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Deepcool Dracula 7970

Custom Cooling: Deepcool's Dracula And Arctic's Accelero Xtreme
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The Deepcool Dracula 7970 ($75 MSRP) isn't yet available in North America, although the generic version is a lot easier to find.

The Dracula is atypical for a VGA cooler because Deepcool doesn't give you any fans for that $75 entry fee. Whichever coolers you do choose are mounted to an expansion bracket that sits next to the card, rather than attaching directly to the heat sink. Thermal paste for the GPU and thermal adhesive for the RAM and VRM sinks is included, fortunately.

A raised cooling surface differentiates the Dracula 7970 from Deepcool's generic Dracula. Whereas Arctic's Accelero sports a square-shaped pad for making contact with the GPU, Deepcool uses a circular area.

The Dracula features six heat pipes, or one more than Arctic's Accelero Xtreme. The cooler's copper base is nickel-plated and finished to a mirror shine. Copper heat pipes and the aluminum find are nickel-plated as well, resulting in a very shiny sink.

Deepcool's Dracula can accommodate two 140 mm fans or three 120 mm fans. However, we used the two 92 mm fans that came with the company's older V6000, which are rated for 66 CFM of airflow each. We don't anticipate any problems keeping the Radeon HD 7970's Tahiti GPU cool. Driving both fans with power supply leads ensures constant voltage, and, consequently, constant rotational speeds, regardless of load.


As with the Accelero, mounting Deepcool's Dracula 7970 is simple enough once you have AMD's reference cooler disassembled. Thermal adhesive is applied to the RAM and VRM heat sinks, and the cooler attaches directly to the circuit board using existing mounting holes.

The Dracula's heat pipes and cooling fins provide for plenty of clearance on the right side of the GPU. The left side is a lot less roomy due to a tighter heat pipe bend, necessitating lower-profile RAM sinks.

With Deepcool's Dracula mounted to AMD's reference Radeon HD 7970, the assembled card is 11.5 inches long, 4.75 inches wide, 1.75 inches deep, and it weighs just under two pounds. Before jumping to the conclusion that this solution is more compact and lighter than Arctic's competition, remember that the fans and mounting bracket are separate, and we still haven't added them.

Each configuration is going to be different since Deepcool makes you pick your own fans. In our case, the additional hardware measures 11" x 6.5" x 2.75", and adds another 13.8 ounces. With the heat sink and fans combined, the Dracula chews up considerable expansion space, likely killing the potential for CrossFire. On the other hand, the Dracula is about the same length as AMD's stock Radeon HD 7970 when it's installed, so it's more likely to fit horizontally.

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Top Comments
  • 19 Hide
    cilliers , October 3, 2012 7:23 AM
    Guys!

    This surely looks impressive (giant graphics card and oversize heat cooler), but is this "eye candy" for the technically inclined PC enthusiast really moving forward, or just another pile of copper pipes sold at a price established out of pure value perception? This article got me thinking... Are we unknowingly creating a market demand for cooling products that make little sense in the grand scheme of things, nor shows little technological advancement? Why do we get so excited when a graphics card becomes so hot during peak operation that it requires cooling beyond standard specification. In engineering terms, any system that transforms such a large amount of electrical energy into heat as a side effect would be considered inefficient. By creating a market for "aftermarket" cooling, we do not only show our tolerance for inefficiency, but also create a booming demand for lackluster "solutions".

  • 10 Hide
    aznshinobi , October 3, 2012 4:19 AM
    Give me one please...

    But, would be nice to see the coolers compared to some mainstream solutions. IE the HIS IceQ X2 or Sapphire Toxic, etc. etc.
Other Comments
  • 10 Hide
    aznshinobi , October 3, 2012 4:19 AM
    Give me one please...

