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Roundup: 3 GeForce GTX 480 compatible coolers
by Damien Triolet
Published on November 15, 2010

Gelid Icy Vision
With its first GPU cooler, Gelid wanted to offer as universal and high performance (250W) a solution as possible at the same time as aiming to put it on the market for slightly less than the competition - €46.

Although the Icy Vision also has a copper base and 5 heatpipes, like the Arctic Cooling model, it is differently set up. Gelid has used 2 small radiators, one with 3 heatpipes and the other with 2, each accompanied by an unprotected 92mm fan. These fans don’t support PWM and run at a fixed 2000 RPM. Gelid does however supply an adaptor that allows you to connect them via the motherboard and therefore modify rotation speed in the bios or the motherboard utilities. Note also that the fans respond to UVs light.

To ensure compatibility with the Radeon HD 5870, 5850, 5830, 4890, 4870 and 4850 as well as with the stock GeForce GTX 580, 480, 470, 465, 285, 280, 275 and 260, Gelid supplies lots of small radiators. Note that Gelid has made a rev2 version of its kit available with even more small radiators to make it compatible with the Radeon HD 6870 and 6850 as well as the GeForce GTX 460 and GTX 450. All these small radiators are fixed with a double-sided adhesive. Enough Gelid GC-2 thermal compound is also supplied for a single mounting.

A very succinct manual explains how to mount, giving two examples. In practice you need quite a bit of patience and some aforethought to best use the small radiators. Most importantly you need to look at the components on the power stage which are in contact with the original cooler (generally a thermal pad is used on them) and make sure they are in contact with a radiator.

In the case of the GeForce GTX 480, there’s no perfect solution with the rev1. We ended up placing a long thermal pad on the small components on which we couldn’t place any radiators as various thicker obstacles around them were stopping good contact. An approximative solution but one which works. In any case we would have liked to see Gelid supplying more specific mounting guides, especially in the case of very high-end cards such as the GeForce GTX 480.

Once the small radiators have been positioned on the memory modules you need to install the plate on the base of the cooler. Two sets of standoffs are supplied to adapt to the thickness of the various GPUs (with or without a heatspreader) and need to be fixed in the holes that correspond to those on the graphics card PCB. There are some reinforcements to give the PCB protection and bolts to fix the cooler on.

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