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Home > Hardware Reviews > Cooling Systems

Sunday, May 15, 2005
ArcticCooling - ATI Silencer5

1. Introduction

Arctic Cooling is a leading company in providing thermal cooling solutions with reduced noise levels for GPUs (Graphic Processing Unit) and CPUs (Central Processing Unit) in personal computer systems. It is already a standard solution for a lot of graphics card manufactors like HiS.

In this review, we are going to take a better look at the ATI Silencer 5. This is the latest release of the ATI Silencer series supporting ATI X800 XL, X850 PRO,X850 XT and X850 XT PE cards.

Before taking a look at the Silencer 5 features, we should first explain some terms and units that you might have never heard of.

Noise Level Measurement in Sones
According to Arctic cooling, the ATI Silencer 5 noise level is measured in Sones (loudness) instead of dB (sound pressure). The loudness depends upon the ear' response curves and tells you exactly, how bothering a certain noise is. Sone takes the frequency and bandwidth of a sound into account. A doubling of the number of Sones sounds to the human ear like a doubling of the loudness. The comparison of products from different manufacturers is basically impossible, since all manufacturers measure in different ways. Even a rough translation from Sone to dB doesn't help. A 15dB cooler can be louder than a 1 Sone cooler from another manufacturer.

Nevertheless with the Sone data you can compare coolers between each other and get a fairly precise idea of how annoying the product will be.
1 Sone:     nearly inaudible in a computer case
2 Sones:   clearly audible
3 Sones and more:  disturbing

DHES (Direct Heat Exhaust System)
The DHES draws cool air from inside the case and exhausts warm air outwards. This prevents the fan from recycling warm air to cool the GPU, increasing cooling performance. Further, the DHES lowers the air temperature inside the case, because the heat of the GPU will be carried out directly.

Click to enlarge

Below is a table with the technical data for the ATI Silencer 5:

Technical Specifications
Fan: 72 mm
Overall Dimensions (active GPU Cooler): 218.5 x 100 x 31 mm
Overall Dimensions (passive Memory Cooler): 137 x 103 x 35 mm
Rated Fan Speed: 2000 RPM
Bearing: ARCTIC Ceramic Bearing
Noise Level: 0.5 Sone
Weight (active GPU Cooler): 100 g
Weight (passive Memory Cooler): 56 g
Warranty: 6 Years
Prize: 20 euros

Installation is very easy and you will find all the neccesary details in the installation notes that are provided with the cooler. Notice that the cooler extends over to the adjacent pci slot, next to the graphics card it is cooling so this second slot cannot be used by another card.

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