Arctic Cooling Alpine 64 & Accelero X1
Posted by Dave Crewe on: 03/08/2006 08:00 AM [ 0 comment(s) ]
- Test system
Opteron 146 @ 2.9GHz
DFI LanParty UT nF4 Ultra-D
2GB G.Skill PC4000 HZ
Gainward Golden Sample 7800 GTX 470/1300
- Test notes
Idle temps were taken after the system had been sitting at the desktop for 30 mins
Load temps were taken after the system had been running RTHDRIBL for 30 mins
Fan speed was a constant 100% on both coolers.
- Test results
When I first saw this product, I was suprised yet also intrigued at the design. I was curious why AC would decide to try a product like this rather than attempt to improve upon their already highly succesful Arctic Silencer products. Try they did, but I think I still prefer the good old Silencer. The number one benefit of the silencer was that it exhausted heat out of your case. The Accelero does not do that. In fact, the air comes out the opposite end and gets dumped over the mainboard chipset. Both products take up an extra PCI slot or two, but consumers would be more prepared to make this sacrifice if they know it is for a good cause, i.e. exhausting the heat. I just feel there may be similar or better performing single slot alternatives to the Accelero where by people do not need to lose a PCI slot or two. Arctic Cooling state on their website that a DHES (exhaust system) is not necessary anymore since this product is BTX compatible, and the heat will be removed by the airflow of the case. But honestly, who do you know that has a BTX style case? I know a lot of enthusiasts, yet only a handful have a BTX design in comparison to the hundreds with the conventional ATX designed case still. BTX isn't really taking off at the moment, so this product is a bit premature in that respect, and contrary to what they say I do feel an exhaust system is still a great thing to have.
This cooler is very silent, a trademark by now of Arctic Cooling as a whole. It performs well enough over the stock cooler, and it is easy to install. The instructions are also excellent. All plus points. One other down side I can think of with this cooler, though, is the design. As you are all aware, aesthetics are very important with computers these days, and I have not found one person yet who believes this cooler to be aesthetically pleasing. The colours are fine, the classic black look, but with the fan protruding out the side it looks a little weird. It might be a love or hate thing though. Personally, I have seen much better looking GPU coolers, but of course looks aren't everything, and this GPU cooler does have good things going for it. I thought the product would've been heavier, but literally only the core area is copper, the rest is aluminium and plastic. By looking at it, you might've thought you'd need to worry about the card bending, but rest assured, it's not heavy at all.
One thing I must say, in general, is why the use of thermal pads over paste? Is it because it's more conveniant? Quicker? Perhaps, in which case that's fine. But I would really like to see thermal paste used on memory instead of thermal pads. Thermal pastes perform better, and that's what it's all about. The only other reason you would buy a third party heatsink if not to improve performance, would be to quieten down the thing.
So, to sum up all the above, then. This product is ok, yet has some minor flaws that I think will affect sales. It is quiet, easy to install, and performs to a fair degree. On the other hand, it does not vent heat outside of the case like the Arctic Silencer does. To add to that, it is a dual-slot design, so you're losing a PCI slot. If the hot air was being vented then I'd be willing to accept a dual design, otherwise I'll go with a single slot design and keep my PCI slot. The heat being dumped over the chipset also doesn't bode well, they simply need to put the exit on the other side! This product is also not aesthetically pleasing judging from the people I have spoken to, and my own opinion, and aesthetics are a huge factor in society today with modding becoming more and more mainstream. Finally, there are already other, well established 3rd party GPU cooling solutions on the market, and to break into that market this product needs to be something special. Unfortunately, it's not special enough.
One final look at the 7800 GTX with the Accelero X1 installed.
Guru3D would like to thank Arctic Cooling, VC in aprticular for sending us the samples.
Alpine 64 & Accelero X1 Manufacturer:
Pricing: Alpine 64: Recommended Retail Price (excl. VAT): 15.50 USD / 12.90 EUR. Accelero X1: Recommended Retail Price (excl. VAT): 33 USD / 28 EUR
This article was written by Dave 'WildStyle' Crewe.
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