As mentioned we were pleasantly surprised by the attention to detail Zalman has shown with the design of the ZM80A-HP. It is a good performing cooling solution that manages to cool down a broad range of videocards without a small and noisy fan as found on many original heatsinks. Provided, and that's the culprit here, you make sure the ZM80A-HP is in a well ventilated case to keep things running cool. So in order to install this passive heatsink properly you'll need to keep an eye on the temperature, and adjust the airflow in your case accordingly. The downside is the fact that it is not meant for overclocking or people that frequently move their computer around. The sheer weight of the heatsink will most likely dislocate the videocard or pop it out of the AGP-slot completely when you don’t take care when transporting or moving your computer.
The final result, a ATI Radeon 9700 Pro now fitted with a totally silent heatsink.
Overall we welcomed the silent operation of the ZM80A-HP and we’d recommend it to anyone looking to further silence their computer. When care and attention to case airflow is taken the ZM80A-HP fits in just about any case and will provide adequate cooling performance for just about every videocard. For those that are curious whether it’ll also cool a GeForce FX5800 or 5900, we have to say that we didn’t even bother to try, as these cards get very hot with their stock heatsinks already and those feature high rpm fans, so we’re sure the ZM80A-HP will not be able to handle the heat load without some assistance from a bracket mounted fan. If used with caution and in not too cluttered up cases the Zalman ZM80A-HP provides a great alternative to the original heatsink and fan mounted onto a video card.
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