Best GPU cooler + 4-pin fan

Got a shopping cart of parts that you want opinions on? Get advice from members on your planned or existing system (or upgrade).

Moderators: NeilBlanchard, Ralf Hutter, sthayashi, Lawrence Lee

Post Reply
tom thumb
Posts: 22
Joined: Thu May 13, 2010 5:49 am
Location: Middle Earth

Best GPU cooler + 4-pin fan

Post by tom thumb » Sat Oct 16, 2010 3:47 pm

I need advice on what aftermarket GPU cooler offers the best heat dissipation performance.

The card in question is a HD 5850 or one of the upcoming 6750 (that surely everyone is excited about). You might say that it would depend on which card - as they have different idle and load power draws - however what I am looking for here is the best solution in either case, and whatever works for the 5850 will surely work for the 6750 (provided it's compatible, which it should be)

I realize that to cool a 150-200W card passively would require a monster of a cooler, and none may even exist, so I am counting on there being a fan. I would like a quiet 4-pin fan, as that is what graphics cards are using - and this way I can control it's speed with Catalyst (or whatever other software is recommended).

Please recommend a cooler with a 4-pin fan -OR- a fanless cooler (for example: ... 6835186016) and a 4-pin fan to go with it.

I have no problem buying a separate 4 pin fan, regardless of cost or size (well, preferably no larger than 140mm) nor will I have any problems with mounting any fan to any fanless cooler. I have no constraints at all on size or cost as I have plenty of room, and the cost of a cooler is a drop in the bucket next to the cost of the card.

Is there anything else I should consider when using aftermarket GPU cooling? (cooling the memory for instance?) I don't want to end up destroying a brand new card inadvertently with the warranty voided :?

Finally, if nothing else, let me know of any aftermarket GPU cooling advice articles or comprehensive aftermarket cooler roundups (that consider both temps. and noise) - perhaps that you found useful.

Thanks in advance for your help!

Posts: 222
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2007 7:37 pm
Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Re: Best GPU cooler + 4-pin fan

Post by KayDat » Mon Oct 18, 2010 12:28 am

SPCR has reviewed the GELID Icy Vision. From looks of things though, the fans have a 4-pin header, but aren't PWM fans. Arctic have other GPU coolers, you might want to take a look. You might want to take a look at the Twin Turbo or the Twin Turbo Pro. AC coolers come with PWM (4 pin) fans, AFAIK.

As for fans, Arctic themselves sell PWM fans, as do Nexus. Unfortunately, Nexus PWM fans are clear plastic, which are typically more stiff/brittle, which means they may be noisier. SPCR haven't reviewed Nexus PWM fans, so you'll have to wait for someone to confirm whether Nexus PWM fans are any good.

If you decide to go for the S1/seperate fan route, you'll need to get an adaptor. GPU fan headers are smaller than regular fan headers, so normal fans won't fit without an adaptor or some hacking.

For reference, I have a 5870 and an AC Accelero S1, and it cools my 5870 fine. At idle, with minimal amount of airflow, I manage ~40C, which is much cooler and quieter than the stock cooler.

Post Reply