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My Results with HD 4850 + Akasa Vortexx Neo Heatsink

Yangorang

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#1

I’ve been seeing a lot of forum posts about concerned people asking about how they should cool down their Radeon HD 4850 cards. They are great cards after all they just run a little bit hot. The easiest fix that helps to some degree is of course to manually set the card’s fan speed to a higher speed. This is extremely easy to do (just google 4850 fan speed mod or something) and gives pretty good results for no cost, though it also increases noise levels significantly.
The best way to lower your temps of course is to get a better heatsink/fan combo. There are many rather good heatsinks that will fit on the 4850 and I’ve listed a few below.
-Thermalright HR-03GT
-Thermalright T-Rad2
-Zalman VF1000 / GV1000
-Thermaltake DuOrb
-Arctic Cooling Accelero S1 Rev2
-More I’ll probably never remember
The one problem I’ve had with all of these coolers though is that none of them exhaust hot air out of the case. Even if they’re cooling my 4850 down they are doing so at the expense of all the rest of the components within my computer. In my mind the ideal heatsink would be some triple slot cooler that makes contact with all heat producing components on the card and exhausts hot air out of the back of the case. Unfortunately no such product exists, (If you know of one contact me immediately at Yangorang@hotmail.com) but I think I’ve finally found a decent product.
Product Page: http://www.akasa.com.tw/akasa_english/spec_page/vga_cooler/spec_ak_vc03_bluv.htm
Review: http://chilledpc.co.uk/portal/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=45&Itemid=55
Behold the Akasa Vortexx Neo, from the review it is supposed to perform quite well at a reasonable noise level, and it exhausts all that hot air right out the back of your case with its 80mm fan. Even better, it fits into my case decor as well. (I’ve got some UV reactive, cables, wire ties, etc.) Funnily the Akasa Neo doesn’t even look that beefy at all,(small with only two heatpipes) especially not compared to monsters like the HR-03GT, but the numbers in the review speak for themselves. I’ll be conducting my own testing in this regard as well using FurMark to burn for max temps.
One issue is that the Akasa does not cover the PWMs on the 4850 and does not include any heatsinks for you to do so but this is not too big of an issue as you can just saw off a section of the 4850 heatsink or just buy some tiny heatsinks. Note that the Akasa does cover the memory chips though and provides thermal pads for that.
I also really like the IceQ 4 cooler by HIS but those aren’t available by themselves and I bought my 4850 a while before HIS IceQ4 4850s were out so the Akasa is pretty much my best option. From what I’ve heard the IceQ4 and the Akasa Neo perform pretty similarly.
I just got my Akasa Neo today, installed it and booted up. It seems to be working quite nicely and it’s very quiet.

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My Own Brief Review

My first impressions of the Akasa Neo were pretty good. I had heard a lot of good things about this cooler regarding performance / noise and it’s the only exhaust cooler certified for use with the 4850/4870.



It's a pretty decent looking cooler in my opinion which is nice if you have a see through case. I personally love blue LEDs. :)
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Installation of the Akasa Vortexx Neo couldn't have been much easier. All you really have to do is remove the stock heatsink and clean up old thermal grease, then stick thermal pads on for the memory, heatsink the PWMs somehow or another and stick new thermal compound onto the GPU. (I used IC Diamond 7 Carat) Then you just have to match up four bolts on the Neo with four mounting holes on the 4850 PCB and screw it down from the other side.


If you want to know how much copper is in a 4850 stock heatsink...there it is...

I found installing the Neo on my 4850 much easier than installing an HR-03+ on my previous 8800GTS, but maybe it's just because now I'm more experienced.
One thing that I noticed when I put my card back into my case is that the Neo will take up slightly more than just the slot under the 4850. I happened to have an ASUS Xonar right under it and I noticed that the fan end of the Neo actually touched my Xonar. It wasn't a big deal for me and I really shouldn't have had my Xonar so close to a graphics card anyway (I was just too lazy to move wires around as my floppy power isn't that long - stupid Xonar needs power bah....but it sounds great...) This is just a note to people who have a lot of other expansion cards. Short wireless cards and stuff won't be an issue as it's only the fan end of the Neo that sticks out a tiny little bit more.



Inside my case with HD 4850 + Akasa Vortexx Neo

Noise-wise I believe the Akasa Vortexx Neo is a very quiet cooler. I'm currently running it off a 4-pin (100% fan speed) and I can't hear it above the other fans in my case. Then again I have 5 other 120mm fans in my case and another 80mm exhaust fan so my computer in general may be quite a bit louder than most people's. Either way the Neo is definitely way quieter than the stock fan. For the stock cooler I could start hearing it after about 60% fan speed and I really just couldn't stand anything above 75% unless I was gaming with my speaker volumes turned way up. I am perfectly comfortable
with the Neo at 100% though.

PERFORMANCE
I'm guessing this is what everyone is really interested in. I've heard some pretty decent results with this cooler but it's time to find out for myself.

