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Clear Plastic Housing
The transparent plastic housing: Uh-Oh!
The previously semi-opaque plastic housing has been swapped for a thinner, more flexible, more brittle transparent plastic. You all know how Mike feels about clear fans. For those who don't, here's a quick paraphrase:
Whatever ingredients are needed to make plastic (polystyrene?) black or opaque, their absence in clear plastic makes it more brittle, weaker, and more prone to vibration and resonance. In short, clear plastic has no place in a quiet computer.
Well, Mike's comments apply here. By running the fan, or tapping your finger on it, the housing vibration is clearly audible. The new housing material is a step in the wrong direction acoustically.
The all-copper base.
The new ATI Silencer 2 has a 2.5mm thick all-copper base which is attached to the heatsink. The copper makes contact with the GPU and the four memory modules on the top side of the board. The new heatsink has fewer fins which are thinner and shorter than the original.
The fan has also been changed. The new fan has a more streamlined hub and 11 blades instead of the original 7. It is the same 72mm diameter. This particular model spins at 1500 RPM on an ARCTIC Ceramic Bearing. The profile of the fan has been more streamlined, with the hub taken a conical shape as shown in the photo below; this aspect is reminiscent of the very expensive German-designed Verax fan.
As well as using a smaller retention clip, the new Silencer utilizes a "passive memory cooler" which makes contact with the four memory modules on the underside of the board.
One unexpected change was the absence of the HIGH - LOW fan speed switch. The original VGA Silencer benefited greatly from this switch, going from quiet to virtually silent with the flick of a switch.
One other (possibly related to the absence of the fan switch) modification is the change in PCI slot bracket design. The new cooler doesn't require you to remove your video card's original slot mounting bracket. You simply swap the existing slot cover immediately below your video card with the supplied slot cover. Also, the exhaust slot in the housing is considerably smaller in the new ATI
The ATI Silencer 2 exhaust slot and heatsink fins.
The fins are thicker & taller and the exhaust slot larger in the original shown above.
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