It is time for skeptics to put down their pitchforks and torches, and accept the fact that self-contained liquid cooling systems are here to stay. What seemed like heresy to air-cooling enthusiasts a few years ago with their bulky appearance, high price, cobbled-together build quality and comparatively sluggish performance, closed-loop coolers have evolved quickly with each generation of release, eventually closing the performance gap against high-end CPU coolers. While there are plenty of manufacturers offering CPU cooling solutions of this nature, there are unfortunately limited options presented for GPU cooling due to the sheer number of various PCB designs in the market. Even among NVIDIA’s current 600-series alone, the differences in PCB layout number over a dozen.
In order for an all-in-one liquid cooling video card kit to be useful, it must be compatible with more than a single video card series. Users who are looking to purchase units like these are also hopeful that the design is flexible enough to be useable in case they upgrade to a higher-end or newer model. Arctic, as one of the world’s leading DIY cooling experts, has answered the call and is offering a self-contained liquid cooling solution at a $179 USD price tag.
The Arctic Accelero Hybrid VGA cooler is compatible with a wide range of video cards from both AMD and NVIDIA. Arctic’s Accelero Hybrid’s all-in-one design includes the tube, a 120mm radiator, and a copper cold plate with built-in pump, as well as a custom shroud actively cooled by an 80mm fan. A 120mm F12 PWM fan is also included with the Accelero Hybrid kit along with many different types of aluminum heatsinks for the memory and voltage regulation components. Inside a typical mid-tower case, the Arctic Accelero Hybrid VGA cooler can be mounted in four different positions and is compatible with up to 16 different NVIDIA GeForce and 15 different AMD Radeon video cards, spanning up to four generations old.
|Graphic Card Module
|Max Cooling Capacity||320 Watts|
|Fan (mm)||80 mm, 900 - 2,000 RPM (PWM)|
|Bearing||Fluid Dynamic Bearing|
|Airflow||74 CFM / 125.7 m³/h|
|Noise Level||0.3 Sone|
|Current (per fan) / Voltage (per fan)||
RAM & VR Cooling fan: 0.16A/12V
|Fan Power Consumption
|Pump Power Consumption
|Cold Plate Material
|Product Dimensions (L x W x H)
||243 (L) x 112 (W) x 44.2 (H) mm|
|Heat Exchanger Module
|Fan (mm)||120mm, 400 - 1,350 RPM (PWM)|
||Fluid Dynamic Bearing|
|Heat Exchanger Type
|Airflow||74 CFM / 125.7 m³/h|
||0.3 Sone (F12PWM Fan only)|
|Current/Voltage||129mm PWM Fan: 0.24A/12V|
|F12 PWM Fan Power Consumption
|Product Dimensions (L x W x H)
||150 x 120 x 52.8 mm|
|EVA Foam||1 pc|
|GPU Back Plate
|MX-4 (0.5g, syringe)||1 pc|
|Packaging Dimensions (L x W x H)
||330 x 188 x 260 mm|
- HD 8000: 8870
- HD 7000: 7870, 7850
- HD 6000: 6970, 6950, 6870, 6850, 6790, 6770
- HD 5000: 5870, 5850, 5830
- HD 4000: 4890, 4870, 4850
- GTX 600: 680* (w/o stacked power socket), 680 (stacked power socket), 670* (w/o stacked power socket), 670 (stacked power socket), 660Ti
- GTX 500: 580, 570, 560Ti, 560 SE, 560
- GTX 400: 480, 470, 465, 460 SE, 460
- GT 500: GT 520
NOTE: The compatibility list is based on AMD Radeon and NVIDIA's reference board layout only. ARCTIC holds no responsibility for incompatibility on non reference boards. Please check the height restriction drawing before purchase.
- Unmatched Cooling Performance - It features the F12 (a 120 mm PWM fan), a powerful heat exchanger, and the MX-4 thermal compound to transfer heat efficiently away from the GPU - with 200% cooling performance of the stock cooler.
- Enhanced RAM and VR Cooling - It also comes with an Active Cooling Unit and thermal adhesive specifically designed to enhance the cooling of RAM and VR. Its aerodynamic design further maximizes the airflow efficiency on all surrounding components.
