Arctic Cooling Accelero Hybrid VGA Cooler Review: Not For the Faint of Heartby Dustin Sklavos on December 28, 2012 8:15 PM EST
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- Arctic Cooling
Introducing the Arctic Cooling Accelero Hybrid
Traditionally in the desktop space, the next step after high quality air cooling has been high quality liquid cooling, usually centered around custom designed cooling loops that cost a pretty penny in equipment. The industry has met this desire halfway by producing closed loop liquid coolers for the CPU not unlike the ones we tested recently, but interestingly the real power monster in most enthusiast desktops has needed to be served by reference coolers and sometimes exotic custom solutions offered by partners. Any type of liquid cooling has continued to be the province of the more extreme enthusiast.
Arctic Cooling changes some of that today with the Accelero Hybrid. Aftermarket VGA coolers aren't totally uncommon, but generally they're harder to build and market due to the more specific needs of cooling a graphics card. You have to cool the GPU, the video memory, and the voltage regulation, and the layouts of these parts varies from vendor to vendor and card to card. The Accelero Hybrid includes a 120mm radiator courtesy of Asetek, a cooling shroud for board components, and enough tiny parts to choke all but the heartiest of housecats. At $169, it also costs a pretty penny. Is it worth the effort, the money, and the risk?
I'll make an admission: I've been putting off reviewing the Accelero Hybrid for a little while. I'm not new to replacing the cooler on a graphics card, but the Hybrid is something much more involved. A visit to NewEgg or even to other sites that have reviews of it will tell you it's pretty difficult to actually install, and the idea of possibly bricking my GeForce GTX 680 wasn't a particularly pleasant one. At the same time, the promises Arctic Cooling make of the Accelero Hybrid's performance border on outlandish and even more interesting, judging from other reviews, the Hybrid seems to live up to those promises.
Source: Arctic Cooling
While it's reasonable to expect the Accelero Hybrid to produce excellent performance, it's also easy to be skeptical. The RAM and VRM cooling is no doubt totally serviceable, but I've seen this particular Asetek radiator have a hard time keeping an overclocked Intel Core i7-2700K running under 70C. How am I supposed to believe it'll handle a potentially overclocked GPU pushing 200W or more and do so under 60C or even 50C? The only way to find out for sure is to test it.
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nosaj999 - Thursday, January 3, 2013 - linkConveniently NewEgg has put this beasty on sale!
xcomvic - Thursday, January 3, 2013 - linkGet it while it's hot! Please update the article with new price at the end. This will definitely make it a stronger case for an award don't you think?
qepsilonp - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - linkI would consider buying it if it wasn't stuck on that GPU so I could maybe use it on my next GPU given that I personally couldn't justify the price.
dllyncher - Tuesday, May 28, 2013 - linkI just installed this cooler on my EVGA GTX 660ti Signature2 FTW and my temps are kind of confusing. Idle temps are around 24C which is the same as the stock cooler. The unusual part is that while running EVGA OC Scanner for 10 minutes, temps reach 45C versus 39C with the stock cooler. I know I have installed it properly as I've checked many times. If anyone is having the same problems please let me know so I know it's not just me.
Maleorderbride - Thursday, July 11, 2013 - linkMy Titan was only running at ~68% of TDP at 88F ambient (hot, I know) and this thing cooled the VRMs enough that I am now at 93.4% TDP at the same ambient.
Installation was a needless trial, but put a movie on and take your time.
theNiZer - Saturday, December 7, 2013 - linkI really like this unit - much more than the now popular Kraken G10, because you can fit Accelero Hybrid in a mini itx case!
And of course, being able to 'pump' the how gpu air out of the mini itx case is important to avoid gpu throttling and maximize efficiency.
Combine this with coolermaster Elite 130, nice!
editorsorgtfo - Thursday, September 18, 2014 - linkThe best HSFs are spiffy coolers, but there are drawbacks to using the most efficient ones. The impressively-high-performing, dual-tower/dual-fan Noctua NH-D15 exemplifies them: first, it stands quite tall, at 16.5 cm, and can present a space problem in less than capacious cases. It is wide, and can preclude the use of RAM with any but the most modest heat spreaders, since memory stick height is limited to 32 mm. It is also massive, weighing in at 1.32 kilos -- almost 3 pounds! -- and has a high center of gravity, due to its stature. The effect of that much leverage on a vertically-mounted motherboard, if jostled, can easily be total destruction, with the processor, socket and rear mount being ripped right out! Even the static torque of the NH-D15, over time, could lead to mobo failure, which may not be covered by warranty.
None of those issues exist where using a CLC, even one with integrated waterblock and pump: Silverstone's brazed, screwless waterblock eliminates a major point of leakage; Antec's Kühler further reduces obtrusiveness and physical stress on the motherboard by moving the pump(s) off-block to the fan axles.
Rig damage by cooler sux, whether it's the result of fluid leakage from an AIO or excessive weight of a HSF pulling a board apart. Maybe a bungee counterbalancing a massive HSF would quietly help alleviate gravitational torqueing of the motherboard; if you install a CLC, inspect it often for signs of loss of seal integrity and leakage. "To be forewarned is to be forearmed."
Each type of cooling systen has its strong points, yet comes up short in others. Given a bit more development time, CLCs will become more refined, and their problems largely ironed out.