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Arctic Cooling has a very good reputation since their first product; freezer CPU cooler and followed by other products. Today we're going to try out their graphic card cooler for nVidia GeForce GTX 200 Series GPU Cooler; Accelero XTREME GTX280, which is the latest version of Accelero XTREME 9800, Accelero XTREME 8800 and Accelero XTREME 2900. Let's get a closer look to the product.
ARCTIC COOLING is a privately owned company founded in 2001 with headquarters in Switzerland, offices in Hong Kong and the USA and production facilities in Asia. The ARCTIC COOLING team consists of international highly educated people with business, technical and communicational skills. The attitude to work is based o n Swiss principles of innovative spirit and high standards of workmanship for which it is recognized internationally. This striving for excellence is integrated in all processes as a matter of course.
ARCTIC COOLING´s core competencies are multifarious including systematic noise reduction, copper and aluminum heat sink development, customization of thermal solutions, as well as designing quiet fans. More recently quiet and cool PC Cases and Power Supplies have been developed.
• Extreme cooling performance - up to 250 Watts
• 3 ultra quiet 92mm PWM fans with low noise impeller
• Efficient heat dissipation via 5 heat pipes
• Patented fan holder eliminates the buzzing sounds
• RAM and voltage regulator cooling
• Pre-applied MX-2
• SLI compatible
Package & Contents
Arctic Cooling Accelero XTREME GTX280 comes with a tight, fit, and transparent packaging box. The transparent packaging is good because the whole cooler is exposed and looks attractive. However due to everything is packed quite compactly so handling might need to be extremely careful as there isn't much room for absorbing the vibration or damage.
The whole packaging box is fastened by two clips/locks at both sides and you may notice that the red logo which indicate that Arctic Cooling Accelero XTREME GTX280 comes with six years warranty. Other features, specifications, cooling and noise performance charts are written at the back of the packaging box.
These are the accessories that what we've got for Arctic Cooling Accelero XTREME GTX280:
1 x User's Manual
1 x Arctic Cooling Chassis Sticker
1 x Back Plate
1 x Voltage Regulator Heat Sink
1 x RAM and NVIVO2 Heat Sink
2 x RAM Heat Sink
2 x M2 Screws
4 x M2.5 Screws
4 x Spacers
4 x Adhesive Tape
7 x Thermal Pad A (7 x 7 x 1.5 mm)
1 x Thermal Pad B (10 x 10 x 0.5 mm)
8 x Thermal Pad C (15 x 12 x 0.5 mm)
2 x Thermal Pad D (15 x 12 x 1.7 mm)
The user's manual comes with pictures explanation and it's helpful especially for a beginner; the softcopy user's manual is available at Arctic Cooling website for downloading. There is some minor error in the user's manual where the screw usage is not right; hope it get fixed in next revision. (updated on 3/19: New revision of user's manual was released)
Besides that Arctic Cooling advices end user to print out the height restriction drawing on A4 paper in actual size and check the card to assure compatibility. We found that this is very useful to validate those GTX200 series graphic cards that are using their own PCB (not from nVIDIA) which may not compatible with Arctic Cooling Accelero XTREME GTX280.
Arctic Cooling Accelero XTREME GTX 280
Arctic Cooling has launched Accelero graphic card cooler quite some time ago since nVIDIA GeForce 7 series graphic cards such as Accelero X1/S1/S2, Xtreme 2900, Xtreme 8800, 9800, Twin Turbo, Xtreme GTX 280 and latest Xtreme 4870X2 for ATI Radeon. Arctic Cooling Accelero Xtreme GTX 280 is compatible with nVIDIA GeForce GTX 260, GTX 280, GTX 285 and this cooler has 250 Watt cooling capacity which is fabulous.
The major difference between latest Accelero (4870X2, GTX 280) and previous version (9800, 8800, 2900) is the fan size; upgrading from 3 x 80mm to 3 x 92mm fans. Besides that Arctic Cooling has changed their well known black painted PWM fans to bright white painted PWM fans; it looks more attractive and charming than before right?
Arctic Cooling uses Fluid Dynamic Bearing for these three white PWM fans for quiet operating and long lasting life span. These fans operate from 1000RPM to 2000RPM which is controlled by PWM controller; operate according to its load to balance between cooling performance and noise. There are total 11-blade for each of this 92mm fan and the maximum air flow is 81CFM based on the specifications.
