|Arctic Cooling Accelero Twin Turbo II on a HIS Radeon 7850.|
For nearly six years I was doing fine with my desktop configuration: Intel Q6600 plus Nvidia GeForce 8800 GT 512. Last week, I decided it was time for an upgrade. After doing some research, I bought a Radeon 7850. As with all my hardware, I wanted to make it as silent as possible without breaking the bank. I was hoping I could use a Scythe Musashi, which did a fine job cooling my GeForce, but it turned out it was impossible to get in Poland. So I tried another well-known cooling hardware supplier, Arctic Cooling, and finally decided on an Accelero Twin Turbo II. I briefly considered the highly-rated Accelero Xtreme Plus, but it would have been too long for any Radeon 7850 card.
After reading the specification and manual of the Accelero Twin Turbo II, I knew I need to look for a version of Radeon 7850 that was as close to the reference design as possible, to avoid any compatibility issues. The main factor was also price, because I was going to throw away any custom-cooling solutions from the card producers anyway. I finally bought a HIS 7850 Fan 2GB DDR5 PIC-E DVI/HDMI/2xMini DP and it turned out to be a very good choice.
What follows is a tutorial on how to install the Accelero Twin Turbo II on a HIS Radeon 7850, based on my experiences. It's quite easy and takes little time, but because the glue on the heatsinks needs to harden (which takes at least 5 hours), I recommend starting in the evening and finishing the next morning.
I started with looking at the card and examining how to remove the stock cooler.
|Original HIS Radeon 7850 card.|
I noticed that the fan is connected to the board with a two-pin connector. This turned out to be important later, but for now you just need to remember to disconnect it before removing the stock cooler.
|Two-pin connector on the HIS card.|
I saw that the stock cooler was held in place with just four screws at the bottom of the card:
|Four screws holding the stock cooler.|
I removed the screws and put them away, as I didn't need them any more.
|The card after removing four screws.|
The stock cooler came off easily and I was left with the board:
|Radeon 7850 card without cooler.|
The main chipset was covered with old thermal compound, so I had to remove it with a paper towel (the new cooler comes with its own thermal compound).
|Radeon 7850 without cooler, almost clean.|
Then it was time for the Accelero Twin Turbo II package. It had two screws holding the bottom plastic cover, so I removed them:
|Accelero Twin Turbo II bottom, with two screws holding the plastic cover.|
After carefully removing the bottom (so that no parts fall out), the only thing left was the cooler itself:
|Accelero Twin Turbo II bottom.|
The bottom cover contained some heatsinks for RAM and other smaller chips, a power adapter (I didn't use it) and two backplates (also unnecessary for this configuration).
|Contents of the bottom cover.|
Proceeding according to the manual, I unscrewed the mounting plate:
|Accelero Twin Turbo II with removed mounting plate.|
I then tried the mounting plate on the Radeon and found that, on the mounting plate, I should use the holes labeled as "2" in the manual (they are the ones that are second closest to the center of the backplate). I also learned that I should use the 2.3mm spacers (black):
|2.3mm spacers and adhesive tape.|
Although the manual seems to suggests that the adhesive tape is double-sided, I only managed to get one side to stick, so I decided to glue it to the spacers:
|Spacers with adhesive tape rings glued to them.|
The next step was to screw the mounting plate to the Radeon. Four screws with appropriate washers were provided:
|Screws for attaching the mounting plate to the card.|
I put the spacers roughly where they should be on the mounting plate (they didn't stick to it):
|Spacers on the mounting plate.|
Because the height of Radeon's double-backplate was greater than that of the mounting plate, I found that the best position for screwing the mounting plate was close to the edge of the table, with the backplate hanging over the edge:
|Attaching the mounting plate to the Radeon 7850.|
While holding the card with my left hand, I inserted the screws with my right hand, fastening them a few rotations at a time, alternating between the screws, until all were tightened. After turning the board, it looked like this:
|Radeon 7850 with the mounting plate of Accelero Twin Turbo II.|
After that, it was time to install the small heatsinks. In the box there were several heatsinks of various shapes and sizes:
|Small heatsinks of Accelero Twin Turbo II.|
After a little trial-and-error, I managed to find a satisfying configuration that covered all important small chips on the card:
|HIS Radeon 7850 with small heatsinks next to their designated positions.|
Next, preparing the glue. Arctic Cooling suggests mixing the thermal glue in a small container. I thought the bottom right shaping in the cooler's plastic cover would do nicely:
|Thermal glue components, plastic cover and mixing wand.|
I carefully squeezed two parts of the glue into the container and mixed them for about four minutes until the substance was uniform, without any discolourings or lumps:
|Mixing the thermal glue.|
