Yes, I think as a rule it is more sensible to buy the card of your choice with an improved cooler fitted as standard, if possible. The other point to bear in mind is that installing a cooler like the Accelero Xtreme Plus on a standard card does not necessarily give you the same as a card pre-fitted with the same cooler. For example, KFA2 (the European brand name for Galaxy) produce a GTX 580 fitted with Accelero Xtreme Plus. It also has a substantial metal backplate which is not supplied by Artic with this cooler. The backplate helps cool the memory on the back of the card, and also stiffens it to some degree.
In some cases it is also far more economic to buy a card with a performance cooler pre-fitted. For example in the UK the standard KFA2 GTX 580 costs around £372, the Anarchy edition (Accelero Xtreme Plus) £388. The minimum fan speed on this card is also set to 25%. Certainly there is scope to lower that further with a BIOS edit. The most significant factor about this combination is that the cooler can be quiet even at load. A software set maximum limit of 30% (MSI AfterBurner) is practical, and even at that setting load temperatures maxing out in the 60s are entirely feasible.
Yes. Ordered the kfa2 anarchy. Made the same calculation. For some reason the card is a sweet deal. 3 concerns if found googling and on newegg)
- kfa's support seems to be soso ( checking that with them atm)
- some issues with loose screws ( nothing you couldnfix yourself but still)
- some issues with fan speed % and rpm not matching ( fixable with bios flash)
Will report here how i find this card. If not pleased ill turn back to the trusty 6870 hawk once again. But id love the extra oomph 580 will give in games like witcher 2, civ 5 and daII.
Any owners here who can confirm the greatness of the card. Lodestar?