Arctic Cooling has retired its Silencer series of VGA coolers, reportedly because their massive size was causing worldwide plastic shortages (we kid, but they were huge coolers). To replace the Silencer, Arctic Cooling just introduced the Accelero X1 (for nVidia cards) and X2 (for ATI cards).
We didn’t like the Silencer coolers, but the Accelero is a fantastic product by any measure. Both flavors of cooler are silent in operation, easy to install, and deliver more cooling power than any stock unit we’ve tested.
The Accelero’s design is simple. Underneath the plastic shroud lies an aluminum heatsink roughly the same size as the Asian land mass. It sports six heat pipes that transfer heat from the GPU core into the fins of the heatsink. A small, silent 2,000rpm fan blows air over the heatsink. Though the previous-generation Silencer coolers used a large duct to exhaust the warm air from the cooler to the outside of the case, the Accelero only circulates air inside the case. Some might think this is a pity, but the performance didn’t suffer, so we’re not complaining. The cooling shroud even features a special tab that directs cool air from the fan to the voltage regulators at the rear of the board, which is useful and appreciated.
Installation is simple and takes about five minutes. The unit comes with thermal grease preinstalled, so once you’ve removed the stock unit’s cooling apparatus, you just drop the Accelero onto your VGA board and secure it with the provided screws and washers.
During testing, the numbers were fairly impressive, especially on the nVidia board. But what the numbers don’t tell you is that this cooler makes no noise whatsoever. Even when we put our ear next to the cooler, we couldn’t hear it.
So, let’s recap: The Accelero provides excellent cooling, runs silent, is easy to install, and affordable. Sounds like a perfect 10 to us.
Month Reviewed: May 2006