ATI Silencer 5 rev.2 review

Phew

Senior member
May 19, 2004
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I installed an Arctic Cooling ATI Silencer 5 rev. 2 on my ATI x800XL. I bought it from Jab-tech for $32.50 shipped.

Installation was easy; took about 10 minutes. I used Arctic Silver 5 instead of the supplied thermal compound. Temps went down about 8 C Idle and 20 C load, resulting in temps around 35 C idle and 50 C load. With the stock cooler, overclocks would top out around 5%; so far I have gotten past 10% with the ATI Silencer and gained over 200 3Dmarks ('05). Once Valve fixes the CS:S stress test I'll try to push farther.

It is also ALOT quieter than the stock cooler. Before, the video card cooler was the loudest fan in my case; now its the CPU fan (a 35dB panaflo).

Overall, I'd say this is a quality product for the price.
 

Phew

Senior member
May 19, 2004
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Anyone else that installed an Arctic Cooling ATI Silencer 5 rev 2 on an x800XL care to share their impressions?
 

Megatomic

Lifer
Nov 9, 2000
20,128
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No, but I'm interested in getting one for my X800 Pro AGP. Thanks for the feedback on the cooler Phew.
 

Concillian

Diamond Member
May 26, 2004
3,751
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I have one on my x800 Pro AGP and it rocks. I bought the card used and it came with the Silencer, so don't have a comparison of before and after, but I'm getting 575/560 stable out of it with the silencer. The stock AMD fan on my CPU is louder than the Silencer on high.

After having owned the VGA Silencer Rev. 3 for my 9700 I don't think I would even consider a different cooler unless I was going with water cooling. It's quiet even on high, cools with the best of them, and exhausts the hot air out of the case so you don't heat everything else up. A very strong design.
 

PhoenixOrion

Diamond Member
May 4, 2004
4,312
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To all posters with silencer5:

Does the plate touch and cool the ram?

If not, does the retail come with ramsinks? Did you get ramsinks or no ramsinks installed at all?

 

Concillian

Diamond Member
May 26, 2004
3,751
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Plate front and back contact the RAM. There is a significant amount of space used on the back side of the card, that can be a constraint for some, I suppose.

I don't know what my temps are, never really checked them. All I know is I can play games for 8 hours straight and not have problems, that's all that really matters to me =). The pros clock high because they only have 12 pipes, the XLs clock relatively low because of the new MFG technology in the 0.11 micron core. Pro vivo cores that can open all 16 pipes will frequently get several MHz lower clocks when the pipes are opened.
 

Phew

Senior member
May 19, 2004
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The heatsink on the stock cooler makes contact with the RAM on the fan side only. The AC Silencer has a second heatspreader that clamps on the other side of the card, so the RAM chips there get better cooling, albeit passive.

My core overclocks with the AC Silencer are topping out at around 445 MHz, vs. 420 MHz with the stock cooler (stock is 400 Mhz). My case temps are also down a few degrees thanks to the AC Silencer exhaust going out the case. The fan is completely inaudible over my fairly quiet CPU fan.
 

Phew

Senior member
May 19, 2004
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It seems I was a little hastey claiming a 445 Mhz core; this speed has caused a few crashes in games so far, so I bumped it down to 435 Mhz. Then again, I don't think my Arctic Silver 5 has fully set yet, so we'll see. The x800XL is definitely not much of an overclocker, but it is a great value and good for low power/heat/noise. My fps rarely drop below 45 fps in CS:S at full details and 2xAA/8XAF. Even if the AC ATI Silencer 5 rev 2 didn't allow any extra overclocking headroom, it is worth the $33 on noise reduction and case temperature reduction alone. The extra 15-20 Mhz is just icing on the cake.
 

Capt Caveman

Lifer
Jan 30, 2005
34,547
651
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I don't know if it's b/c of the external power connector but I'm able to get 455/575 on my powercolor x800xl. I'm planning on getting the Silencer to see if I can even go higher.
 

fsstrike

Senior member
Feb 5, 2004
523
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Originally posted by: Noob
It's definitely better then the Zalman HSF surprisingly.

I like my fanless Zalman Dual Heat pipe, works great. Never overheats and completely silent.
 

Phew

Senior member
May 19, 2004
477
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Wow Capt, that's pretty impressive. I'm surprised ATI didn't go with an external power connector if it makes such a big difference. Then again, the Powercolor might have better RAM or something. What kind of temps are you getting with that overclock? If your overclock gets much better with the Silencer, you are getting near x800XT territory.
 

Concillian

Diamond Member
May 26, 2004
3,751
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Originally posted by: Phew
Wow Capt, that's pretty impressive. I'm surprised ATI didn't go with an external power connector if it makes such a big difference. Then again, the Powercolor might have better RAM or something. What kind of temps are you getting with that overclock? If your overclock gets much better with the Silencer, you are getting near x800XT territory.

I would not be surprised AT ALL if the x800XL barely squeaks under the power capability of the PCI-e slot and ATI decided to let the PCI-e power limit the speed of the card.

Think about AVERAGE buyers that make up a large portion of the market. The Dell and Compaq owners of the world. These guys go out to CompUSA and don't know a PCI-e power connector from their nose. Or people who have power supply concerns. They may make their buying decision solely on whether or not a card has an external power connector.

