Arctic Cooling Accelero Xtreme Plus Reviewajmatson -
Price: $65 Cooler $6 kit
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With today's high speed graphics cards, stock coolers ensure the bare minimum temperature thresholds are met but do nothing when trying to squeeze every bit of performance out of the cards. To accomplish this task (just as with a CPU), you need a better aftermarket cooler, which allows you to properly cool your card when pushing it to the limits. There are two ways you can go to accomplish this, one is water cooling - offering increased performance at increased complexity, or you can get a high performance air cooler to tackle the task. Just as with CPU coolers, all designs are not made equally, which is why we are here today.
The cooler that we are going to be putting under the test is the Arctic Cooling Accelero Xtreme Plus. This is a three fan design with copper and aluminum construction used to quickly get rid of that nasty heat. I have worked with the Accelero series all the way back to when I have my 9800 PRO and have seen benefits across the board from improved cooling and a much needed noise reduction when the card heats up and that blower fan starts howling. Let's see if this massive cooler does indeed deliver improvements in both noise and cooling performance. The size and fan configuration alone look promising.
The Arctic Cooling Accelero Xtreme Plus comes packaged in a clear blister pack so you can see exactly what it is you are investing in. The front is clear, showing off the massive heatsink. Along with a sticker showing the cooling efficiency and low noise levels, the front also lists the broad compatibility of the cards it can be used on. On the rear of the package is an expanded list of the features, specifications, and a list of exactly what cards the cooler will fit and the kits needed to install it properly.
With the cooler out of the package, we finally get a glimpse of the sheer size, when using the socket as a size reference. Included with the cooler is a bracket vent for the third PCI express slot, which this massive design will occupy in addition to the two originally used for the video card. Instructions are provided, as well as screws and a power regulator for the fans depending on your needs for performance to noise.
The main selling point of the cooler is how effectively it controls the temps of a video card. To achieve this, there are three 92mm fans that are installed across the length of the cooler. They provide a steady flow of cool air over the heatsink. The heatsink is made of five copper heat pipes that extend from the copper base, through a series of aluminum heat fins that allow the heat to be passed into the case. Attached to the copper base is also a massive aluminum block which aids in the cooler's ability to dissipate 250 watts of heat produced by your graphics beast. This allows the cooler to be used in even the most massive cards such as the GTX 480 and the Radeon HD 5870. The coolers base also comes pre-applied with Arctic Cooling MX-4 paste for maximum heat transfer.
Now that we have a good look at the overall design, let's dive in deeper to see what makes this cooler work.