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

Benchmarks: Temperatures And Noise

Temperature Benchmarks

We benchmarked the EKL Peter in a Corsair Graphite 600T case, using FurMark and GPGPU applications to put the Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition under load.

We didn’t want AMD's 50 MHz boost feature (the built-in TDP limiter) to kick in, so we used the company's older Catalyst 12.4 driver. Version 12.4 recognizes and supports the card, but prevents it from dropping its clock rate faced with a particularly taxing application.

The EKL Peter manages to reduce the Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition’s temperatures a substantial 18 degrees Celsius compared to the reference cooler.

It’s also interesting to look at how fast the temperatures rise. In the chart below, slower temperature increases and flatter curves are what we want to see, indicating better cooling performance. Maximum temperatures are reached after about four minutes. After that time, they remain pretty stable.

Noise Benchmarks

Effective cooling is great, but it's not worth much if the beast you create sounds like a jet plane taking off in the backyard. Configured with two 5 V connectors and 5 V/7 V connectors, the EKL Peter's fans generate slightly over 32 dB(A) and 34 dB(A), respectively. No other air-cooled solution we've ever seen manages this combination of thermal performance and quiet operation.

Even an Asus card with a top-of-the-line DirectCU II cooler can't achieve 62 degrees Celsius with a noise level of less than 41 dB(A). The EKL Peter is miles ahead of its competition.

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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