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Custom Cooling: Deepcool's Dracula And Arctic's Accelero Xtreme

Test System Setup And Benchmarks

Our testing includes idle and load temperature measurements, in addition to acoustic benchmarks. We're using Battlefield 3 as our graphics load,  with the game running under the Ultra quality preset at 1920x1080 for 10 minutes in the Operation Swordbreaker level. We log temperatures using GPU-Z, and measure noise two feet from the back of the case with a CM-130 SPL meter. Unfortunately, ambient noise is a challenge in our real-world test lab; we recorded 40.5 dB(A).

While the Arctic Accelero Xtreme fans are powered by headers on the graphics card and should vary rotational speed in response to thermal load, Deepcool's Dracula employs power supply or motherboard fan headers. We're using 12 V leads on the motherboard to drive constant RPMs.

We also plan to measure how these coolers handle a GPU overclock to 1100 MHz with a 1.2 V setting. This increase should generate significantly more heat than the stock settings.

Test System
CPUIntel Core i7-3960X (Sandy Bridge-E), 3.3 GHz @ 4.25 GHz , Six Cores, LGA 2011, 15 MB Shared L3 Cache, Hyper-Threading enabled.
MotherboardASRock X79 Extreme9 (LGA 2011) Chipset: Intel X79 Express
NetworkingOn-Board Gigabit LAN controller
MemoryCorsair Vengeance LP PC3-16000, 4 x 4 GB, 1600 MT/s, CL 8-8-8-24-2T
GraphicsRadeon HD 7970 3 GB GDDR5
Hard DriveSamsung 470-series 256 GB (SSD)
PowerePower EP-1200E10-T2 1200 W ATX12V, EPS12V
Software and Drivers
Operating SystemMicrosoft Windows 7 x64, Service Pack 1
DirectXDirectX 11
Graphics DriversCatalyst 12.7 Beta
Benchmarks
Battlefield 3Operation Swordbreaker, Ultra settings, 1920x1080, 10 minutes
  • aznshinobi
    Give me one please...

    But, would be nice to see the coolers compared to some mainstream solutions. IE the HIS IceQ X2 or Sapphire Toxic, etc. etc.
    Reply
  • andle riddum
    One warning to prospective buyers of Arctic products, their fans are really junk. I have/had S1 with turbo module, twin turbo, twin turbo PRO...and the fans failed within 1 year or so. Now I have normal fans zip tied, not pretty
    Reply
  • ShadyHamster
    I've never had a problem with arctic fans, the accelero xtreme for my HD5870 is still running perfect and its just over 2 years old now, same goes for the twin turbo i bought years ago for my HD3850.

    btw nice article :D
    Reply
  • theconsolegamer
    Wait, was really necessary to apply thermal paste to both faces of the shim?
    Reply
  • cilliers
    Guys!

    This surely looks impressive (giant graphics card and oversize heat cooler), but is this "eye candy" for the technically inclined PC enthusiast really moving forward, or just another pile of copper pipes sold at a price established out of pure value perception? This article got me thinking... Are we unknowingly creating a market demand for cooling products that make little sense in the grand scheme of things, nor shows little technological advancement? Why do we get so excited when a graphics card becomes so hot during peak operation that it requires cooling beyond standard specification. In engineering terms, any system that transforms such a large amount of electrical energy into heat as a side effect would be considered inefficient. By creating a market for "aftermarket" cooling, we do not only show our tolerance for inefficiency, but also create a booming demand for lackluster "solutions".

    Reply
  • mubin
    I still love sapphire cooling system. Good for moderate oc and non-oc.
    Reply
  • apache_lives
    give me a reference card and cooler any day -- they last a lot longer (fans especially), cool the ram/vrm properly (manufacturers spec) and they help keep the card from bending/warping from the weight, and are less likely to be overclocked aka to spec = rock solid, long lasting card

    this applys to all mid-high end nvidia/ati(amd) video cards
    Reply
  • WyomingKnott
    Why "Dracula?" Because it sucks?
    Reply
  • jtd871
    @theconsolegamer

    That's how you transfer heat from the shim to the unmodified Accelero III. I wonder if JB Weld would work better...although that would permanently attach the shim to the Accelero III.

    @cilliers

    The value is in the noise reduction at load. These processors run hot because they are doing a great deal of work pushing electrons around. Consider that incandescent bulbs work the same way - the friction causes the filament to get so hot that it glows. If you don't want a thermally hot/power hungry card for philosophical reasons, then don't buy one.

    @W(h)yKnott

    I imagine that "Dracula" is intended to connote sucking the heat away from the 79xx. The fact that these tests show that they are relatively inefficient at doing so makes for a humorous double entendre, like your handle.
    Reply
  • luciferano
    theconsolegamerWait, was really necessary to apply thermal paste to both faces of the shim?
    Unless you don't like not burning the GPU, pretty much. You might get away without it, but temps would be far higher. Maybe if you really lapped the cooler and shim you could get away with it, but I'd doubt that using no thermal paste at all would be a good idea even in that situation.
    Reply