PowerColor X1950 Pro
For years Arctic Cooling’s VGA Silencer line was considered one of the best aftermarket VGA coolers on the market. The VGA Silencer line (including the ATI and NV Silencer) were popular with enthusiasts because they did such an excellent job of cooling the GPU, and they exhausted hot air outside the case for added case cooling performance.
The VGA Silencer line has since been replaced by Arctic Cooling with the Accelero X1 (for GeForce cards) and the Accelero X2 (for Radeon cards).
The Accelero X2 cooler consist of six copper heat pipes as well as a copper base for drawing heat off the GPU. From there heat is transferred to an aluminum heatsink unit which consists of an array of aluminum fins. The Accelero is a dual-slot cooler, so the heatsink is quite large and does a very good job of keeping the GPU cool. To keep everything cool, Artic Cooling employs a large, 2,000 RPM fan, which supplies fresh cool air and runs very quietly.
We recently conducted a roundup of VGA coolers
and the Acceleros came out on top due to their excellent price/performance ratio. This really is the best bang for the buck aftermarket VGA cooler on the market right now, nothing else is really close. The real beauty of it is with PowerColor and Arctic Cooling partnering together, you can get excellent cooling for your Radeon X1950 Pro without voiding your card’s standard warranty.
If you were to go out and buy the stock Radeon X1950 Pro with standard cooling from AMD/ATI or one of their board partners, you’d have to replace the stock cooler to get this level of cooling, and thus void the manufacturer’s warranty.
In terms of clock speeds, both PowerColor boards run at the standard Radeon X1950 Pro speeds of 575MHz core/690MHz (1380MHz effective) memory. Both boards also support VIVO (video-in/video-out), are HDCP compliant, and support ATI’s CrossFire technology: simply combine two cards together to get double the performance. Both cards also ship with the same hardware/software bundle, which includes a component video cable, power adapter, CrossFire cable, VIVO cable, DVI adapter, driver CD, and manual. PowerColor doesn’t include a game bundle with either card to keep prices down.
If the stock Radeon X1950 Pro speeds aren’t enough, PowerColor also provides an X1950 Pro “Xtreme” SKU which ships with either 256MB or 512MB of GDDR3 memory. The Xtreme boards are only offered with the Accelero X2 cooler and run at 600MHz core/700MHz memory (1400MHz effective), giving them a slight boost in performance over the card’s we’re looking at today.