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[nextpage title=”Introduction”]

We are reviewing today VF2000 LED from Zalman, a hybrid cooler that fits video cards and CPUs, with a 92-mm fan and four heatpipes. Will it perform well on both tasks? Check it out!

VF2000 LED box is small, in cardboard paper. A transparent window allows you to see the cooler.

Zalman VF2000 LEDFigure 1: Box.

Inside the box we found the cooler, installation manual and hardware for CPUs and video cards, thermal compound and a FanMate 2 fan controller.

Zalman VF2000 LEDFigure 2: Box contents.

In Figure 3 you can have a general view of VF2000 LED.

Zalman VF2000 LEDFigure 3: Zalman VF2000 LED.

In next pages we will see this cooler in detail.[nextpage title=”Zalman VF2000 LED”]

In Figure 4 you have a side view of the cooler. It has a very low profile, which is important for a VGA cooler.

Zalman VF2000 LEDFigure 4: Side view.

In Figure 5, you can see it from the front side. Note that the four heatpipes are very close to each other at the base, but well spread at the heatsink.

Zalman VF2000 LEDFigure 5: Front view.

In Figure 6 you can check the cooler back side. The heatsink fins are made of aluminum and the heatpipes are made of nickel-plated copper.

Zalman VF2000 LEDFigure 6: Rear view.

[nextpage title=”Zalman VF2000 LED (Cont’d)”]

In Figure 7 you have a top view of VF2000 LED. Its 92 mm fan is transparent and has blue LEDs, as the cooler name suggests. This fan has a three-pin connector and thus no automatic PWM speed control.

Zalman VF2000 LED Figure 7: Top view.

In Figure 8 you can check the base of the cooler, made of nickel-plated copper. It has a perfect mirrored look.

Zalman VF2000 LED Figure 8: Base.

In Figure 9, you can see FanMate 2 fan controller (which also comes with VF900-Cu LED), its cable and three tubes of thermal compound that come with the cooler. Thanks, Zalman, for not saving on thermal compound quantity.

Zalman VF2000 LED Figure 9: Accessories.

[nextpage title=”Installation on CPUs”]

VF2000 LED installation as a CPU cooler is relatively simple. First you must screw the clip set according to the CPU you have, Intel socket LGA775 (it does not support 1156 and 1366 sockets) or AMD sockets AM3, AM2+ and AM2, to the base of the cooler. Then install four screws to the clips and put the rubber washers on the screws, as you see in Figure 10.

Zalman VF2000 LEDFigure 10: Socket LGA775 clips installed.

After that, apply thermal compound, put the cooler on the CPU and screw four thumbnuts (with springs) on the solder side of the motherboard.

Zalman VF2000 LEDFigure 11: Thumbnuts.

In Figure 12, you can see the cooler installed on our motherboard. It has a very low profile and will surely fit any case, even slim and SFF models.

Zalman VF2000 LEDFigure 12: Installed on our motherboard.

In Figure 13, you can see the cooler installed in our case.

Zalman VF2000 LEDFigure 13: Installed in our case.

[nextpage title=”Installation on Video Cards”]

Installing VF2000 LED on a video card is as simple as on a CPU. You just need to attach four screws (not the same ones used for CPU installation) directly on the base of the cooler, put the cooler in place and attach it with the same thumbnuts.

We instaled the cooler on our PNY Verto GeForce 9600 GT video card. VF2000 LED comes with heatsinks for memory chips, which we did not install. The product is harmonious- and cool-looking, but has the problem of not blowing hot air outside the case. In Figures 14, 15, 16 and 17, you can see the cooler installed on our video card.

Zalman VF2000 LEDFigure 14: Installed on GeForce 9600 GT.

Zalman VF2000 LEDFigure 15: Top view.

Zalman VF2000 LEDFigure 16: Rear view.

Zalman VF2000 LEDFigure 17: Bottom view.

We try to install it on our GeForce GTS 250, but the position of the screws on VF200 LED was not compatible with the holes from this video card. So, we tested it only on our GeForce 9600 GT.