    But, would be nice to see the coolers compared to some mainstream solutions. IE the HIS IceQ X2 or Sapphire Toxic, etc. etc.
  • -7 Hide
    andle riddum , October 3, 2012 5:28 AM
    One warning to prospective buyers of Arctic products, their fans are really junk. I have/had S1 with turbo module, twin turbo, twin turbo PRO...and the fans failed within 1 year or so. Now I have normal fans zip tied, not pretty
  • 6 Hide
    ShadyHamster , October 3, 2012 5:41 AM
    I've never had a problem with arctic fans, the accelero xtreme for my HD5870 is still running perfect and its just over 2 years old now, same goes for the twin turbo i bought years ago for my HD3850.

    btw nice article :D 
  • 1 Hide
    theconsolegamer , October 3, 2012 6:00 AM
    Wait, was really necessary to apply thermal paste to both faces of the shim?
  • 19 Hide
    cilliers , October 3, 2012 7:23 AM
    Guys!

    This surely looks impressive (giant graphics card and oversize heat cooler), but is this "eye candy" for the technically inclined PC enthusiast really moving forward, or just another pile of copper pipes sold at a price established out of pure value perception? This article got me thinking... Are we unknowingly creating a market demand for cooling products that make little sense in the grand scheme of things, nor shows little technological advancement? Why do we get so excited when a graphics card becomes so hot during peak operation that it requires cooling beyond standard specification. In engineering terms, any system that transforms such a large amount of electrical energy into heat as a side effect would be considered inefficient. By creating a market for "aftermarket" cooling, we do not only show our tolerance for inefficiency, but also create a booming demand for lackluster "solutions".

  • 5 Hide
    mubin , October 3, 2012 8:18 AM
    I still love sapphire cooling system. Good for moderate oc and non-oc.
  • -1 Hide
    apache_lives , October 3, 2012 11:05 AM
    give me a reference card and cooler any day -- they last a lot longer (fans especially), cool the ram/vrm properly (manufacturers spec) and they help keep the card from bending/warping from the weight, and are less likely to be overclocked aka to spec = rock solid, long lasting card

    this applys to all mid-high end nvidia/ati(amd) video cards
  • 1 Hide
    WyomingKnott , October 3, 2012 12:42 PM
    Why "Dracula?" Because it sucks?
  • 1 Hide
    jtd871 , October 3, 2012 1:04 PM
    @theconsolegamer

    That's how you transfer heat from the shim to the unmodified Accelero III. I wonder if JB Weld would work better...although that would permanently attach the shim to the Accelero III.

    @cilliers

    The value is in the noise reduction at load. These processors run hot because they are doing a great deal of work pushing electrons around. Consider that incandescent bulbs work the same way - the friction causes the filament to get so hot that it glows. If you don't want a thermally hot/power hungry card for philosophical reasons, then don't buy one.

    @W(h)yKnott

    I imagine that "Dracula" is intended to connote sucking the heat away from the 79xx. The fact that these tests show that they are relatively inefficient at doing so makes for a humorous double entendre, like your handle.
  • 3 Hide
    luciferano , October 3, 2012 1:09 PM
    theconsolegamerWait, was really necessary to apply thermal paste to both faces of the shim?


    Unless you don't like not burning the GPU, pretty much. You might get away without it, but temps would be far higher. Maybe if you really lapped the cooler and shim you could get away with it, but I'd doubt that using no thermal paste at all would be a good idea even in that situation.
  • 2 Hide
    cleeve , October 3, 2012 1:11 PM
    theconsolegamerWait, was really necessary to apply thermal paste to both faces of the shim?


    Absolutely. If you don't, contact wouldn't be uniform and you'd have dead spots.

    Thermal paste is important, but the trick is to use as little as necessary, not to slather on gobs.
  • 2 Hide
    horaciopz , October 3, 2012 1:11 PM
    For whomever that is wiling to spend 80+ on a 400ish GPU a smarter choice would be a wattercooler block and conections.

    Its very unlikely that someone with such card is going to have air cooling "upgrade", since the WC setups are afordable. If that person wants to get better cooling solution, he wouldnt spend money on air cooling, just throwing on it an radiator or connect the GPU block to an existing radiator would be sufficient, better for looks, and better performance.
  • 1 Hide
    luciferano , October 3, 2012 1:12 PM
    cilliersGuys!This surely looks impressive (giant graphics card and oversize heat cooler), but is this "eye candy" for the technically inclined PC enthusiast really moving forward, or just another pile of copper pipes sold at a price established out of pure value perception? This article got me thinking... Are we unknowingly creating a market demand for cooling products that make little sense in the grand scheme of things, nor shows little technological advancement? Why do we get so excited when a graphics card becomes so hot during peak operation that it requires cooling beyond standard specification. In engineering terms, any system that transforms such a large amount of electrical energy into heat as a side effect would be considered inefficient. By creating a market for "aftermarket" cooling, we do not only show our tolerance for inefficiency, but also create a booming demand for lackluster "solutions".


