When installing the cooler you do need to be careful since these are bare chips and you can crush the core if you apply uneven pressure. Don't forget to apply thermal grease (I used Arctic Silver 5), and don't screw down one side all the way before you start the other sides! Zalman uses a type of thumbscrew to hold down the cooler, each one of them with a plastic washer, a tension spring, and a plastic thumbnut.
We're all done and here's the result. The cooler is set to blow air over the RAMsinks and cool the whole card rather than just the front half of it.
As I stated earlier, this cooler does take up more space than the stock cooler.
Look again at the top down view of the card prior to the Zalman install.
Here we have the card installed in my system with the cooler connected to the VGA card's power pins.
Turning off all the lights in the room, I took a nighttime shot of the fan. The glow is evident, but the power of the red LEDs is far less than that of the blue ones below.
Okay, time for some quantitative testing. Using the nVidia driver to watch the GPU temperature, I started up 3DMark2006. Between each test, I checked the temperature. I also used the excuse of testing to play some Quake 4 on the machine. Here are averaged temperatures, charted with MS Office Excel 2007 beta.
The Zalman FC-ZV9 Fatal1ty cooler results in lower temperatures across the board, even at its quietest setting, and at high speed under heavy load, its 8 degrees better than stock. Because of the FanMate2, you can decide whether you'd rather have silence or lower temps, or change the speed on the fly. The RAMsinks are also a big plus, since the stock version of the card had no active or passive memory cooling. With the FC-ZV9, all of the card's components are being cooled, not just the core.
Thanks to Zalman for sending over this sample!