The owners of GeForce GTX 1080 or GeForce GTX in 1070 Founders Edition version certainly know that the GPU load quickly abuts the limit on temperature, so the full potential does not disclose. water cooling systems can ensure that the GPU temperature is always lower than the marginal strips, but not every user is ready to collect CBO yourself or seek the video card with preinstalled water block. Therefore, we decided to consider two solutions that can be quickly and easily mounted on the video card GeForce GTX 1070 or GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition versions. In our test lab we arrived Alphacool Eiswolf GPX Pro 120 AiO and Arctic Accelero Hybrid III-140, which we will discuss in detail in the review.
All modern GPU require certain conditions in order to achieve the full performance level. The first requirement – power consumption, which in AMD and NVIDIA chips should be below a certain level. The second – the voltage that should not exceed the maximum threshold. But more often the limiting factor is the temperature. It is with this behavior we have encountered in our tests the GeForce GTX 1080 and GeForce GTX in 1070 Founders Edition versions. But the most disappointing was the strongest NVIDIA Titan X graphics card that uses all the same cooler Founders Edition, but theoretically consumes 70 watts more.
Let’s start with the specifications Alphacool Eiswolf GPX Pro 120 AiO. Before us CBO closed loop, based on NexXxoS GPX from Alphacool. Alphacool sells this water block and separately, it can be integrated into the circuit existing CBO. Therefore, in spite of the water cooling system with a closed circuit here uses standard G1 / 4 attachment. The water block covers not only the GPU, but also some other PCB components. Below we discuss this in more detail. Declared compatible with the Founders Edition versions of the GeForce GTX 1080 and GeForce GTX 1070, as well as some alternative design PCB. The list can be viewed on the website Alphacool.
Alphacool pump installed in the water block. The heat exchanger is equipped with a 120-mm fan, so the size is relatively small. But Alphacool SVO ordering can be replaced by a 120 mm radiator at the 240-, 360- or 420-mm coil. You can make a similar upgrade later.
The second test system water cooling – Arctic Accelero Hybrid III-140. This CBO is versatile because it can be installed on a variety of modern and old video card. Again, all the necessary information can be found on the manufacturer’s website.
Unlike Alphacool Eiswolf GPX Pro 120 AiO, waterblock Arctic Accelero Hybrid III-140 is in contact only with the GPU. The memory chips and VRM waterblock does not cool. But the Arctic is making a single radiator that can be mounted on the VRM. More details we consider it below.
Circuit Arctic Accelero Hybrid III-140 can not be expanded. Therefore, before we fully ready CBO without the possibility of an upgrade.
Below we will consider both the CBO and the assembly process. As both the manufacturer shall make a detailed user manual, we will not consider the installation step by step, but we mention the key features. Then move on to the tests.
Let’s start with Alphacool Eiswolf GPX Pro 120 AiO. Alphacool offers NWO in the set, but it can be purchased separate components. Alphacool Eiswolf GPX Pro 120 AiO with fanfare will cost 119.95 euros. It complements Alpha NexXxoS XT45 exchanger and costs 47.95 euros. For our test kit Alphacool asks 149.95 euros.
Let’s start with the water block. The structure of his simple and clear. In the center you can see directly the water block with connecting pipes. Alphacool water block installed in a rather large heatsink, which is equipped with a large number of cooling fins on the top and removes heat from the other components.
On fittings connect tubes marked with the direction of fluid flow. Sami tube protected by metal spirals to prevent too sharp bends.
On the underside of the water block can be seen nickel-plated contact plate. Water block itself is made of copper, which has high thermal conductivity. On the radiator can be seen protrusions which contact with the other components of the graphics card. This memory chips and components of the power subsystem.
Alphacool added quickly mount to easily open the circuit. As a result, you can add other ingredients. But the system can be integrated in an existing circuit CBO. But in this case, buy a set of Eiswolf hardly makes sense.
The heat exchanger has an area of 120 x 120 mm and a thickness of 45 mm. It may be noted a significant surface area of the cooling fins. The set includes two 120-mm fans. The heat exchanger can be used with one or two fans. We conducted tests with a single fan, mounted as a radiator to the rear wall of the test system housing.
