While I know what an "enthusiast" would do to this cooler once in their hands, the F12 would be left in the box and a pair of fans with maybe more static pressure and / or more air flow are going to be used very soon on the Accelero Hybrid. In this sense the Accelero Hybrid from ARCTIC does do rather well. The only thing wrong with that is that it leaves us with two issues. As the cooler is shipped, the slope of fan noise versus performance of the unit heavily leans to the low noise aspect, sort of overlooking the performance needed from a cooler of this caliber. The second issue this leaves for ARCTIC, is even though this is a really good design and idea, the sheer cost of these units would make me pass on it for even the better performing Shaman, which I can get for less than half the price of this Accelero Hybrid.
To be on the bleeding edge of technology does tend to lead to higher demand on your wallet to allow for all the latest and greatest parts for your PC and this is no exception, but I will say that with a bit of tinkering, a really nice pair of 120mm fan and throwing silence out the door, there is a ton of potential in the Hybrid. As it was shipped, it was one of the lengthiest installs I have done. Not only do you have to wait an hour for the thermal compound to set, but there are no real diagrams for the power deliver heat sinks and I must have spent the better part of 30 minutes figuring out how I wanted them to look and which ones to use to accomplish it. On the flip side, there is not the issue of tape letting loose and the heat sinks falling off. With the thermal adhesive, you are going to have to be gentle as not to remove the component being cooled if you do need to remove the cooler. Once that bit of the assembly was accomplished, the rest of the assembly went smooth without issues in clearance or anything that didn't fit quite right. The Accelero Hybrid is one solid bit of kit once you get it all together.
In my opinion, an AIO solution should offer better results out of the box than just about any air cooler out there. There is plenty more to saturate in an AIO system than in any sort of fin arrangement and here that just isn't the case. I know ARCTIC prides themselves on silence and I for one love silent computing, but at this price, the good results we saw on the chart are just that, good. When you add in the fact that this is going to set you back nearer to $200 with shipping and taxes included, those good results aren't so good and will make people move to much cheaper solutions to get the job done and just as silently in the case of the 140mm fan cooled Shaman I put the Hybrid up against.
Even though my GTX 570 is going to be using the Accelero Hybrid in my spare system for a long time, I am using it now with fans that give even better results than what we saw in the charts and I didn't have to shell out hard earned money for the novelty and being one of a select few with them. I really think for ARCTIC to make the money they are looking for out of this unit, the fan needs replaced with two 120mm fan and something with a little more oomph to it. The rest of the design is solid and I loved being able to change the fan speeds with MSI Afterburner and not being set to a specific 5V, 7V or 12V setting. In reality the cooler is so quiet there is no need not to just give it the beans and deliver 12V to it all the time.
The only other way I can see this cooler being a huge success is when there are enough of these sold to drop pricing to around the $125 mark and I think more people would be apt to select this and go ahead and mod one for maximum cooling potential with the world's first hybrid of air mixed with water cooling in the ARCTIC Accelero Hybrid GPU cooler.
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