Arctic Accelero Xtreme IV: Summary And Final Analysis
Arctic's Accelero Xtreme IV is several years old now, but it is still a capable GPU cooler after all this time. In my testing, it delivered lower temps and noticeably quieter performance compared to the Founders Edition cooler, on a GeForce GTX 1080 Ti. The gap in temps and noise are especially high when cranking up the fan speed(s) to 100 percent. When doing that, the Founders Edition cooler is a noisy beast, running at 80 dB. The Accelero Xtreme IV keeps things relatively quiet even at full bore, at around 49 dB, according to my measurements.
The selection of third-party GPU air coolers is rather sparse, probably because graphics card makers have done an overall excellent job designing their own custom solutions, depending on the model. It was for this reason that I never felt compelled to swap out the cooling solution on my previous graphics card, an ASUS ROG Strix GeForce GTX 1070.
Where coolers like the Accelero Xtreme IV shine, however, is when grabbing a Founders Edition graphics card, or a third-party model that is based on NVIDIA's reference design. There is a new generation of GPUs right around the corner, and that will lead to more deals on Pascal cards. So even though the Accelero Xtreme IV is a bit dated at this point, there is still a market for it.
It's not clear if the Accelero Xtreme IV will end up supporting the next round of cards as well, though, both in its physical design and the power profile. So, it would be a mistake to buy one in anticipation of the new cards. If you find a deal on a Pascal card (or a pre-Vega card from AMD), however, it is an excellent cooler.
Two things I'd like to see on future iterations (if there are any) are an updated design, perhaps with customizable LED lighting, and a better designed backplate that minimized the need for thermal pads or using a Sharpie to mark cutouts on a protective film. The latter feels like a cheap solution to a problem that could be solved with a better design.
As it stands, the Accelero Xtreme IV is still a great cooler. It is easy to install and a definite upgrade over stock blower-style coolers.