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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.

  • Maximus_Delta
    Love it !! Fantastic bit of kit.
  • mayankleoboy1
    this cooler is the Double FF equivalent of geek pr0n.
  • 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....
  • 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.
  • ShadyHamster
    how about comparing this with other aftermarket coolers? such as arctic coolings accelero extreme
  • esrever
    Even tho this is a little extreme, it is still extremely badass.
  • bak0n
    I wonder how it'll fix on my ITX motherboard? /joke off
  • amuffin
    I'd rather have invested the money spent on this into watercooling!
    what a waste...unless a manufacturer comes up with a motherboard and case specifically made for this so you don't waste expansion slots.
  • memadmax