Lean, Mean, and Sexy. The manufacturer and the model of the cooler are clearly printed/sticker on a cooler to avoid wrong purchase where user may mix up with the Accelero Xtreme 4870X2 since both of them are having similar design. All these three 92mm fans are powered by connecting this 4-pin connector to the graphic card; no additional power is required.
You may surprise when you turn over the Arctic Cooling Accelero XTREME GTX280 because the cooling structure doesn't lose to a CPU cooler. It is made by two kinds of famous cooling material; copper heatpipe, copper base and aluminum fins. Let us go through further one by one.
A thin layer of Arctic Cooling MX-2 thermal interface material is pre-applied onto the core contact surface. This pre-applied MX-2 is spread evenly but it seems not really enough for the large surface of GTX 200 series core chip. All fins are connected to the base with these five copper heat pipes. Arctic Cooling doesn't mention much about the heat pipes but after some measurement, it is 6mm heat pipe which is standard heat pipe diameter for computer cooler.
There are massive of aluminum fins; in total 34 fins at the left and 49 fins at the right. These fins are made by aluminum material which has great heat dissipation factor. All these fins are constructed within each other very well and ideally for such impressive cooler everything should be cooled very well. Let us verify this during testing section later.
Besides the physical GPU cooler of Arctic Cooling Accelero XTREME GTX280, other heatsinks are provided as well. The big rectangular silver heatsink is for NVIVO2 chipset while the smaller silver heatsinks are for memory chips. The smaller heatsink with blue film is for voltage regulators while the bigger piece of plate (with blue film) is a back plate for fastening the Arctic Cooling Accelero XTREME GTX280 on it.
Installation, Testing & Performance
We're going to use an nVidia GeForce GTX260+ 216 Stream Processor Edition instead of nVidia GeForce GTX280. We chose nVidia GeForce 260+ 216SP Edition because it has better overclocking ability. Firstly, we have to take off the stock cooler of nVidia GeForce GTX260, it has a lot of left over thermal interface material on the core chip, memory chip and the NVIVO2 chip. In order to clean all the TIM, we used alcohol and apply onto tissue paper and rub gently to remove them. The core chip and the memory chips are both cleaned and we can clearly see the revision and stepping of the GTX260. So let's begin the installation!
Installation Step 1: Installing RAM and NVIVO2 Thermal Pad & Heat Sink
In step 1, the Thermal Pad B will be applied onto the NVIVO 2 chip and the thicker Thermal Pad D will be applied to the memory chip that located at the right upper side of the NVIVO2 chip. Please take note that the M2 memory is not binded onto the PCB because GTX260 comes with 896MB memory instead of 1024MB from GTX280, By using the M2 screws provided, the RAM and NVIVO2 heatsink can be locked tightly from the back of the card, the covered surface is big and sufficient for extra cooling for the hot NVIVO2 Core chip.
Installation Step 2: Installing Voltage Regulator Thermal Pad & Heat Sink
Arctic Cooling provides 7 pieces of Thermal Pad A for the voltage regulator area, after the application of the Thermal Pad A, we can stick the Voltage Regulator Heat Sink placed on top of it; end user has to take note that the voltage regulator surface must be cleaned perfectly before the application of the Thermal Pad A and the Heat Sink. This is because the heat sink is not tighten by using screws, so without proper cleaning and it leads to no adhesiveness of the thermal type at all. (make sure the blue film is removed before use)
After completed the installation of step 1 and step 2, step 3 is an easiest step. By removing the protective film of the thermal pad of the RAM heat sink, the RAM heat sink will be placed onto the both sides of the memory chips, the chips are 3 on top and 3 on the right, the RAM heat sink is not independent but sharing one heat sink each side.
Installation Step 4: Installing Back Plate & Accelero XTREME GTX280
Applying Thermal Pad C that provided by Arctic Cooling to the back memory chips and it gets the back plate attached on top at the back of the display card, the back plate cooler is huge and well ventilated. After that, applying the adhesive tape and the spacers to the screw hole at the back of the cooler and apply the M2.5 screws into the back of the PCB, after the installation of the cooler gives us an attractive look:
Here are the front and side views of the card after the installation; the card is a bit longer than the original GTX260 with stock cooler. Now the nVidia GeForce GTX260+ with Arctic Cooling Accelero XTREME GTX280 is ready to rock the benchmark.
Installing the Arctic Cooling Accelero XTREME GTX280 into the testbed gives us a fresh new look of the rig, the cooler itself consume 3 slots which is one more additional slot compare with the stock cooler of GTX260. Everything looks perfect and shouldn't cause much compatible issue with Arctic Cooling Accelero XTREME GTX280 installed on the card.
