[Review] Fermi aftermarket cooler: GELID Icy Vision

Firstoff, I am not affiliated with GELID in any way, I just think its a great product and, like the company it seems barely known.

I thought I share my newly earned wisdom, as there are quite a few GF100 owners amongst us and maybe some share my concern for silence and temperature. And I think it is of relevance to Blender as you need a graphic card :smiley:

The reference cooler of the GTX470/480 is a joke, the fan’s factory settings as well.
80-100°C under load is unacceptable and the noise is close to a hairdryer. I am a fan of the card, but you got to pay truth tribute and admit the cooling is a fail.

Aftermarketcoolers, the MK13 was said to be the only cooler to literally take the heat, but barely and I almost gave up on looking for aftermarket coolers until I stumbled upon the GELID Icy Vision.

I got a GTX470, with the factory fan profile I had:
IDLE: ~65-70°C
LOAD: ~95°C

After I changed the fan profile (MSI Aftarburner for the win):
IDLE: 55°C
LOAD: 74°C

Latter ended in increasing the fan speed drastically with temperature raise, which ended up with 90% fanspeed to hold the 74° under load. 100% speed was unbearable noisewise.

Now for the GELID Icy Vision:

Disassembling the GTX470 is an easy task, then again one could say I disassemble graphiccards on a regular basis.
The thermal pads are quality and the RAM and VR coolers stick - unlike other products I had. There´s plenty of accessories in the pack, thermal compound, nvidia-vivo cooler, adapters,screws, basically more than you need.
What cought the eye, the manual has tiny, puny pictures and only for GTX480//HD5870 for other cards you got to find out yourself how to put the RAM/VR coolers.
Then the cooler is powered by 2*90mm ~2100rpm fans.
Thats the next downside, they are not exactly slim, so the whole “package” uses 2.5 slots in height, so 3 slots are gone.
Also the coolers are voltage controlled, the got “only” 3 wires, plus, minus and rpm, while on my GTX the fan is PWM controlled and it got 4 wires, so while it is awesome the fans got this small proprietary connector to the graphicscard, the fans will always run at 100% plugged into the card and the fan profile of the card is ignored.
Well, I couldnt bear it, 90mm/2100 at 100% are loud as well. Accessories galore, there´s an adapter in the package from the prorietary mini plug to 4pin molex or 3pin fan. That connected, I attached it to my Scythe fan controller and set the fans to run at 1700rpm (~80%)
And hear, hear silence. You can barely hear them, I hear my HDDs spinning out of my other case fans and the gpu/cpu cooling.

Now the intresting part, the new temperatures:
IDLE: delta 4°C ! - GPU: 34°C - Air Case 30°C
LOAD(GPU+CPU): delta 18°C - GPU:51°C - Air Case 33°C

I was blown away. Temps lowered by 20°C-IDLE/40°C-LOAD, barely hearable and all that for 49 Euro (I harpooned it in the ebay)
Again, to pay truth credit, you´ll need a fan controller, but you get them from a single poti for 2 Euro up to a nice one with temperature sensors and rpm/temp display to ~20-40 Euro.

I also noticed the GELID thermal compound in the pack is not actually a lot. It might suffice for smaller GPUs, for the GF100, it was close to get it all covered.
However, all in all a two thumbs up product and a clear recommendation from my side.
And there aren´t exactly alternatives, at least I dont really know any aftermarket coolers specified up to GTX480

Here´s the link to the product page:
http://www.gelidsolutions.com/products/index.php?lid=1&cid=17&id=52

If you got any questions I might be able to answer, shoot away.