Arctic Cooling Accelero X1 VGA Cooler
Author: Matthew Fogg (PV5150)
Hardware Acquired: Arctic Cooling
The testbed chosen for todays performance review is as follows:
- AMD 3400+ CPU
- Gigabyte GA-K8NS Motherboard
- MSI NX 6800GT - TD256
- Geil PC4400 Ultra (DDR500) RAM
- Enermax EG475P-VE PSU
Today is not exactly an ideal day as far as overclocking on air is concerned, as Summer is most certainly on its way and the ambient temperature in my office is steadily climbing on its way to 30 Deg C. This will certainly be an interesting testing session.
In order to compare the Accelero X1 I conducted some overclocking tests on my 6800GT. I have included screenshots from within Nvidia's control panel showing temperature and the overclock attained, using both the MSI cooler and the Accelero X1. It has also taken into account that the thermal interface material supplied with the X1 is far from cured at the time of testing; and so results will may not be as accurate as possible, given the time frame for the review.
All graphical tests (Half Life 2, Counter Strike: Source, and 3DMark05) were conducted using 1280 x 1024 resolution to eliminate as much as possible the CPU from the equation, and place as much strain as possible on the GPU. The Coolbits registry hack was used as the overclocking tool of choice.
I have included a graph below to show the temperature difference between the MSI cooler and the Arctic Cooling Accelero X1 at idle and load.
Due to the high temperatures of today, my GT hit a wall majorly using the MSI heatsink. Although, 66 Deg C isn't really too toasty at all, but today the card simply didn't seem to want to push too far. As a direct result, I was only able to attain an overclock of 398/1.12. Let's see if the Accelero can make a difference. The included pictures below show the Accelero X1's temp at stock speeds and the maximum attainable overclock and temp. You'll notice that the overclocked temperature on the Accelero is still insanely low, but my graphics card didn't want to budge from 410/1.13 and is still running on stock BIOS. If I'd had a little more time, I'd love to have installed the Ultra BIOS, thrown a little more voltage at it, and cranked it even further to perhaps 425/1.14. I'm absolutely certain the Accelero would have kept it as cool as a cucumber.
Because the Accelero runs off the graphics card fan header, it defaults at the fan speed Nvidia set from the factory. On the 6800GT it happens to be 53% for 2D, lower 3D and performance 3D respectively. My 6800GT has a slider built into the heatsink, which I've always had set at 4000 rpm because 2300 rpm fan speed just doesn't cut it when overclocking. Because most common work for a graphics card is either within 2D desktop work or 3D gaming environment, it's valid to concentrate on only the 2D and performance 3D areas. You can adjust the Accelero's fan speed (between 500 - 2000 rpm) by downloading RivaTuner and adjusting the fan speed accordingly. Although I must say, the Accelero is extremely quiet at any given speed...Even with the fans running at 100%. I still felt compelled to make sure that the X1's fan was still running, it was that quiet. So the lovers of quiet PC's will love the Accelero for sure.
Let's move onto the conclusion to see what my final thoughts are on the Accelero X1, and what score it attained for the review.