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Cooling Efficiency

The following diagram shows how effective the Accelero XTREME 5970 is:

So, the performance of the new product from Arctic Cooling is impressive indeed. Working at a quiet 1250 RPM, the Accelero XTREME 5970 proves to be more effective than the graphics card's native cooler at 2170 RPM by 33°C and 41°C in terms of the temperature of the first and second GPU, respectively! Besides higher performance, the Accelero is much quieter than the native cooler then. At its maximum speed of 1920 RPM, the new cooler lowers the temperature by 4-5°C more, which is not even necessary since the GPUs are only 60-65°C hot.

The Accelero XTREME 5970 is also good at cooling the power circuit components, being only inferior to the native cooler when the latter is rotating at an unacceptable 4670 RPM.

Now let’s see how effective the coolers are at overclocking.

We only checked out the temperature of the graphics card overclocked to 830/4400 MHz at the maximum speed of the fan(s) because of a dangerously high temperature of the power circuit components. You can see the results in the following screenshots…

ATI Radeon HD 5970 stock 
(4670 RPM)

Arctic Cooling Accelero XTREME 5970 
(1240 RPM)

…and in the diagram:

So, the Arctic Cooling Accelero XTREME 5970 copes easily with cooling the overclocked graphics card although the power circuit components get as hot as 117°C. But when we replaced the thermal pad of the VRM heatsink with thermal grease, the peak temperature of these components lowered by 19-24°C. We are more worried about the 9°C difference between the GPUs. We guess it must be due to the difference in contact between the cooler’s bases and the GPU dies which is the consequence of the bending of the PCB we noted above. It just shows up more when the graphics card is overclocked and generates more heat. Compared to the reference Radeon HD 5970 cooler, the Accelero XTREME 5970 doesn’t look much better, but we shouldn’t forget about the noise factor.

Acoustic Performance

The following diagram shows how much noise is produced by the reference Radeon HD 5970 cooler and the Arctic Cooling Accelero XTREME 5970.

The new cooler from Arctic Cooling is much quieter than the reference one. We must confess that the difference is huge subjectively.


The Arctic Cooling Accelero XTREME 5970 proves to be many times quieter and much more effective than the reference cooling system of the dual-processor ATI Radeon HD 5970 graphics card. The Accelero XTREME 5970 is not taken aback by the card's extremely high heat dissipation even at overclocked frequencies.

However, the Swiss product is not without downsides, the most important of which is the tall VRM heatsink. The main heatsink presses against the latter and bends the card’s PCB as the result. We also think that instead of applying a generous amount of Arctic Cooling MX-2 thermal grease on the cooler, the manufacturer should provide it in a tube so that the user could apply it himself as necessary. The recommended price of $76.95 is higher in comparison with the Accelero XTREME 4870 X2, which can hardly please potential buyers, either. And finally, this cooler should be used in a well-ventilated system case because otherwise most of the hot air from it will remain inside, frying up the rest of the computer components.

If you can put up with these shortcomings, the Accelero XTREME 5970 is going to be a good choice for you.

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