Three Aftermarket Graphics Coolers On GeForce GTX 480

Benchmark Results: Temperature And Noise

When it comes down to it, there are two reasons people buy these aftermarket coolers: lower temperatures and less noise. Let’s see how they perform:

As you can see, all of these aftermarket coolers do a much better job keeping the power-hungry GF100 cooler and quieter than the reference model. The DeepCool V6000 performs noticeably better than the standard cooler, but the Zalman VF3000F and Arctic Cooling Accelero XTREME Plus both take cooling performance to another level entirely.

We should note that we’re plugging the Zalman VF3000F’s fan cable directly into the motherboard, as this default fan speed provides a nice mix of low noise and temperatures. We’re not the type of folks who want to mess with our fan speeds on a regular basis, but it’s important to remember that the Zalman fan can be tweaked to taste. As tested, it’s a little louder than the Accelero XTREME Plus at idle, but a little quieter under load. Moreover, we're in a situation where the GeForce GTX 480 fan controller can choose to send more power directly to the Accelero XTREME Plus’ fans.

The DeepCool V6000 might not offer the lowest temperatures, but it does succeed in outperforming the stock solution, while noise is in the same league as the Zalman and Arctic Cooling models. We do have to note that during testing, the loose thermal tape let go of several RAM and VRM heatsinks. While this didn’t affect GPU temperatures much, it did affect overclocking ability, as we’ll see on the next page.

  • Poisoner
    You just can't mess with the Accelero.
  • AMW1011
    Wow, I can't believe the Accelero and the Zalman were basically neck and neck, with no tangible victory in cooling. I always thought the Accelero would be better, but Zalman actually pulled this one off.

    However, what would be AMAZING, is to have a follow-up to see which of these two solutions work best in SLI, assuming EITHER work well in SLI. I think that is the big question, especially since we never expected bad temps.

    Also can you please add the voltages used for each overclock? It might give people, especially stock GTX 480 owners, a better idea of what these can handle, since cards will always vary when overclocking.
    Holy ***, stock voltages! That is crazy! Please post up your VID (stock voltage) for us. Either you have a golden GTX 480, or the VID is a lot higher than it needs to be, which is pretty common.

    Great article, I love to see these kind of side articles/reviews, and it was well done.
  • gabwerkz
    You mean Zalman VF3000F, not Zotac VF3000F on page 7.
  • Nerdbox87
    Given that this entire article is based on cooling you really should have included all GPU temps - as vram / vrm cooling may be the difference between the Accelero and the Zalman (as I know my Accelero Twin Turbo on a 5850 struggled with vram temps in Furmark)

    On this my guess would be the Zalman would smash it
  • joytech22
    How was the 480 at just under 60C when my 470's are always idling at 86C in a Antec twelve hundred..?

    I mean sure this case isn't the best cooling case but there's never really much hot air in the case and with a sidepanel fan blowing on the two cards i just cant see how.

    Unless.. you guy's test in a cool room at about 15-20C or the fan speeds are maxed 100% of the time.
  • anacandor
    joytech22my 470's are always idling at 86C
    Well, there's your praablem.

  • dvijaydev46
    Oh, Zalman's cooler looks weaker than Accelero but the later actually outperforms a bit. That's amazing.
  • Th-z
    Don, what is your view on how to apply thermal paste. There are numbers of ways people talk about: a pea in the middle, several peas, line in the middle, several lines, and old school spread method. You use spread method when you apply the RAM/VRM sink on Zalman, I presume you use the same method on other parts, too. Maybe Tom can do a comparison test on different ways of applying thermal paste.
  • compton
    These look good and would help me out quite a bit with a 465/470, but I wish I could get them in a design that would help maintain the existing footprint. My GF100 doesn't run quite as hot as some reference card designs, but that sure as hell doesn't mean that I'm happy with the leaf blower lurking in my case. Maybe I find a way to make the Zalman work.
  • avatar_raq
    I think the Zalman one wins here. It performs slightly better, costs slightly less, weighs less and is shorter than the Arctic cooler. As for noise they're trading blows. Being shorter, the VF3000 does not increase the length of the GTX 480, unlike the accelero which may theoretically cause incompatibility with some cases. Being lighter, it strains the PCB much less. The fact it performed so close to the Arctic cooler with only 2 fans surprised me.