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MP3 SOUND RECORDINGS
These recordings were made with a high
resolution, lab quality, digital recording system inside SPCR's
own 11 dBA ambient anechoic chamber, then converted to LAME 128kbps
encoded MP3s. We've listened long and hard to ensure there is no audible degradation
from the original WAV files to these MP3s. They represent a quick snapshot of
what we heard during the review.
These recordings are intended to give you an idea of how the product sounds
in actual use one meter is a reasonable typical distance between a computer
or computer component and your ear. The recording contains stretches of ambient
noise that you can use to judge the relative loudness of the subject. Be aware
that very quiet subjects may not be audible if we couldn't hear it from
one meter, chances are we couldn't record it either!
The recording starts with 10 seconds of room ambiance, followed by 10 seconds
of the VGA test system without a video card installed, and then the actual product's
noise at various levels. For the most realistic results, set the volume
so that the starting ambient level is just barely audible, then don't change
the volume setting again.
The factory-overclocked HIS Radeon HD 5870 iCooler V Turbo demands 215W running Furmark in our system, and it is one of the most power-hungry single-GPU cards around. The Thermalright Shaman cooled it without issue, producing modest temperatures in our hot, low airflow GPU cooler test system with almost no additional noise. Our load test is more stressful than any PC game, and our low airflow test system is hotter than that of most web reviewers, so under more conventional conditions, there should be plenty of headroom for even hotter cards and higher ambient temperatures. The installation scheme is fairly easy and very secure, the included memory and VRM heatsinks adhere nicely, and the fan is quiet and smooth. The whole package is well-thought out with a high degree of fit and finish.
For a high-end graphics card, choosing between the AC Accelero Xtreme Plus and Thermalright Shaman is difficult as they perform similarly. It comes down to what else each has to offer aside from pure cooling proficiency. The Xtreme Plus can be controlled by the fan header on most high-end graphics cards and isn't as thick; including the graphics card, it takes up three expansion slots compared to four slots for the Shaman. But the Shaman doesn't require a particularly deep case because it isn't as long, and it doesn't bend the PCB as much. It also has an easily replaceable fan.
Then there is compatibility to consider. The Shaman works with Nvidia's GeForce GTX 460, 470, and 480, and supports AMD's Radeon HD 5850 and 5870 out of the box. Though they are not listed in the specifications, the HD 6850 and HD 6870 should be added to the list (we saw no reason why it wouldn't work with either). The Xtreme Plus is odd in that it cannot be used on its own, requiring one of a series of heatsink/mounting sets. There is one set for ATI cards mentioned above and older GeForce cards, plus five different sets for various cards from the GTX 200/400 series. They are sold in pre-bundled versions like the Accelero Xtreme GTX Pro, but if you bought one for your GTX 260 and then upgraded to a HD 6870 for example, you would need a new mounting kit.
If you're still undecided, it may boil down to price and availability in your area In this aspect, the Xtreme Plus is a clear winner. It is more widely available and cheaper; we've seen both the Accelero Xtreme 5870 as well as the Xtreme Plus (with a mounting kit) for as low as US$60 online, while the Shaman retails for US$15~$20 more.
* Terrific performance
* Quiet, effective fan
* Secure mounting system
* Four slot cooling solution
Our thanks to Thermalright for the Shaman GPU cooler sample used in this review.
Thermalright Shaman is Recommended by SPCR.
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Articles of Related Interest
Arctic Cooling Accelero Xtreme Plus GPU Cooler
GELID Icy Vision Dual Fan VGA Cooler
HIS HD Radeon 5870 iCooler V Turbo
Scythe Setsugen GPU Cooler
ZEROtherm CoolMaxx 2000 GPU
Scythe Musashi Dual Fan GPU Cooler
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this article in the SPCR forums.
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