Review: Cooled by Zalman's VGA cooler
Today's menu features MSI's NX8800GT Zilent – an overclocked but silent card. Although it's not the fastest 8800GT we've seen, MSI 8800 GT Zilent is fast enough to attract our attention, especially because it won’t cost you much more than reference 8800GT. MSI opted for 60MHz faster GPU running at 660MHz with Shader speeds of 1650MHz and memory speed of 950MHz (stock speeds for Shaders are 1500MHz and 900MHz for memory). However, we were more interested in how Zalman’s cooler works with a 75mm Silent fan.
We’re talking about Zalman’s VGA cooler with 4 heatpipes (4mm in diameter) placed near the fan. The fan is positioned inside the heatsink and that way it can cool the sides too, thus improving the overall cooler dissipation. Heatpipes are not tall so the card will fit in small cases easily, and in our case they did a great job. Maximum temperature was 75°C compared to reference GPU that ran up to 17°C hotter.
We are familiar with Zalman’s VF 1050 VGA cooler since Colorful uses it for their version of 8800GT. The good thing about this cooler is that you can manually control the fan and regulate the RPMs directly from nTune utility. After it starts spinning you’ll barely hear it, and it doesn’t get too loud even at maximum RPMs.
The fan is placed on the aluminum fins using plastic pegs, and you can see that the copper base is surrounded with multiple extensions that you might need during mounting on different types of cards. The fourth line of holes is intended for 8800 GT or GTS, and you can even mount this baby on Radeon 3800 generation. On our 8800 GT this cooler ran like a charm.
MSI 8800 GT Zilent is one of the best bangs for your buck, and G92 GPU can run faster than 660MHz. Many Nvidia partners offer overclocked 8800GTs and the fastest ones run at 720MHz.
This is a DX10 card with 512MB of GDDR3 memory and PCI Express 2 interface, so current and future games will be covered. Dual link DVI’s offer 2560x1600 support, with HDCP, of course, and you also get a TV out. The memory is 256-bit and G92 comes with 112 Stream processors, 16 ROPs and 56 texture units. If you crave more juice – you can buy another and run them in SLI mode, thus enhancing your gaming experience.
The box is made of strange paper, dry to the touch (maybe they tried to emulate the feel of dry ice), and the front is all about Zalman’s cooler trapped in ice. The card’s full name is MSI NX8800GT T2D512E, followed by PCI-E, 512M DDR3, FAN, Shader OC, Dual DVI-I, HDCP, HDTV/VO, Power Cable, SLI.
There’s nothing special worth noting inside the box and you won’t find any games, either. The Driver CD packs a couple of mini MSI tools that might help you to run your computer.