Arctic Cooling Accelero X1 VGA Cooler
By Gabriel Torres on June 23, 2006
Arctic Cooling manufactures a series of VGA coolers, divided into two series, Accelero and Silencer. Coolers from Silencer series pull hot air generated by the video card to outside the computer case. While coolers from Accelero series don’t do this, they are targeted to hi-end VGAs: Accelero X1 is targeted to video cards based on GeForce 6800 and 7800 series from NVIDIA, while Accelero X2 is targeted to video cards based on Radeon X1800 and X1900 series from ATI. We have already taken a look at NV Silencer 6, so now it is time for us to take a look at Accelero X1.
You can see the full list of VGA coolers from Arctic Cooling on their website. As you can see there, they have several different models, each one targeted to specific video cards. There are several reasons you cannot use a VGA cooler targeted to one video card on another. First, the holes located on the video card used to fasten the cooler to it may differ in position. The second reason is that each graphics chip has different thermal requirements – i.e., the minimum size and material of the cooler base and fins vary according to the graphics chip. Third, the VGA cooler may be bigger than the space available on the video card (for example, the area surrounding the graphics chip may have other components like electrolytic capacitors that prevent the installation of bigger coolers).
It is very important to notice that even though on its package is written that Accelero X1 is only compatible with GeForce 6800 and 7800 series, it is also fits GeForce 7900 GTX. However, it is incompatible with GeForce 7900 GT.
In Figure 2, you can see everything that comes with the product.
As you can see in Figure 2, Accelero X1 features a heatsink for the memory chips located on the back of the video card (the L-shaped metallic part). For video card with memory chips located on the front side (component side), the main heatsink will touch and refrigerate the memory chips, as we will show you later.
Accelero X1 has a big 60 mm fan rotating at 2,000 rpm. If your video card features fan speed control, this will be its maximum speed (video cards with this features can control the fan speed depending on the temperature of the graphics chip; it is easy to recognize if your video card has this feature as the fan connector will have four wires instead of only two). This fan blows air on the heatsink, which has a copper base attached to three copper heat-pipes, using aluminum fins. As you can see in Figure 4, it comes with thermal grease already installed.
Accelero X1 installation is not so simple as NV Silencer 6 (Rev. 2) installation. This is due to the complexity of the original cooler found on high-end video cards. We will show you how to do it on a GeForce 6800 GS.
The first step is to remove the original cooler from your video card. On our GeForce 6800 GS this was tricky, as you need to remove the top plastic cover from the cooler first in order to access the screws that fasten the GPU heatsink to the printed circuit board. This is accomplished by unscrewing six screws.
After removing the top cover, remove the four screws that hold the copper heatsink to the video card. Then remove all screws located on the other side (solder side) of the video card. In our case, we had to unscrew nine screws there. After removing all screws you will have removed the original cooler from your video card completely, as show in Figure 9.
Now you need to clean the memory chips and the graphics chip, removing all thermal grease or thermal tape you may find.
Next install the thermal pads that came with the product on each memory chip, as shown on Figures 11 and 12.
Now all you need to do is to attach the cooler to the video card. Place the cooler on a table with its copper base facing up, remove the plastic piece that is protecting its thermal grease and place the video card on the cooler, matching the holes located on the video card with the ones located on the cooler. Then screw them together, using the screws and plastic washers that come with the product. In our case nine screws and washers were necessary. If your video card has memory chips on the backside of the video card, you need to install the memory heatsink (the L-shaped metallic part) that comes with the product.
Next connect the fan power cable to the video card. This cooler comes with two connectors, as you can see in Figure 15: a standard two-wire connector for video cards without fan speed control and a four-wire connector for video cards with this feature.
After installing this cable Accelero X1 will be completely installed.
Arctic Cooling Accelero X1 VGA cooler main features include:
This is a great product. After installing our GeForce 6800 GS back to our PC we couldn’t even hear the fan working. Really amazing. Arctic Cooling also gives a 6-year warranty to their VGA coolers, which is really impressive.
We think this product is good for both the enthusiast and the regular user. It will probably bring a better VGA overclocking experience for the enthusiast and, at the same time, lower the overall noise produced by your PC.
We found it great that this product also cools down the memory chips.
Even though it is a great high performance cooler, we miss Silencer series duct design, which blows the hot air produced by the video card to outside the computer case. With Accelero series the hot air will still be inside the computer case. According to the manufacturer, since this product is BTX-compatible, it was not possible to include this feature.
Michele Scherrer, Arctic Cooling VP for North America, sent us a very instructive e-mail on this question. It is so elucidative that we decided to post it below for your knowledge.
Thank you for the review.
I would like to provide you some comments on why we are using heatpipe technology instead of DHES in order for you and your readers to understand why this type of technology is more advantageous:
The Accelero offers a much better cooling performance at a lot lower noise level. This is possible because we rejected the DHES.
Advantages of DHES: reduces the air temperature in the computer case by about 1°C.
Disadvantages: A lot more pressure is used. Therefore the fan generates a far higher noise level at the same performance.
For a modern, quiet high performance PC, a DHES doesn't make sense. The 1°C plus in ambient temperature doesn't matter since it is easy to cool CPUs quietly with adequate case fans- but it is not easy to cool a GPU quietly. Therefore air should be drawn directly from outside to the VGA cooler, basically exactly the opposite of a DHES.
The exhaust air of about 35-40°C is no problem for the mainboard. All components are specified for at least 85°C or more and therefore if these
components run hot, the air stream works as a cooling. Compare to the P4 cooling, where the exhaust air is also used as a cooling. The warm air
rises automatically in the PC case and will be blown out by the case fans.
Conclusion: For people who are looking for a quiet high performance VGA cooler, the Accelero is the best choice. See also
DHES doesn't make any sense any more. Problem number one in the future will be to cool the GPU. To do so quietly we need cool air directly from
outside. The CPU cooling and maintaining the air temperature in the computer case at a reasonable level is no more challenge.
If you could provide a short paragraph to your readers on the above explanation that would be much appreciative.
If you have any further questions please let me know.
All my best
The only problem we see on this product is its price. We think its suggested price (USD 33.00) is a little bit high for this product – even though it is a high quality and above the average product – and what is even more problematic is that this product can be found costing even more (it is being quoted at USD 39.99 at Tigerdirect.com). So you need to pay close attention to not be overcharged.