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

Say Goodbye To Five Slots And Hello To Quiet Cooling

The EKL Peter with two Noiseblocker BlackSilentPro fans offers both excellent cooling and quiet operation. Then again, five slots are a lot of space to give up, and $140 isn’t exactly cheap. If you do have the room in your case to sacrifice, however, this could end up being a viable approach to quelling the reference design's questionable acoustics.

One major disappointment is the EKL Peter’s manual. It barely deserves to be called helpful. Taking on the seemingly major task of replacing a GPU's heat sink and fan would be much easier if the company provided more information (and made sure that guidance was accurate). The way it stands right now, even a seasoned enthusiast could wind up in trouble.

Its manual wasn't the only issue we had with EKL's Peter. Given the heat sink's price tag, not all of the bundled hardware is of suitable quality. For example, it's way too easy to strip the threads from some of the screws. Fortunately, if you know about this ahead of time you can be extra careful and avoid a more serious problem. We'd also like to think that the cooler's excellent overall performance helps make up for EKL's handful of oversights.

We don't recommend the EKL Peter to anyone queasy about dismantling expensive equipment. The process can be quite unnerving. But if you have a bit of experience taking things apart and putting them back together, are comfortable with the caveats we presented, and have five expansion slots you're willing to sacrifice, it'd be really difficult to beat this heat sink and fan combination with any other air-cooled solution. Once the EKL Peter is installed (set up either for great cooling performance or quiet operation), it’s a joy to have!

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    Top Comments
  • how about comparing this with other aftermarket coolers? such as arctic coolings accelero extreme
    28
  • 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
  • I'd rather have invested the money spent on this into watercooling!
    22
  • Other Comments
  • Love it !! Fantastic bit of kit.
    3
  • this cooler is the Double FF equivalent of geek pr0n.
    14
  • 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
  • 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
  • how about comparing this with other aftermarket coolers? such as arctic coolings accelero extreme
    28
  • Even tho this is a little extreme, it is still extremely badass.
    11
  • I wonder how it'll fix on my ITX motherboard? /joke off
    1
  • I'd rather have invested the money spent on this into watercooling!
    22
  • 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
  • Wowzers
    -2
  • 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
  • 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
  • @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
  • 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
  • @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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • @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
  • 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