[nextpage title=”How We Tested”]

We are adopting the following methodology for our CPU cooler reviews.

First, we chose the CPU with the highest TDP (Thermal Design Power) we had available, a Core 2 Extreme QX6850, which has a 130 W TDP. The choice for a CPU with a high TDP is obvious. To measure the efficiency of the tested cooler, we need a processor that gets very hot. This CPU works by default at 3.0 GHz, but we overclocked it to 3.33 GHz, in order to heat it as much as possible.

We took noise and temperature measurements with the CPU idle and under full load. In order to achieve 100% CPU load on the four processing cores we ran Prime95 with the "In-place Large FFTs" option, and three instances of the StressCPU program, all at the same time.

We also compared the reviewed cooler to the Intel stock cooler (with copper base), which comes with the processor we used, and also with some other coolers we have tested using the same methodology.

Temperature measurements were taken with a digital thermometer, with the sensor touching the base of the cooler, and also with the core temperature reading (given by the CPU thermal sensor) from the from the SpeedFan program, using an arithmetic average of the four core temperature readings.

The sound pressure level (SPL) was measured with a digital noise meter, with its sensor placed 4" (10 cm) from the fan. We turned off the video board cooler so it wouldn’t interfere with the results, but this measurement is only for comparative purposes, because a precise SPL measurement needs to be made inside an acoustically insulated room with no other noise sources, which is not the case here.

Hardware Configuration

  • Processor: Core 2 Extreme QX6850
  • Motherboard: Gigabyte EP45-UD3L
  • Memory: 4 GB G.Skill F2-6400CL5S-2GBNY (DDR2-800/PC2-6400 with 5-5-5-15 timings), configured at 800 MHz
  • Hard drive: 1 TB Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 (ST31000528AS, SATA-300, 7200 rpm, 32 MB buffer)
  • Video card: PNY Verto Geforce 9600 GT
  • Video resolution: 1680×1050
  • Video monitor: Samsung Syncmaster 2232BW Plus
  • Power supply required: Seventeam ST-350BKV
  • Case: 3RSystem K100

Software Configuration

  • Windows XP Professional SP3

Software Used

Error Margin

We adopted a 2 °C error margin, i.e., temperature differences below 2 °C are considered irrelevant.

[nextpage title=”Our Tests”]

On the tables below you can see our results. We ran the same tests with the coolers shown on below tables. Each test ran with the CPU idle and then with the CPU fully loaded. On BigTyp 14Pro, TMG IA1, NH-U12P and ISGC-300 the tests were done with the fan at full speed and at minimum speed. The other coolers were connected directly to the motherboard and it controls the fan speed based on CPU load level and temperature on PWM models. ISGC-400, iCEAGE Prima Boss, Megahalems Rev. B, Thermaltake SpinQ VT, Zalman CNPS10X Flex, Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme, Tuniq Propeller 120 and Zalman VF2000 LED were tested at minimum speed on idle test and at maximum speed on full load test.

