The surface of the Accelero X2 is very even, only a few tiny scratches are visible. The flatness is the best I have ever seen with no light shining through in the "knife test".
A closer look
Arctic Cooling has recently started to ship their coolers with preapplied thermal paste. This removes one critical step during installation. The applied pattern is very even and flat.
While I was taking photos I removed the cap and the moved the cooler around in different positions, to get a shot from the top I put it on its bottom side .. oops, did I just mess up the thermal paste? No, there are some small standoffs which are used to make sure that the cooler will not crush the GPU die when force is applied.
The whole backside is covered by transparent plastic to avoid short circuits. Only small areas have been left clear where the memory will be cooled.
Total height of the cooler with card is 3.5 cm, which is about half the height of the X1800XT cooler (7 cm) and a bit higher than the XL stock cooler (2 cm). It will not block installation of a second video card for CrossFire. The extra space in front of the cooler will improve cooling performance even further when used in a CrossFire setup.
A very useful feature of the Accelero X2 is that part of the air blown out will go over the voltage regulation circuitry. This will help keep the MOSFETs cool which is especially important when overclocking with increased voltage.