Fixing The Radeon R9 290 With Arctic's Accelero Xtreme III

The Arctic Accelero Xtreme III, Detailed

The great thing about this aftermarket cooler is a reasonable price relative to the Radeon R9 290. For around £50, you can add it and still come in well under an R9 290X, but match or exceed the pricier card's performance. Of course, it's great that the Accelero Xtreme III is compatible with AMD's new cards, and is also pretty light as well.

Compared to the Alpenfoehn Peter and Prolimatech's MK-26, this thermal solution is less expensive and bundled with fans, which cost you extra after buying those other kits. It even matches the PCB's dimensions fairly well, aside from a few minor differences that we'll address during the assembly stage. They don't pose a problem, though.

Arctic Accelero Xtreme III
Heat Sink / Heat Pipes
Copper Heat Sink
5 x 6 mm Copper Heat Pipes
84 Cooling Fins (0.3 mm Aluminum)
3 x 92 mm Fans (0.12 A / 12 V)
RPM Range:900-2000 RPM (PWM-Controlled)
Maximum Noise
0.5 Sone
Power Consumption
4.32 W
288 mm (Length) x 104 mm (Height) x 54 mm (Width)
653 g
Six Years
Product Webpage
Accelero Xtreme Webpage

As I browsed through the cooler's contents, I noticed that we were short four memory heat sinks (the R9 290 needs 16 for its 256 MB packages, and Arctic only includes 12). Fortunately, this isn't a show-stopper. Part of AMD's approach to this card was widening the memory bus to 512 bits and running its GDDR5 at more conservative frequencies, scaling back on voltage at the same time. The memory packages don't get so hot that they pose a thermal issue. If you still feel compelled to cool them off, buying an optional kit for the GeForce GTX 260/275/280 should suffice.

The Modified Card's Specifications

The cooler's specifications are interesting enough, but we needed to know if it'd fit in our case. So, next, we measured the Radeon R9 290's weight and dimensions with the new cooler set up.

The Modified Card's Specifications
320 mm
120 mm (From Top Edge of PCIe Slot)
60 mm (2.5-Slot)
5 mm Back-Side (Through Back Plate)
978 g
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  • Applepienation
    Too bad that the new radeon cards have such poor reference coolers. That really hurts the cards. Oh well. AMD makes cheap cards but powerful with poor design, Nvidia makes expensive cards with better design.

    Also waiting for videos of the noise.
  • bemused_fred
    Why do the noise comparison videos show up on the US website, but not here?
  • bl4c
    great technological articles lately (290 fan speed, thermal pastes, ...) !
    nice to see a hardware site actually trying to live up to its name :)

    would you be able to do a comparison between after market coolers ?
    - Arctic Accelero Xtreme III
    - Arctic Accelero Hybrid
    - Gelid Rev. 2 ICY VISION

    (i think these are the only normal "ready-to-install" coolers available)
  • Terminal Boy
    Will be doing exactly this at the weekend.

    Have set of these to ensure full VRM cooling: Alpenföhn Passive DRAM / VRAM Chip Coolers
  • TuffLittleUnit
    I used the Arctic Accelero Twin Turbo II on a GTX670 because the reference cooler was so poor (even after an RMA). Once installed it's amazingly effective and almost silent. However, the installation wasn't exactly easy. The thermal glue (not paste) took well over a day to cure and during that period the little heat sinks were rather mobile. Not for the feint-hearted but very worthwhile. It also taught me that some cards are cheaper than others for a reason.
  • blak24
    Guys I did not understand two things over the replacement process:
    1) Where to put insulating strips;
    2) How to completely solve the 4 lacking heatsinks if I don't have other spare ones from other coolers. I mean, can I leave the 4 remaining chips without anything? Or should I cover with something else? (insulating strips?, tape? I did not understand this).
  • blak24
    I'm sorry but I can't see a way to edit my previous comment. Anyway, where may I buy the other 4 heatsinks for VRAM? And what are the dimensions of them?
  • Terminal Boy
    1. Insulating strips postion is shown in step 4 of installation guide. Their role is to prevent the heatsinks on the RAM and VR components from shorting out on components either side.

    2. I purchased a set of these to ensure I can get everything as cool as possible.

    I haven't fitted mine yet, BTW.
  • blak24
    Will Zalman ZM-RHS1 fit the R9 chips? I've found that the 290 chips are about 12x15mm. The Zalman are about 12x12mm. Will they be ok for a difference of 3mm? I was also not able to understand if the ones linked by you are OK, since I've not found dimensions for them.

    EDIT: 1) I know that it's written in the guide, but I can't see it on the images and I don't clearly understand where to use it.
  • baronduff
    Is anyone aware whether install on a 290x would be similar to this? The stock cooler is slowly killing me