Arctic Cooling ATI Silencer 4 Review 5

Arctic Cooling ATI Silencer 4 Review

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After the initial installation the heatsink was immediately removed and the contact area was inspected. The round corners do not cover the core so they are a minor issue. But near the bottom left of the GPU core there was barely any contact. The two pictures are from two different video cards and two different silencers, so it's not an isolated problem. Better use a good amount of thermal paste.

For the overclocking tests I used my ATITool overclocking utility version 0.0.22. 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 reading the on-die X800 thermal diode. 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 475 / 450 Mhz.

Arctic Silver Lumière was used as thermal interface material for the GPU core in all installations. Lumière is a specially engineered testing compound - it needs no settle in time to reach its maximum performance, but it's not designed for permanent use.

The fan was connected to the video card's fan output which features dynamic fan speeds - the fan speed is variated based on temperature. For all temperatures below 70°C it is 32%. The VGA Silencer does such a good job at keeping the card cool that it's always running at those 32%. I find this does not show the full potential of the VGA Silencer, so I also tested it with fan speeds forced to 50% and 100%.

Radeon X800 Pro Maximum Core Clock Sound level Temperature Load Temperature Idle
Stock cooler - dynamic fan525 MhzQuiet80°C49°C
Stock cooler - fan 100%530 MhzNoisy67°C40°C
ATI Silencer 4 dynamic537 MhzQuiet65°C37°C
ATI Silencer 4 50%543 Mhz Quiet to Acceptable56°C34°C
ATI Silencer 4 100%544 Mhz Acceptable52°C33°C
Watercooling (Water ~30°C)556 Mhz Inaudible37°C32°C

The ATI Silencer 4 just does awesome on all settings. Even at the slow 32% it's working really good. There is not much overclocking potential to be gained from running the fan faster, especially not from 50% to 100%. One thing I noticed is that the fan makes clicking noises while running at slower speeds.

Value and Conclusion

  • The ATI Silencer 4 is selling for about $35 which is a good price for this cooler.
  • Great performance
  • Copper base
  • Easy to install
  • Cools memory as well
  • Fan connects to video card
  • Backside looks ugly
  • Clicking fan noise
  • Only compatible with X800
  • GPU contact could be better
  • Backside cooler has contact problems
If you are looking for a good cooler for your X800 you must definitely consider the ATI Silencer 4. Its cooling performance is excellent no matter what the fan speed is. Memory cooling works pretty well and gives you a bit more overclocking headroom. While the clicking noises are a bit annoying, they are definitely not a deal-breaker.
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