[section_title title=”Testing”]


The main benefit of going from air to water cooling is of course the temperature reduction and, if you are lucky, better acoustics. To test this prior to fitting the new cooler, I powered up MSI Kombustor so that I could run a stress test on the card, running the card at full load until the temperature levelled off.

I used MSI Kombustor’s KMark stress test at a resolution of 2560x1440p and 8X MSAA to push the card and raise the temperatures. To avoid any difference with the fan control curve, I set the fan speed to 100% in MSI Afterburner.

The MSI 980 Ti Gaming 6G comes with the very effective Twin Frozr V cooler to start with and though I was confident that it could be beaten I wasn’t sure by how much. Temps rose quickly and after about 15 minutes of the Kombustor stress test the MSI cooler had levelled out at 55’C. With ambient temps of 20.7’C, this gave a delta of 34.3’C – like I said, very effective for a card that was under max load.

MSI Gaming G1 980Ti stress test 20 min, ambient 20.7 cropped

With the MSI cooler removed and just an 80MM fan to chill the VRM section while the main chip was dealt with by the AIO, I repeated the Kombustor stress test. This time, it levelled out at only 46’C. With ambient temps of 20.2’C at the time I ran the test this left a delta of 25.8’C. I was expecting good things and I wasn’t disappointed, a difference of just 8.5’C may not sound a lot but that’s still a 24.8% decrease in temps.

Arctic 980Ti stress test4 20 min, ambient 20.1 cropped

As far as other benefits go, we have to mention the sound – or lack of it – coming from my PC chassis. The Twin Frozr V cooler at max RPM is not very noisy, but still noticeable. Changing over to the Arctic Accelero Hybrid III is a dramatic improvement. The radiator of the Hybrid’s AIO loop is cooled by a very well engineered 140mm Fluid Dynamic Bearing fan which is pre-fitted with rubber corner pieces to reduce any vibration noise; the Hybrid III is advertised as being virtually silent and it really is. Again considering both fans are running at maximum RPM the only sound coming from the case is the front case fan itself.

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