Arctic is well known for their cooling solutions from CPU’s to GPU’s and fans, and they even make cases as well. Today Arctic has given us an opportunity to review the Accelero Twin Turbo II and the passive (optional fan purchased separately) solution the Accelero S1 PLUS. Both of these coolers can work with some of the newer GPU’s, think 6 series from Nvidia, and 7 series from AMD, and we will be testing them both out on the MSI 7870 HAWK.
Specifications and Features
Below are the listed specifications from the Arctic website for each cooler tested. Listed below are fan speeds, their noise levels, what is included in the packaging, warranty information, and for the Turbo II, the wattage load it can handle.
Accelero S1 PLUS (Compatibility Chart)
|Heatpipe||Ø 6 mm x 4|
|Heatsink Material||Aluminum fins x 32, thickness 0.4 mm|
|Dimensions (Product)||230 (L) x 135 (W) x 42 (H) mm|
|Net Weight||410 g|
|Screw (M2)||4 pcs|
|Spacer (3.5 mm)||4 pcs|
|Spacer (4.0 mm)||4 pcs|
|G-1 Thermal Glue (1.5 g Grey Compound)||1 bag|
|G-1 Thermal Glue (1.5 g White Compound)||1 bag|
|Mixing Wand||1 pc|
|Limited Warranty||6 years|
Accelero Twin Turbo II (Compatibility chart)
|Max. Cooling Capacity||250 Watts|
|Heatpipe||Ø 6 mm x 5|
|Heatsink Material||Aluminum fins x 35, thickness 0.4 mm|
|Fan (mm)||92 mm, 900 – 2,000 RPM (controlled by PWM) x 2 fans|
|Bearing||Fluid Dynamic Bearing|
|Noise Level||0.3 Sone|
|Dimensions (Product)||217 (L) x 122 (W) x 53 (H) mm|
|Screw (M2)||4 pcs|
|Spacer (2.3 mm)||4 pcs|
|Spacer (4.0 mm)||4 pcs|
|G-1 Thermal Glue (2.0 g Grey Compound)||1 bag|
|G-1 Thermal Glue (2.0 g White Compound)||1 bag|
|VGA Bracket||2 pcs|
|4-Pin Fan Power Adapter||1 pc|
|Limited Warranty||6 Years|
Marketing from the Arctic website:
- ABSOLUTE SILENCE As a passive cooler, the Accelero S1 PLUS is noise-free while keeping the graphic card working at normal temperature! It helps to cool your graphic card without any disturbance to your work or entertainment.
- WIDE COMPATIBILITY* Due to its RAM and VR heatsink set and flexible mounting plate design, the Accelero S1 PLUS is compatible with over 80 different models of mid-range to high-end graphic cards. (*The compatibility list is based on AMD Radeon and NVIDIA’s reference board layout only.).
- EFFICIENT PASSIVE COOLING Thanks to the passive cooling technology, the Accelero S1 PLUS allows more air to pass through the fins than any other passive coolers. The heat from the VGA card can be efficiently dispersed. With the add-on fan S1 PLUS Turbo Module equipped, the cooling capacity of the Accelero S1 PLUS can be boosted up to 120 Watts, which is adequate to cool some high-end VGA cards including AMD Radeon HD 6870 and NVIDIA GeForce GTS 250.
- ENHANCED VR HEAT DISSIPATION Compared to thermal tapes, the thermal glue G-1 included with this cooler significantly improves the efficiency of heat conduction from the RAM and VR to the heatsinks. It secures the heatsinks while enabling subsequent removal residue-free.
- EXCELLENT COOLING PERFORMANCE Featuring two 92mm PWM fans with a maximum cooling capacity up to 250 Watts, the Accelero TWIN TURBO II manages to transfer heat efficiently away from the GPU. Besides the 35-fin heatsink with 5 copper heatpipes, the pre-applied MX-4 thermal compound accelerates the heat dissipation process to ensure the VGA board is running under optimal temperature.
- ENHANCED RAM AND VR COOLING In order to boost the cooling efficiency of RAM and VR, the Accelero TWIN TURBO II comes with the G-1, an electrically non-conductive thermal glue used to affix RAM and VR heatsinks on the VGA board. Unlike generic thermal tapes, the G-1 offers high thermal conductivity with excellent adhesiveness. Moreover, removing the G-1 is extremely easy without leaving any residues.