In the field of ITS circuit connection to the heat exchanger present a small reservoir for fluid accumulation. Some other manufacturers are integrated in the tank water block.
Special comments on the process of installation we did not have. Alphacool making an illustrated manual, where the entire process is shown step by step. After removing the cooler Founders Edition should stick to the components of the thermal interface material. Partly they are cut, the rest should be cut by yourself.
The photo shows the already glued thermal interface. They help to remove heat from the eight memory chips, as well as the VRM power subsystem. Unfortunately, after the bonding pads are kept pretty weak, so be careful. After gluing all the gaskets you can begin the installation of the water block.
After bonding all thermally conductive gaskets, and applying thermal paste on the GPU can install the water block. This is followed by water-block, and to press the back plate to the printed circuit board. The back plate is also applied to thick thermally conductive pads that act as a buffer. Their arrangement is identical to the pads of components on the front side of the PCB.
Now you can start screwing the back plate. The cooler and back plate are securely connected to each other, the assembly is nearly complete. Of course, it is necessary to connect the power to the pump. The same applies to the fan on the heat exchanger, which must be connected to the appropriate connector on the motherboard.
The second system under test – Arctic Accelero Hybrid III-140. It is compatible with a large number of new cards and, in principle, is not. But this does not mean that the time-tested system can not cope with the GeForce GTX 1080. cooled With the price of 110 euros, or 8.8 thous. Rubles in Russia it is even slightly cheaper Alphacool Eiswolf.
But before we move on to the assembly, let me say a few words about the preparation. Many users are not supporters of such an upgrade expensive graphics cards. Although there is nothing to fear; if you follow the simple rules that damage the video card is problematic. should read the user’s manual before starting the process. Antistatic mat does not hurt.
To upgrade the GeForce GTX 1080 should be to get the right tools. Besides the usual need a Phillips screwdriver size 00 screwdriver and a screwdriver for hexagonal screws. NVIDIA complicated removal of the cooler, but nothing is impossible here. After removing the GPU cooler should be cleaned of old thermal compound.
The first major component of the Arctic Accelero Hybrid III-140 is a back plate mounted on the back side of the PCB. First on her to be properly positioned foam pads. They distribute pressure over a larger area of the plate, and the metal is not in contact with the PCB.
Arctic has provided additional back plate fins for better heat dissipation. Four holes later screwed water block GPU.
We now turn to the water block. CBO divert allows the GPU to 300 watts of heat. In the case of GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition cooler will have to cope with just 180 watts. To the right of the water block in the photo shows a heat exchanger with a fan.
Round the contact plate of the water block is made of copper. Arctic decided not to add nickel plated. Since we can see the four corners of the mounting holes which are used for various cards. In the case of GeForce GTX 1080 we used the outer holes.
On the water block you can see the name of the CBO. To him two loop tube fit. The pump is integrated into the water-block, single cable delivers her food.
The fan on the heat exchanger has a diameter of 140 mm. The rotational speed is between 800 and 2,000 rev / min. The fan can be installed in various orientations, from the air through the radiator hood or forced air to the radiator.
In place of connection to the heat exchanger tubes can be seen small tank, which serves to accumulate fluid. Arctic Accelero Hybrid III-140 requires no maintenance. Open-loop is possible, but the manufacturer does not recommend doing this, and throughout the life cycle of the cooler is not required.
The heat exchanger has dimensions of 140 x 140 mm, the ribs provide a significant heat exchange area. They tried to make the Arctic as thin as possible. A heat exchanger fan shines.
At the Arctic Accelero Hybrid III-140 manufacturer put a tube of thermal paste. After removal of the old thermal paste to the GPU should be applied to the new layer. Too much paste is applied it is not necessary, thanks to decent pressure, even a thin layer of well-distributed over the surface of the GPU.
You can then connect the back plate with the water-block. First GPU water block mounted on the front side of the video card. Then, set the back plate through the last four holes are conducted screws with springs, which are screwed into the holes of the water block and provide a uniform pressure on the last GPU.
