VGA Heat-Pipe Cooler Roundup 2006

Arctic Cooling Accelero X2

Arctic Cooling's Accelero X2

Best price found: $32.99

Arctic Cooling has an honored history of providing excellent aftermarket coolers for VGA cards. The NV5 series was legendary for cooling the Nvidia GeForce 6800 series, and the company has followed up with other great coolers of note. How will their newest offering stack up?

The Hardware

The Accelero X2 is pretty unique-looking compared to the other coolers in this review. As is typical of other Arctic Cooler offerings, it is housed in a simple yet elegant enclosure. As you can see in the picture, the cooler is quite tall because the internal fan is mounted high, and the enclosure is molded to fit the fan. This might cause clearance problems in some cases, although it was fine in our test bed.

The Accelero X2 has a copper core to cool the GPU, which is attached to a solid aluminum plate that cools all of the memory packages. The X2 is the only aftermarket cooler that cools the memory in this fashion: all other aftermarket coolers either use individual heat sinks to cool the memory, or nothing at all.

Arctic Cooling's X2 package


Arctic Cooling's offering is probably the easiest cooler to install on the Radeon X1800/X1900 series, as it's specifically manufactured for it. As such, there are no hardware brackets to adjust; simply apply the memory spacers and tighten the eight screws. The GPU contact surface has a pre-applied pad of thermal grease, so there's not even any mess to worry about. (Note, though, that to keep the comparison on an even keel we used Arctic Silver 3 on all coolers instead of the various thermal greases and pads that the manufacturers included with them.)

Finally, the power cable was very easy to install, because it fits in the stock X1900 fan port, right on the X1900 card. Because of this, we could control the fan speed using software such as AtiTool.