- VIRTUALLY SILENT Thanks to the low noise impeller and exclusive fan holder, the Accelero TWIN TURBO II runs at the minimum noise level of 0.3 sone, even at full load. Equipped with a PWM controller, the fan always runs at the optimal speed according to the load generated by the GPU.
- MULTI-COMPATIBLE*The Accelero TWIN TURBO II comes with a versatile mounting mechanism and an extensive RAM and VR cooling set to accommodate a broad range of models. Featuring the CrossFire and SLI compatibility the users benefit from the optimized performance of a multi-VGA setup. (*The compatibility list is based on AMD Radeon and NVIDIA’s reference board layout only.)
We will first take a look at the Accelero Twin Turbo II. You can see below it will arrive in the mail or be on store shelves in a clam shell style packaging. There is little movement of anything inside of it, including the accessories, so all should be well there. The heatsink is comprised of a 35 fin, 5 heatpipe setup attached to a copper base, and Arctic’s MX-4 thermal paste pre-applied to the GPU to help whisk heat away. As mentioned in the specifications above, included are a slew of small heatsinks for the memory IC’s and the power section of the card. Enough are included, in plenty of sizes, to cool all of what you need to on most cards. The Twin Turbo II also sports two 92 mm PWM fans that spin up to 2000RPM, keeping the heatsink array and subsequently the core, memory, and power components cool. This solution was made to replace and improve the reference cooling solutions.
Both cards come with Arctic’s own thermal glue called G-1. G-1 is non-electrically conductive thermal glue used to attach the RAM/VRM heatsinks to the GPU. Arctic states, “It outperforms generic thermal tapes with remarkable thermal conductivity and long-lasting adhesiveness”. We will get in to the details of how to mix and apply the product later. After setting, it appears closer to a thermal pad making it easy to remove, and it does not leave residue on the components.
Next up will be the Accelero S1 PLUS heatsink and turbo module (fan). There isn’t much difference here with this packaging; still the same solid clam shell holding things snug with some features listed on the back. You can see looking at the product there is a four heatpipe configuration starting from a copper base through a sparse array of 32 aluminum heatsink fins, and also comes with pre-applied MX-4. Just like the Twin Turbo II above, this comes with a lot of small heatinks to cool your memory, and power sections of the GPU. You can purchase an optional “turbo module” (fan) to attach to passive heatsink to improve its performance (described below). In either form, this looks to be a solid HTPC cooling solution assuming it will fit in the case, as a lot of HTPC cases are small form factor.
More of the same style retail packaging here with the Turbo module. Can we just call it a fan Arctic? I am! This unit has a 9 blade design and uses 0.12 A or about 1.4 W at 1000 RPM. I was unable to locate specifications for this fan outside of that, but it does move enough air through the sparse fin array of the S1 PLUS and yields notably better temperatures because of that. The fan is mounted with long rubber grommets that go through the fan and the heatsink fins and is held securely with this method. I can’t imagine a significant difference with a ‘better’ fan since the heatsink array on the S1 PLUS is not very dense, so there is already adequate airflow passing through it to cool the core and board components with the included fan.
The complete installation process was fairly straight forward for both of the units. After cleaning off the memory IC’s with an eraser to get any residue from the factory/previous installation thermal pads, you then select which included heatsinks you are going to use to cool the memory and power components.
Once selected, you will need to mix the included thermal paste and glue, Arctic G-1…FOR FIVE(5) MINUTES. This is an important step to complete as directed. If you do not mix the product well, it will not adhere well (trust me on this!). The instructions also state to wait another couple of minutes before you apply it to the heatsinks. Being non-conductive, you can apply liberally without fear of short circuiting your GPU. The curing time for this mixture is 5 hours. I left it sit overnight just to make sure it was ready for its beating in the subsequent days testing. After setting, it is more like a thermal pad than a paste. Overall these held on well and made good contact with what it is attached to. Light bumps and shakes will not knock these off, however removal is pretty easy with a little more torque. I did this without fear of ripping off a memory module, so it was the best of both worlds on this product.
Next up is the cooler for the core. Mounting this was pretty straight forward as well. Just select which one of the five mounting holes are appropriate for your card, select the correct included spacers, then tighten her down. The Twin Turbo II is a beefy unit but it is held on securely with its mounting configuration. I did notice a bit more sag in the board compared with the ‘stock’ Twin Frozr III solution, but nothing to remotely worry about. Both GPU heatsinks come with TIM pre-applied to the base of the unit. However, I (easily) removed it and used MX-2 product instead as I remounted the units and tested them three times each.