CPU Idle

Cooler Room Temp. Noise Fan Speed Base Temp. Core Temp.
Intel stock 14 °C 44 dBA 1000 rpm 31 °C 42 °C
BigTyp 14Pro (min) 17 °C 47 dBA 880 rpm 29 °C 36 °C
BigTyp 14Pro (max) 17 °C 59 dBA 1500 rpm 26 °C 34 °C
Akasa Nero 18 °C 41 dBA 500 rpm 26 °C 35 °C
Cooler Master V10 14 °C 44 dBA 1200 rpm 21 °C 26 °C
TMG IA1 (max) 16 °C 47 dBA 1500 rpm 22 °C 30 °C
TMG IA1 (min) 16 °C 57 dBA 2250 rpm 21 °C 30 °C
Zalman CNPS10X Extreme 16 °C 44 dBA 1200 rpm 21 °C 29 °C
Thermaltake ISGC-100 18 °C 44 dBA 1450 rpm 35 °C 49 °C
Noctua NH-U12P (low) 15 °C 42 dBA 1000 rpm 20 °C 30 °C
Noctua NH-U12P 15 °C 46 dBA 1400 rpm 20 °C 28 °C
Noctua NH-C12P 17 °C 46 dBA 1400 rpm 23 °C 28 °C
Thermaltake ISGC-200 21 °C 43 dBA 1100 rpm 31 °C 35 °C
Schythe Kabuto 22 °C 42 dBA 800 rpm 29 °C 34 °C
Arctic Cooling Alpine 11 Pro 20 °C 43 dBA 1500 rpm 32 °C 39 °C
ISGC-300 (min) 18 °C 42 dBA 800 rpm 26 °C 30 °C
ISGC-300 (max) 18 °C 46 dBA 1400 rpm 24 °C 26 °C
SilverStone NT06-E 21 °C 66 dBA 2600 rpm 30 °C 41 °C
Zalman CNPS9700 NT 22 °C 48 dBA 1700 rpm 28 °C 35 °C
Scythe Mugen-2 17 °C 41 dBA 700 rpm 25 °C 30 °C
ISGC-400 (min) 17 °C 44 dBA 850 rpm 24 °C 30 °C
Cooler Master Vortex 752 20 °C 48 dBA 1700 rpm 32 °C 44 °C
iCEAGE Prima Boss (min) 22 °C 42 dBA 1000 rpm 29 °C 36 °C
Evercool Buffalo 17 °C 51 dBA 1850 rpm 22 °C 29 °C
Scythe Big Shuriken 20 °C 42 dBA 900 rpm 31 °C 39 °C
Cooler Master Hyper TX3 21 °C 44 dBA 1700 rpm 30 °C 39 °C
Titan Skalli 20 °C 43 dBA 1200 rpm 27 °C 34 °C
Prolimatech Megahalems Rev. B 21 °C 40 dBA 800 rpm 28 °C 32 °C
Zalman CNPS9900 NT 23 °C 45 dBA 900 rpm 30 °C 34 °C
Cooler Master Hyper N620 21 °C 44 dBA 1200 rpm 28 °C 34 °C
Nexus LOW-7000 R2 23 °C 46 dBA 1400 rpm 33 °C 42 °C
Evercool HPK-10025EA 20 °C 54 dBA 1900 rpm 27 °C 34 °C
Evercool HPH-9525EA 23 °C 50 dBA 1900 rpm 38 °C 49 °C
iCEAGE Prima Boss II 23 °C 42 dBA 1000 rpm 29 °C 35 °C
Thermaltake SpinQ VT 24 °C 45 dBA 950 rpm 32 °C 39 °C
Titan Fenrir 21 °C 42 dBA 950 rpm 29 °C 35 °C
Zalman CNPS 10 Flex 23 °C 40 dBA 800 rpm 32 °C 39 °C
Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme 24 °C 43 dBA 1100 rpm 30 °C 37 °C
Gelid Tranquillo 22 °C 41 dBA 850 rpm 29 °C 36 °C
Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 20 °C 45 dBA 1200 rpm 27 °C 35 °C
Spire TherMax Eclipse 20 °C 58 dBA 2300 rpm 25 °C 34 °C
Tuniq Propeller 120 20 °C 43 dBA 1050 rpm 24 °C 33 °C
Nexus VCT-9000 20 °C 44 dBA 600 rpm 28 °C 37 °C
Coolink Corator DS 19 °C 45 dBA 1050 rpm 25 °C 32 °C
CoolIT ECO 17 °C 43 dBA 900 rpm 32 °C
Zalman VF2000 LED 17 °C 43 dBA 1300 rpm 28 °C 36 °C
< td align="center">ISGC-300 (max)

