Arctic Cooling Accelero Xtreme Plus Reviewajmatson - December 9, 2010
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With the fan attachment removed we can get down to the nitty-gritty bits of the design. The fans are 92mm Swiss Design fans with low noise impellers. This makes them an ultra quiet, while providing enough air flow over the heat sink. In the center of the heat sink, there is a cross section where the aluminum fins change their direction; this is the aluminum block that is attached to the copper base. This block allows the heat to spread and dissipate from the cooler efficiently. The included power regulator allows you to run the cooling fans in three settings. Plugging them directly into the PC Board of the card will use the auto PWM function throttling the fans based on temperature. The two leads that are included in the package will allow you to override the PWM and either run the fans at full power with the 12V lead or quieter with the 7V lead.
There are a total of 84 aluminum fins connected to the five copper heat pipes. The five heat pipes start from the copper base and split off running the length of the card from front to back. This type of design uses the maximum amount of space available to dissipate the heat. The fins are spaced evenly enough to allow air flow between them while still allowing the air to be disrupted to capture the heat.
To complete the installation and provide flexibility, you mush purchase the additional cooling items separately. This allows you to switch the cooler from one card type and brand to another by only replacing the supplemental accessories. For this card we needed just the RAM and voltage heat sinks and the included glue paste to start the installation. Just apply a small amount of the paste to each RAM chip and the VRMs, then press the heatsink into place. After the paste dries, you are ready to mount the cooler and plug in the fan cable.
With the Accelero Xtreme Plus installed, you can see the additional space which is required to utilize such a cooling solution. On this Sapphire HD 5870 card it expands the total length to 12 inches and the width to 2.5 inches. This makes the card harder to fit into some cases so I would highly recommend making sure it would fit in your current setup before making the purchase.
With the sheer size of the card comes some drawbacks, especially shown here with how it extends so far past the PC Board. One of the downfalls of the design makes life harder for cards with rear facing power ports. Routing the cables around the rear of sides of the card is more difficult then with cards using side facing power ports. Care must be given when plugging them in, to not cause damage to the cooler or the cables.
Now that everything is installed, we can get on to the testing phase of the review.