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Guide and Review: Accelero Xtreme III on R9 290

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Installing the Arctic Xtreme III on my Sapphire R9 290 with Reference Cooler:


1) Remove the stock reference cooler and back plate. This is pretty straight forward.


2) There are two little screws on the bracket that you screw in the case, you need to remove these to get your cooler off.


3) With the reference cooler off its time to clean the GPU/Mem/VRM's. **Note: This is a good time to check what time of memory you have. In my case I have Elpida**


4) If you're married you should have some cutips and cotton balls for cleaning, if not head out to Walgreens and pick some up. Also if you don't have any pick up some Isopropyl Alcohol to remove the old thermal paste.


5)You should have something similar to this when you've finished up clearning all the surfaces. Notice the mirror like finish on the GPU, also DON"T FORGET to clearn your VRMs.


6) It's time to test fit the cooler. At this point don't apply any thermal adhesive or thermal paste. We just want to make sure we have the heatsink layout correct so the cooler can sit flush on the PCB. I made a few adjustments to the west most VRM's that aren't shown in this picture.


http://www.arctic.ac/us_en/products/cooling/vga/accelero-xtreme-iii.html

7) Fit looked good for me everything is flush. Before applying the adhesive and setting our heatsink down we need to protect the circuitry next to the VRMs with the provided insulation.


8) Use an eraser to rough up the surface on your VRMs so the adhesive as a better surface to stick to. Now start work on applying your adhesive and setting down all of your heat sinks. Don't worrky about getting everything positioned perfectly until all heatsinks are on. By the time the adhesive will have dried somewhat and you can easily position everything perfectly in place. **Note: Wait a minimum of 60 minutes for the adhesive to cure, however I'd recommend a few hours for it to really dry.


9) After everything is dry you can start mounting the cooler, this is actually the hard part. Follow closely the provided directions, make sure your using the 2.5mm washers on the front side and black on the back side. The washers can be a little tricky getting into place while attaching the back plate.



10) Congrats! We're done, the cooler is mounted and now its time to put it back in the case and test out this cooler!

Edited by Xtreme21 - 1/20/14 at 10:57am
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post #2 of 15
Thread Starter 
Cooling Comparison: Reference Cooler vs Accelero Xtreme III


Intro: Like many others who bought the R9 290 and 290X the stock cooler left a lot to be desired in the temperature and noise department, I'm truly glad AMD designed these chips to run at 95C. While searching for aftermarket options I came across the Toms Hardware review of this cooler, there were a few issues with their review that had me hesitant to buy this cooler. According to Toms GPU cooling performance was excellent but the VRM cooling was lacking. I decided to to pull the trigger anyways and pick this up. Turn's out VRM temps saw a definite improvement in temps. Which leads me to believe Toms is doing it wrong biggrin.gif

Testing Methodology: I wanted to as accurately as possible give temps the average user would see. I tested the card in a closed case (HAF 932 Advanced) with the stock system cooling.I ran my tests at stock clocks of 947/1250/20% Powertune with auto fan and overclocked 1050/1400/50% Powertune with auto fan. The ambient temparture during testing was roughly 15C.

Cooling Performace(Highest Temps Reached):




Conclusion:
Overall I think this is a huge step up from the reference cooler. I saw a dramatic drop in GPU temp across all benchmarks with the AX3. Maybe there was some merit in the VRM temps that Toms had touched on, however the trade off in my opinion is still an improvement over stock. Sound is a day and night difference between the two, for comparison the Ax3 @ 100% fan equals roughly Reference cooler@25-30%. I didnt even think the fans turned on when I first got everything setup that's how quiet it is.

Hopefully I was able to help out those with 290/X's that were considering an upgrade of the cooling system. I bought my 290 on release day for 399.99, with the current price inflation on these cards at 499.99+ I have a cooler and quiter R9 290 for $475.99. Not bad if you ask me! thumb.gif
Edited by Xtreme21 - 1/20/14 at 12:01pm
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post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
Shameless bump, but the article is complete.
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post #4 of 15
Thankful for this guide +rep.

Several users say the AX3 doesn't come with enough memory heatsinks. Did yours have enough? And that memory chip below the die, bottom left corner, did you leave the part not covered by the heatsink bare?
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post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by axizor View Post

Thankful for this guide +rep.

Several users say the AX3 doesn't come with enough memory heatsinks. Did yours have enough? And that memory chip below the die, bottom left corner, did you leave the part not covered by the heatsink bare?

No I did not get enough heatsinks either, there are 16 memory chips on the PCB and Arctic only provides 12. Which is why it bugs me when they say 290/X compatible. However if you look in my first post there are enough heatsinks to get the job done. As far as the lower memory chip, it has half a heatsink on it. the mounting bracket attached to the cooler would interfere with a heatsink the covered the entire chip.
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post #6 of 15
Thank you for the guide, I was a bit hesitant to buy the AX3 til I had more info. Your guide convinced me to pull the trigger.
post #7 of 15
Removing the TIM from the GPU and properly using a better TIM such as GELID GC-EXTREME will drop temperatures several degrees. Remove CCC and use MSI Afterburner version 300 Beta 18 from http://www.guru3d.com/files_get/msi_afterburner_beta_download,20.html will allow setting the fan speeds you want at different temperatures.
post #8 of 15
Finished the install yesterday,



vrm temps dropped by ~20c and gpu temps by about the same. oh the sweet silence! thumb.gif
post #9 of 15
I dont have a 290/x but this is a very well written review/guide none the less. +rep for your time and effort!
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post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xtreme21 View Post

Installing the Arctic Xtreme III on my Sapphire R9 290 with Reference Cooler:


1) Remove the stock reference cooler and back plate. This is pretty straight forward.


2) There are two little screws on the bracket that you screw in the case, you need to remove these to get your cooler off.


3) With the reference cooler off its time to clean the GPU/Mem/VRM's. **Note: This is a good time to check what time of memory you have. In my case I have Elpida**


4) If you're married you should have some cutips and cotton balls for cleaning, if not head out to Walgreens and pick some up. Also if you don't have any pick up some Isopropyl Alcohol to remove the old thermal paste.


5)You should have something similar to this when you've finished up clearning all the surfaces. Notice the mirror like finish on the GPU, also DON"T FORGET to clearn your VRMs.


6) It's time to test fit the cooler. At this point don't apply any thermal adhesive or thermal paste. We just want to make sure we have the heatsink layout correct so the cooler can sit flush on the PCB. I made a few adjustments to the west most VRM's that aren't shown in this picture.


http://www.arctic.ac/us_en/products/cooling/vga/accelero-xtreme-iii.html

7) Fit looked good for me everything is flush. Before applying the adhesive and setting our heatsink down we need to protect the circuitry next to the VRMs with the provided insulation.


8) Use an eraser to rough up the surface on your VRMs so the adhesive as a better surface to stick to. Now start work on applying your adhesive and setting down all of your heat sinks. Don't worrky about getting everything positioned perfectly until all heatsinks are on. By the time the adhesive will have dried somewhat and you can easily position everything perfectly in place. **Note: Wait a minimum of 60 minutes for the adhesive to cure, however I'd recommend a few hours for it to really dry.


9) After everything is dry you can start mounting the cooler, this is actually the hard part. Follow closely the provided directions, make sure your using the 2.5mm washers on the front side and black on the back side. The washers can be a little tricky getting into place while attaching the back plate.



10) Congrats! We're done, the cooler is mounted and now its time to put it back in the case and test out this cooler!
about the tape you use by the VRM if the glue is dry you need to remove the tape right or let it there?
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