    If I had a card that used 1000 watts of power but was ten times faster than the Radeon 7970 in every way, it would still be the most energy efficient graphics card in the world today. I also don't think that after-market VGA cooling is a booming market for lackluster solutions. The after market VGA cooling industry probably isn't booming because even the minority of overclockers in this world tend to not use an aftermarket cooler on their graphics card(s). Even then, just because there are some lackluster solutions doesn't mean that they sell nearly as well as the good solutions.
  • 0 Hide
    killerclick , October 3, 2012 3:42 PM
    cilliersAre we unknowingly creating a market demand for cooling products that make little sense in the grand scheme of things, nor shows little technological advancement? Why do we get so excited when a graphics card becomes so hot during peak operation that it requires cooling beyond standard specification.


    I buy aftermarket coolers for noise reduction only, I can't stand a loud computer. Now my machine is so quiet, it's hard to tell whether it's off or on, even when it's under load.
    And having more efficient hardware wouldn't help with the noise, the OEMs would just put smaller coolers and smaller/faster fans, so noise output would be similar.
  • -3 Hide
    Anonymous , October 3, 2012 4:13 PM
    Bad review is bad.
    Review the dracula with two 140mm fans or three 120mm fans as the design was intended, to show optimal performance.
    Overclock as far as you can with each design so we can see the value added to the card.
    Without that information this entire article is pointless, and leads to dumba$$ comments like 'why dracula, because it sucks?'
    How about review the design as it was meant to be used?
    *And what kind of a tech journalist doesn't have a few spare 120/140mm fans laying around? WTF!!!
  • 5 Hide
    cleeve , October 3, 2012 5:04 PM
    Nathanael KaurReview the dracula with two 140mm fans or three 120mm fans as the design was intended, to show optimal performance.


    The 7970 doesn't NEED more, temps were awesome. Noise, space, and cost also comes into play.

    Nathanael KaurOverclock as far as you can with each design so we can see the value added to the card.


    You think a slight temperature difference between the Dracula and Accelero will affect the overclock? That's just silly. Limits will be set by voltage unless temps are astronomical.

    Nathanael KaurBad review is bad.


    Overdramatic complaint is overdramatic. :) 


  • 1 Hide
    iknowhowtofixit , October 3, 2012 6:58 PM
    I wish there were comparisons to some of the AIB partner heatsinks that come pre-installed on the GPU. I bet the HIS iceQ would do very well here.
  • 0 Hide
    Onihikage , October 3, 2012 9:06 PM
    When the Sandia cooler makes its debut, I have a feeling the third-party GPU cooler market will explode.
  • 1 Hide
    sephmeister , October 3, 2012 10:52 PM
    What's the point of blowing an extra 80 on this and voiding your warranty? The Gigabyte versions are usually some of the most affordable versions anyways and come with coolers nearly identical to these...
  • 0 Hide
    A Bad Day , October 3, 2012 11:08 PM
    cilliersGuys!This surely looks impressive (giant graphics card and oversize heat cooler), but is this "eye candy" for the technically inclined PC enthusiast really moving forward, or just another pile of copper pipes sold at a price established out of pure value perception? This article got me thinking... Are we unknowingly creating a market demand for cooling products that make little sense in the grand scheme of things, nor shows little technological advancement? Why do we get so excited when a graphics card becomes so hot during peak operation that it requires cooling beyond standard specification. In engineering terms, any system that transforms such a large amount of electrical energy into heat as a side effect would be considered inefficient. By creating a market for "aftermarket" cooling, we do not only show our tolerance for inefficiency, but also create a booming demand for lackluster "solutions".


    OC most silicon chips, and they will lose efficiency.
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