Arctic Cooling ATI Silencer 2 VGA cooler

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The installation of the ATI Silencer 2 was fairly simple and straightforward. On most cards, removing the stock cooler will be more difficult than installing this new Silencer. The Sapphire 9600XT stock cooler was removed easily by unplugging the fan and squeezing the two clips than held the heatsink assembly to the board. Then the original thermal paste was cleaned off using 99% IPA. (Isopropanol or isopropyl alcohol, not India Pale Ale.)

The cleaned GPU, ready for installation.

Although the supplied installation instructions appeared to be somewhat generic to the entire line of Silencers, they were still easy to follow and adapt to our particular card.

1) After cleaning off all the contact surfaces with IPA, TIM was applied to the GPU and all eight memory modules.

2) The fan was then plugged into the video card's fan connector. On some cards, if you forget to plug the fan in, the connector will be obstructed, and you will not be able to plug the fan in after the Silencer is attached to the card.

3) The active GPU cooler was placed on the table, intake-side down, and the video card was lowered onto the cooler.

The video card placed atop the active GPU cooler.

4) The passive memory cooler was placed onto the assembly. Then the retention clip and rubber washers were placed into their appropriate positions and the nuts placed onto the screws. The nuts should be alternately tightened until the proper tension is achieved. This is where the only ambiguity of the installation lies. How tight is too tight? It is hard to tell.

The heatsink seated properly.

There have been reports of people over-tightening the nuts and breaking the screws. The screws are quite thin and they do not look as if they would be too hard to break. We tightened the nuts quite a bit, until the screws were starting to bow under the tension, but they did not break. (NOTE: Arctic Cooling did announce that the threaded shaft size had been beefed up, but we do not know whether these samples are pre-mod or post-mod.)

Installation is complete! Let's see what it can do.

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