Arctic Cooling Accelero Xtreme Plus Reviewajmatson - December 9, 2010
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There is no doubt about it the Arctic Cooling Accelero Extreme Plus is an effective GPU cooler that will keep your GPU cool under load. In the past I have looked at cards from Inno3D, Sapphire and ECS that have had a derivative of this cooler used on them to great effect. When compared to some other high end cooling solutions, the Extreme Plus delivered the best load temperatures of the group. To do this you have an a large cooler that is physically imposing and increases the footprint of the video card in the chassis dramatically. What this means is that your standard 10.5 inch long HD 5870 is now a 12.5 inch long behemoth and may make the card an uncomfortably tight fit in a smaller chassis. The only other negatives I saw with this cooler, and you have to take this from someone who swaps hardware like most people change their underwear, is that the cooler makes the installation and removal of the power connections on the HD 5870 difficult to remove once you have them installed. But for the vast majority of people that should not be a deal breaker since once the card is in, it's in for the long haul. If you have a video card with the power connections that are on the spine of the card then you need not worry about this problem. Installing the Xtreme Plus presented no real challenges when it was installed on the HD 5870. The instructions are clear on how the heat sink and ram sinks are to be installed. The use of a thermal adhesive for the ram and VRM sinks though makes for a permanent cooling solution change. I can understand the use of a thermal adhesive as I have had issues with ram sinks falling off of the memory and VRM components when just thermal tape is used. The Xtreme Plus is not a one trick pony or a solution for a dedicated card. The compatibility list for this piece of hardware stretches back to the HD 3850 on the AMD side and back to the 9800GTX on the NVIDIA side. The Xtreme Plus is a universal design with kits designed for each card available so you are not paying for parts you do not need and are guaranteed the correct parts kit to get it installed on your hardware. Not all video cards are covered in the compatibility listing, but the single GPU heavy hitters from both camps are included.
When it comes to aftermarket cooling solutions, a higher end solution is going to cost you a little money, just like upgrading your cooling solution for your CPU. The Accelero Xtreme Plus from Arctic Cooling has an MSRP of roughly $65, add in the cost of the graphics card specific hardware kit that is priced from $4.99 to $5.99, depending on the kit, and you are spending an additional $70 for improved cooling that should improve the life span of your video card. When you pair three 92mm fans together you are going to expect some noise, but what you get is a very quiet solution that runs from 900-2000RPM when controlled by the video card. Included is an adapter that allows you to run the fans straight from a 12V connection from the power supply, or at 7V for a further reduction in noise at the cost of some cooling performance. Artic Cooling has provided a cooling solution that can be tailored to your specific needs and offers excellent cooling capabilities. I am, at this point, still impressed with their commitment to quality and the reduction in noise to make the video card something you notice for its graphics performance rather than the sound of the fan whining in the background.
- Absolutely massive
- Low noise
- Cooling performance
- Power connections interference (5870)
- Permanent adhesive for ram sinks