Arctic Accelero Xtreme III VGA Cooler Review
By Rafael Otto Coelho on August 3, 2012
The Arctic Accelero Xtreme III is a video card cooler with five heatpipes and three 92 mm fans. Let’s test it and compare it with some of the best VGA coolers we have tested so far.
As with most VGA coolers from Arctic, the box of the Accelero Xtreme III is actually a plastic blister that allows you to see the entire cooler, as shown in Figure 1.
Figure 2 shows the accessory kit that comes with the Accelero Xtreme III: manual, thermal adhesive, heatsinks for memory chips and voltage regulator transistors, power adapter, and installation hardware.
Figure 3 displays the Accelero Xtreme III.
This cooler is discussed in detail in the following pages.
Figure 4 reveals the front view of the cooler, where you can see a sticker with the name of the cooler.
The rear side of the cooler is shown in Figure 5. Here you can see the shape of the heatpipes.
In Figures 6 and 7, the sides of the heatsink are displayed.
Figure 8 shows the bottom of the heatsink, where the heatpipes and the base of the cooler are fully visible. The thermal compound comes preapplied on the copper base.
In Figure 9, you can see the heatsink of the Xtreme III with the fans removed. There are actually three heatsinks here: the middle one connected directly to the base of the cooler, and two side heatsinks connected to the base through the five heatpipes.
Figure 10 reveals the inner side of the frame where the three 92 mm PWM fans are located. Notice that the fan cable has two connectors, allowing it to be compatible with three- or four-pin connectors usually found on video cards. You can also use the adapter that comes with the cooler, connecting the fans directly to the power supply.
In order to run a performance test, we installed the Accelero Xtreme III on our Point of View GeForce GTX 460 video card. Figures 11 and 12 show the card with and without its stock cooler.
Unlike the Arctic Accelero Twin Turbo II that we tested recently, the Xtreme III uses a backplate to distribute the strength on the solder side of the video card. This backplate, with the foam square already glued at the center, is shown in Figure 13.
Thanks to the several threaded holes at the base of the cooler, the Accelero Xtreme III is compatible with most video cards.
Figure 14 reveals the Accelero Xtreme III installed on our GeForce GTX 460.
Figure 15 shows the solder side of our GeForce GTX 460 with the Arctic Accelero Xtreme III installed.
Figures 16, 17, 18, and 19 show the four sides of the Accelero Xtreme III installed on our video card.
We tested this VGA cooler with a Point of View GeForce GTX 460 card with 1 GB RAM. The GTX 460 GPU has a TDP of 160 W. In order to get 100% GPU usage, we ran the Folding@Home GPU client.
We compared the Arctic Accelero Xtreme III to the VGA stock cooler, the Arctic Accelero Twin Turbo II, the Gamer Storm Dracula installed with two Xigmatek XLF-F1453 fans (140 mm, 1,000 rpm), and to the Deepcool V6000 VGA cooler.
Room temperature measurements were taken with a digital thermometer. The core temperature was read with the SpeedFan program (available from the GPU thermal sensors). During the tests, the left panel of the case was closed.
The sound pressure level (SPL) was measured with a digital noise meter, with its sensor placed at the side of the case. We reduced the rotation of all the other fans so they wouldn’t interfere with the results. This measurement is only for comparison purposes, because a precise SPL measurement needs to be made inside an acoustically insulated room with no other noise sources, which isn’t the case here.
Operating System Configuration
We adopted a 2°C error margin, meaning temperature differences below 2°C are considered irrelevant.
The table below presents the results of our measurements. We repeated the same test on all coolers listed below. Each measurement was taken with the GPU at full load.
|Cooler||Room Temp.||Noise||GPU Temp.||Temp. Diff.|
|GamerStorm Dracula||11 °C||47 dBA||45 °C||34 °C|
|Arctic Accelero Xtreme III||13 °C||42 dBA||49 °C||36 °C|
|Arctic Accelero Twin Turbo II||11 °C||41 dBA||54 °C||43 °C|
|Deepcool V6000||11 °C||50 dBA||57 °C||46 °C|
|Stock cooler||11 °C||58 dBA||85 °C||74 °C|
In the graph below, you can see how many degrees Celsius hotter the GPU core is than the air outside the case. The lower this difference, the better is the performance of the cooler.
The main specifications for the Arctic Accelero Xtreme III VGA cooler include:
* Researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review.
The Arctic Accelero Xtreme III is a very powerful VGA cooler, which cooled our video card almost as well as the best performance cooler that we have tested so far. Besides that, is has a simple and solid installation and a very quiet operation.
The set of heatsinks for memory chips and voltage regulator transistors is very good. The cooler is also very versatile on the power connection, as you can connect it to the power connector of your video card or to an unused peripheral power connector on your power supply.
Due to its excellent cooling performance with low noise level, we are giving the Arctic Accelero Xtreme III the Hardware Secrets Golden Award.