|A member of the Funky Media Group|
|Review: Arctic Cooling Accelero Xtreme+ GPU Cooler|
|Posted by Will Smith|
|Sunday, 06 March 2011 23:03|
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We've all know what a CPU cooler looks like, and you've probably read many reviews on all different makes and models. There are various types of cooling ... most noticeably the most famous of all is CPU cooling, then there's system cooling (chassis fans), and GPU cooling (for graphic cards). In today's high performance system, cooling is regarded as an essential consideration for any user, especially for the enthusiasts. A system with good cooling could mean better overall system performance, and in the case of the hardore enthusiasts ... better overclocking results. So now, you can understand why cooling so important.
GPU cooling is very much like CPU cooling, with a couple of differences. With CPU cooling, most motherboards are able to support CPU coolers with large heatinks and fans with no problems. The area around the processor socket is usually free from objects allowing decent air-flow. We've seen numerous manufacturers producing many different types of CPU coolers, and it's a lucrative market. Sadly, we can't say the same for GPU cooling for graphic cards. There are only a few cooling solutions for graphic cards on the market, and they tend to be very cumbersome to use. There are several reasons for this, including the many different types of graphics card with various dimensions, and the limited space around the PCIE slot, as well as the numerous types of GPUs from AMD and Nvidia.
Having said that, there's always a market for extra cooling for graphic cards, albeit a very niche market. But this could all change with a recent increase in graphics card overclocking and manufacturers releasing pre-overclocked graphic cards. If this is the case, I can only see this market growing.
Arctic Cooling are already pretty well known for their CPU and GPU coolers, but now it seems that they're expanding their product catalogue to include headsets, mice, keyboards and other accessories. For those who are not familiar with Arctic Cooling or their products, here's a quick blurb taken from their website ...
In this review, we'll be taking a look at the Arctic Cooling Accelero Xtreme Plus GPU cooler. It's a graphics card cooler that's designed for a selected number of GPU types, which includes the AMD Radeon and the Nvidia Geforce. You can see the full list of compatible graphic cards here. It features a solid Copper base with 5 Copper heatpipes, and a large array of 84 Aluminium fins, all of which are cooled by 3 x 92mm low noise fans (PWM). The fans spins at a speed of 900-2,000 rpm, and can output a total air-flow of around 81 CFM. With all these great features, the Accelero Xtreme Plus can generate a total cooling capacity of 250W, which is more than enough even for the most extreme of enthusiasts.
There is one problem I can foresee with these GPU and graphics card coolers, and that is there are so many different types of PCB boards/designs from AMD and Nvidia. With each new series or generation of GPUs, a new PCB/board is used. Take for example ... Initially, I was going to install the Accelero Xtreme Plus on the Geforce GTX 560 Ti. But unfortunately, it wasn't compatible and there was no backplates for it, plus the mounting holes were in the wrong position. I guess the Geforce GTX 560 Ti was a little too new, as it was only released a couple of months ago.
So for our tests, we decided to use a Geforce GTX 460 (overclocked edition). This graphics card should be an ideal candidate for the Accelero Xtreme Plus, as it comes with an oveclocked GPU running at 715Mhz (default is 675Mhz). We'll be pushing the graphics card at full load running a DX11 benchmark for several hours.
I'm expecting good cooling performance from the Accelero Xtreme Plus. The temperatures should definitely be a lot lower when compared against the original stock cooler. Apart from the actual benchmark tests and temperature readings, we're also interested in the appearance of the cooler, as well as the ease of installation and compatibility with various different graphic cards.
As I've mentioned earlier, we'll be testing the Accelero Xtreme Plus installed on a Geforce GTX 460 (overclocked edition). The test rig will consist of an Intel Core i5 - 650 @ 3.2Ghz, Gigabyte P55-USB3 motherboard, 4Gb Crucial Ballistix DDR3-1600 and an Adata HM 850W power supply. It's the same system we've been using to test all our other components
OK, let's move on and take a closer look at the specifications and features of the Arctic Cooling Accelero Xtreme Plus GPU cooler, on our next page ...