Arctic Accelero Xtreme IV: Cooling And Noise Performance
The Accelero Xtreme IV sandwiches graphics cards between a beefy aluminum backplate and a large cooler with heatpipes on the front side, aided by the airflow of three 92mm fans. It looks beastly, but can it outperform a Founders Edition cooler? It most certainly can, and does.
I recorded idle and load temps of both the Founders Edition cooler and the Accelero Xtreme IV. Both coolers sat in the same slot above a Sound Blaster ZxR soundcard and accompanying DBpro daughter board. I also recorded noise levels.
For idle temps, I let the system sit for 15 minutes after a fresh boot, and did not adjust fan speeds whatsoever. I then fired up Furmark and stressed the GPU at 100 percent for another 15 minutes, and recorded load temps.
The Accelero Xtreme IV lowered idle temps by 6 degrees, though the card was not running particularly hot with the Founders Edition cooler. Things changed in a hurry though, when stressing the GPU. It did not take long at all for the card to hit the 84C threshold with the Founders Edition cooler installed. Switching to the Accelero Xtreme IV dropped the temperature by 26 degrees.
Next, I cranked the fan profile for each cooler to run at 100 percent. At full blast, the gap between the Founders Edition and Accelero Xtreme IV lessened. though the latter still ran 7 degrees cooler at load. The increased performance of the Founders Edition came at a substantial noise cost though, as we will look at next.
For my noise measurements, I used a Tacklife MLM02 digital sound level meter, holding it a few inches away from the card.
There are two sets of measurements. For the first set (above), I raised the power profile to avoid throttling as long as possible. The trade off is that the fans have to work harder to keep temps in check.
At idle, both the Founders Edition and Accelero Xtreme IV are quiet. At load, however, the Founders Edition cooler kicked the fan up to 58 percent to maintain its 84C temperature, whereas the Accelero Xtreme IV's fans were running at 33 percent, and with a much lower temperature. This resulted in a 10 dB noise reduction.
For the second set of noise measurements, I ran the fans at 100 percent. This widened the noise gap considerably. At full bore, the the Founders Edition is obnoxiously loud, hitting 80 dB by my measurement. The Accelero Xtreme IV, on the other hand, was only slightly louder than the previous measurement, increasing from 43 dB to 49 dB.
If we mash all the measurements together, here is how the two coolers compare with the first set of results:
- Accelero Xtreme IV: 25C @ 23% fan speed (idle), 38 dB
- Founders Edition: 31C @ 23% fan speed (idle), 40 dB
- Accelero Xtreme IV: 58C @ 33% fan speed (load), 43 db
- Founders Edition: 84C @ 50% fan speed (load), 49 db
And here is how they compare when manually cranking up the fan speed to 100 percent, with a full GPU load:
- Accelero Xtreme IV: 24C @ 100% fan speed (idle), 49 dB
- Founders Edition: 25C @ 100% fan speed (idle), 40 dB
- Accelero Xtreme IV: 54C @ 100% fan speed (load), 49 dB
- Founders Edition: 61C @ 100% fan speed (load), 80 dB
It is a lot to take in because I wanted to paint a thorough picture of performance. Summed up, the Accelero Xtreme IV is cooler and quieter at every step of the way, and the difference in noise and temps can be substantial, depending on your fan profile.