GELID Icy Vision VGA Cooler Review
A few months back, we reported the release of a new GPU Cooler by Gelid, named Icy Vision aimed towards cards like the Nvidia’s 2 and 4 series (Nvidia™ 9800GT / 9800GTX / GTS250 / GTX260 / 275 / 280 / 285 / GTX465 / GTX470 & GTX480 ), and ATI’s 4 and 5 series ( ATI™ HD4850/ HD4870 / HD4890 / HD5850 / HD5870 ) etc.
According to Gelid Solutions Ltd.’s Co-Founder and Sales Director Gebhard Scherrer,
“We have spent over 1 year developing our first VGA cooler. So much thought has gone into creating this product that we hope overclockers will be as excited as I am about the ICY Vision,“.
WCCFTECH was lucky enough to receive a Gelid Solutions ICY Vision CGA Cooler for testing and see if they really stand upto the claims!
The cooler comes in a transparent clamshell plastic packing showing off two 92mm “S-shape” UV blue reactive fans in the front, and on the back side 5 copper heat pipes are clearly visible along with two large finely spaced aluminum radiators.
Opening up the box we find a host of mounting accessories and aluminum heatsinks to be installed, along with a chart of installation instructions in 5 languages. One side, the installation chart contains instructions for the Nvidia cards, while the other side contains the instructions for ATI cards.
Also included are thermal pads for mounting heatsinks on the VRAM, MOSFET’s and VRM chips, as well as a heatsink block for the NVIVO block for Nvidia Cards (To be used in Pre-4* series cards only)
Icy Vision Specifications and First Impressions
The Icy Vision weighs about 465g including the two 92mm UV reactive fans. The fans have a decent CFM of 67.14 at 2000 RPM. Each fan takes up 0.25A current and the noise level of the cooler is a maximum of 26dba, which is pretty nice as compared to the louder stock fans of the newer cards.
All in all, it looks like a pretty decent cooler. It could have done with a little fancier radiator coverings like a few other VGA coolers in the market, but then again, were more interested in the cooling than plastic coverings.
Disassembling the EVGA GTX285
The tests would be conducted on an EVGA GTX285, based on a reference cooler design. GELID states that the compatibility list is based on the reference design only and they hold no responsibility for non-standard cards. Also, especially for SLI enthusiasts, Gelid provides detailed Dimension drawings so that users can see of their SLI Slots will be usable after installation of the cooler, as it is a little taller than the stock card cooler. Boards with spaced PCIX slots will have no difficulty especially if there is a space of two more PCI slots between the cards.
Disassembling the GTX285 was not much of a hassle, as the cooler was held together by 12 spring loaded screws on the bottom side (marked in the picture below). Also, two screws on the VGA Connectors side were required to be removed for the complete disassembly of the stock cooler.
Once the screws are removed, the (little dusty) cooler comes off without much trouble, exposing the G200 Chip, and white thermal pads that covered the VRAM chips.
Wiping the dust and the thermal paste exposes the (beautiful: D) and large G200 Chip as well as a smaller NVIVO (Nvidia Video Out) Controller.
Installing the Icy Vision
The Icy vision is installed in three major steps:
(We shall only be looking on the installation for the Nvidia cards at the moment. The installation for ATI cards is also available on the chart, as mentioned earlier.
- 1. Installing the heatsinks on the VRAM, MOSFET,s and VRM chips
2. Applying the thermal paste and installing the Heatsink on the NVIVO controller (only for Nvidia 2* series and 9* series, not required for the newer 4* series Nvidia cards)
3. Applying the thermal paste and installing the Icy Vision cooler.
The cooler comes with transparent sticky thermal pads by 3M, neatly cut in the same sizes as the heatsinks. Installation is tedious but easy (it took around 25 minutes approx.), and consists of removing one side of the thermal pad, and sticking in on the heatsink, then removing the other sticker side and pressing and holding for approximately 10 seconds on each chip.
