For everyday use the AC Accelero XTREME Plus is a great cooler to use, even if the plate didn't hold up well under extreme testing. The fact of the matter is, unless you are in some sort of a benchmark competition and stability screenshots are a must, you are likely not going to abuse the voltage regulators as I did for my testing. My normal use for the GTX 470 is to work for Folding@Home, and for that the cooler does surprisingly well. GPU load temperatures hovered in the mid fifties and the voltage regulators were reporting a much cooler 67°C during the process. Just don't forget, with these great results, there needs to be a large home waiting for this AC cooler.
I love that the air coolers are catching up water cooling, but in order to attain this, the size of the cooler needed to handle 250-300W of heat which means they're getting bigger and bigger every day. I mean if you rationalize it like a CPU cooler, AC does impressive things with the complete lack of room to add surface area that a tower CPU cooler can use, but they have to get rid of the same heat load. The fact that this is a Crossfire or SLI compatible cooler, and it already uses a full three slots, the only way they could go is toward the hard drives. I guess they could venture out past the card into the case towards the door, but that tends to run into SLI and Crossfire bridge issues. With the numbers I got from this cooler, I could really care less how big it is, as when I installed it, it wasn't flexing the card around the core, and with a solid mounting on the expansion bracket, I got very little droop in the PCB from left to right. With the kit of heatsinks and the larger than life cooler, I am more than pleased with these results.
Google is bringing up three pages of hits for where to locate the Accelero XTREME Pro cooler. Everything from Ebay to places like FrozenCPU.com, with a mix of stores in between showing stock right now of Arctic Cooling's cooler. Pricing is as varied as the location it's found. I see stores listing from as little as $56 and as high as $76, and don't forget the hardware kit if you need it for your card, or want the heatsinks for the coolers listed on the package. So for ¾ of the price of just the CPU water block, you can get very close results on air, and we didn't even incorporate the rest of the loop into that cost. For that, the Arctic Cooling Accelero XTREME Plus pulls out the win, and is completely worth what is being asked in pricing.
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