What can we add that we haven't already shown you? Nvidia's Fermi core runs hot, and stock coolers are fine if you can get used to their loud and whiny operation. But if you really want performance and silence, you need to upgrade to an aftermarket cooler. The Zalman
VF3000F (GTX470/465) VGA cooler is an excellent choice. Our testing showed that you can have both performance and nearly silent operation in the same package.
The only real downfall for the VF3000F is that the fans are not of a standard design, and are also wired into a plastic substrate that makes them nearly impossible to replace. Another issue that may be a concern to some potential buyers is that when this cooler is installed, your video card will now take up three slots, which is something to consider if you have other expansion cards you need to have installed, or if you plan on running a multi-GPU setup.
Checking the Bigbruin.com shopping engine
finds just one store with this version of the VF3000F for about $72 (US). Digging around a bit more finds a few major online retailers like Amazon.com
with this item in stock for a few dollars more. While close to $80 (US) may seem a bit steep for a VGA cooler, keep in mind that by dropping the overall temperature of the core - in our case by up to a whopping 25 degrees - you will extend the life of your precious hardware.
In the end the Zalman VF3000F (GTX470/465) VGA cooler earns both the Bigbruin.com "Highly Recommended" and "Whisper Quiet" awards for its outstanding performance and low noise operation.
» Outstanding performance, even at low speed
» Virtually silent operation at low speed
» Whisper quiet operation at high speed
» Includes fan controller and thermal grease
» Cools the GPU and video memory
» Not exactly cheap at close to $80 (US)
» Fans not interchangeable
» Actually takes up three slots
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