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Gigabyte Volar Review



Testing the Gigabyte Volar cooler consists of four tests. The first two tests are performed at stock 1.86GHz at 1.25v, the temperature of the CPU is recorded during idle and load after a period of 15 minutes. The second two are performed with a moderate overclock at 3.15GHz at 1.375v and again the CPU temperature is recorded during idle and load. The same tests will be done using the Zalman 9500LED; the goal of these tests is to determine how the two coolers compare in terms of cooling efficiency.


Testing Setup:

  • Gigabyte Volar
  • Zalman 9500LED
  • Intel Core 2 Duo E6300
  • EVGA 680i A1 (P30)
  • 4 x 1GB OCZ Platinum Rev.2
  • 4 x 80GB Hitachi Deskstar (RAID0)
  • XFX 8600GTS (675/2000)
  • Auzentech Xplosion (DDL/DTS Connect)
  • 2x Samsung DVD-DL (SATA)
  • Raidmax Smilodon
  • Antec SmartPower 2.0 500w
  • Windows XP x64 SP2
  • 1.86GHz @ 1.25v (266 x 7)
  • OC 3.15GHz @ 1.375v (450 x 7)


The results of the first test, put the Gigabyte Volar ahead of the Zalman 9500LED by a small margin. The difference in idle temperatures between the Volar and 9500LED was a mere one degree Celsius, but both were more than five degrees cooler than Intel's stock heatsink. All the coolers performed well at stock speeds, but the gap began to widen when the load was increased. At load, the Volar beat out the Zalman by two degrees and the Intel by ten degrees. This might not seem like much, but when overclocked, the extra headroom could result in a higher sustainable overclock. If you do not plan on overclocking, both coolers would be well suited for keeping your processor nice and cool during normal operation.



The trend from the first test continued through to the second. With the FSB and voltage raised, the Gigabyte Volar again came out on top of the Zalman 9500LED. The Volar handled the extra heat extremely well and beat the 9500LED by two degrees and the Intel by ten degrees during idle at 1.375v. Again, I turned up the load and the gap steadily increased, resting at 52 degrees Celsius, a total difference of three degrees between the Volar and 9500LED. It is evident that the Intel heatsink cannot cope with the extra voltage and is pushing the thermal threshold of the CPU. The efficiency of the Volar is a nice improvement over the Zalman and with the ceiling of 60-65 degrees for most processors, three degrees could be the difference between a stable and unstable overclock.



  1. Introduction & Closer Look
  2. Closer Look continued
  3. Installation
  4. Specifications & Features
  5. Testing
  6. Conclusion
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