Articles: Cooling

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Not so long ago we reviewed a cooling solution for top of the line Nvidia GPU based graphics accelerators – Arctic Cooling Accelero Xtreme GTX 280. As we pointed out in that article, it is a much more acute matter these days to organize efficient and at the same time quiet cooling of the graphics solutions based on AMD processors, than on Nvidia ones. Radeon HD 4870/4890 graphics cards heat up quite seriously and their stock coolers are incomparably noisier than the reference cooling solutions of GeForce GTX 260/275/280/285. And of course, the dual-processor monster, ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2, is beyond all possible consideration in this case, because its power consumption and consequently heat dissipation are the second highest among contemporary graphics accelerators after GeForce GTX 295.

Of course, a graphics solution like that needs an enhanced cooling system, but since the cooler developers are limited by the relatively small size of the card itself and the close proximity of other system components, they either have to sacrifice the acoustics or to keep the card in very high thermal range all the time. For example, the minimum temperature of the reference Radeon HD 4870 X2 graphics card is 85 °C, but this is very poor consolation, because even if you have a large case with good ventilation, the graphics card hits this temperature mark a few minutes into the game or benchmark. And this is when its fan starts to generate ultimate noise…

The engineers from Swiss Arctic Cooling Company didn’t get discouraged by the complexity of this task. Moreover, after they successfully designed and threw into mass production their Accelero XTREME 4870X2 cooler, they claimed that the new solution was 50(!) °C more efficient than the reference cooler and was working 9 times quieter! The claimed total heat that this cooler can dissipate from the graphics card is around 320 W, which is a pretty unrealistic number even for gigantic CPU coolers. These specifications are hard to imagine or make up that is why we decided to get down to a detailed review of the Arctic Cooling Accelero XTREME 4870X2 cooling solution.

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