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Old 6th August, 2004, 01:49 PM
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Zalman ZM80D-HP Review

Today we'll be looking at the newest heatpipe vga cooler from Zalman, the ZM80D-HP. Not so thankfully to the postal service, i got this new one in yesterday. I had been waiting on it since first seeing it on the Zalman site when it was first released; an update to the ZM80C-HP, which was not really recommended for 9800 pro's or higher, without an attached fan. Sapphire uses the ZM80C-HP on their Ultimate 9800XT, with said fan, so we know ahead of time that the dual heatpipe version should work the same, in the very least.

the package was slightly larger than a peice of paper, and all the contents are in plain view. Included are the front and back heatsinks, 2 gpu blocks(one for geforce4ti's, the other for any other card), 8 ramsinks in 2 different heights, well, you get the picture. One thing to note is that they tried to think ahead and have given the package a pulltab and perforations, in hopes of making it easier to open. Although it DID make it easier than say, a heatsealed package, it still took me just as long to get that initial corner open so that i could grab it properly and yank it open.

the manual is as big as the package, and has just about as many pages as the manual for my printer, including big,easy to read pictures, and well detailed instructions. With so many pieces i understand why they went to such lengths, and it little things like this that make us consumers happy. As well, there was an included bag of "spare parts", adding further kudos in the zalman direction, as they intend this heatsink to be tranferable to newer and yet-to-be-released cards. All in all, very well done.

Installation, although i do not have pictures of the step by step, was very easy, although without the manual, it would have been like trying to turn confetti back into paper. Be prepared to use alot of thermal paste!

On that note, you should be aware that 2 of the 3 included tubes were empty...at least empty enough that i couldn't get any out. So out came my trusty tube of Artic Silver 5, and away i went. 34 minutes later (and i was by no means rushing, even took a bathroom break) and it was all done...and looked darn pretty on my orange asus card...
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File Type: bmp tab.bmp (297.1 KB, 280 views)
File Type: bmp components.bmp (297.1 KB, 276 views)
File Type: bmp plates.bmp (297.1 KB, 286 views)
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Last edited by cadaveca; 6th August, 2004 at 10:17 PM.
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Old 6th August, 2004, 02:02 PM
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so what about temps?
well, the asus heatsink is far from standard...using 2 40mm fans instead of the 80mm that the reference cooler does, and includes a bigger backplate, and a small heat pipe that passes from one pair of ram on the frontside to the other, crossing right around the gpu at the same time. This made me skeptical about the asus coolers performance, as all i could see happening was the heat from the memory transferring to the gpu. Not good!

comparisons were made using ASUS's own monitoring utility, that includes ram temps as well. the thermalpaste from the asus 'sink was replaced with AS5 and was well broken in; the AS5 netted a 4 degree drop from the basic white stuff used at the factory, so bear that in mind, as well as the fact that i has to use AS5 on the zalman cooler as well, and it is fresh. I'm kinda happy about that tho, because this means that the ONLY difference is the cooler itself.

idle temps were taken an hour after booting, pc left at desktop.
Load temps were taken after running ati's ruby demo for 1 hour. both sets oftemps monitored during the application running via second monitor.

idle temps with the stock cooler were 48c for gpu and 43 for the memory
load temps were 54c for the gpu and 48 for the memory.

idle temps with the Zalman ZM80D-HP were 39c and 34 for the memory
load temps were 43c for the gpu and 38 for the memory.

what does all this mean? The stock Asus cooler sucked!even with the big back plate which only touched the memory, and the fancy heatpipe, memory temps are lower with just the simple aluminum 'sinks that came with the zalman. For shame! Either i was right, and memory heat was getting transferred to the gpu, or the gpu heat was getting transferred to the memory. Either way, this is highly inefficient. Maybe this is why the XT's and r360's overclock so bad. Poor cooler design!

I must also add that i am using a thermaltake thunderblade 80mm fan, which has the same output as the zalman fan @ max for this heatsink, but is quieter. seeing on how i am planning to overclock, i would have set the fan to max anyway. the rest of my system is setup as in my sig current with this posting.
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File Type: bmp ramsinks.bmp (297.1 KB, 302 views)
File Type: bmp zalman with thunderblade.bmp (297.1 KB, 453 views)
File Type: bmp bottomshot.bmp (297.1 KB, 257 views)
File Type: bmp topshot.bmp (297.1 KB, 374 views)
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Last edited by cadaveca; 6th August, 2004 at 09:29 PM.
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Old 6th August, 2004, 02:04 PM
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so, in conclusion, i highly recommend this heatsink to anyone with an 9800XT. Actually, i insist that if you have a 9800XT, replace that crappy cooler this instant! You'll thank me later.