After the installation of the water block, we get the picture shown in the picture. Memory chips have to do without additional cooling. Of course, all manufacturers of graphics cards cooling systems remove heat from the additional GDDR5X memory chips. But in our tests, we are not faced with high temperatures of memory chips, they worked perfectly and without additional cooling.
At the back of the video card power subsystem components are located. They provide additional cooling. And I put Arctic supplied not only cooler but also 80-mm fan. It operates at a speed between 800 and 2,000 rev / min. The fan can be connected to the video card, which allows the latter to control speed.
The photo shows cooler Arctic Accelero Hybrid III-140 after a complete installation. During installation difficulties arose only with the compound of the water block, the graphics card and the back plate. It would not prevent a third, or even fourth hand, so how to get the screws in the desired hole is not so simple. With the cooling system Alphacool Eiswolf GPX Pro 120 AiO installation process was still a bit easier.
It is time to conduct tests. Which of cooling systems show their best side?
Let’s start with e GPU temperatures at idle. We have already received some differences. Air Cooler Founders Edition brought to the GPU heat up to 40 ° C, cooler Arctic Accelero Hybrid III-140 GPU cooled to 30 ° C, at Alphacool Eiswolf GPX Pro 120 AiO temperature was 29 ° C. However, sleep mode does not reveal the potential of ITS.
Under load, the difference was more than substantial. There are clearly visible Founders Edition of the problem. Limit temperature of the video card is 83 ° C, ie the achievement of the GPU level begins to drop the voltage and frequency. Much better GPU is cooled by NWO Alphacool Eiswolf GPX Pro 120 AiO. We got a temperature level of 51 ° C, so no throttling and closely observed. The same applies to Arctic Accelero Hybrid III-140, we got a little higher temperature 53 ° C.
Also important and VRM temperature. For the measurements we used infrared thermometer, directing it to the heatsink over the VRM. Unfortunately, to measure the temperature directly VRM is not possible. At Founders Edition graphics card we received the greatest temperature of 73,6 ° C – and it should be remembered that the temperature is observed on the radiator, and themselves VRM can be heated up to 90 ° C. Much better situation with the Arctic Accelero Hybrid III-140. Here we get 53,6 ° C temperature on the radiator. Even better cope with cooling Alphacool Eiswolf GPX Pro 120 AiO, he secured a 49,7 ° C temperature.
The diagram clearly shows that GPU GeForce GTX 1080 at proper cooling operates at higher clock frequencies. At Founders Edition, air-cooled frequency does not rise above 1.809 MHz after the installation of the ITS or Alphacool Arctic was already Boost frequency 1.873 MHz. It is not limited to temperature and power strap Power Limit. If you raise the latest by 10%, the frequency is easy to rise above the level of 1.900 MHz.
Significant differences we have the velocity fans and, accordingly, the level of noise. In the case of an air cooler fan Founders Edition graphics card changed the rotation speed of 1,100 to 2,150 rev / min. The fan on the cooler VRM Arctic Accelero Hybrid III-140 worked in a range of 1.100-1.200 / min, and the fan on the heat exchanger always worked at 800 rev / min. The same applies to the fan on the radiator Alphacool Eiswolf GPX Pro 120 AiO, we have a constant rate of 800 for him / min.
We proceed to the evaluation of the noise level. In idle mode, both CBO markedly cooler bypass Founders Edition. Palpable difference not only from the measurements, but also visible on the ear. But between the Arctic Accelero Hybrid III-140 and Alphacool Eiswolf GPX Pro 120 AiO differences in the level is almost no noise.
Under load, the situation is different. Fan Alphacool Eiswolf GPX Pro AiO 120 runs on the same speed, so the noise level of the former. Even after a prolonged increase in load rotation speed needs have arisen. In the case of Arctic Accelero Hybrid III-140 VRM fan starts to rotate under load faster, which increases the noise level. Compared with the Founders Edition both coolers work load is much quieter.
As we have noted above, both the CBO, the GeForce GTX 1080 is not limited to temperature and power strap Power Target. We have increased the threshold to 110%, and then assessed the maximum GPU frequency under load.
