Arctic Cooling VGA Silencer

Arctic Cooling VGA Silencer

Performance, Value & Conclusion »

Introduction

From the manufacturer arctic cooling:
  • First VGA cooler with selectable cooling and noise level
  • absolute silence or uncompromising cooling performance
  • Unique mounting clip
  • improves the heat transfer of the GPU to the heat sink significantly
  • DHES (Direct Heat Exhaust System)
  • carries the warm exhaust air directly outward
Overall Dimension185 x 84 x 34 mm
Weight278 g
MaterialAluminium
Rated Fan Speeds1200 / 2400 RPM


Compatibility List

Video CardSilencer Rev. 1Silencer Rev. 2
(Feb. 2004)
Silencer Rev. 3
(March 2004)
Silencer XT
(March 2004)
Geforce 3 yesyesyesno
Geforce 4 nononono
9000/9200nononono
9500 yesyesyesno
9500 Pro yesyesyesno
9600nonoyesno
9600 Pro nonoyesno
9600 XT nonoyesno
9600 AIW nonoyesno
9700 yesyesyesno
9700 Pro yesyesyesno
9700 AIW noyesyesno
9800 yesyesyesno
9800 Pro yesyesyesno
9800 Pro 256MByesyesyesyes
9800 XT nononoyes
9800 AIW noyesyesno


Packaging



Box contents:
  • VGA cooler
  • AGP/PCI Slot cover with Switch
  • Grounding metal sheet to go between card and slot cover
  • Plastic mounting clip
  • Syringe of Thermal Paste
  • Installation Instructions
As you can see in the next two images, the surface of the cooler that makes contact with the core is quite flat.



Installation

Arctic Cooling recommends the following installation procedure which takes about 15-20 minutes:

  1. Remove the power connection to the stock cooler
  2. Remove the stock cooler
  3. Clean GPU core
  4. Put thermal paste on GPU core
  5. Remove old slot bracket
  6. Put grounding metal sheet over connectors
  7. Put AGP/PCI metal bracket over grounding sheet and connectors
  8. Plug the fan power connector into video card
  9. Lay the heatsink on table facing down and put the video card on it, aligning the mounting holes.
  10. Screw mounting clip on backside of card.
My experience is that installation will be much easier if step 4 is performed after step 8. Doing so will not spread thermal paste all around your core if you accidentially touch it while replacing the brackets. Also, ensure that the cable to the switch which allows toggling between high and low fan speed is between your video card and heatsink while performing step 9.

Overall, the installation is very easy, and suitable even for less experienced people.

I really like the blue backside mounting clip, it has a flexible steel clip inside that bends as mounting pressure increases - this makes it virtually impossible to crush your core, or bend the card by overtightening the screws. I killed a Radeon 9500 while mounting a waterblock and overtightening the screws, so you might want to pay attention to this.



As you can see in the last installation picture there is a small 7mm gap between the slot cover and the end of the heatsink. Unfortunately, this gap allows a little bit of warm air intended for exhaustation to escape into the case. An easy fix is to use duct tape to seal it off.



I had to remove my ramsinks (custom made, 17 mm high) from the card because the available space is only 13 mm. Also, the fan's power cable has to be bent around a bit if you plan to use ramsinks higher than 10 mm because it blocks the space above one memory chip. Tweakmonster BGA Ramsinks will fit fine on this card.



Another issue is the really small space (3-4 mm on my Abit IC7) between the backside mounting clip and northbridge cooler. This may result in problems if you are using an aftermarket heatsink on the northbridge.
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