Much thanks to Zalman, Thermaltake, and Bigfoot Computers for making this possible.
for those of you interesting in overclocking potential opened up...with the stock cooler, the best i could get was 400gpu 360mem 100% stable. i could run the mem @ 365, but would get artifacts once the card reached max temps. With the zalman, i was able to get 412/365 stable for 2 hours of atitool. remeber that this is with fresh thermal paste. i'll report back later with the max once the thermal paste has broken in...about week or so.
this also means tht my $500 for the vidcard and $50 for the heatsink got me a functional $800 card...$250 savings @ local prices. well worth the wait for availability!
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Old 6th August, 2004, 09:37 PM
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next will be thermaltake truelights!
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Old 6th August, 2004, 09:53 PM
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Nice. I suggest comparing it to one of those coolers that you find on the HiS IceQ cards. Mine ran past XT speeds. Just waiting for my new one to come in. Old one got fried in a power surge along with my mobo, 1 stick of ram, and psu.
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Old 6th August, 2004, 10:05 PM
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Good review! I purchased the thermaltake Giant 3 a while back when I still had air(its still around if anyone would like to purchase it). The downside to this cooler was the ramsinks were copper(ok thats the plus) but they stood less than an inch tall, and weren't really designed to dissapate heat, well if they were they didn't do a hot job at it! It was very effective however and I felt safe overvolting and clocking with it on. I think that based off this review the zalman is prolly a step above the Thermaltake Giant.
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Old 6th August, 2004, 10:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlz0r
Nice. I suggest comparing it to one of those coolers that you find on the HiS IceQ cards. Mine ran past XT speeds. Just waiting for my new one to come in. Old one got fried in a power surge along with my mobo, 1 stick of ram, and psu.
the only problem with doing that is that the cooler is not compatible with my card. It IS AN XT..even the pcb is stamped 9800xt. I am awaiting delivery of the newer revision, which is said to be compatible with 9800XT's and X800's.
it is also a well known fact that the R360 does not clock as high as the R350...although the basic structure of the chip is the same, things have been moved around, to make the chip more efficient, and thereby reducing heat. Unfortunately this also means that the max watercooled speed reported so far that i have found for an XT is 505mhz....i have personally witnessed a R350 @ 560 on water...with volt mods in both cases.
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Old 7th August, 2004, 12:56 AM
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very informative review, thank you!

i use the ZM80B-HP heatsink on my 9700pro w/ case fan blowing directly onto it. I'm a bit surprised that your overclock on that 9800pro card is almost identical to that of my card (412/360)
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Old 7th August, 2004, 01:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RussianMissile1
very informative review, thank you!

i use the ZM80B-HP heatsink on my 9700pro w/ case fan blowing directly onto it. I'm a bit surprised that your overclock on that 9800pro card is almost identical to that of my card (412/360)
i have not completely overclocked the card....i just tried those speeds to see if it would do it, as it would not with the stock heatsink. I NEVER overclock before thermal paste has broken in. remember that this card is just an undervolted XT ...1.72V! I CAN GET xt SPEEDS ON 1.72!

in a weeks time, i'll run atitool again and see what i get. i DO want to overclock, but i want silence at the same time. The BLUE BEAST is almost complete!
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Old 7th August, 2004, 03:20 AM
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You are actually mixing the two around. The R360 core is the XT core and the R350 is the Pro core. The HiS 9800 Pro IceQ cards have the R360 core in them so that they can overclock higher.
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Old 7th August, 2004, 03:55 AM
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not every HiS pro has the xt gpu...
all the newer ones do, yes, but that is because ATI is no longer making the R350.
the XT does not clock higher...it may give higher performance, but that is entirely due to driver optimizations. I confirmed this by flashing the XT bios to my card, from the 9800pro bios. The driver was different. No voltages changed in my card, heat did not increase or decrease, but i gained a solid 600 points in 3dmark03. FROM A DRIVER. I have a R360...and XT pcb, but only 1.72v at the gpu instead of the standard 1.79-1.83 for the XT, and a pro bios. I had hoped that i would not have to do a voltmod to getthe XT performance out of my card, and had heard of others with the asus card getting higher voltages, but when i flashed the card, the bios was locked. All that was changed was the device id. Even the memory timings are the same.
ASUS had to release a new bios for the 9800XT, as many users were complaining of the screen going to standby when windows starts briefly. And we are talking about 2 seconds. but the extra starting of the tube might possibly affect the lifespan of monitors plugged into these ASUS cards, so the new bios was released in september. I had hoped that this bios might be able to unlock the card for me so i could change the voltage via the bios(which is possible if the bios is unlocked.). But no luck. I can't figure out how it is that it gets locked/unlocked either. guess they got smartto people buying the pro's instead of the XT's, because the pro's were off the market for abt 6 weeks..and then bang..back in business again.
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