Testing Methodology
-4850 at stock clock speeds
-LOAD with FurMark for about a half hour, also used FurMark for temp detection
-Stock cooler in no way physically modified. No new thermal paste or anything like that.
-Akasa Neo fan at 100%, used IC Diamond 7 Carat thermal compound for GPU and thermal pads for memory chips.

Temperature Comparisons
-Stock Cooler 100% fan: 48C IDLE // 91C LOAD




-Stock Cooler 70% fan: 50C IDLE // 97C LOAD




-Akasa Vortexx Neo: 42C IDLE // 66C LOAD



Results with the Neo are pretty good but not outstanding. I was hoping for something more like 5XC LOAD but I can't complain about a good 30C drop from the stock cooler with SILENCE. Maybe I didn't screw it in tight enough or maybe I need to let the ICD7C thermal compound burn in some.
-------------------------------------------------------------

CONCLUSION
At about $30 + shipping I would say the Akasa Vortexx Neo is a great value cooler for the HD 4850. It's very reasonably priced, looks nice, is very easy to install, quiet, and performs relatively well. I still wish I could lower temps a little bit more but the Neo cools things down to pretty good levels and maybe temps will improve after I let my ICD7C thermal compound burn in a bit.

---------------------------------------------------
I haven't seen too many reviews posted on the Akasa Neo so I just saw the need to do so. Hopefully this helps someone out there, and please ask me questions if you need to know something as I'm not very experienced writing reviews.
 
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#2
why did the average FPS go down?
 

ghost101

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#3
91C load with 100% stock fan? Something is wrong there. Either you have ambient temps which are 35C+ or its heavily overclocked. I remember with 100% fan and stock clocks load with furmark was 65-70C with ambient temps of ~21C.
 

Yangorang

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#4
My 4850

I think the avg FPS might be different because I accidently used different catalyst profiles when testing. It shouldn't affect the load temp results though.
Also I was tweaking a bit with CPU overclock in the middle, but the GPU was kept at stock clocks all the time.

I dunno if there's just something wrong with my card but 91C is just what I get with my fan at 100% (loud like heck) (stock clock speeds)
It could be case dust or something but my case has two SilenX exhaust fans and the stock card actually had an expansion slot exhaust fan right under it as well.
 
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Yangorang

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#5
Anyone have any experience pencil volt-modding a 4850 with a 3rd party cooler? Like how much did the heat increase and what kind of max overclock did you get?
 
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#6
I just recently got this cooler too. I'm probably going to put it on my new second 3870, so if I do, I'll tell you all how it goes in a few days.
 

Yangorang

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#7
I actually didn't have a hacksaw around when I first posted so I was actually running my HD4850 Vreg heatsink-less for some time. Now I've gotten that hacksaw and properly used a section of the stock heatsink for cooling those Vregs.
Fully installed HD 4850 Cooler:

 
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#8
That's a nice improvement. Thanks for reviewing this. =P
 

Yangorang

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#9
Here's my results when overclocking to 700/1100 Mhz for an idea of temp scaling with the Neo.

I must say I'm not terribly impressed. This cooler definitely won't do for hardcore voltmodding and stuff like that, but it should suffice for some moderate overclocking I guess.
It's still a pretty good cooler for $30 though, and it's form factor has its benefits.
 

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#10
Good to see someone continuing the tried and true designs of the older ATI/NV Coolers from AC, and tossing heat-pipes in them...looks a lot like the ATI Silencer 5 rv2 on my X850xt pe, just updated. Great cooler, silent at 100% fan speed, yet very effective. Nice results!
 
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#11
It's good for a combination of aesthetics and performance. Pretty good on both ends. =P
 

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#12
If you want to know how much copper is in a 4850 stock heatsink...there it is...
Actually, that's how much aluminium is in it.

Any copper is merely copper coloured paint.
 

Yangorang

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#13
Actually, that's how much aluminium is in it.

Any copper is merely copper coloured paint.
haha my mistake... I actually just noticed when I was cutting part of the stock heatsink off for my Vregs.
 
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#15
Doesnt fit

hi

i bought this cooler for my saphire Hd 4850, when i tried to fit it, this cooler wont fit on the card, the capacitors on the card are coming in the way for the cooler to sit properly unless i remove the wholer plastic cover thing and the ram cooling plate

any ideas whats happening

did ATI change their capacitor placement and updated the card design or what.
 

Yangorang

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#16
Well for this review I installed it on a reference 4850 just fine, so it is possible that either ATI updated the reference design, or SAPPHIRE moved around some of the caps or something.
 

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#18
Since this is resurrected anyways, I would love to see Akasa re-design this with a larger fin array/vapour chamber AND heatpipes.
 
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#19
hi

i bought this cooler for my saphire Hd 4850, when i tried to fit it, this cooler wont fit on the card, the capacitors on the card are coming in the way for the cooler to sit properly unless i remove the wholer plastic cover thing and the ram cooling plate

any ideas whats happening

did ATI change their capacitor placement and updated the card design or what.
ALL of Saphires 4850s are non reference cards, and they suck at overclocking.