Extreme Air Cooling: Our Five-Slot (Quiet) Radeon HD 7970

The Heat Sink And Fans, Detailed

This Hardware Isn't For The Faint Of Heart

As mentioned, this cooler sells as the EKL Peter in Germany and the Deepcool Dracula elsewhere; the two are identical except for their names. We’re using the EKL Peter 79XX Edition for this article.

The Peter is an imposing piece of hardware, monopolizing three slots for the heat sink and two slots for the fans. If that sounds like a ridiculous amount of space for a cooler, that’s because it is a ridiculous amount of space. The EKL Peter will have to prove that its performance is capable of living up to what its size seems to suggest.

On paper, at least, the Peter's specifications are impressive.

Technical Specifications: EKL Peter 79XX Edition
Cooler Size:
253.8 mm Length
44 mm Depth (Measured from the Top of the Copper Plate)
100 mm Height
Total Size:270 mm Length (From Back Plate)
50 mm Depth
120 mm Height (From Top of Card)
Materials:   
Base: Copper
Heat Pipes: Nickel-Plated Copper, 12 x 6 mm
Fins: Aluminium
Weight:
Approx. 590 g
Fans (Optional):4x 140 / 120 / 92 / 80 mm
Compatibility
  • AMD Radeon (Reference Design)
    X1600
    HD 2600
    HD 3450 / 3650 / 3690 / 3850 / 3870
    HD 4650 / 4670 / 4750 / 4830 / 4850 / 4860 / 4870
    HD 5670 / 5750 / 5770 / 5830 / 5850 / 5870
    HD 6950 / 6970
    HD 7950 / 7970
  • Nvidia GeForce (Reference Design)
    6600 Series (Except AGP)
    7300 / 7400 / 7600 / 7800 GT/GTX / 7900 GS/GT/GTX
    8400 / 8500 / 8600 / 8800 GT/GTS(G92)/GTX/Ultra
    9600 GT / 9800 GT/GTX/GTX+
    GT 210 / 220 / 240
    GTS 250
    GTX 200 Series
    GTX 460 / 470 / 480
    GTX 560 / 570 / 580
Price Without Fan:
Approx. $80


Fans

The EKL Peter 79XX Edition can accommodate up to four fans. We're only using two because that's already more than enough for our Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition. A pair of Noiseblocker BlackSilentPro PL2 coolers spinning at 1400 RPM handle the job for us, yielding 96 m³/h of volume.

One big advantage these fans enjoy is that they run well at 5 and 7 V. Two of them are barely audible at 5 V. You could conceivably operate them at 12 V, but then they generate acoustics similar to one of AMD's add-in board partners leveraging an aftermarket cooling setup. Although we'd get much better cooling performance from our heat sink and fan combination, we'd really like to cut noise.

Technical Specifications: Noiseblocker BlackSilentPro Fan PL2
Size: 120 x 120 x 25 mm
Weight:120 g
Materials: Plastic
Noise Level:20 dB(A)
RPM:1400 RPM
Airflow:96 m³/h
Air Pressure:1269 mm-H2O
Start-Up Voltage:4.5 V
In-Use Voltage: 4-13.8 V
Power: 1.92 W / 0.16 A
Connector: Three-Pin (20 + 50 cm Cable)
Miscellaneous:
MTBF: 160 000 Hours
Warranty: Six Years
Price:
Approx. $20


You can also buy a 900 RPM version of this fan if you want to get even more aggressive about noise, and don't care about overclocking as much. We chose this particular model for its versatility, since it allows us to go for performance or quiet operation without breaking the bank.

