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.



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.


X99 Test System

CPU Intel Core i7 6800k (4.1GHz)
Memory 32GB CORSAIR Vengeance LPX DDR4 2666MHz
Motherboard ASUS X99A-II
Storage Crucial MX100 512GB SSD
Seagate 2TB SSHD
PSU Corsair AX860i



AMD Polaris GCN 4.0 GPU Lineup:

Graphics Card Name AMD Radeon RX 480 AMD Radeon RX 470 AMD Radeon RX 470D AMD Radeon RX 460 1024 SPs AMD Radeon RX 460
Graphics Core Polaris 10 Polaris 10 Polaris 10 Polaris 11 Polaris 11
Process Node 14nm FinFET 14nm FinFET 14nm FinFET 14nm FinFET 14nm FinFET
Die Size 232mm2 232mm2 232mm2 123mm2 123mm2
Transistors 5.7 Billion 5.7 Billion 5.7 Billion 3.0 Billion 3.0 Billion
Stream Processors 2304 SPs 2048 SPs 1792 SPs 1024 SPs 896 SPs
Clock Frequency 1266 MHz 1206 MHz 1206 MHz 1200 MHz 1200 MHz
Compute Performance 5.8 TFLOPs 4.9 TFLOPs 4.3 TFLOPs 2.56 TFLOPs 2.2 TFLOPs
Bus Interface 256-bit 256-bit 256-bit 128-bit 128-bit
Memory Speed 8 GHz 6.6 GHz 6.6 GHz 7 GHz 7 GHz
Memory Bandwidth 256 GB/s 211 GB/s 211 GB/s 112 GB/s 112 GB/s
TDP 150W 120W 110W 75W 75W
Launch Date 29th June 4th August 20th October TBD 8th 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)