Radeon 7870 OC w/ S1 Plus - Fast, cool, and quiet!!

They make noise, too.

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Nick Geraedts
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Radeon 7870 OC w/ S1 Plus - Fast, cool, and quiet!!

Post by Nick Geraedts » Sun May 13, 2012 2:47 pm

For any of you wondering about the new generation of AMD and nVidia graphics cards and how to cool them, I'll give my first hand experience with a recent upgrade I did on my desktop.

As with any early adopter of new hardware, I bit the bullet on a Gigabyte Radeon 7870 OC Windforce graphics card hoping that it would suit my needs. The core clock speed is set at 1100MHz - a mild 10% overclock from the reference clock speeds. I wanted a bit of extra performance from stock, but didn't want to muck about with aftermarket software to do the overclocking for me in Windows. According to most of the performance reviews I had read, this card kept up with a stock 7950 in terms of performance in most games. BIOS modification seems to be unavailable for the 7000 series of cards since the developer of Radeon BIOS Editor has stopped development.

The stock cooler cooled quite well, but the stock fan profile in the BIOS was downright horrible. Stock idle fan speed was set to 40% and would quickly ramp up to ~55% under any sort of load. Temperatures were downright fantastic (55-60C at load after 10 minutes of Furmark), but the noise was far too much for my tastes. Even lowering the fan speed to 20% (the lowest available in CCC) left the video card as the loudest component of my system and let the GPU temperatures creep up to 85C+. While I know this is likely still well within spec, I like to keep silicon temperatures as low as possible.

I picked up the Accelero S1 Plus cooler and jury rigged up two Scythe Slipstream 800RPM fans to it last night. The fan speed is controlled by a single header on a Scythe Kaze Q fan controller (using a Noctua Y-splitter to control both fans simultaneously). A word of advice regarding the G1 paste they provide - give it at least 12 hours to set. It will be quite runny when you first apply it, and still somewhat pliable after the instructed 5 hours. Once the memory heatsinks were in place, a dab of InnovationCooling Diamond thermal paste was put on the core and the beast of a heatsink was screwed in place. The results!

Idle temperatures:
GPU Diode: 35C
GPU VRM: 36C

Load Temperatures (Furmark after 10 minutes)
GPU Diode: 60C
GPU VRM: 71C

I'll post up some pictures of the innards later this afternoon once my camera batteries have charged up. The loudest parts of my system now are the two WD6400AAKS drives I have as scratch space (soon to be replaced by WD Scorpio Black WD7500BPKT drives). Is the setup completely silent? No. Is it quiet enough for my needs? Yes.


Hopefully this gives others some insight into what's possible with the next generation of Radeon GPUs. I'm confident in saying that anything from the Radeon 7870 or lower can be adequately cooled quietly with some aftermarket help from Accelero. I've always been a fan of the original S1, and the S1 Plus seems to be just more of the same (with a different shroud :lol: ). If you're looking at the 7950 or 7970, you might have a harder time getting things cool and quiet.

kuzzia
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Re: Radeon 7870 OC w/ S1 Plus - Fast, cool, and quiet!!

Post by kuzzia » Mon May 14, 2012 12:29 am

A nice post, definitely. Experiences like yours is what drives this forum.

Is it easy to change the GPU cooler for a person (myself) who has never changed a GPU cooler before?

Bar81
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Re: Radeon 7870 OC w/ S1 Plus - Fast, cool, and quiet!!

Post by Bar81 » Mon May 14, 2012 8:29 am

kuzzia wrote:A nice post, definitely. Experiences like yours is what drives this forum.

Is it easy to change the GPU cooler for a person (myself) who has never changed a GPU cooler before?
Changing coolers is not difficult usually. You just need patience and to follow the instructions. Also, there are usually guides on the web if you need pictures to help you.
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kuzzia
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Re: Radeon 7870 OC w/ S1 Plus - Fast, cool, and quiet!!

Post by kuzzia » Mon May 14, 2012 9:06 am

Ok, sounds good. For my next GPU upgrade, I'll probably change the stock GPU cooler for a passive heatsink with a low-rpm fan strapped on.

Nick Geraedts
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Re: Radeon 7870 OC w/ S1 Plus - Fast, cool, and quiet!!

Post by Nick Geraedts » Mon May 14, 2012 4:56 pm

Didn't get around to taking those pictures last night - I'll be sure to do that when I get home in a little while.

Replacing the stock cooler on video cards is quite easy this day. As long as you've got a clean work area (i.e. a clean table or desk) and some patience, there's usually little that you can do wrong provided that you follow the instructions.