The manual states that after mixing, you have about 15 minutes to apply the glue. I found I didn't need that much time, but you don't have to hurry, as the glue takes a really long time to harden. Using the spatula, I covered all the small chips (NOT THE MAIN CHIP!) with glue. It's better to add very small amounts first and then add some more if the top is not fully covered in glue. In the end, I had 23 chips covered:
|Small chips covered in glue: 4 large on the right, 2 small in the upper right corner, 4 large on top, 1 medium in the upper left corner, 12 small on the left. The middle (main) chip is NOT COVERED (although it looks like it is).|
One by one, I started to put the small heatsinks into place. With each one, I pressed with my finger for about 10 seconds. I tried to position the heatsinks in such a way that they didn't touch the capacitors or any other board components. After positioning the heatsinks (15 of them), the card looked like this:
|Radeon 7850 with small heatsinks attached.|
Now it was time for the glue to harden. I decided to leave the card for the night, but I noticed there was something else I could do in the meantime. It turned out that the fan power connectors provided with the Accelero Twin Turbo II had three and four pins, whereas the card's power connector had two pins:
|Accelero Twin Turbo II power connector with three pins.|
|HIS Radeon 7850 fan power connector with two pins.|
These were clearly incompatible, but fortunately, it was a simple thing to fix. Notice the connector picture above. You can see three plastic protrusions positioned above three metal wires inside the connector. You can actually lift the protrusions with something thin (I used a safety pin, but a small screwdriver, a pin or a needle would also be OK) and gently pull out the metal wire:
|Accelero Twin Turbo II fan power connector, disassembled.|
I did the same with the connector from the original HIS cooler:
|HIS fan power connector, disassembled.|
The yellow wire, according to the pin assignment document, is used only as a control signal, so it's not mandatory. I inserted the remaining two wires into the two-pin connector exactly as they were before (with the protrusions visible, red on the bottom, black on the top):
|Modified Accelero Twin Turbo II fan power connector.|
I could still do one thing before letting the glue harden: choose the appropriate hole for the mounting plate. I measured the distance between the middle screw of the mounting plate and the bottom of the card. It was about 51mm:
|The distance between the middle of the mounting plate and the bottom of the card.|
According to the manual, this meant I should use the bottom (C) hole in the large heatsink. Sure enough, it looked like the whole cooler would easily fit above the PCI-E port line:
|The distance between the bottom hole of the copper plate and the bottom of the cooler (33mm).|
I then left the glue to dry and went to sleep. The next morning, I was ready for the final steps. First, I had to unscrew the mounting plate from the card. I couldn't use the edge of the table any more, because I didn't want to apply any pressure on the small heatsinks. I successfully used the old cooler cover as support, with the other end of the card "standing" on the backplate:
|The card, prepared for unscrewing the mounting plate.|
I carefully loosened the four screws until the mounting plate fell off from the bottom:
|The card without the mounting plate.|
I attached the mounting plate back to the cooler, using the lowest (C) holes and two screws:
|The mounting plate attached to the cooler using the lowest possible holes.|
Screwing the card back onto the mounting plate went exactly the same as the first time. I prepared the spacers...
|Cooler with attached mounting plate and positioned spacers.|
...and put the card on top, fastening the screws carefully, alternating between the screws until all held tight.
|Fastening the screws of the mounting plate.|
I carefully turned the card over. The work was almost complete:
|The cooler attached to the card, power cable disconnected.|
All that was left was to attach the power connector:
|Attaching the power connector.|
I wasn't satisfied with the length of the power cable, so I bound it with a rubber band. It wasn't beautiful, but it worked:
|Power connector cable bound with a rubber band.|
I took some time to admire the finished product:
|Arctic Cooling Accelero Twin Turbo II attached to HIS Radeon 7850.|
Here's how it looks when inserted into the slot on my motherboard:
|HIS Radeon 7850 with Accelero Twin Turbo II cooling, on the motherboard.|
Remember to connect the (single) PCI-E power connector to the card!
I took a little time to test the cooling performance of the card. After two rounds of default 3DMark 2011 benchmark, the temperature was 41 degrees Celsius, and the fan speed increased from 20% base to 24%:
|Card status after two rounds of 3DMark 2011.|
I was very satisfied with the noise level, so I didn't change any settings. You could, however, fix the fan speed at 20% with the AMD OverDrive tool. Or, you could start overclocking. For me, it's all about the silence. I recommend this cooler for anyone wanting to keep their computer quiet while still being able to play all the latest games.