The SilenX iXtrema Pro IXG-80HA2 is a great well thought out cooling solution. It does a nice job of keeping temperatures lower than my stock cooler and with considerably less noise to the room at a loaded state. In order for my stock fan to keep those temperatures I would need to over-ride the BIOS ramping and set the fan manually to 100% fan speed. I'm sure we all know the noise associated with a stock, dual slot cooler at 100% and the SilenX offers a cure for that with this IXG-80HA2.
All things considered, I do like the cooler, but there are a few issues that need to be addressed in my opinion. First off, what is the deal with the fans? Are they supposed to be LED, or are they not LED? - I couldn't get an answer from SilenX on this, but they did answer me on my next issue.
SilenX supplies the thick foam pads to keep the pipes isolated from adding heat to the RAM IC's that it goes over (see image 1 below). These pads are so thick that the installation of the IXG-80HA2 becomes a bit touchy. I saw the flex these pads were creating and I stopped applying pressure with the screws and installed the card to test it out. The temperatures skyrocketed to 107° Celsius with the tri-fan setup! - I had to continue adding pressure with the screws to get the temperatures in a safe range, which added a lot of stress to the PCB (see image 2 below).
SilenX claims they are aware of the situation and have had another report of the same issue on this exact model of card and are currently working on a solution. The last thing I want to address is the fan clips themselves. As I stated in the review, while these clips are certainly secure in their design, you really risk damage to the cooler if you try to remove them. I actually tore away a bit of the aluminum tab above where the fan locks into place when changing my fan configuration.
(Image 1 - Click for the large version)
(Image 2 - Click for the large version)
All things considered, the IXG-80HA2 and IXG-3F2 optional fans do make a good combination cooling solution. With the projected pricing of almost $75 U.S. dollars to get both pieces of this puzzle to your door, it is a bit on the expensive side. Being this is the only cooler I had to test other than the stock solution leaves me a bit unsure of how this cooler performs compared to other, cheaper solutions. I do have to say it does do the job I set it out to do, performing both cooler and quieter than my stock cooling solution. I really think SilenX is on the right track with their cooling ideas, but I can't honestly say it warrants the asking price. Would I buy it? - I might buy it for another card, but I would really like to see it hit the retail market at less than what is projected.
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