GELID Solutions ICY VISION-A Review and Installation

A Review On: GELID Solutions GC-VGA02-02 Ball VGA Cooler

GELID Solutions GC-VGA02-02 Ball VGA Cooler

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Pros: Excellent Performance, Quiet, Cheap

Cons: Can be Difficult to Install, Fan cable may not be compatible

The GELID Solutions ICY VISION-A exceeded all my expectations. It was quieter, cooler, and cheaper than anything I could have expected. I will be reviewing the AMD only version, but the same information is valid for the NVIDIA version.

Starting with the box.

We can see that GELID has included a graph of the performance. I will also be sharing my own performance results.

Included in the box are the cooler, RAM heat sinks, VRM heat sinks, thermal compound, back plate, installation screws, fan cable, back plate, instruction manual, and other small accessories.

I will be doing an installation demo with a Radeon HD 6950, but the process will be the same for nearly all cards.

The first step is to remove the screws on the back and the stock heat sink.

Next the thermal paste must be removed from the GPU. I would use rubbing alcohol and a coffee filter. I would also wipe off the RAM chips and anything else that will be receiving a heat sink later on.

Then I placed the adhesive thermal pads on each of the RAM chips. This was very difficult to do precisely because both sides contain adhesive. I then placed the included heat sinks on the RAM chips

Next the VRM heat sink must be added. I had to do some DIY work with a dremel to get mine to fit. I am not sure if the wrong piece was included in my package, if my video card was different than other 6950s, or if the ICY VISION-A isn't compatible with my specific brand.

We are now done with the main board. Next the metal plate must be installed on the heat sink. I also would recommend cleaning off the copper that will come in contact with the GPU. After that the standoffs must be screwed in.

Next I put the thermal paste on the GPU. It is important to note that GPUs have a larger surface area than CPUs and will require slightly more thermal paste. After that the last step is to screw the heat sink into the card.

Here is the finished card. You will notice that the fan cable does not fit into the card. I had to plug it into a fan header on my motherboard. I personally don't like this because the fan won't ramp up when the gpu ramps up. I am sure there is a way to do this, but it would have been much easier if the fan was compatible. If you will be using multiple cards, you should know that the GELID ICY-VISION will add about 1/2 an inch to the thickness compared to a stock cooler.

Now for performance.
I was testing on the same 6950 before and after the upgrade. I was running a 3570k, 16GB RAM, an SSD, on a P8Z77-V Pro with Windows 8. As you can see the GELID is around 20% cooler at load. It is also MUCH quieter. The stock fan was nearly unbearable at full speed while the GELID was quiet and not noticeable.

I would recommend the GELID Solutions ICY VISION-A to anyone who wants to upgrade their VGA cooling solution. The ICY VISION is quieter, cooler, and cheaper than most of the competition. In my opinion it is the perfect solution for a hot card. I give it a 4.5/5 with the breakdown as follows
Performance 5/5
Installation 4/5
Ease of use 4.5/5


Nice review.

But that looks like an awful lot of paste. Is that non conductive paste?

And how are the adhesive pads for the ram sinks packed? Is it possible to stick them to the ram sinks first? Because I think that will make applying them much easier.
That amount seemed to work fine, but you can use however much you want. As for the RAM, the pieces are cit so there is no tab to pull the top layer off have to get your fingernail in between the layers. Does that answer your question?
NO BACK PLATE!!!!! that's murder on the PCB and BGA. they need to make them with a metal back plate with a nice big thick thermal pad to insulated and at the same time conduct the heat from the back of the GPU.