Page 1:AMD's Radeon HD 7970: Presenting A Unique Cooling Challenge
Page 2:Arctic Cooling Accelero Xtreme 7970 And III
Page 3:Deepcool Dracula 7970
Page 4:Test System Setup And Benchmarks
Page 5:Benchmark Results: Temperature And Noise
Page 6:Benchmark Results: Overclocking
Page 7:High Performance Cooling Options For The Radeon HD 7970
Deepcool Dracula 7970
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.