Graphics card cooling has become almost as important as CPU Cooling, if not more so and with many products to choose from; it’s difficult to know which one to go for. The GPU cooler up for review today is the Coolink GFXChilla and the low profile design promises high performance cooling with low noise outputs. Let’s see how it performs.
Company Information – Coolink
“Coolink is a brand of the Kolink International Corporation and stands for an effective conjunction of no-frills performance, excellent quality and attractive pricing. Coolink – the direct link to affordable high-end cooling!
Kolink’s retail brand Coolink stands for an effective conjunction of no-frills performance, excellent quality and attractive pricing. While Coolink held a strong presence in the Asian market ever since the late 90ies, it was not until 2005 that the brand was introduced to the European market on a large scale. After the launch of Coolink-Europe.com in late 2005, Coolink quickly became a well recognized brand for high-quality cooling components in Europe too.”
- Four 6mm heatpipes for excellent heat distribution throughout the cooling fins
- Two large, low-profile 80×80x10mm fans (18dB)
- Low profile: takes up only 2 expansion slots
- Incl. self-adhesive aluminium RAM & VR heatsinks
- Easy installation and broad compatibility
Contents & Packaging
The front packaging features a large cut out plastic window behind which the dual fans are visible. An artistic photo of the heatpipes completes the background and gives rise to the product and Coolink logo along with a few features.
The reverse is black with white writing displaying the full list of features next to two white drawings of the cooler showing the dimensions and shape.
There are quite a few accessories that accompany the GFXChilla, these are:
- RAM & VR Heatsinks
- 3:4 pin Adaptor
- Thermal Paste
- Screws and Washers
The manual is very good and provides step by step instructions on how to install the cooler so you shouldn’t have any problems.
The Product – Coolink GFXChilla
The cooler is constructed of a flat heatsink atop which two blue dual 80mm fans. The cooler looks pretty good with the silver heatsink and should provide near silent cooling with the small blades (11 in total).
The fact that the GFXChilla is so low profile means that a second PCI bracket isn’t required in order to install it.
From the back, the silver aluminium heatsink is much more visible with the four heatpipes that bend out around the top and back into the heatsink in order to spread the heat evenly to create maximum heat dissipation.
The heatpipes bend up at the top and are visible from the front as well as the back. This way of constructing the pipes is quite a good idea as it makes the pipes a lot longer so there is more surface area for heat to be lost.
The pipes themselves are copper and have a diameter of 6mm.
From the side, the low profile is again evident and the ends of the heatpipes are visible having been nicely rounded off to create a professional image.
The base is covered with a sticker to prevent any grubby fingerprints or dust spoiling the finish.
Peeling off the sticker reveals the surface which is very smooth, but not very reflective, with the heatpipes coming directly out from underneath it.
Finally, the two fans on the top are very low profile indeed with a thickness of only 10mm so they don’t take up much room at all. The connector is 3-pin and plugs straight into the motherboard to give a rotational speed of approximately 2000RPM.
The Test Setup:
|Processor||Intel C2Q Q9450 Quad Core @ 2.80GHz|
|Motherboard||Gigabyte S-Series GA-73PVM-S2H|
|Graphics Card||XFX 8600GT|
|Memory||Corsair XMS2 PC6400 (2x 1GB)|
|Hard Drive||Hitachi HDT7250 (250GB)|
|Power Supply||NOX Apex 700W|
|OS||Windows XP Pro 32bit|
The first job is to remove the old cooler which is very easy; simply undo the screws and the cooler will come away.
Then, the thermal paste needs to be cleaned off the chip.
The RAM and VR heatsinks have to be attached to the RAM modules on the graphics card; this process is very simple with the heatsinks simply sticking on using double-sided tape. Note that any modules under the cooler itself need to have the low profile heatsinks installed so that they aren’t too high.
The cooler already has the bracket screwed on (for some GPUs this may need to be taken off and adjusted slightly) so all that is needed is to screw in the double ended screws using the small thread for the bracket. Pop a washer on top and then after adding a small blob of thermal paste to the centre of the chip, place the cooler on top lining up the holes with the screws.
Finally screw the spring-screws in but don’t do them too tight or they will break.
GPU testing at Verdis Reviews consists of two main parts: cooling and noise. The former is done in a number of ways. Firstly, temperatures are taken at idle and then at full load. For idle testing the rig is simply left for 30 minutes without running any processes and then the temperatures are recorded. Whereas for load, 3DMark06 is run for 30 minutes and then the temperatures are again taken. All temperatures are recorded using Speedfan.
A range of thermal pastes are applied in order to see if there is any variation in the performance. Again, temperature readings are taken at idle and load in the same way.
The final part of the cooling testing looks at the fan speeds of the GPU cooler. Using a fan controller, the RPM is set to lower figure in order to look at how the cooler performances at lower speeds. As with all the cooling testing this is done at idle and load.
For noise testing, Verdis Reviews is not able to provide high tech equipment to accurately test the dBA levels. Therefore, the judgement is left to the trusty human ear; despite not being particularly scientific, this method does provide a fairly reliable guide to the sort of noise outputs that are being pumped out.
The ambient temperature was 18 degrees and the Stock Cooler on the XFX 8600GT was also tested for comparison purposes.
Unfortunately, we don’t yet have anything to compare the GFXChilla to but from these results, it is obvious at how much better it performs compared to the stock cooler.
The drop down in fan speeds correlates to about a couple of degrees increase in temperature at each drop down. This means that if you find the noise too much at 2000RPM, you can easily drop the fan speeds down and still achieve good performance.
Finally, there wasn’t much variation in the thermal compound testing between the pastes with the Noctua NT-H1 giving the best performance but this was only a 1 degree drop from the stock paste at idle. So, there’s not really any point in buying a different thermal compound for usage with the Coolink GFXChilla.
That concludes the cooling testing which overall was very impressive.
Even at 2000RPM (maximum speed), I didn’t really notice any additional sound over the other fans in my case. This is great as it means you don’t need to bother adjusting fans speeds as you can have maximum performance without any noise issues.
The Coolink GFXChilla is around about £30 which seems like a lot of money for a GPU cooler. That said the performance is very good.
Clearly, the performance of the GFXChilla is very impressive with very significant drops in temperature from the stock cooler. The included thermal paste pulls its weight too and it is almost top of the entire thermal paste testing, not that there was much variation.
The cooler looks very professional and clean cut – not to mention being very easy to install – and even if you do get stuck, the manual is very easy to follow.
On the down side, the price is quite high but as with all top quality products, they come with an added cost. Overall, it’s a very professional, well-manufactured product.
- Great performance
- Easy to Install
- High price point