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Arctic Cooling NV Silencer 5 - Page 1 of 5

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.

Click for larger image

This is where things get a bit confusing. Other than the "Application" sections for each product...

NV Silencer 5
Application:
NVIDIA Geforce 6800 series
http://arctic-cooling.com/vga2.php?idx=74&data=2&disc=

NV Silencer 5 (Rev. 2)
Application:
AGP: NVIDIA Geforce 6800 (GT, Ultra)
PCIe: NVIDIA Geforce 6800 (GT, Ultra)
http://arctic-cooling.com/vga2.php?idx=40&data=2&disc=

...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.

Compatible With

See that asterisk (*)? That is explained near the bottom of the package (unfortunately, still no official designation between the original NV5 and Rev. 2).

Asterisk

For those that may have trouble reading that, it says: *The compatibility list is an incomplete recommendation. For latest information, please consult our website. www.arctic-cooling.com.

Arctic Cooling even provides a very detailed and helpful CAD drawing of both the 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 and NV5 Rev.2):

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.
 

TESTING CONFIGURATION

System Specifications

  • 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 Drive (2)
  • Hitachi CM721F CRT Monitor - 19-Inch
  • 32-Bit Color / Vsync Disabled / 85Hz Refresh Rate
  • NVIDIA ForceWare WHQL 66.93 - Quality - Default Optimization Settings
  • NVIDIA nForce 5.10
  • Windows XP Professional Service Pack 2
  • Microsoft DirectX 9.0c
  • BFG Technologies GeForce 6800 Ultra OC @ default clocks (425/1100) and overclocked further @ 460/1250
  • Arctic Cooling NV Silencer 5
  • Ambient Room Temperature: 20°C
  • Ambient Case Temperatures: Idle 25°C  -  Load 28°C
Benchmarks

 

Next Page: Contents and Installation

 


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