Arctic Cooling have been making enthusiast coolers for gpu’s
and cpu for quite a while now. In fact one of the
Driverheaven review systems has been using the freezer
range of CPU coolers for a while now and we have been
completely satisfied with the performance and even
more impressed by the low noise they create. When
building our media centre system noise was a consideration
and with the AIW X800 cooler not being the best we
replaced it with an Arctic Cooling Silencer 5 and
this was a complete success though when we recently
moved to the more advanced AIW X1800 series card we
hit a brick wall as far as noise levels are concerned.
You see the mounting holes on the X1k series of cards
are completely different to those on the X8 series
and you therefore can’t just use any cooler
on your nice new shiny X1k product.
Luckily Arctic Cooling are on the ball and have
recently launched a new line of GPU coolers –
The “Accelero” series which features
the X1 for Geforce cards and X2 for Radeon X1k cards.
The Accelero X2 Packing and Bundle
The X2 comes packaged in a reasonably sturdy but
well designed pack. We say well designed because
the clear plastic allows you to clearly see the
cooler as well as read all of the important information
about the product.
As you can see from the above image the cooler
supports both the X1800 series and X1900 series
of cards from ATI.
The rear of the packaging gives you a list of everything
you are likely to need to know about the cooler
such as the fan-speed and noise levels. A further
useful statistic is that the thermal resistance
of the X2 (when running at its stock speed) is comparable
to the stock X1800 cooler at 5000rpm which is over
twice as fast!
When you open the packaging you find the cooler
itself, we’ll look at that in a minute, along
with a set of instructions on how to install the
The instructions are clearly laid out and easy
to follow which is a plus, what we would have preferred
however is to see some thermal paste within the
bundle (Paste does come with the Arctic Cooling
Silencer). Having a little tube of paste means you
don’t need to worry about buying any if you
need to remove the cooler for any reason or wish
to install it on another card. The X2 comes with
paste pre-applied though as a nice touch it is very
well protected by a plastic cover from any damage
which may occur in transit.
Finally also included in the package is a nice
Arctic Cooling case sticker and a set of thermal
pads to apply to your graphics memory.
The Accelero X2
Here is the Accelero in all its glory. It’s
certainly a cooler that looks the part.
In the above shot you can clearly see the aluminium
heatsink fins which connect to the unit’s
heat pipes of which there are 6. These fins are
almost completely covered by black plastic and the
60mm 2000rpm fan sits at the top of the unit blowing
air over the fins.
The rear of the product shows that Arctic Cooling
use a copper block to transfer the heat away from
the GPU onto the heat pipes. Also shown in the above
picture is the pre-applied thermal paste. You can
see in the shot above that the back of the fan is
sealed by rubber which reduces the noise created
as no excess vibration leaves the fan. The wire
coming out of the fan leads to the standard 3pin
power connector which most Radeon’s use.
Above you can see the thickness of the cooler,
it is of course a dual slot design.
Installation of the Accelero X2 was very simple
and really doesn’t require any instructions
(though the ones you do get are clear and simple
to understand). The basic idea is that you unscrew
the stock cooler on your X1k card then remove the
cooler. Next remove any thermal paste or pads from
the card. The next step is to place the provided
Arctic Cooling thermal pads on the memory chips.
Following this then place the X2 onto the card and
ensure the unit is lined up correctly. Finally screw
the X2 to the card and ensure the fan power connector
is plugged in.
Really, as long as you’re careful and take
time there shouldn’t be any problems installing
To measure the performance of the X2 we installed
ATItool and with the stock fan installed we measured
the temperature of our AIW X1800XL at idle and load.
Next we replaced the stock cooler with the X2 and
performed the same tests. Here’s how the X2
dont have flash installed? then click here
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It’s fair to say there is quite a difference
in performance between the Stock cooler used by
ATI and the Arctic Cooling Accelero X2. With Load
temps lower than the idle temps with the stock cooler
you can’t really ask for more than that.
As you can see from the performance figures the
Arctic Cooling Accelero X2 is one hell of a cooler.
We had expected to see a reasonable improvement
over the stock cooler however the performance we
actually found was nothing short of amazing.
The performance of the cooler is made all the more
impressive by how quiet it actually is. A stock
X1800 cooler running at 2000rpm creates about 1.9sone
this rises to 2.9 when the card is under heavy load
and running at 5000rpm. As the X2 doesn’t
vary its fan speed it runs at a set 2000rpm and
creates only 0.4 sone, a quarter of an idle X1800!
In fact there were a couple of times during the
first few days of using the X2 that we had to check
if our media centre was actually turned on…it’s
Our only concern with the X2 is the height of the
cooler, this does restrict case compatibility somewhat
and there is no chance you’re fitting the
cooler into a Shuttle. We recommend that if you
are thinking of purchasing the X2 you should check
that you have approximately 1 inch of space between
the top of your X1k card and the side/top of your
case. Provided you have this space (and most cases
will do) everything will be fine and can look forward
to enjoying the exceptional performance and low
noise that the Arctic Cooling Accelero X2 provides.
The Accelero X2 is available
now for approx $30-40 or £20-25 depending
on where you live.