I'm going to have to look into pulling the heatsink and card up a little bit to the top of my case. The weight of the cooler and two Slipstream fans is causing a little bit of sag in the card. Probably nothing to worry about too much, but something that can easily be avoided.


EDIT

A couple of pictures, as promised. Sorry for the flash - I live in a basement suite and getting adequate lighting is sometimes difficult.

Image Image

flemeister
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Re: Radeon 7870 OC w/ S1 Plus - Fast, cool, and quiet!!

Post by flemeister » Mon May 14, 2012 7:49 pm

Nick Geraedts wrote:I'm going to have to look into pulling the heatsink and card up a little bit to the top of my case. The weight of the cooler and two Slipstream fans is causing a little bit of sag in the card. Probably nothing to worry about too much, but something that can easily be avoided.
Easy fix mate. You need a re-useable cable tie, and a twist tie.

Attach the twist tie to a heatpipe on the Accelero S1, and hook the re-usable cable tie to the hook inside the top panel of the P182. Then, tie them together where they meet. :)

Some photos of how I've done this for my builds:

http://i55.tinypic.com/fk5r1f.jpg
http://i52.tinypic.com/34rbzhg.jpg
http://i42.tinypic.com/k2fql2.jpg
http://i44.tinypic.com/3038ohw.jpg

kuzzia
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Re: Radeon 7870 OC w/ S1 Plus - Fast, cool, and quiet!!

Post by kuzzia » Tue May 15, 2012 3:32 am

flemeister wrote:
Nick Geraedts wrote:I'm going to have to look into pulling the heatsink and card up a little bit to the top of my case. The weight of the cooler and two Slipstream fans is causing a little bit of sag in the card. Probably nothing to worry about too much, but something that can easily be avoided.
Easy fix mate. You need a re-useable cable tie, and a twist tie.

Attach the twist tie to a heatpipe on the Accelero S1, and hook the re-usable cable tie to the hook inside the top panel of the P182. Then, tie them together where they meet. :)

Some photos of how I've done this for my builds:

http://i55.tinypic.com/fk5r1f.jpg
http://i52.tinypic.com/34rbzhg.jpg
http://i42.tinypic.com/k2fql2.jpg
http://i44.tinypic.com/3038ohw.jpg
What case are you using in the first picture? The case looks very small though you've accomplished to make it look very neat.

flemeister
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Re: Radeon 7870 OC w/ S1 Plus - Fast, cool, and quiet!!

Post by flemeister » Tue May 15, 2012 3:41 am

kuzzia wrote:What case are you using in the first picture? The case looks very small though you've accomplished to make it look very neat.
Thanks. :) It's a Silverstone TJ08 (not the TJ08-E unfortunately, that came out a few months after I finished the rig).

viewtopic.php?f=14&t=62319

Nick Geraedts
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Location: Vancouver, BC

Re: Radeon 7870 OC w/ S1 Plus - Fast, cool, and quiet!!

Post by Nick Geraedts » Tue May 15, 2012 3:49 pm

Yep, I was planning on doing that later tonight. I'm really quite pleased with this card. It handles just about everything I throw at it, and now runs very cool. Apparently AMD has released some hotfix drivers to address an issue with system stability after the monitors are put to sleep. More testing to come!

alexbwang111
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Re: Radeon 7870 OC w/ S1 Plus - Fast, cool, and quiet!!

Post by alexbwang111 » Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:07 pm

Hi OP, nice build mate! I'm looking to do the same with my ASUS DCUII 7950 card as the fans are too loud for my liking.

Just curious, what VRM temps do you get? Have you noticed any vibration coming out of the cooler with the fans mounted?

Also, does anyone know whether there's sufficient clearance in a Antec P193 case?

Cheerios

grimreeper
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Re: Radeon 7870 OC w/ S1 Plus - Fast, cool, and quiet!!

Post by grimreeper » Mon Jun 03, 2013 2:50 am

I heard the Accelero S1 Plus isn't compatible with the 7950 so you might want to check that out first alexbwang111.

I am planning to do the same with a Powercolor 7870 PCS+, but with only a single Nexus 120mm fan.
Hopefully I won't fry VRM's like I did my 5850 with the Accelero S1 Rev.2 lol

davemuk
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Re: Radeon 7870 OC w/ S1 Plus - Fast, cool, and quiet!!

Post by davemuk » Wed Oct 09, 2013 3:27 am

Would it have been possible to remove the 3 Windforce fans and use the two Scythe Slipstreams instead ? It looks like a meaty enough heatsink.

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