I know I've seen people posting in here for the best AGP card they could get without having an external power connector because they were concerned about their power supply.

IF the power connector is the distinguishing factor between cards that overclock well and those that do not, then you will see the OC companies migrate towards cards that have connectors and the companies that tailor towards the average joe leaving off the connector. This allows both camps to be happy.

I think if ATI could get away with no connector but put one there anyway it would be a bad marketing decision, becuase I think it likely that they would lose more 'bulk' customers than they would gain 'enthusiast' customers.

I'm still not convinced that the connector is THE issue, but there is a trend developing. I need more data before I'm totally convinced. Currently I'm leaning towards the connector being significant though.
 

Phew

Senior member
May 19, 2004
477
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What is the cheapest x800XL available with an external power connector? My ATI branded x800XL was $272 from Compusa business, and the powercolor is $369 at Newegg. The price premium wouldn't justify an extra 25 MHz or so of overclocking headroom, but I am sure it won't be long until there is no premium to get the extra power connector. However, I am not convinced that the power connector is the sole reason the Powercolor is a better overclocker than the ATI.
 

Icopoli

Senior member
Jan 6, 2005
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Originally posted by: Concillian
I have one on my x800 Pro AGP and it rocks. I bought the card used and it came with the Silencer, so don't have a comparison of before and after, but I'm getting 575/560 stable out of it with the silencer. The stock AMD fan on my CPU is louder than the Silencer on high.

After having owned the VGA Silencer Rev. 3 for my 9700 I don't think I would even consider a different cooler unless I was going with water cooling. It's quiet even on high, cools with the best of them, and exhausts the hot air out of the case so you don't heat everything else up. A very strong design.

Wow, who made your board? On my HiS, once I break 560 for core it locks up for me :(
 

Icopoli

Senior member
Jan 6, 2005
495
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Hmm, did you ever up the voltage? I'm tempted to put it up to 1.7 from 1.6 (At least that's what I think the BIOS says for AGP, I'm at work right now.)
 

Capt Caveman

Lifer
Jan 30, 2005
34,547
651
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Originally posted by: Phew
Wow Capt, that's pretty impressive. I'm surprised ATI didn't go with an external power connector if it makes such a big difference. Then again, the Powercolor might have better RAM or something. What kind of temps are you getting with that overclock? If your overclock gets much better with the Silencer, you are getting near x800XT territory.

Sorry for the delayed response. Looks like without playing around with any of the settings(I'm still a bit of a noob), I've topped out at 462/575 @ 42c degrees before I start getting artifacts. I got the Powercolor b/c of the dual dvi, VIVO and supposedly 1.6ns ram but my card and it appears the latest batch available have been downgraded from 1.6ns to 2.0ns ram. I don't know if it may be the external power connector that has allowed me to get these numbers but I know the Powercolor has a little bit beefer heatsink than the reference ATI.

I believe outside of the Powercolor the only other x800xl I have seen with an external power connector is the Rosewill @ newegg which appears to be a rebadged Powercolor.

http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=14-164-042&depa=1

I'll do some more tweaking and run some benchmarks in the next couple of days.
 

SnowyEnigma

Senior member
May 21, 2003
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How do you guys few Temps on your X800Xls? I installed atitools but it only "allows" (Powercolor card allowed me to over or under clock but I can't change frequences with my current MSI card) me to change the core and mem frequencies.

I originally bought a powercolor X800XL but after a while started getting artifacts and such from over heating. I thought it was a faulty card so I quickly got an RMA from newegg and bought a MSI X800XL. I installed the card the day it came but still the same issue. So me being WTF and all opened the case and touched the mem and boy where them little suckers hot. I almost burnt my finger! How could manufactuers allow this? So I called newegg today and had a discounted ATI Silencer 5 rev 2 sent over night fedex at no cost (need it for a lan this saturday). Hopefully it'll work. BTW I ran everything on stock speed and my case offers PLENTY of cooling (CoolerMaster WaveMaster).
 

SilkySmooth

Member
Jul 26, 2000
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0
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SnowyEnigma: What version of ATI Tool are you using? You must use 0.24 beta 2 or later to monitor temps on the X800 XL. The current beta version is beta 7.

I just got my ATI Silencer and it dropped my temps ~10C across the board. The fan is extremely quiet. I now idle at 37C and get load temps of 55C. Overclocking really wasn't much different. I picked up 20 MHz core and 30 Mhz memory. I pulled both back by 10 MHz for a safety margin and run it at 440/550. This resulted in a bumped ~100 points in 3DMark05 (from 5245 to 5363).

Overall it is worth the $27 bucks I paid for it. I have one minor gripe with the mounting mechanism on the back of the card. The 3 nuts used in conjunction with the rubber washers are difficult to mount. Every time you tighten the nut you get turning resistance from the rubber washer due to friction. By including silly penny washers this makes it much easier to tighten and would prevent tearing of the rubber washers. In my case, I just used the washers that was on my BBA x800 XL cooler. Another tip is to remove the thermal pads and from the cooler and place them on the RAM chips prior to installation. I found the stock pads to not line up very well until I moved them.
 

piotrgurin

Senior member
Apr 4, 2005
343
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so whats the deal? do i really need to get a card with this connector, or can i just get the card I was planning to get b4 (msi x800xl)?