Of all the components we shove into our PCs, the hardest to keep cool is the graphics card. With current models easily able to reach 80°C or higher at full load, purchasing an after-market cooler can be tempting. GELID has just a single GPU cooler model, the Rev. 2 Icy Vision, so let’s see how effective it is against our hot GTX 470.
I’ll let everybody in on a secret. This was my first aftermarket GPU cooler installation. Shhhhh! If I can do it, anybody can if they are prepared to put a little extra time in.
In this case, patience certainly paid off. The cooler is well-designed, installation was easier than I expected and the performance was superb compared to the stock cooler. I just wished that our test GPU would have allowed for higher overclocking results.
As I mentioned, there are some downsides. The instructions either need a revamp of the images or GELID needs to have the PDF version available on its website so the placement of some of the heatsinks would be clearer.
On top of this, there were clearance issues with the SATA ports, so either check your motherboard configuration before buying or spend a couple of extra dollars and pick up some right angle SATA cables.
One thing that I am torn on mentioning as a shortcoming is the lack of PWM control for the fan. The stock heatsink has PWM ability and at idle as well as in most games, is nearly silent compared to the Icy Vision that runs at 100% all the time unless the separate controller is purchased. Hardcore gamers who run their GPU flat out all the time will welcome the noise reduction but folks like myself who are casual gamers will notice an increase in overall system noise.
This cooler is a mixed bag, but at $55 Canadian or US, it comes in at around the same price or lower than its competitors. I won’t get up and scream from the roof how much I love this cooler but I’ll leave it up to you to decide if the cost and extra overall system noise is worth the lower temperatures.
“They” say you can’t have it both ways, and in this case “they” are right.
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