The chart provided by Gelid is pretty explanatory however; there is no specific indication on the exact locations of the heatsinks. But it doesn’t put you off and is easy enough to guess the locations.
Before Heatsink Installation:
After Heatsink Installation:
The NVIVO heatsink is placed in its position by 4 push pins.
After installation of the mounting plate on the cooler, the four provided stand off’s neatly insert into the proper positions and are held with 4 screws.
The card is now ready for testing! Let’s see if everything works out as Gelid claim it should!
The Test Setup and methodology
The tests will be conducted on a test system with following specifications:
- • CPU: Intel Core i7-860 (Stock Clock 2.8GHz)
• Motherboard: Asus P7P55D
• Graphics Card: EVGA GTX-285 1GB (Stock clocks)
• RAM: Kingston Value Select 2x2GB Dual Channel DDR3
• Operating System: Windows 7 x64 Ultimate
Since the target is to see the maximum temperatures of the card under load, synthetic tests will be conducted using a 15 minute run of the MSI Kombuster at the settings as given below.
The MSI Kombuster is a stress test application and is a standalone benchmark/stability test tool based on FurMark, but with big and furry MSI logo.
Features of MSI Kombuster
- • Based on FurMark technology
• Latest OpenGL 3.2 rendering path
• Benchmark and stability test mode
• Link with Afterburner 1.5.0+
• GPU temperature monitoring
• Fullscreen or windowed for each type of run mode
• Window size selection (standard or custom)
• MSAA samples selection
• Benchmarking parameters: time based or frames based
Also, benchmark will be done using 3DMark Vantage on Performance settings, just to see the temperatures of the card under more realistic loads.
Note that the ambient temperature was around 35 degrees Celsius, and thus it was pretty hot in our testing room. Still, the only affect will be a little higher idle temperature to start with. The cooler even at 100% fan speed was very silent as compared to the stock cooler, and was a real comfort to the ears.
In terms of cooling performance, as visible from the data below, the Icy vision clearly has the lead by shaving off 6 degrees off the idle temperature.
Running a 15 minute test of the MSI Kombuster at 100% Fan speeds for both the coolers gives a clear picture of the efficiency of the cooler. Separating the stock cooler by a margin of 20 degrees, the Icy vision shines in the test with flying colours!
Changing the MSAA (Multi Sampling Anti-Aliasing) to 16x and running the test again gives a difference of 22 degrees, where the stock cooler reaches a staggering temperature of 105 degrees.
A run of 3DMark at performance settings simply repeats the results, with the Icy vision really giving a chilly performance!
Dirt2 was one of the first DX11 based games to come out in the market. The graphics engine by Codemasters does a fine job in displaying fantastic scenery and particle effects, thus taxing the gpu. The test was done on maximum graphics settings, at 16xAnti Alisasing
Battlefield Bad Company 2, is another DX11 based game that really puts the graphics card to test. Once the detailed options are set to maximum, the GPU load jumps up a notch, and the temperatures were the maximum on all the game benchmarks that were recorded. However, the cooler doesnt let the temperatures get out of hand, and really passes the test with flying colours!
A few other games were also tested, to verify the temperatures, including Team Fortress 2 (based on Source Engine by Valve), Transformers War For Cybertron (Based on Unreral Engine) and Supreme Commander 2, a really System intensive RTS. The results were more than satisfactory, with great temperature performance.
Final Thoughts and Conclusion
The Gelid Icy vision was launched with the claim that their R&D team over 1 year developing the company’s first and flagship VGA cooler. Its clear that their teams deserves a pat on the back for providing a fantastic cooler as a result of their work which glorifies the companies claims of superior performance for enthusiasts. The card really puts the stock cooler to shame, in cooling performance as well as the audible performance terms. The S-shaped fans do a fantastic job, and give the attractive looks required for any enthusiast’s pc.
- . Great cooling performance
. Very silent as compared to the stock cooler fan
- . Installation manual needs a little more detailed information
. Size might now allow SLI/Crossfire configurations