UPDATE: There has been
quite a bit of confusion regarding the different revisions of this product (Rev.
1 and Rev. 2). Please be sure to read at least
this portion of the forum thread on this review. This
review is of the Arctic Cooling NV 5 Rev. 1 and not of the Rev. 2.
INTRODUCTION The Arctic Cooling NV Silencer series has become a very popular choice for
cooling a wide variety of video cards. Improved cooling and much quieter operation
than stock solutions are promised. I will find out if these promises are met and what
it takes to get there regarding installation.
I'll be testing with a 6800 Ultra which already has
excellent stock cooling. So, I wasn't expecting the near 20°C drop in load
temperatures that some have been reporting on the 6800 GT. The 6800 GT stock
cooling is clearly not as good as 6800 Ultra's. Let's find out how much of an
improvement the Arctic Cooling Silencer NV 5 can make over the already
excellent 6800 Ultra stock cooling.
Arctic Cooling provides a nice compatibility chart (see below) that covers
their current product line for NVIDIA video cards. Note that the NV5 below is
not broken up into the original and "Rev. 2" offerings. However,
both are still
listed on their website.
This is where things get a bit confusing. Other than the "Application"
sections for each product...
...there is nothing specified that illustrates any difference between the two
products (other than the already mentioned weight difference). They share the
same features and technical data. Both even link to the same product photos. In
the image below you can see that it reads Compatible with:* Nvidia FX 6800 (GT,
Ultra) at the top of the package.
See that asterisk (*)? That is explained near the bottom of the package
(unfortunately, still no official designation between the original NV5 and Rev.
For those that may have trouble reading that, it says: *The compatibility
list is an incomplete recommendation. For latest information, please consult our
Arctic Cooling even provides a very detailed and helpful CAD drawing of both
Silencer NV 5 and
Silencer NV 5 (Rev. 2) yet they appear to be the the same file just with
different file names (PDF format).
CAD Height Map Drawing
Confused yet? There's one last discrepancy that may help if you're not
already scratching your head (I highlighted below).
Fan Speed: 2000RPM or 2500RPM?
So, I can't report with any certainty what the actual RPM rating is for this
fan (it wasn't marked on the fan either). Product marketing mistakes happen with
any company; this isn't the first and it won't be the last. My intent here isn't
to criticize, rather, it is to inform you of these issues so you are aware before
making a purchasing decision. If these questions are clarified/corrected by
Arctic Cooling then I'll be sure to amend this review immediately.
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, which increases
cooling performance. Further the DHES lowers the air temperature inside the
case, because the heat of the GPU will be carried out directly.
Attention ASUS 6800 series owners! This note is mentioned by Arctic Cooling on their website (NV5
We use ATIs respectively NVIDIAs standard power
plugs. Asus is unfortunately not following ATIs/NVIDIAs solutions and
therefore our plug doesn't fit. You can either cut both plugs and
connect the wires correspondingly or you can also get 12 Volt power
directly from the PSU. There you have to connect the wires as follows:
black with black and red (VGA) with yellow (PSU). The yellow cable from
the VGA is an RPM signal, that is not needed.
AMD Athlon 64 3500+ Socket 939 (Newcastle)
Gigabyte GA-K8NS Ultra-939
Mushkin 1GB(512MBx2) PC-3500 Level One Dual Pack
Antec True Power 480W
Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 40GB 7200RPM ATA-133 Hard Disk