Pictured below is the 7870 HAWK with the Arctic heatsinks attached.
Test Setup and Methodology
- Intel Core i7 3770K
- EVGA Z77 FTW
- 2 x 2 GB G.Skill Ripjaws DDR3-2133
- MSI 7870 HAWK (with Twin Frozr cooler and Arctic solutions)
- Arctic MX-2 Thermal Paste
- Catalyst 12.6
The methodology used for this review was as follows: The GPU Vcore was increased by 0.025 V between each test, starting at the stock 0.975 V to the maximum of 1.25 V (using actual readings from the multimeter in the graph), while running the 7870 at its stock speeds (1100 MHz core clock, 1200 MHz memory frequency). The GPU was put under load by running Unigine Heaven (2.5). The maximum temperatures were measured after a full pass of the benchmark with MSI Afterburner. I gave the card enough cool down time to reach its idle temperatures before changing the voltage and starting the next test (around 5-10 minutes).
For this testing I used Arctic’s own MX-2 product since that is what I applied to the Twin Frozr II in for the 7870 HAWK review. I also mounted each of these heatsinks three times to rule out any bad mounts. The results were surprisingly consistent anyway.
Testing speed for the fans were: 100% (or 12v) and at 7V (or about 60%).
As you can (should?) have seen from the setup above. I compared these coolers with an already good solution in the Twin Frozr III from MSI. So the results you see here, in my opinion stand to impress as it is improving on an already solid aftermarket solution even… and doing so by being quieter than that same solution. One can imagine the difference between a reference cooled model and the the Twin Turbo II should be notable greater than the the results shown by the Twin Frozr III.
The first graph below we used a tolerable 60% fan speed from the ‘default’ cooler on the 7870 HAWK. Much over this and those fans start to scream a bit. But around 60% or so, its not bad at all. So 60% is what I deemed a good balance between performance and noise. You can see now in detail that the Twin Turbo II did a pretty good job, again better than the Twin Frozr, in keeping things cool. The biggest thing to note here is the noise level difference between the two. Arctic’s products (both of them in fact) are much quieter at this speed than the Twin Frozr’s fans.
The last graph is with all fans at 100% or 12v showing what these coolers will really do with their included fans. Nothing really changes here outside of the temperatures dropping due to having more airflow and of course the S1 solution performing better as the fan speed increases (like all tested items here). The Twin Turbo II still maintains and extends just a bit, its lead over the Twin Frozr II.
One thing to note that is not shown here is the the difference in memory and VRM temperatures between the Twin Frozr II and these arctic coolers. Since these have a more effective cooling solution on them all around, both in the TIM and and the actual heatsinks themselves, temperatures on those according to MSI Afterburner were a few degrees Celsius lower as well.
Arctic has a long history of bringing good coolers to the table for enthusiasts, or ‘progressive users’. In their latest version(s), the Twin Turbo II line or the passively cooled solution S1 PLUS (optional Turbo module) is no different. The Twin Turbo II cooled better all around (core, memory, VRM’s) than an already stout cooler in the Twin Frozr III which impressed me. Another item that impressed me was that the S1 PLUS in ‘passive mode’ doing a fair job on such a powerful card. I really wouldn’t get anything that uses more power than the 7870 for use with it in passive mode, but that’s still one heck of a showing without a fan.
I’m hard pressed to find anything bad to say about these units to be honest. If you forced me to nitpick, I would have to mention the need to mix (and for five minutes mind you), the TIM. It would be a bit easier to have it premixed and ready to rock and roll out of the box. The other minor issue is on both heatsinks with the test card, unplugging the PCIe leads proved to be a bit more difficult than I would like it to be because of clearance issues.
Pricing on these coolers at newegg.com come in at $44.99 + SH for the S1 PLUS ($11.90 for the Turbo Module) and $59.99 for the TTII. I would have liked to have seen the S1 PLUS at the same price INCLUDING the fan though. As far as pricing for the TTII, I believe $60.00 is fair when buying it to replace a reference cooler. Just make sure before you purchase these coolers they are compatible with your GPU. That said, these coolers have been…
Joe Shields (Earthdog)