Looking over the results, they are simply astonishing to say the least. When the fan speed was maximized using the Sytrin controller there was an incredible 12°C drop in the core temperature over the Leadtek stock solution while in load the change in temperature had peeked to 21°C. The differences between the various speed levels were minimal when idling, but with Quake 4, there was a 4°C difference between the lowest speed setting and its maximum. For additional numbers, Sytrin had provided Phoronix with an official document demonstrating the VF1 Plus offering an impressive 9.3°C advantage over the Arctic Cooling Silencer 1 Revision 2, 3.8°C difference over the Zalman VF700-Cu, and a whopping 27°C improvement over the Zalman bundled. Sytrin's official testing had occurred with a NVIDIA GeForce 6600. Onto the topic of noise, there was also a noticeable drop between the low and high settings. Overall, the noise level attributed to the cross-flow fan was quiet and could be barely heard over the other system and CPU fans. However, performance results are not everything as there are a few peculiar flaws with the Sytrin KuFormula VF1. Although these flaws are minor, they are important to note at this time and will hopefully be corrected in a future revision. To begin, a protective film should truly be applied to the bottom of the heatsink's copper base to prevent any possible damage during the shipping and handling, as well as to prevent any oils or particles from coming in contact with the base when handling the unit prior to installation. The second flaw worth mentioning with the unit is that the VF1 Plus is dependent upon the graphics card being installed in a traditional ATX chassis, in order to properly align the cross-flow or axial fan with the heatsink fins, as well as for the speed control switch. However, the heatsink was likely split into two portions in order to offset the weight that would otherwise be placed solely upon the graphics card. In addition, due to the design of the fan mount, the KuFormula VF1 is not compatible with systems running two VF1 Plus coolers for SLI graphics cards. The next area for improvement is with the RAM heatsinks. As Sytrin engineers had focused upon making this cooler universal, the RAM heatsinks are independent from the GPU heatsinks. However, the quality of the heatsinks could be improved as they are simply low profile with seven fins, and the present design of the fan mount does not allow any airflow on the opposite side of the PCB. Another area for possible improvement with the RAM heatsinks is to improve the quality of the thermal tape. Finally, we feel the included thermal paste could be improved in quality rather than utilizing a generic packet. As the Sytrin KuFormula VF1 Plus has only been introduced to the public this past week, we have yet to receive any official manufacturer pricing information or see the GPU cooler appear in any stores, so at this time we are unable to directly comment on that matter, however, we expect the retail unit will likely ship between $30-50 USD. Although there are the mentioned flaws with the KuFormula VF1 Plus, we felt it to be an incredibly powerful GPU cooling solution and is certainly deserving of our Editor's Choice Award due to its exceptional abilities not only when it comes to the temperature readings but also the noise level and vast compatibility with ATI and NVIDIA graphics cards. Also for thought, the KuFormula VF1 Plus would achieve total nirvana if it were combined with the Sytrin Nextherm ICS-8200 chassis to provide air from its PC air conditioning. At this time, we are incredibly hopeful in Sytrin that they will continue to deliver quality products to the PC market. Look forward to hearing from additional Sytrin related articles at Phoronix in the very near future.
Discuss this article in our forums, IRC channel, or email the author. You can also follow our content via RSS and on social networks like Facebook, Identi.ca, and Twitter (@Phoronix and @MichaelLarabel). Subscribe to Phoronix Premium to view our content without advertisements, view entire articles on a single page, and experience other benefits.
Phoronix Product Rating: 9 / 10