Increasing Power Target level has led to an increase in GPU clock with both ITS to 1.951 MHz, which corresponds to an increase of 4%. We have obtained a corresponding increase in productivity. With good cooling and you can get a much higher clock speeds, especially if you change the voltage, as well as to raise the bar even higher Power Target.
Many people have purchased video Founders Edition GeForce GTX 1080 and GeForce GTX 1070 for one reason or another. The most important – NVIDIA offers the standard version earlier partners. Cooler at Founders Edition video card works well, but he did not reveal the potential performance GeForce GTX 1070, GeForce GTX 1080 and Titan X. According to the NVIDIA, the cooler has been designed so that the video card has always been on the verge of restrictions, providing a balance between frequency , voltage and temperature.
The reasons for replacing a video card cooler is also set, and improve performance here should take into account the noise level. Here, unfortunately, the NVIDIA reference cooler show themselves not the best way – that take advantage of using partners offering video card cooler with the alternative and / or PCB design that works a lot quieter and often faster. We tested two water cooling Arctic Accelero Hybrid III-140 and Alphacool Eiswolf GPX Pro 120 AiO, a user can install on their own card. Both CBO significantly improve GPU cooling.
Both water-cooling system is based on the same principle, although there are differences in design. Arctic Accelero Hybrid III-140 uses a closed circuit with 140 mm heat exchanger and additional cooler for the VRM, Alphacool for Eiswolf GPX Pro 120 AiO supports expansion loop and water block covers not only the GPU, and other components.
Both CBO enabled GeForce GTX 1080 work not only faster, but also quieter and have provided smaller GPU temperature. In reference cooler GPU under load heated to 83 ° C, using cooling water temperature was reduced to 53 or 51 ° C. The GPU frequency under load increased to 1.873 MHz, although the air cooler, it does not rise above 1.809 MHz. Sometimes GeForce GTX 1080 Founders Edition works even at lower frequencies, it all depends on the load in the game and cooling inside the PC housing. In Alphacool Eiswolf GPX Pro 120AiO, seems to have the potential productivity is higher than that Arctic Accelero Hybrid III-140, as we have always a little lower temperature. Including VRM temperature.
The level of noise is the difference between the CBO and the air cooler Founders Edition, no less difference in temperatures. The reason lies in the fan speed. Radial fan air cooler Founders Edition operates at speeds up to 2,150 rev / min, 120 – or 140-mm fans on the two heat exchangers CBO always work at 800 rev / min, although Arctic Accelero Hybrid III-140 we get an additional fan on the cooler the VRM, albeit at a slow speed. Noise Alphacool Eiswolf GPX Pro 120 AiO slightly below the Arctic Accelero Hybrid III 140.
The quality of manufacturing CBO Alphacool Eiswolf GPX Pro 120 AiO also proved to be a little better Arctic Accelero Hybrid III 140. This also applies to water-block, and other components such as a heat exchanger. This does not mean that the water cooling system Arctic much worse, not at all. Both CBO made to last. But with a full water block cover and large rear plate, and the radiator and connecting pipes are made from better quality Alphacool little.
To install both systems require accuracy, but also should not be afraid of the process. If you have experience of working with components, the installation of ITS would be able to do. It would take perhaps that good tools, the rest of the producers are working together with the NWO, including thermal paste and thermal interface. Instructions are sometimes a bit confusing, but you can understand.
Let us turn to the price. He asks for Arctic Accelero Hybrid III-140 of the 110 euros or 8.7 thousand. Rubles in Russia. For CBO closed loop oriented cooling graphics cards, this price is quite typical. It is roughly equivalent to a surcharge for card, regular equipment CBO. Alphacool Eiswolf GPX Pro 120 AiO will cost a bit more expensive, from 149,95 euros, but it provides higher performance cooling. Set Eiswolf not yet entered the retail, buy the system at first will only be Alphacool directly to the online shop. If you are interested in the possibility of expanding the CBO path in the future, here the choice is unambiguous – Alphacool Eiswolf.