arctic cooling accelero twin turbo pro vga cooler

This would probably be better suited to a review, but I haven't taken any photos or anything like that. So a blog post it shall remain.

My nVidia XFX 9800GT has been annoying me with its fan for the past year. I don't play games often, but when I do, it likes to remind me by doing something even more annoying than just merely being loud. The card, like most cooling systems, has a threshold where the speed of the fan will be increased when the detected temperature gets to a certain (higher) value.

That's generally a good thing, but not here. While running a game (not often, but it happens), the temperature of the graphics card drunkenly tries to stay on that threshold line. Being drunk, of course, it veers to the left and it veers to the right. This results in the fan going on high for a few seconds before plunging back to medium for a few more seconds. Then the cycle repeats, depending on how much graphics action is occurring on-screen.

It is beyond aggravating. The human brain likes consistency to a sound that it has to tolerate. Vary the volume or pitch of that sound and it's like someone sitting beside you and flicking your ear at random intervals. You become preoccupied with when the next flick (loud sound) is going to happen that you can't appreciate when nothing (lower sound) is occurring.

Okay, that was a rubbish attempt at an explanation, but I've committed to it now.

I've been wanting to replace the stock cooler on my card for a long time. I did once attempt to, but found out the new cooler didn't fit. Since the oscillating sound began happening above, I went on the look-out for another.

Finding a cooler might not sound like a problem, but it is if you've got an XFX 9800 GT card. For some reason, coolers that fit other nVidia 9800 GT cards don't seem to fit the XFX version. I'm here to tell you that the Arctic Cooling Accelero Twin Turbo Pro CPU Cooler does indeed fit the XFX. Hurrah!

It's a soddingly-big heat-sink with two soddingly-big fans mounted on it. The thing is slightly longer than the card and occupies an additional two slots in the case! That's three slots used in total, then. Yikes.

As this isn't a review, I won't go into details on the cooler itself or the installation experience. Other than to say it was annoying, fustrating, and fiddly. Pro-Tip: Remove the steel XFX bar from the top of the graphics card as you'd want the heat pipes from the heat-sink to be going off of the top of the card. Facing them down will presumably result in not being able to put the card into the PCI-E slot.

Anyway, temperatures. This is a bit of a weird one, to be honest. I think there may be a design flaw somewhere. Not that that's necessarily a bad thing as the cooling of the heat-sink is absolutely superb. You probably want to see the numbers, right? Here ye go.

Stock Cooler

Fan Speed at 30%

  • Idle: 70c
  • Load: 92c

Fan Speed @ 100%

  • Idle: 64c
  • Load: 86c
Artic Cooling Accelero Twin Turbo Pro

Fan Speed @ 30%

  • Idle: 35c
  • Load: 42c

Fan Speed @ 100%

  • Idle: 35c
  • Load: 42c

Weird, no? The speed of the fan makes absolutely no difference to the cooling performance of the cooler as a whole. I really don't know why this could be.

The previous version of the Accelero was fan-less (although it did have a fan module available separately) and looked similar to the version I have installed right now. Even without the fan module, its cooling performance was apparently impressive, so maybe I'm essentially using an updated model and could quite happily disable the fans and the cooling performance would be no different.

A quick note on the noise level of the Accelero: what noise? It's extremely quiet. The Accelero on maximum is much quieter than the stock cooler on minimum. It's also a different type of noise when on maximum in that it blends in with the rest of the system as opposed to sounding like a distinct, separate sound.

To sum up, I am entirely impressed with the Arctic Cooling Accelero Twin Turbo Pro CPU Cooler. It fits my XFX 9800 GT card after I removed the steel "handle" from the card itself and the cooling is quite incredible. The temperature not changing when the fans are at 100% is still a mystery, though.

Posted: 2011-02-28 at 20:19:06,