15 Year Old Passive Cooler Keeps Intel Arc A380 Silent

Passive Arc A380
(Image credit: Fully Silent PCs / Fanless Tech)

Quiet PCs maker and enthusiast ‘Fully Silent PCs’ has revealed a new open-air test build which sports a passively cooled Intel Arc A380 graphics card. Apparently the setup was a cinch, as the 15 year old Arctic Accelero S1 passive cooler mated with the Intel Arc PCB without modifications or the use of special brackets.

Intel’s 75W TDP Arc A380 graphics cards are just about the limit for no-fuss passive cooling, but we have yet to see any AIBs market such a product. The fastest currently available passive graphics card that we are aware of is the Palit GeForce GTX 1650 KalmX. The Arc A380 isn’t too far ahead of the GTX 1650 in gaming, but it has some attractive modern media encoding advantages for content creators.

(Image credit: Fully Silent PCs / Fanless Tech)

Silent PCs revealed that the graphics card was fitted with an old Arctic Accelero S1 (opens in new tab) heatsink with “no modifications necessary.” The silent PC builder went on to reveal that the 53mm spaced mounting holes on the Intel graphics card PCB aligned perfectly with the Arctic passive cooler, so no adjusting brackets were required.

It would be great to see some thermal testing and benchmarks with the passively cooled Arc A380, and Fanless Tech reveals that Matt, the owner of Fully Silent PCs, is working on producing this informative data right now. The site says that the finished build will be of the open air type, and updates with temperature readings will be provided in due course.

If we peek at the pictures shared by both Fully Silent PCs and Fanless Tech, the passive GPU cooler from Arctic is dwarfed by the passive CPU cooling block. We don’t have any reviews of this exact Arctic Accelero S1 product in the Tom’s Hardware archives, but we have featured passive PC builds with the Arctic Accelero Xtreme III, and more recently (2017) modification of a GTX 1050 Ti, dialled back to 52W for unthrottled performance, and fitted with an Arctic Accelero III.

(Image credit: Fully Silent PCs)

In the pictures we can see that the Arc A380 being used is hooked up to a 6-pin power connector. Some models are designed to take over 75W, so the extra connector is necessary for peak performance, but there are models without 6-pin connectors on the market.

Hopefully, Fully Silent PCs will enjoy some success with the passively cooled Arc A380, and it will be interesting to find out any tweaks that are implemented to achieve acceptable unthrottled performance. Some actively cooled Arc A380 comparisons, in the same system, would be welcome too.

Mark Tyson
Freelance News Writer

Mark Tyson is a Freelance News Writer at Tom's Hardware US. He enjoys covering the full breadth of PC tech; from business and semiconductor design to products approaching the edge of reason.

  • cyrusfox
    Would love to see the return of full passive cooling solutions. Besides passive NUC adapters it is a field ripe for innovation.
    Reply
  • jkflipflop98
    Indeed. There have been a few solutions over the years that use the case itself as a giant heatsink. I've always loved that idea, but of course the issue is getting the heat from the parts to the case.
    Reply
  • cfbcfb
    jkflipflop98 said:
    Indeed. There have been a few solutions over the years that use the case itself as a giant heatsink. I've always loved that idea, but of course the issue is getting the heat from the parts to the case.

    Linus tech tips did a mod on a macbook air, where they removed an insulating foam and replaced it with a thermally conductive pad that "connected" the passive heat sink in the Air to the aluminum case.

    Picked up a huge performance boost as the cpu stopped throttling under load, and it doubled as a lap warmer.

    Big problem in using the case is not having it get too hot to touch and turning into a burn hazard, so some dispersal of the heat before it gets to the case surface is needed.
    Reply
  • cfbcfb
    I'm looking forward to the arc mobile products landing in some mini pcs along with 12th and 13th gen cpu's. Nice little discrete solution to run a couple of 4k monitors and do some light gaming, with great media encode/decode.

    Either a 370m or 550m.
    Reply
  • LuxZg
    I have new unused Accelero S1 and even it's Turbo silent fans that clip on it. Anyone with compatible card willing to pay shipping? ;D
    Reply
  • sycoreaper
    Test is irrelevant. It's on a test bench, not an enclosed space (i.e. Case). Big difference.
    Reply
  • windreamer
    If you bought an Arctic Accelero S3, you got your money's worth and then some.
    Reply