Sytrin KuFormula VF1 GPU Cooler Review

Admin - 2007-02-09 23:10:39 in VGA Cooling
Category: VGA Cooling
Reviewed by: Admin   
Reviewed on: May 11, 2006
Syntrin
Syntrin
Price: $35 USD
Introduction
Sytrin, a word that most people will no doubt relate to citrus or a soft juicy fruit. Now while this cooler may look juicy, it is actually a battle-hardened titan of a cooler. Sytrin being founded in Asia has a much different outlook on computer hardware then we do. Sytrin has not been a major contender in the North American side of computer hardware, and since they are based out of Asia, a lot of their products have not had the chance to make it over here to North America. Now whether this Sytrin KuFormula VF1 Plus VGA cooler will be able to hold its own against the big boys is yet to be seen. Being a new kid on the block, the KuFormula is definitely a menacing cooler, not just in size, but in weight as well.


Closer Look
When I received this package in the mail, I was surprised by the size of the box it was packed in. The box was spotless and came adorned with a shipping label stamped in some form of Chinese. Upon opening the shipping box, I was assaulted by a wad of shredded Chinese newspaper. Underneath this mess of shredded paper was the cooler itself nestled snugly into a bubble wrapped bag and tucked into the bottom of the box.



 

Removing the box from its shipping material the first thing I noticed was the enormous heat piped heat sink along with the cylindrical fan. While I was removing all the hardware from the box, I was very impressed with the tight Styrofoam that they used to secure it into box. Everything was snug and had a very secure feel to it. Once I got all the parts out and laid down to have a look at them, I admit that I was a little baffled as to how Sytrin was expecting me to assemble and install this unit. But after having a glance through the instruction manual, my uneasy feeling was quashed.

 

This cooler came packaged with the heat piped heat sink, which has a small Copper base that is connected via 2 heat pipes to the larger aluminum fins that are on top. While this unit looks large, it also has a substantial weight to it. For its size, it is very dense so I don't think that there will be any issues regarding lack of material for cooling potential.

Closer Look







 

Also packaged is a separate PCI bracket that has a very unique angled fan mount on it. The cylindrical fan mounts onto this separate PCI bracket and is installed next to the video card, so that the fan is blowing down and across the heat sink (see open fins on top of heat sink).

 

Along with a small set of what looked to be copper ram sinks (8), the mounting hardware for this cooler is supposed to be universal, and fits 'most' video cards that are currently out on the market. To achieve this, Sytrin packages a modular mounting system. All you have to do is change the supplied mounting brackets and you will be able to mount this cooler onto a different card. Now whether or not this will all come together as a usable, functional VGA cooler we are about to find out.


Installation
After preparing my work surface, removing the test card (Gigabyte 6600GT PCI-E) from the computer, and getting all of my tools laid out, I picked up the instructions and gave them a quick read. I found them to be VERY, and I mean very, well written. If only other companies could follow suit and write instructions like these."

I removed the stock cooling from my 6600GT and cleaned off the stock thermal pad with some nail polish remover. Referring back to the provided instructions, I proceeded to install the correct mounting hardware on the back of the cooler so that I could affix this to my card. The brackets were easily installed with two screws (one per side). I then applied some of the supplied thermal compound (looked like generic white goop), and fastened down the cooler.



 


I found it was easiest to install the cooler on the table with the pins facing up, and then dropping the card down over top, securing with the washers and spring loaded screws. I noticed after screwing down the cooler that it does not have a very large contact area; this gave it a slightly loose feel. When given slight pressure on one side of the heat sink, it would become off balanced and the copper base would lose contact with the core. I thought that this issue was with me not securing it down enough, and so proceeded to tighten the screws down all the way but the issue still persisted. Now whether the cooler is designed to mount this way or not, it left me feeling a little anxious about my card. Next step was to assemble the PCI fan bracket.

 


This step was clearly depicted in the manual and went together in a few short minutes. One issue that arose during putting this PCI bracket together was that its mounting method in the case would have it in direct contact with both the video card and the chassis itself. There was no silicon or rubber mounting grommets, so vibrations may be an issue.

 


After everything was put together and double checked, I proceeded to install the video card back into my computer. I then installed the PCI fan, which when installed mounts directly over the heat sink on the video card and holds down the video card’s PCI bracket underneath its own. Plugged the fan into a molex connector, double checked everything again, and then proceeded to boot up the computer.

 


 


Specifications
Following specifications of the dual heat piped cooling module.

Dimensions 106 x 88 x 33mm
Weight 242g
Material Aluminum + Copper
Heat Pipe Dual Heat Pipes

Specifications of Cross-Flow fan module.

Dimension 124 x 55 x 51mm
Speed 1550 / 2400 / 3150 RPM
Noise 24 / 28 / 32 dBA

Compatibility

The following cards are compatible; the two exceptions are the BFG 7800 GS AGP and the Asus A9600GE cards.

Nvidia Geforce MX Series
Geforce Ti4xxx Series
Geforce FXxxxx Series
Geforce 6200 Series
Geforce 6600 Series
Geforce 6800 Series
Geforce 7600GT
Geforce 7800 Series
ATI Radeon 9xxx Series
Radeon Xxx Series
Radeon 1xxx Series


Testing
The following machine was used as a testing rig for this cooler.

  • AMD 3700 +
  • DFI SLI-DR
  • Mushkin Redline 2 x 1 GB
  • 2 x 250 GB Seagate HDD's
  • Gigabyte 6600GT
  • Enermax Noisetaker 600Watt
  • Antec Sonata 2

Coming into this testing phase I was very excited as I had the cooler set on the lowest speed, and there was no noise whatsoever over other system noise. For testing, the temps were achieved by letting Windows idle for 10 minutes on the desktop for each of the three speed settings on the fan. Load temps were achieved by running 3DMark03 for 30 minutes. Also the card was run passively (no fan) and that temperature was achieved via the same method. All Temperatures were obtained with the latest copy of NVIDIA NVMonitor, which is part of the Ntune suite of tools. This was all on top of a fresh copy of Windows XP Professional SP2.

The lower the number the better (*C). This cooler actually chopped a lot off the temps; it also seems that the medium fan setting is the best for sound/performance ratio. When ramped up to full speed there is a lot of vibration transferred into the case, thus resulting in noise. However, there were also some noticeable vibrations when using the medium setting as well. I feel that the fan could have been mounted on some form of rubber or silicon grommet so that the vibrations could have been greatly reduced. This vibration was noticeable by placing one's hand on the case. If you do not mind the slight vibration then this is a great cooler.


Conclusion
For being a newcomer in the North American VGA cooling scene, Sytrin is definitely going to become one of the major contenders. As we have seen with this KuFormula VF1 Plus they are definitely taking the steps to ensure that they remain a strong power when it comes to cooling and performance. If you are looking for a cooler that gives you a great noise/performance ratio, then this is most defiantly the cooler for you.

Pros

  • Near silent
  • Efficient operation
  • Ability to run passively
  • Well constructed

Cons

  • Vibrations on higher fan settings
  • Short power cord