While Thermalright's included documentation is not the best, it certainly does an adequate job at describing the installation and setup process. The setup basically involves using the metallic arm plates to attach the black retention mount against the GPU die and then using the Thermalright V-1 Ultra to set that atop this retention mount, followed by bolting the unit down in all four corners. While following Thermalright's official instructions it took us about 45 minutes to complete the process. The V-1 Ultra installation was not nearly as difficult as some other heatsinks we have sampled in the past but nor was it the easiest. For our tests, we used a NVIDIA GeForce 7800GTX 256MB. The process was quite simple although the process could have been carried out much easier if longer screws were used when mounting the heatsink against the retention frame. When it came to the memory heatsinks, those were quite easy to work with; however, the design of the V-1 Ultra prevents some of the memory ICs from being covered with these aluminum heatsinks. The only alternative Thermalright provides for these bare memory modules is to use their tiny thermal pads.
The Thermalright V-1 Ultra was used in the system configuration listed below.
|Processor:||Intel Pentium D 820 @ 3.36GHz|
|Motherboard:||Abit AW8-MAX (i955X + ICH7R)|
|Memory:||4 x 512MB DDR2-800|
|Graphics Card:||NVDIA GeForce 7800GTX 256MB|
|Hard Drives:||Seagate 300GB SATA2|
|Optical Drives:||Lite-On CD-RW 52x
|Add-On Devices:||Creative Labs Audigy 2 Platinum|
|Case:||Antec Studio Take 4|
|Power Supply:||Antec 450W (SP-450)|
|Operating System:||Fedora Core 5|
|Linux Kernel:||2.6.16-1.2080_FC5 SMP (x86_64)|
|GCC - GNU Compiler:||4.1.0|
|Graphics Driver:||NVIDIA 1.0-8751|
For comparison, we had used the recently reviewed Sytrin KuFormula VF1 Plus. The Sytrin KuFormula VF1 Plus up to this point has been one of the highest performing VGA air heatsink we have yet to come across for recent ATI and NVIDIA offerings. The KuFormula VF1 Plus brings fourth a great deal of fins with heatpipe design and it uses a unique cross-flow fan. Due to the fan design, during testing the case lid for the Antec Studio Take 4 had to be removed in order to accommodate the extra room. For our idle testing, we allowed the system to idle inside of GNOME (v2.14) for 30 minutes with no 3D applications running and all power-management features disabled. GPU load was determined by running Quake 4 for Linux with our Purification Center time-demo. During testing, the ambient room temperature was maintained. When it came to the performance of the Sytrin KuFormula VF1 Plus, its idle temperature as reported by nvidia-settings was 40°C and had jumped to 52°C during load, meanwhile, the Thermalright V-1 Ultra had ran at 42°C during idle and 53°C during load. The Sytrin KuFormula VF1 Plus in our tests continued to marginally beat the V-1 Ultra by a very small margin. The V-1 Ultra, however, did also sport its few advances over the VF1 series. Unfortunately due to the Xinerama + CoolBits issue under NVIDIA's Linux proprietary drivers, no overclocking had occurred.