CPU Fully Loaded

Cooler Room Temp. Noise Fan Speed Base Temp. Core Temp.
Intel stock 14 °C 48 dBA 1740 rpm 42 °C 100 °C
BigTyp 14Pro (min) 17 °C 47 dBA 880 rpm 43 °C 77 °C
BigTyp 14Pro (max) 17 °C 59 dBA 1500 rpm 35 °C 70 °C
Akasa Nero 18 °C 48 dBA 1500 rpm 34 °C 68 °C
Cooler Master V10 14 °C 54 dBA 1900 rpm 24 °C 52 °C
TMG IA1 (max) 16 °C 47 dBA 1500 rpm 27 °C 63 °C
TMG IA1 (min) 16 °C 57 dBA 2250 rpm 25 °C 60 °C
Zalman CNPS10X Extreme 16 °C 51 dBA 1900 rpm 24 °C 50 °C
Thermaltake ISG-100 18 °C 50 dBA 1800 rpm 58 °C 93 °C
Noctua NH-U12P (low) 15 °C 42 dBA 1000 rpm 28 °C 59 °C
Noctua NH-U12P 15 °C 46 dBA 1400 rpm 25 °C 54 °C
Noctua NH-C12P 17 °C 46 dBA 1400 rpm 37 °C 76 °C
Thermaltake ISGC-200 21 °C 48 dBA 1900 rpm 42 °C 68 °C
Scythe Kabuto 22 °C 47 dBA 1200 rpm 38 °C 63 °C
Arctic Cooling Alpine 11 Pro 20 °C 51 dBA 2300 rpm 49 °C 85 °C
ISGC-300 (min) 18 °C 42 dBA 800 rpm 36 °C 64 °C
18 °C 46 dBA 1400 rpm 31 °C 56 °C
SilverStone NT06-E 21 °C 66 dBA 2600 rpm 39 °C 96 °C
Zalman CNPS9700 NT 22 °C 56 dBA 2600 rpm 34 °C 63 °C
Scythe Mugen-2 17 °C 46 dBA 1300 rpm 28 °C 54 °C
ISGC-400 (max) 17 °C 47 dBA 1400 rpm 36 °C 69 °C
Cooler Master Vortex 752 20 °C 55 dBA 2300 rpm 48 °C 92 °C
iCEAGE Prima Boss (max) 22 °C 53 dBA 2000 rpm 35 °C 59 °C
Evercool Buffalo 17 °C 51 dBA 1850 rpm 32 °C 67 °C
Scythe Big Shuriken 20 °C 50 dBA 1500 rpm 51 °C 85 °C
Cooler Master Hyper TX3 21 °C 53 dBA 2700 rpm 39 °C 66 °C
Titan Skalli 20 °C 47 dBA 1550 rpm 37 °C 69 °C
Prolimatech Megahalems Rev. B 21 °C 61 dBA 2600 rpm 30 °C 51 °C
Zalman CNPS9900 NT 23 °C 56 dBA 2000 rpm 34 °C 54 °C
Cooler Master Hyper N620 21 °C 50 dBA 1650 rpm 32 °C 56 °C
Nexus LOW-7000 R2 23 °C 53 dBA 1900 rpm 45 °C 74 °C
Evercool HPK-10025EA 20 °C 54 dBA 1900 rpm 39 °C 69 °C
Evercool HPH-9525EA 23 °C 50 dBA 1900 rpm 58 °C 100 °C
iCEAGE Prima Boss II 23 °C 56 dBA 2100 rpm 32 °C 56 °C
Thermaltake SpinQ VT 24 °C 52 dBA 1500 rpm 40 °C 68 °C
Titan Fenrir 21 °C 50 dBA 1600 rpm 33 °C 58 °C
Zalman CNPS 10 Flex 23 °C 61 dBA 2600 rpm 33 °C 59 °C
Tuniq Tower 120 Extreme 24 °C 56 dBA 1900 rpm 35 °C 60 °C
Gelid Tranquillo 22 °C 46 dBA 1450 rpm 31 °C 60 °C
Cooler Master Hyper 212 Plus 20 °C 52 dBA 1900 rpm 32 °C 64 °C
Spire TherMax Eclipse 20 °C 58 dBA 2300 rpm 29 °C 73 °C
Tuniq Propeller 120 20 °C 55 dBA 1900 rpm 36 °C 68 °C
Nexus VCT-9000 20 °C 50 dBA 850 rpm 43 °C 88 °C
Coolink Corator DS 19 °C 56 dBA 1800 rpm 32 °C 62 °C
CoolIT ECO 17 °C 54 dBA 1850 rpm 62 °C
Zalman NF2000 LED 17 °C 51 dBA 2200 rpm 43 °C 97 °C

The next graph shows how many degrees Celsius the CPU core was hotter than room temperature during our idle tests.