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60 comments
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    Top Comments
  • ShadyHamster
    how about comparing this with other aftermarket coolers? such as arctic coolings accelero extreme
    28
  • jossrik
    Seems to me if you're willing to go 140$ or whatnot to cool your Gfx card, you might be interested in water cooling. 80$ for a Noctua and 100+ for this put you into cheap water cooling territory, and while you could easily spend double or more water cooling, that seems the route to take. Just my two cents.
    27
  • amuffin
    I'd rather have invested the money spent on this into watercooling!
    22
  • Other Comments
  • Maximus_Delta
    Love it !! Fantastic bit of kit.
    3
  • mayankleoboy1
    this cooler is the Double FF equivalent of geek pr0n.
    14
  • Hazle
    that is so sexy... too bad it's not compatible with a 6870, pointless as it seems (to me, at least) , but goddamn, them temps and noise make it hard not to consider the idea....
    -4
  • jossrik
    Seems to me if you're willing to go 140$ or whatnot to cool your Gfx card, you might be interested in water cooling. 80$ for a Noctua and 100+ for this put you into cheap water cooling territory, and while you could easily spend double or more water cooling, that seems the route to take. Just my two cents.
    27
  • ShadyHamster
    how about comparing this with other aftermarket coolers? such as arctic coolings accelero extreme
    28
  • esrever
    Even tho this is a little extreme, it is still extremely badass.
    11
  • bak0n
    I wonder how it'll fix on my ITX motherboard? /joke off
    1
  • amuffin
    I'd rather have invested the money spent on this into watercooling!
    22
  • JOSHSKORN
    what a waste...unless a manufacturer comes up with a motherboard and case specifically made for this so you don't waste expansion slots.
    3
  • memadmax
    Wowzers
    -2
  • JebbyC
    Why is there an empty slot between the fans and the heatsink? Looks like there could be some space and efficiency savings there. Also, why did you test 120mm fans when 140mm fans are supported?

    Where do the additional two fans you haven't tested fit? I guess they might go in the empty slot, but that seems strange to me - why have a fan blowing directly into another fan.
    2
  • monkeymonk
    jebbycWhy is there an empty slot between the fans and the heatsink? Looks like there could be some space and efficiency savings there. Also, why did you test 120mm fans when 140mm fans are supported?Where do the additional two fans you haven't tested fit? I guess they might go in the empty slot, but that seems strange to me - why have a fan blowing directly into another fan.

    its called push/pull you see it on cpu coolers and watercooling all the time. There are 120mm fans available
    -1
  • FormatC
    @jebby:
    This looks just like an empty slot, but it is not enough and the mounting rail will not fit.
    You can still mount up 2 fans horizontally or 140mm fans, but that brings no improvement.
    1
  • JebbyC
    Push/pull implies fans on either side of the heatsink - it doesn't look to me like there's enough clearance between the main heatsink and the VRM heatsink.

    Quote:
    There are 120mm fans available

    There are 140mm fans available too, why are you telling me that?
    3
  • JebbyC
    @FormatC I see what you're saying, but compare the picture on the benchmarks page to these:

    http://extreme.pcgameshardware.de/luftkuehlung/182842-ekl-peter-lueftermontage-update.html#post3578374
    http://www.hardwareluxx.de/community/f136/alpenfoehn-peter-821451.html

    It looks like the bracket overlaps the heatsink, so the fans are much closer. Maybe it's just the angle.

    Edit: They're on different cards, (a 570 and a 480, if my German isn't too bad), my mistake.
    0
  • FormatC
    This is a HD 7970 problem - the GPU sits higher on the PCB.

    Quote:
    it doesn't look to me like there's enough clearance between the main heatsink and the VRM heatsink.
    < 10mm ;)

    Edit:
    I've experimented with different VRM coolers (on some photos you can see a slightly lower silver VRM heatsink) and slim fans but only the big black one (original from EKL) gives you the full performance.
    1
  • JebbyC
    Cool. It looks like this is a better solution than the GB Windforce X5? Is there any chance of getting an English translation of that review?
    0
  • freggo
    Kinda sad that a manufacturer is not able to do this in the first place. Gives the impression that they simply do not care as long as your check clears.
    -5
  • FormatC
    @JebbyC
    The Gigabyte thing is in translation (I hope so) :)

    The Windforce 5X @1,25 GHz is (under full load) quieter (!) than a Sapphire Toxic 6GB (1,2 GHz, Tahiti XT2) - thats fact. In a few minutes I will try a showdown between this two cards on 3840 x 3240 (6 cheap monitors, DVI only) and 3 active splitters.

    Who wants to bet, can transfer me the money to my private account (which is unfair because I know the result - already) :D
    2
  • xxplosiv88
    When I see something like this behemoth, it reminds me that we really have a long way to go in terms of technology. I think you can tell silicone/transistor technology is really starting to hit a brick wall when 5 slot aftermarket VGA coolers come onto the scene. For that matter, stock 3 slot products like the ASUS Mars II go without mentioning too.
    4