difference.
The GX810 in operation is well nigh silent. It’s slightly louder than the GX700’s but it’s a LOT better than the stock cooler.
Speaking of better than the stock cooler; the results speak for themselves. It manages to get temperatures lower than the stock fan at full pelt in both idle and load scenarios, which is no mean feat.
Not only does it cool fantastically and lowers case noise, but it adds some extra lighting courtesy of the two red LED’s built into the fan. I thought that red wouldn’t really go with the whole cooling aspect, but it’s a nice change from the usual blue and looks nice and stylish.
At £25, this is a mandatory buy for anyone wanting a cooler that’s better than stock, not only in performance, but volume. It can cope with high-end cards, with the 8800 being the only card it can’t attach to.
This cooler is now more than happy sat on my X1650 AGP, and wipes the floor with the Artic Cooling VGA silencer that was on it before. It’s smaller, quieter and better performing. Is there any better accolade in the cooling market?
|Red LED’s built in||Can’t be used on 8800’s|
I’d like to thank QuietPC for providing us with the cooler.
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