Processor: Intel Core 2 Quad Q9450 @ 4.00GHz
Motherboard: DFI LanParty UT X48 T2R Flame Freezer Equipped
Heat Sink: Thermolab Baram w/ Dual Xigmatek XLF-F1253
Memory: Patriot Viper 2x2GB 1066MHz 5-5-5-12
Hard Drive: Western D 640GB AAKS Cavair RAID 0
Graphic Card: Palit nVidia GeForce GTX260+ 216 Stream Processor
Graphic Card Cooler: Arctic Cooling Accelero XTREME GTX280
PSU: Cooler Master Real Power Pro M850 Black Label Series
Chassis: Cooler Master HAF932
Monitor: Dell WFP2407-HC @ 1920*1200 60Hz
Optical Drive: LG GH22 Sata DVD-Writer
Operating System: Windows XP Professional 32bit OEM
Riva Tuner 2.24 (Temperature Reading)
GPU-z 0.32 (Temperature Reading)
Futuremark 3DMark06 Professional 1.1.0 (Overclocking Ability)
ATi Tools0.27.b4 ( Artifact Scanning for 30 minutes)
Ambient Temperature: 31 Degree Celsius
No fans operated at surrounding, chassis front intake, side panel intake, roof exhaust, rear exhaust, have been disabled, chassis side panel closed.
Stock Cooler Clock Adjustment : 650MHz/1400MHz/1100MHz Core/Shader/Memory
Accelero XTREME GTX280 First Run (Fan Auto Control by Riva Tuner 2.24)Clock Adjustment: 650MHz/1400MHz/1100MHz Core/Shader/Memory
Accelero XTREME GTX280 Second Run (Fan Auto Control by Riva Tuner 2.24) Clock Adjustment: 740MHz/1600MHz/1100MHz Core/Shader/Memory
Accelero XTREME GTX280 Third Run (Fan Direct Control 100% by Riva Tuner 2.24) Clock Adjustment: 740MHz/1600MHz/1100MHz Core/Shader/Memory
Let's get the benchmark started!
We've run the GTX260 in stock clock condition and record down the reading after 30 minutes of ATi Tools Artifact Scanning with the fan spin at auto control (1400RPM +- ), after that the stock cooler is replaced with Arctic Cooling Accelero XTREME GTX280. We have total of 3 runs for each test and it takes 30 minutes to get the reading, after each run the card will be sitting idle for 15 minutes to perform the second run. The reading is as shown below.
From the result shown above we can see that the Arctic Cooling Accelero XTREME performs better than expected with the test card, it colds down the card up to 15°C idle on first run compared to stock and 28°C difference when the card is load. Moving to the higher clock which is 740MHz/1600MHz/1200MHz Core/Shader/Memory clock, the card is idle @ 41°C / load @ 51°C with the fan is auto controlled by Riva Tuner (1400RPM +- ). When adjusted the fan to 100% which is 2000RPM +- , the noise level is barely audible, it colds another 1°C and 2°C when the card loads in ATi Tools Artifact Scanning for 30 minutes respectively. It's an ideal setting for a highly overclocked GTX200 series display card since the noise level is very acceptable even for a 24/7 operation.
Overall we are happy to see the well performance of the Arctic Cooling Accelero XTREME GTX280. The Accelero XTREME GTX280 is a good looking and well performed GPU Cooler for high end graphic card with such acceptable noise level. The packaging is attractive and the accessories provided are in good quality, with the retail price of RM229 this is an affordable product for anyone who looking for a quiet yet good performance GPU cooler. If you are planning to get a nVIDIA GTX 200 series graphic card and without doing all these hassle installation, you may check out some of the nVIDIA core partnets where they do offer such cards with Arctic Cooling Accelero XTREME cooler.
* Attractive Design
* Very good performance
* PWM Fans are barely audible
* MX-2 pre-applied
* 5 well-precise 6mm heat pipes
* Large cooling surface for effective cooling
* Clear installation guide with diagrams
* Affordable price
* Easy Installation
* Lack of additional protection packaging
* Tri-Slot cooler
Thanks to Arctic Cooling for providing us this sample for us to review
Only registered users may post a comment.
|Christopher John||4.0 / 5||Fri 26 Jun 09|
|Arctic cooling looks good in your review. Anyways I want to check this one, I also want to check out new gadgets on my favorite site, http://www.astrogaming.com|
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