Arctic Cooling VGA Silencer Rev. 3

Arctic Cooling VGA Silencer Rev. 3

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Performance



After the initial installation the heatsink was immediately removed and the contact area was inspected. The above pictures clearly show that the contact is very good, although not as good as with the Rev.1 cooler it seems.

On some forums there are reports of problems with Radeon 9500/9700 cards where the metal shim is a bit higher than the core - this is not the case with the tested 9800 Pro.



For the overclocking tests I used my ATITool overclocking utility version 0.0.19. ATITool has the unique ability to detect artifacts, or flaws, in a rendered image. As defined by ATITool, the maximum stable overclock on a card is the speed at which it is able to consistently (15 minutes in this test) produce no errors, or artifacts. ATITool detects ANY artifacts, even ones which will not be visible in game. Using the human eye to detect artifacts introduces subjectivity into the test, so despite the fact that an ATITool tested overclock will be characteristically lower than a human one, I will use this.

Temperature was measured with one case side open by putting a thermal probe on the backside of the Radeon 9800 Pro opposite of where the GPU is. Idle temperature was measured after letting Windows sit one hour at the desktop. Load temperature was measured after running 3DMark2001 looped for one hour. Both at the card's default clock of 380 / 340 Mhz.

Arctic Silver 5 was used as thermal interface material in all installations.

 Maximum
Core Clock
Sound level Temperature
Idle
Temperature
Load
Stock cooler

416 Mhz

Acceptable45°C55°C
VGA Silencer Low 413 MhzAlmost inaudible52°C63°C
VGA Silencer High 424 MhzVery quiet43°C53°C
Watercooling (Water ~33°C) 435 MhzInaudible35°C37°C




Performance has essentially remained the same between Revision 1 and 3. As in the Revision 1 review, I'm still impressed by the sound levels of the VGA Silencer - it is REALLY quiet. I would say it is unnoticable, even at the high setting in most air cooled cases.

However, when you are really getting into it with voltmods and extreme overclocking, a watercooling solution will come out as the clear winner - but not at the price of the VGA Silencer.

Conclusion

Rating
Aesthetics8.0
I like the bulky, powerful look of the VGA silencer.
Ease of use9.5
Even easier to install. Good instructions. Compatibility greatly enhanced.
Performance9.0
Excellent performance while keeping sound levels down.
Quality8.0
Everything looks well built. Penalty for air gap between heatsink and slot cover.
Value9.5
The price/performance/quietness ratio is very hard to beat.
The Bottom Line9.2
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