The Arctic Accelero Xtreme 5970 is a great option for users whose cards are running to hot, but do not wish to hassle with liquid cooling systems.
Anyone with an ATI 5970 knows by now that the card can begin to run very hot if it is not properly ventilated. This heat will only be compounded if the card is overclocked. Even for users running their cards at stock clocks, a very long gaming session can leave the card running desperately hot, ultimately leading it to an early grave. To counteract noise concerns, but still keep the cards running cool, Arctic has come up with a cooler for the 5970 that dissipates more heat than the 5970’s stock cooler, even though Arctic’s claim of heat removal is less than that stated by ATI’s reference cooler. We will investigate if the Arctic Accelero Xtreme 5970 has what it takes to keep our 5970 cooler than the reference heat sink.
Arctic claims this cooler has 300 watts of cooling performance. ATI claims 400 watts on their cooler, so it seems that the Arctic cooler is already at a disadvantage. However the sheer size of the Accelero seems to dwarf that of the 5970 stock heatsink, so it is uncertain if ATI is telling the truth.
|Some Text||Other Text|
290 L x 104 W x 58 H mm
92mm x 3
900-2000 RPM (PWM controlled)
81 CFM / 138 m³/h
On paper, this cooler looks great, with three 92mm fans instead of the one smaller cage fan on the reference cooler. The increased amount of fanpower means more airflow through the heatsink, and lower temperatures on the card. The 6 year warranty is also impressive. By the time it expires, the 5970 will be little more than a paper weight.
Pictures & Impressions
The cooler itself comes in a completely plastic package. It would have been better to at least have a box, but the plastic is quite strong so it’s acceptable. On the top of the package we see the name of the cooler displayed, as well as a little sticker showing the drop in temperatures that Arctic Cooler claims.
Arctic included everything that needed to get the cooler hooked up. This includes an instruction manual, a VRM heatsink, some thermal pads, and an expansion slot cover. Since this card takes up 3 slots, the slot cover can be installed for cases with expansion slots that do not allow air to pass through them.
Here we have the underside of the cooler. There is already thermal paste applied for the GPUs, so users will not have to reapply unless they prefer a specific thermal paste. We also see many spots where the back plate and retention brackets for the GPU cooler can be screwed in.
The top of the cooler is has the three 90mm fans that blow air onto the heatsink to. Incidentally, Arctic also sells these as case fans. They are mounted on standoffs that have some give, so vibrations should be minimized, thus making the cooler quieter.
This cooler is quite massive. Heatpipes transfer heat from both GPUs directly to the geatsink. This allows for quicker heat dissipation.
Here we have the rear of the 5970. We will now remove the stock cooler to make way for the Arctic 5970. First, we must remove all screws from the back of the card. We can then lift off the backplate, keeping it close by because we will need it to install the Arctic 5970 cooler.
Now that we have the back plate off, we must remove GPU retention brackets so we can lift off the stock cooler.
Now that we have the stock cooler off, we need to make sure that the VRM’s, RAM, PCI-E bridge, and GPU’s are completely clean before preceding. The first step to putting the cooler on is to replace the backplate we removed earlier.
Now we have to place on all of the thermal pads. Users should not forget to peel off the plastic covering before you try to place the thermal pads. In addition to the layout shown here, there is also a detailed drawing in the manual itself. Once we have all of those placed we can put on the VRM heatsink, making sure to screw the VRM heatsink into the back plate. Once that is screwed down we can place the Arctic heatsink on top of the card.
Now we have to carefully flip the card over and screw in the Arctic cooler. We recommend starting with the GPU retention brackets. Users should exercise caution when tightening the screws, as it is very easy to over-tighten them and cause damage to the card. We used a precision screwdriver to avoid torquing it too much. Once these are screwed in, users can screw in the rest of the backplate. Please note that there are a few screw holes on the back plate that will not be used.
Here we have the card completely assembled. The installation was easy, and the temperature drop should be considerable.
To test the load temperature of the cooler, we let FurMark run for 30 minutes. After this we let the card sit for a couple hours doing nothing, and then recorded that temperature as the idle temperature. A table with detailed specifications of the computer can be found below. There is also a picture of the fan profile used with the card.
|Case Type||NZXT Vulcan|
|CPU||Core i7 930 @ 3.74|
|RAM||(3×2 GB) DDR3 1360 CAS 8|
|CPU Cooler||Noctua NH-C12P SE14|
|Hard Drives||Corsair P64|
(2x) WD SE16 750 GB
|Optical||LiteOn DVD R/W|
|GPU(s)||Sapphire 5970 Redline|
|Keyboard||Dell “Teh Pwn” Loudie|
We see here that the Arctic cooler shows much better temperatures. Almost 10° C lower on load is quite an achievement. Additionally, the Arctic cooler is much quieter than the stock fan.
The Arctic Accelero Xtreme 5970 is a great alternative to the stock cooler that comes with the ATI 5970. While the stock cooler does its job well, the Arctic 5970 cooler does the job better and quieter. The life of the 5970 will also be increaseddue to the cooler temperatures, which is nice as this card is currently a $650 investment. The price of the cooler is currently around $77, which is very reasonable especially for a cooler of this size and performance. We had no complaints with the installation, as it was very straightforward. Users hesitant about this cooler because of the broken card reports have no reason to worry. Users who are careful during installation should find it both easy and successful. Combining that with the impressive 6 year warranty, and we have to say that this is an amazing cooler for the 5970.
|OUR VERDICT: Arctic Accelero Xtreme 5970|
Summary: The Arctic Accelero Xtreme 5970 will keep the card much cooler, as well as much quieter. The increased life and overclocking potential also make the cooler worthwhile. Throw in the amazing warranty and we have one heck of a cooler. We are proud to give this the Bjorn3D Golden Bear Award.