Sytrin defines its KuFormula product as to building your own cooling, and the number of possible routes to take during the installation process certainly make it seem that way. Even though in total there are 41 parts included, the installation was actually a breeze. In this section, we will share the rough installation procedure for the GPU cooler, although it may vary greatly depending upon the individual card. To begin, the existing heatsink on whatever ATI Radeon or NVIDIA GeForce graphics card needs to be removed. After successfully removing the GPU heatsink and fan, along with any RAM coolers, all of the contact points should be properly cleaned. Alcohol is preferred to adequately clean the base and RAM ICs of the previous thermal additives, as well as for removing any dust and oils that may have accumulated. In the event of our test candidate with the Sytrin KuFormula VF1 Plus, we chose to go with a Leadtek GeForce PX7800GTX 256MB part.
With the GPU cleaned, apply a thin layer of thermal paste to the core. Thermal paste is included with the Sytrin unit; however, it is of somewhat poor quality so we had chosen to go with Arctic Cooling Arctic Silver 5. The next step in the installation process is to choose the proper metal links that align with the mounting holes on the graphics card PCB. With both of the links, the metal standoffs need to be inserted as well as using the plastic C ring. With both of the links and standoffs assembled, the links can be properly attached to the heatsink base using the smaller screws. Another step that can be completed at this time is to attach the cross-flow fan, or any 80/92/120 mm coaxial fan, to the fan frame holder.
The next step in the installation process, when the cooling solution finally starts to take shape, is to first attach the various RAM heatsinks to the video memory. A paper backing simply covers the thermal tape on the base of the metal "RAMsinks". In our tests, we found the thermal tape to be somewhat adhering, however, the adhesive could be greatly improved upon as the heatsink was able to freely move with very little force. Of course, with the thermal tape being overly sticky, it possesses the possibility of damage upon removing the cooler. With the RAM heatsinks positioned atop all of the RAM chips, the GPU heatsink can be positioned so that the copper base aligns properly with the freshly applied thermal paste. If the proper links are installed, the two metal standoffs should simply slide through the standard mounting holes. On the opposite side of the PCB, insert the plastic washer onto the standoff and spring-loaded screw. Evenly tighten both of the screws, and the installation is nearly complete.
With both the GPU and RAM heatsinks attached, it is now time to attach the fan with holder to the PCI bracket using two screws. The 3-pin fan connector also needs to be connected to the PCI bracket. The bracket features an adjustable fan controller, which in turn is powered by a traditional 4-pin molex connection. When the PCI bracket and cross-flow/axial fan is installed in an expansion slot underneath the graphics card, the fan should align properly with the GPU heatsink to provide the necessary airflow. The entire installation process is fairly easy and should only require approximately 30 minutes with a general installation. As mentioned previously the active cooling module assumes the graphics card is installed in a traditional ATX chassis with expansion slots.