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

Cooling AMD's Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition

One of our biggest complaints about AMD's Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition is the card's noise under load. Its radial fan is loud enough to drive anyone who cares about acoustics insane. Particularly compared to the GeForce GTX 600-series cards that were already available, we're surprised that AMD didn't put more effort into improving its reference design. Fortunately, we've seen a number of board vendors implement their own aftermarket coolers to solve the reference board's noise problem.

It'd be laborious to do all of that work yourself. It'd cost a lot of money. And you'd void your warranty. But it seems like a better idea every day we have to hear our Radeon HD 7970 cards whirring away.

Rather than go the conventional route, with a two- or even three-slot cooler, we're taking Radeon HD 7970 cooling to an entirely different level.

Our installation requires three things to be successful: the right parts, five free expansion slots, and some patience and care. There’s no need to be afraid of dismantling your expensive new card, even if you've never done something like this before, so long as you follow our instructions. Just don’t expect a lot of help from the manual included with the heat sink we're using, the Alpenföhn Peter from cooling specialist EKL. You'll also find the Peter sold as Deepcool's Dracula here in the U.S.

By all accounts, this thing is a beast. And we're using it with modifications for AMD's Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition in the form of new brackets and two Noiseblocker BlackSilentPro fans. All of this can be had for about $140 through a couple of different enthusiast-oriented online vendors. That's not cheap my any measure, but you get a lot of technology for the price.

  • 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