- Virtually-Silent - The PWM fans are both controlled by the graphics card and work according to the GPU load which minimizes the noise level. The PWM setting can be modified according to the different performance and noise priorities. Click here to see how PWM settings work.
- Multi-Compatible - Unlike existing VGA LCS, this cooler is compatible to a vast range of NVIDIA and AMD graphics cards.
To test all heatsinks/fans in this comparison, Hi Tech Legion will maintain an ambient room temperature of 23C. Temperatures will be climate controlled in all instances, so there will be no variance in benchmarks. Noctua NT-H1 Thermal Compound will be used for all comparison units. All heatsinks/fans will be benchmarked in the exact case as its comparisons, unless otherwise specified. HTL does not benchmark heatsinks/fans on a work bench - this is an attempt to show real world statistics. Temperatures will be calculated using either AIDA64 and will all be measured in Celsius. All load temperatures will be at 100%, achieved by using 3DMark 11, which will be run for 30 minutes before temperatures are measured.
- 3DMark11 Graphic Test 1 on loop x 30 minutes for GPU Load Temperatures
- AIDA64 for Temperature logging/monitoring
- Reference fan settings: Auto
- Overclocked settings: 1.138V, 920MHz Core, 2100MHz Memory
Provided by: Arctic
No compensation was received for review of this product.
Class: High Performance
Arctic Accelero Hybrid VGA Cooler is in the High Performance class of CPU coolers.
Excellent thermal performance under heavy load and the included F12 PWM fan produces very little noise when in operation.
Aside from the shocking sticker price, the Arctic Accelero Hybrid self-contained liquid cooling kit also features alarmingly excellent performance, dropping the stock cooling performance over 25 degrees Celcius under load. The included 120mm F12 PWM fan is also very quiet, especially with the smart fan enabled in the BIOS since it is PWM controlled. Installation was simple and the most daunting part was actually just seeing all the various components laid out in the beginning. The manual is very straight forward and easy to follow so there was no genuine concern to be had. Most of the accessories provided are not necessary but they do provide flexible options for users depending on their hardware. The use of rubber tubing also complements the Accelero Hybrid’s mounting flexibility, as it can be mounted on at least four different positions inside a mid-tower case. On a full-tower case, the radiator tube might not be long enough to reach certain areas, such as the rear, but it is long enough to reach the top, bottom and front mounting so users can still use the Hybrid.
The only real major hurdle in fully recommending the Arctic Accelero Hybrid is the price. Paying $179 USD for a GPU cooler is very steep and is more than twice the price of a similar 120mm self-contained LCS CPU cooler. This is understandable, given that there is virtually no competition for the Accelero Hybrid offering the same cooling capability and wide range of cross-generational GPU mounting compatibility. At the time of this review, Arctic’s website has even begun listing the yet to be announced AMD HD 8870 as a compatible GPU to the Accelero Hybrid. For those thinking about multi-GPU solutions, space is tight for SLI/Crossfire mounting, especially with the protruding backplate and the angled 80mm fan, so using multiple cards with multiple Accelero Hybrids is not possible unless your motherboard has triple-slot spacing between two PCI-E x16 slots.
Since the GTX 580 throttles automatically when synthetic loads, such as OCCT, are used, 3DMark 11 graphic test 1 on loop was utilized, which showed a substantially higher temperature rise (44C vs 62C). The Accelero Hybrid still impressed, however, and was significantly quieter compared to the blower-style fan of the reference design, which was very loud, especially when overclocked. Overall, the Arctic Accelero Hybrid is undoubtedly unmatched in cooling performance in the aftermarket GPU department (with the exception of a full-fledged copper block and high-end liquid cooling kits), unfortunately the price tag is also more than one-third the price of a high-end video card, which lowers the appeal of a 25C temperature drop considerably.
- Excellent cooling
- Quiet Performance
- Flexible case mounting options
- Detailed and clear manual
- Aluminum heatsinks for memory and voltage regulation components
- Arctic MX-4 Thermal interface material included
- Compatible with a wide range of NVIDIA and AMD video cards
- Dual SLI not possible on motherboards with only two-slot space between PCI-E x16 slots