Testing and Conclusion
Since the cooler uses passive cooling, there are no fans or any moving parts, making for a maintenance-free product.According to the literature, Arctic Cooling also makes a Turbo Module that is used for overclocking; my guess is that this is an optional fan module.I would have liked to have seen this module included with the cooler, rather than having to buy it separately.
To test out the installation of the Accelero S2, I chose a Geforce 7600GS video card.The stock card came with a passively cooled heat sink pre-installed.Removing the factory heat sink involves removal of 4 screws.With the heat sink removed, the GPU and RAM modules are easily accessible.
Once cleaned, the first step was to attach the VGA RAM heatsinks onto the RAM modules.The heatsinks are a breeze to install; just remove the pre-installed adhesive backing and place onto the modules.Once the heatsinks are installed, I then prepared the VGA cooler to be installed by removing the pre-installed adhesive backing from the VGA cooler block and installing spacers corresponding to the holes associated with my video card.
Next, the cooler is placed on top of the GPU and the bottom two screws are secured.Then, the cooler is further secured to the video card with the addition of a unique yet sturdy plastic clamp system.I�m impressed that the designers thought to add these simple tabs to the design; it really adds to the sturdiness of the whole setup.It didn�t feel like the cooler could be easily mishandled and ripped off the card.Finally, once the plastic tabs were installed, the last two screws are tightened, completing the installation.Overall, I thought the installation was a breeze, and the instruction manual is complete and well-written.
However, the installation of the cooler onto the card turns out to be half the battle, as you also need to install the cooler/card combo into the computer.Installing the card onto the motherboard is as easy as before; simply insert the card into the appropriate slot and secure using the tabs on the bracket.Next, the vented PCI bracket is installed next to the video card slot, right where the cooler is.This critical component allows air to enter the case over the cooler, which is essential for its cooling performance.Arctic Cooling also recommends/insists that the case be closed during operations/testing of the cooler, along with one or more fans installed on the case that blow air out of the system.This setup allows for the air to enter the case right where the cooler is located, cooling down the radiator fins. Based on this, the cooler may not be appropriate for all types of computer builds; if you prefer to leave your case open or provide minimal fans, the cooler�s cooling performance will likely suffer.
AMD 64+ 3200+ S939 Winchester
Corsair 1GB ValueSelect PC3200 DDR RAM
Western Digital 250 GB 7200 rpm harddrive
Idle temperatures were taken running Windows and full loads were taken while running gaming loops.Temperatures (in degrees Celsius) were recorded, with the results compared with a previously reviewed Sytrin KuFormula VF1 cooler and the stock cooler performance.
As seen in the chart, the Accelero S2 outperformed both the stock cooler and the actively-cooled KuFormula VF1, which was a surprising result for me.Apparently, the large number of radiator fins and the surface area they provide allow for better cooling than even coolers with fans, especially at low loads.I also tested out the cooler with the case opened; this resulted in slightly higher temperatures that were a little higher than the KuFormula. However, as Arctic Cooling mentions, this is the recommended operating configuration.Obviously, if you set it up the way they recommend, you�ll get great cooling performance from the cooler.
The Arctic Cooling Accelero S2 VGA cooler once again demonstrates Arctic Cooling�s ability to design and produce a top-quality video card cooler.With its smooth lines, simple installation, and strong performance, this cooler is a great choice for both silent and high-demanding computer applications.Despite the fact that the cooler�s performance depends heavily on the computer build setup, it�s worth the effort to get that level of performance.When considering its modest price (estimated at $22 USD), this cooler deserves serious consideration for your next computer build.
+ Dead silent operation
+ No maintenance or moving parts needed
+ Easy installation
+ Great price
+ Impressive performance once computer configured correctly.
- Performance dependent on computer case setup
Pages: 1 2