Since building my new PC, I’ve been feeling like tinkering a bit, and one thing I’m trying to do is keep my PC quieter. As much as the Elsa 6800GS is quieter than an nVidia stock part, it can get a little noisy after a couple of hours play, so I wondered just how much a GPU cooler would cost, and whether there were any decent ones out there. A few reviews led me to the Arctic Cooling 5NV Silencer.
After about 30 minutes I had the new cooler attached (it takes up another space on the back of the PC effectively!), and not only is it much, much quieter (nigh on silent in the case to be honest) it also keeps the GPU and the temperature around it much, much cooler. Here are some very un-scientific numbers I got from the nVidia control panel:
Elsa Cooler vs. Arctic Cooling Silencer
At boot / rest in Windows
GPU core: 46 C 38 C
Ambient temp.:35 C 32 C
GPU Core : 61 C 42 C
Ambient temp.:41 C 35 C
After 30mins in Half Life 2
GPU Core : 65 C 50 C
Ambient: 50 C 40 C
So as you can see, not only is it quieter under load, it’s much cooler too. The benefits to me of this are that in the summer I don’t have to worry as much(!), that the rest of the PC stays a little cooler, and that if I like, I’ve got a bit of overclocking headroom there.