We recently tested water cooling options from both Danger Den and Aqua Computer for taming the heat from the nVidia GTX480. Now, these options were not exactly easy on the wallet at around $150 each, and that does not include the rest of the water cooling loop to go with it if you didn’t already water cool your system.
So, with the jump to water not so easy on the wallet, that leaves aftermarket air. One offering is from GELID Solutions, a Swiss run company based in Hong Kong. The company started in 2008 and has a range of CPU coolers, case fans, and thermal compounds. Their new VGA cooler we are looking at today is called Icy Vision; although it fits the nVidia GTX480 it will also work with other reference nVidia and ATI cards.
GELID states that the compatibility list is based on the reference design only and they hold no responsibility for non-standard cards. GELID provides a measured drawing of the cooler so you can compare to your card.
The Icy Vision cooler is a 5 heat pipe cooler with 85 individual 0.4mm aluminum cooling fins. Air flow comes from two 92mm ‘S’ shape fans that push 67.14CFM and a very quiet 26dBa, which even if it cools on par with stock would be worth Icy Vision’s $55 price tag for eliminating the insanely loud stock GTX480 configuration.
GELID has a chart on their site that shows a 21 degree improvement over the stock GTX480 cooler with the card overclocked to 801MHz on the core and 974 on the memory. This same chart is on the packaging. Let’s take a look at the features and specs and then get to testing and see if we can get a 21 degree improvement.