Zalman ZM80A-HP - VGA Heatpipe Cooler & Sapphire Atlantis Radeon 9700 PRO Ultimate Edition


What you see is what you get - the components of the Zalman ZM80A-HP.

A long time ago, when video games consisted of blocky pixels, graphics cards didn't need an active cooler. Most didn't even need a passive heatsink. Alas, those days are long gone, and so today most cards come with whirring little fans to keep the chip from suffering a heatstroke. Over the last two years we have seen an interesting trend, though, which has taken coolers beyond their main duty and turned them instead into a design element, a form of expression, even. Manufacturers take great pains to ensure that their mainstream cards have that certain "enthusiast", "hardcore" or "modded" look that supposedly attracts the gaming and tweaking audience. At any rate, active cooling has become a must for any self-respecting company, if only for marketing reasons. Passive cooling, on the other hand, is only found on OEM versions for system integraters or in the lowest entry-level range of cards nowadays - if at all.

The cooling kit and the assembly manual are more than just a little reminiscent of a certain Swedish furniture store...