There are plenty of good things to like about the Dracula 7950 edition VGA cooler. First of all, it is large and covers the entire length of the card in the natural aluminum of the fins. The nickel plating and the black anodized aluminum of the fan mounting system can be stunning to see inside of the chassis. The modular fan bracket allows for multiple sizes of fans as well as allowing said fans to mount in two directions at once.
Even when using fans that are not near the top of the line, we were happy with the performance we received without any additional fan noise since the fans we chose were only 29 dB when at the 1350 RPM they top out at. If noise is no issue for you, the performance will increase as well. And while there is the set top limit of 1600 RPM in the chart, nothing is stopping you from using much more powerful fans, as it is just a suggestion to help keep the noise at bay and still enjoy what the Dracula offers in this massive design.
There are a few downsides to this design, though. The weight of the cooler on our card made it sag when installed at a pretty drastic angle. Once the fan mounting system was installed, while new to me and quite the bit of optional equipment, it did not fare any better as far as not sagging across the length of the card. For SilverStone fans, or those without a ninety degree rotated motherboard tray, this would also work out fine in an open air system where the cards weight is pushing down on the slot. While not a true HD 7970, the layout is very similar except for a few components not being placed on the solder pads that the HD 7970 includes, and we found it strange that we were having to mod things to get all of the important bits covered.
I know this is the first VGA cooler we have tested from them, but I would have thought their previous attention to detail of CPU coolers would translate to this release. I do also realize this is basically a re-launch of the original Dracula, but since GamerStorm is adding bits and pieces, is it that much to ask to have an HD7900 series cooler all ready to mount on an HD7900 series card?
Even though there are some obvious issues in certain conditions, this cooler would be perfect for the TJ-11 chassis where I run only one large GPU. I mean the bright side is that I can cover all of those unused slots and make it look like I have three times the horsepower than what I really have installed. The thermal results were pretty impressive for using average fans, even though they are an added expense to use the Dracula 7970 cooler. In the end, while still impressed with the cooler, the fan setup and options, and the ease in which this all went together, aside from some minor modding, the Dracula is a very good cooler. I just think once you wrap your head around the fact that for this whole package, you can get really close to $100, then you will understand when we say there are better options out there, such as the Prolimatech MK-26 that also shows in these charts.
GamerStorm keeps the same high-end feel and look to the design, as well. If only they had included some form of cooler/fan support system, then there really wouldn't be much to complain about other than its sheer size eliminating possibilities of multi-card setups and possibly blocking the only slot available for sound or other devices. While we do like what the Dracula brought in all aspects, it is a little too much work to fit to a card it is designed to work with now, and for this much investment, we do think your hard earned dollars can be spent more wisely.
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- Page 1 [Introduction]
- Page 2 [Specifications, Availability, and Pricing]
- Page 3 [Packaging]
- Page 4 [GamerStorm Dracula 7970 VGA Cooler]
- Page 5 [Dragon 7970 Continued]
- Page 6 [Accessories and Documentation]
- Page 7 [Assembly and Finished Product]
- Page 8 [Assembly and Finished Product Continued]
- Page 9 [Test System and Thermal Results]
- Page 10 [Final Thoughts]