Introducing the Arctic Cooling Accelero Hybrid

Traditionally in the desktop space, the next step after high quality air cooling has been high quality liquid cooling, usually centered around custom designed cooling loops that cost a pretty penny in equipment. The industry has met this desire halfway by producing closed loop liquid coolers for the CPU not unlike the ones we tested recently, but interestingly the real power monster in most enthusiast desktops has needed to be served by reference coolers and sometimes exotic custom solutions offered by partners. Any type of liquid cooling has continued to be the province of the more extreme enthusiast.

Arctic Cooling changes some of that today with the Accelero Hybrid. Aftermarket VGA coolers aren't totally uncommon, but generally they're harder to build and market due to the more specific needs of cooling a graphics card. You have to cool the GPU, the video memory, and the voltage regulation, and the layouts of these parts varies from vendor to vendor and card to card. The Accelero Hybrid includes a 120mm radiator courtesy of Asetek, a cooling shroud for board components, and enough tiny parts to choke all but the heartiest of housecats. At $169, it also costs a pretty penny. Is it worth the effort, the money, and the risk?

I'll make an admission: I've been putting off reviewing the Accelero Hybrid for a little while. I'm not new to replacing the cooler on a graphics card, but the Hybrid is something much more involved. A visit to NewEgg or even to other sites that have reviews of it will tell you it's pretty difficult to actually install, and the idea of possibly bricking my GeForce GTX 680 wasn't a particularly pleasant one. At the same time, the promises Arctic Cooling make of the Accelero Hybrid's performance border on outlandish and even more interesting, judging from other reviews, the Hybrid seems to live up to those promises.


Source: Arctic Cooling

While it's reasonable to expect the Accelero Hybrid to produce excellent performance, it's also easy to be skeptical. The RAM and VRM cooling is no doubt totally serviceable, but I've seen this particular Asetek radiator have a hard time keeping an overclocked Intel Core i7-2700K running under 70C. How am I supposed to believe it'll handle a potentially overclocked GPU pushing 200W or more and do so under 60C or even 50C? The only way to find out for sure is to test it.

Installation, Part 1
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  • EzioAs - Friday, December 28, 2012 - link

    I've seen this cooler being tested before on the HD7970, though I don't remember which site it was but they posted an almost equal result to what you just did. I remember that the temps were very low and noise is almost no concern either because it's so low even when they compared it to the MSI Twin Frozr card (I think it was the 7970 lightning). This review just backup their claim.

    Thanks for the nice review Dustin.
    Reply
  • Wwhat - Saturday, December 29, 2012 - link

    An interesting remark since the arctic cooling site lists this as being compatible with the 78xx series and NOT with the 79xx series.
    So are you sure what you saw was about a 7970 and not a 78xx?
    Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Saturday, December 29, 2012 - link

    There's a separate 7970 version. Reply
  • JebbyC - Friday, December 28, 2012 - link

    How would a pair of these go in SLI? Could you fit them into two slots, possibly by removing part of the fan shroud? Reply
  • Flunk - Friday, December 28, 2012 - link

    Get a board with 2 slots in between the 16x slots, there are a lot of options. Reply
  • JacobCody - Saturday, December 29, 2012 - link

    Love my job, since I've been bringing in $5600… I sit at home, music playing while I work in front of my new iMac that I got now that I'm making it online(Click on menu Home)
    http://goo.gl/uvsGa
    Reply
  • Beenthere - Friday, December 28, 2012 - link

    Unless people have a real space limitation, I strongly recommend against using liquid cooling systems for a CPU/GPU unless your intent is to be a hobbyist playing with these cooling systems, which is pretty much impossible with a CLC. If that's the plan then buy a real H2O based open loop cooling system which can deliver better cooling than a highend HSF. They start at $175. and go up. They can be entertaining for a hobbyist even if not a good value. Test after tests has shown that CLCs do not cool as well as a highend HSF, they cost more than a highend HSF and they are noisier than a highend HSF.

    The worst problem however with CLCs is that they not only can leak and cause expensive PC hardware damage, lost data, RMA's, etc. the fact is they DO leak and cause the aforementioned problems. See the Corsair H2O web forums for real tales of horror. It's wise to educate yourself before getting duped into using an inferior CLC cooling system for your PC. If you still want to jump into the water, go right ahead, it's your dime, your time and your arse when the CLC leaks, is noisy or does a poor job of cooling.

    You've been warned so you have no excused for being duped by misleading CLC hype. Technically challenged folks who fail to do their homework often perceive CLCs to be superior because they use water to transport the heat to a radiator. Unfortunately CLCs are not superior in any way other than a smaller footprint if your PC case will not allow a quality highend HSF. If that's the situation you'd be smarter to buy a larger PC case, not a CLC.

    There are plenty of quality HSF reviews to scientifically document that CLCs are inferior in every metric that enthusiasts typically use to determine what CPU/GPU cooling system to purchase. Let the accurate, objective science be your guide not misleading claims. Always remember that CLCs can and do leak and damage PC hardware. HSFs do not leak water and they outperform CLCs.
    Reply
  • bigboxes - Saturday, December 29, 2012 - link

    So, would this help downloading torrents from the internets? Reply
  • Mygaffer - Saturday, December 29, 2012 - link

    You are such a sad sack. Reply
  • Notmyusualid - Saturday, January 12, 2013 - link

    +1 Reply

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