Passive Cooled Polaris? VisionTek RX 470 and Arctic Cooling Accelero S3

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Dec 28, 2016

As I finished up the review on the VisionTek RX 470 something struck my curiosity.  The RX 470 has a TDP of 120w and Arctic Cooling Accelero S3 has a rating of up to 135 watts.  I think you can see where this is going.  XFX recently showed off a passively cooled RX 460 and at that point I was sold on the idea.  Sure a low end passively cooled card isn’t really something to stand up and cheer for, but the current 1080p bang-for-buck king running passively could be something really interesting.  So I ordered up an Accelero S3 and went to town.  Check out the results we had in our video below. I think you might be a bit surprised by this one.


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In short, I was surprised by the performance delta we saw more than I was by the temps.  Seeing the card stay so close to it’s target boost speed of 1226Mhz rather than the 950Mhz we saw with the reference cooler was a pleasant aside.  But the cooler is so massive and so clunky it’s definitely for a single card configuration for those who don’t intend to swap parts often or at all.  Temps were good, even after multi hour gaming sessions.  And if you want it even cooler you can crank up the case fans just a bit or strap on an upgrade kit for the cooler that includes a single fan for even more drastic temperature changes.


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X99 Test System

CPUIntel Core i7 6800k (4.1GHz)
Memory 32GB CORSAIR Vengeance LPX DDR4 2666MHz
MotherboardASUS X99A-II
StorageCrucial MX100 512GB SSD
Seagate 2TB SSHD
PSUCooler Master V1200 Platinum



AMD Polaris GCN 4.0 GPU Lineup:

Graphics Card NameAMD Radeon RX 480AMD Radeon RX 470AMD Radeon RX 470DAMD Radeon RX 460 1024 SPsAMD Radeon RX 460
Graphics CorePolaris 10Polaris 10Polaris 10Polaris 11Polaris 11
Process Node14nm FinFET14nm FinFET14nm FinFET14nm FinFET14nm FinFET
Die Size232mm2232mm2232mm2123mm2123mm2
Transistors5.7 Billion5.7 Billion5.7 Billion3.0 Billion3.0 Billion
Stream Processors2304 SPs2048 SPs1792 SPs1024 SPs896 SPs
Clock Frequency1266 MHz1206 MHz1206 MHz1200 MHz1200 MHz
Compute Performance5.8 TFLOPs4.9 TFLOPs4.3 TFLOPs2.56 TFLOPs2.2 TFLOPs
Bus Interface256-bit256-bit256-bit128-bit128-bit
Memory Speed8 GHz6.6 GHz6.6 GHz7 GHz7 GHz
Memory Bandwidth256 GB/s211 GB/s211 GB/s112 GB/s112 GB/s
Launch Date29th June4th August20th OctoberTBD8th August
Launch Price$199 US (4 GB)
$239 US (8 GB)
$179 US (4 GB)$149 US (4 GB)TBD$99 US (2 GB)
$119 US (4 GB)
New Price$199 US (4 GB)
$239 US (8 GB)
$169 US (4 GB)$149 US (4 GB)TBD$99 US (4 GB)
$89 US (2 GB)