Cooling Efficiency Tests
First of all let’s see how Gelid Icy Vision and its competitors cool the graphics card GPU:
First of all we have to point out that Gelid Icy Vision is dramatically ahead of the reference cooler of our Radeon HD 6970 with the radial fan in the default mode. Under gaming load Icy Vision is 21°C more efficient than the reference HD 6970 cooler in quiet mode, 28°C more efficient at medium fan rotation speed, and 31°C more efficient at maximum speed of 2150 RPM. Note that 65°C even in the quietest mode is a remarkable result for a Radeon HD 6970 overclocked to 950 MHz GPU. The reference cooler of the Radeon HD 6970 graphics card can also work wonders, although in this case its radial fan should spin at least at 3500 RPM, which is extremely loud. And I am not even mentioning the maximum speed of 5750 RPM at all for that matter.
However, when we compare Gelid Icy Vision and Arctic Cooling Accelero XTREME 5870, we will see equal cooling efficiency under gaming load. At the same time, in FurMark test Gelid Icy Vision and Arctic Cooling Accelero XTREME 5870 at the lowest rotation speed of their fans can no longer cope with an overclocked High-End AMD graphics card (the airflow is insufficient to properly cool the VRM components). This is why you will see on the diagram the results in FurMark start at medium fan rotation speed. As we can see, Arctic Cooling solution turns out more effective in this case: it outperforms Gelid Icy Vision by 8°C at 1500 RPM and 2°C at maximum fan speed. I have to remind you, however, that Accelero XTREME 5870 has three 92 mm fans and a larger effective heatsink surface, while Icy Vision only has two fans, though they have higher maximum speed.
Now let’s take a look at the coolers efficiency when it comes to VRM components:
In gaming tests the temperature of the VRM components remains normal even at the lowest fan speeds of alternative coolers, which, however, doesn’t happen in FurMark. As we can see, we can’t expect the graphics card to remain stable and reliable in long-term prospective. And we should definitely blame the weak small heatsinks on the voltage regulator components. Had they been at least twice bigger, or had the long one-piece heatsink from the Gelid Icy Vision accessories bundle fit properly onto our Radeon HD 6970, we could have seen completely different outcome. The results demonstrated by the reference Radeon HD 6970 cooler show that clearly. The VRM units are significantly cooler in this case, even when the radial cooling fan works in auto mode.
The graph and table below show the results of our noise tests with Gelid Icy Vision, Arctic Cooling Accelero XTREME and the reference Radeon HD 6970 cooler:
Gelid Icy Vision turned out to be not so quiet after all. Only when both of its 92 mm fans work at 1000 RPM, it can be considered acoustically comfortable. For example, Arctic Cooling Accelero XTREME 5870 fans rotate at 1300 RPM with the same level of noise. Besides, at maximum fan speed Icy Vision also is noticeably louder. As for the comparison against the reference AMD Radeon HD 6970 cooler, both alternative products are significantly quieter than the default cooler of the top graphics accelerator in question. The replacement is totally justified.
So, what is the verdict? Gelid Icy Vision is a high-quality universal cooler that offers superb cooling efficiency, rich accessories bundle, simple installation, beautiful glowing fans and a 5-year warranty. It is a little behind Arctic Cooling Accelero XTREME 5870 in cooling efficiency and quite noticeably behind it in noise, however, it costs about $15-$20 less, which is an important advantage in the considered price range.
Among drawbacks we discovered with Gelid Icy Vision, we should point out the missing PWM control for the fan rotation speeds and a VRM heatsink, which is incompatible with the AMD Radeon HD 6970 and HD 6950 graphics accelerators. If the company fixes these issues without increasing the price of their product, it will make the new cooler even more appealing to those looking for efficient and quiet solutions. In any case, the today’s market of graphics card cooling solutions doesn’t have much to offer, therefore we are happy to welcome Gelid Icy Vision, which stands out positively among super-loud and inefficient reference coolers.