Introduction

Everyone hates noisy computers and everyone wants their computer to run cooler and last longer and have less intermittent problems.  Perhaps the most important hardware improvement you can do to help with all three issues is the addition of an aftermarket video card cooling system.

As they become more powerful, video cards draw an ever increasing amount of power each year.  A modern video card can easily pull 200-400 watts, more than many complete desktop systems use.  This is a serious amount of generated heat, and the manufacturers video card cooler is usually the cheapest they can get away with and a major source of noise.  A video card usually runs more hot than your CPU, adding much heat to your system.

How would you like to reduce both heat and noise for a relatively low cost?  All you need is a 15 minutes of time, a screwdriver, and a video card cooling kit from Arctic cooling.  I’ve used two of them, a single card kit for my ATI 5770 card, and a triple fan kit for my ATI 5970, a dual GPU monster of a video card which was making tons of noise (fan) and throwing out 90-130c temperatures.

 

Acceloro XTREME 5970 VGA Cooler

What this is, is a large well made heat sink with high quality fluid bearing fans.  In this case 119 fins crossed by 8 heat pipes with the capability to cool more than it’s rated 300 watts.  Overclocked this card uses over 350 watts and this cooler handles the heat very well.

 

What this is, is a large well made heat sink with high quality fluid bearing fans.  In this case 119 fins crossed by 8 heat pipes with the capability to cool more than it’s rated 300 watts.  Overclocked this card uses over 350 watts and this cooler handles the heat very well.

 

The fans are 92mm ultra-quiet fans with a low noise impeller.  Together, the three fans generate an awesome amount of airflow with very little if any noise.

It’s important to note that the addition of a Arctic cooler system results in the card becoming “one card slot” wider than it was originally.  Before, my 5970 was a dual card slot card. Now it requires three.  No big deal depending on how your motherboard is laid out, but check before purchasing.

 

It’s important to note that the addition of a Artic cooler system results in the card becoming “one card slot” wider than it was originally.  Before, my 5970 was a dual card slot card. Now it requires three.  No big deal depending on how your motherboard is laid out, but check before purchasing.

 

Installation

 

You’ll need to read the instructions that come with each cooler, each model has it’s differences, but they all follow the same sequence.  There are individual requirements though, one specifically concerning the ATI 5970 boards.

 

Installation follows the same pattern with all their coolers.

a. Remove the old cooler

b. Clean the old heat sink residue from the GPU

c. Clean the identified chips with the supplied cleaning pad

d. Apply the individual chip heatsinks using the supplied double backed tape

e. Attach the new cooler and secure the mounting screws

You’ll need to read the instructions that come with each cooler, each model has it’s differences, but they all follow the same sequence.  There are individual requirements though, one specifically concerning the ATI 5970 boards.

 

Apply the individual chip heatsinks using the supplied double backed tape

 

At the point in the installation sequence where you attach and ‘sequentially’ tighten the X-braces, you need to ONLY tighten them enough to hold the cooler.  DO NOT TIGHTEN THEM ALL THE WAY or you’ll end up bricking your video card.  I can’t tell you why, only that with the 5970 cards this is a common problem with that particular card.  There are no issues with other cards.  I tightened mine to take up about 35-40% of the threads.  No more.

 

At the point in the installation sequence where you attach and ‘sequentially’ tighten the X-braces, you need to ONLY tighten them enough to hold the cooler.  DO NOT TIGHTEN THEM ALL THE WAY or you’ll end up bricking your video card.  I can’t tell you why, only that with the 5970 cards this is a common problem with that particular card.  There are no issues with other cards.  I tightened mine to take up about 35-40% of the threads.  No more.

 

 

Performance

This is what we’ve been waiting for.  How does it work?  At first I didn’t think it was working at all, that’s how quiet my system became after I re-installed the card with the new Arctic Cooling Acceloro XTREME cooler.  I was astonished!  This has been the same with my ATI 5770 cards as well.  The noise is all but eliminated.  Unless you have a special purpose ‘quiet’ built system, you’ll no longer hear your video card fans during normal use.  Even under 100% usage you’ll have to get your ear next to the case and listen hard to hear the fans.  They’re that quiet.

 

This is what we’ve been waiting for.  How does it work?  At first I didn’t think it was working at all, that’s how quiet my system became after I re-installed the card with the new Artic Cooling Acceloro XTREME cooler.  I was astonished!  This has been the same with my ATI 5770 cards as well.  The noise is all but eliminated.  Unless you have a special purpose ‘quiet’ built system, you’ll no longer hear your video card fans during normal use.  Even under 100% usage you’ll have to get your ear next to the case and listen hard to hear the fans.  They’re that quiet.

 

What about temperatures?  With the standard fans both the GPU’s registered 80-85c at idle with 0% tasking according to the AMD “OverDrive” utility which is part of your ATI driver set.  After installing the Arctic Cooling Accelero XTREME those temps dropped to 50-51c.  Keep in mind my ambient temps average 38c.  This is Thailand after all.

 

What about temperatures?  With the standard fans both the GPU’s registered 80-85c at idle with 0% tasking according to the AMD “OverDrive” utility which is part of your ATI driver set.  After installing the Artic Cooling Accelero XTREME those temps dropped to 50-51c.  Keep in mind my ambient temps average 38c.  This is Thailand after all.

 

At 100% core usage, after a ten minute run, the core temps never ran above 78-80c.  Before they’d easily exceed 120c.  What a difference!

Lowering the video card temperature this much resulted in lowering my CPU and case temps 20%+.  This is a highly desirable benefit and I’m sure will help my system last longer and with far fewer issues.

 

Summary

It’s been three months now and my temps and the noise level remains the same as when I installed the new cooler.  I now use them on all of my desktop installations.  I find the reduction in noise my primary reason, but the reduction in heat I’m certain extends the longevity of the rest of my system.

 

It’s been three months now and my temps and the noise level remains the same as when I installed the new cooler.  I now use them on all of my desktop installations.  I find the reduction in noise my primary reason, but the reduction in heat I’m certain extends the longevity of the rest of my system.

 

I have nothing negative to say about this product other than concerning the tightening of the X-brace.  I would have been highly upset if I hadn’t done my research beforehand and then bricked my 23,000 baht video card!

I’ll be running Arctic Cooling products in my workstations for the foreseeable future.  So far I’m really impressed and I think the cost factor is very low when compared to the benefits.

 

I’ll be running Artic Cooling products in my workstations for the foreseeable future.  So far I’m really impressed and I think the cost factor is very low when compared to the benefits.