 Zalman VF2000 LED

The next graph gives you an idea on how many degrees Celsius the CPU core was hotter than room temperature during our full load tests.

 Zalman VF2000 LED

[nextpage title=”Our Tests (Cont’d)”]

We ran some simple tests to check the performance of Zalman VF2000 LED, measuring the GPU core temperature with the aid of the SpeedFan software, and sound pressure level (SPL) with a digital noise meter set 4" (10 cm) from the video card, with the GPU at full load running [email protected] GPU client. For this measurement, we turned off the CPU cooler, so its noise wouldn’t interfere. Please keep in mind that sound pressure level measurement is just for comparative purposes, because a precise measurement would have to be done in an acoustically insulated enviroment, which we don’t have.

We compared the results from VF2000 LED with the VGA stock cooler, with an Arctic Cooling NV Silencer 5 VGA cooler, a Zalman VF900-Cu LED cooler at minimum and maximum speeds and with an Evercool Turbo2 cooler, all installed on our GeForce 9600 GT. You can check the results in the table below.

Cooler Noise Room Temp. Core Temp. Temp. Diff. Speed
Stock Cooler 56 dBA 21 °C 53 °C

32 °C

NV Silencer 5 52 dBA 21 °C 48 °C 27 °C
VF900-Cu LED (min.) 43 dBA 21 °C 46 °C 25 °C 1300 rpm
VF900-Cu LED (max.) 49 dBA 21 °C 40 °C 19 °C 2400 rpm
Evercool Turbo 2 41 dBA 18 °C 50 °C 32 °C
VF2000 LED (min.) 43 dBA 17 °C 35 °C 18 °C 1300 rpm
VF2000 LED (max.) 51 dBA 17 °C 35 °C 18 °C 2400 rpm

On the graph below you can compare the temperature difference between the GPU core and the room. Remember that, the lower the value, the better performance is.

Zalman VF2000 LED

[nextpage title=”Main Specifications”]

Zalman VF2000 LED main features are:

  • Application: Socket LGA775, AM3, AM2+ and AM2 processors, compatible video cards.
  • Fins: Aluminum.
  • Base: Copper.
  • Heat-pipes: Four copper heat-pipes.
  • Fan: 92 mm.
  • Nominal fan speed: 2,350 rpm.
  • Fan air flow: Not informed.
  • Maximum power consumption: Not informed.
  • Nominal noise level: 29 dBA.
  • Weight: 10.23 oz (290 g).
  • More information: https://www.zalman.com
  • Average price in the US*: USD 46.00

* Researched at www.quietpcusa.com on the day we published this review.

[nextpage title=”Conclusions”]

Zalman really innovated with a hybrid cooler model, which fits video cards and CPUs. The problem was that as a CPU cooler it achieved a very poor performance.

Because of its great looks and excellent construction quality, at first we thought it would perform better that other low-profile CPU coolers we’ve tested, but unfortunately this proved to not be tr
ue. It performed worst than all other CPU coolers we tested to date at full load (except for the Intel stock cooler). At least it has a low noise level.

As a VGA cooler the situation is a little different. It proved to be better than VF900-Cu LED, and kept the GPU at the same temperature independently if we set the fan at low or at high speed, showing that the product was not working at its limit. The product, however, is limited in terms of installation options: unlike VF900-Cu LED, which has a lot of installation options, VF2000 LED has only one possible screws position, which means it will not fit video cards with holes set on a different position. Because of this, we could not install it on our GeForce GTS 250. Other issue is that it takes two slots (plus the video card slot), which can be a problem if you use these two slots with expansion cards or you intend to build SLI or CrossFireX arrays.

Considering Zalman VF2000 LED is not inexpensive, has a poor CPU cooling performance and has a limited installation configuration for video cards, there is no way we can recommend it.