[ad#review959-top]I guess that I have always gotten GPU temperature improvements when using a quality aftermarket cooler. Yeah, I have gotten huge improvements when going from a cheap reference cooler, though those improvements have not been that great when the stock cooler was as massive as the one that Asus supplied on my 9800GTX. The SilenX IXG-80HA2 with the optional fan kit gave me as much as 35% temperature reductions, and I didn’t bother measuring overclock temperatures on the stock cooler. I’m pretty sure that I haven’t seen that much temperature drop even with a reference cooler.
SilenX definitely has a winner with the IXG-80HA2. Passively, it equaled the performance of the stock cooler, though it really shouldn’t be used that way. With the optional IXG-3F2 fan kit, it really cooled down that hot GPU.
The cooler has three fan modes, Low, Medium, and High. The Low and Medium settings were both silent, and gave very respectable results. At High speed, the fans were audible but not loud and definitely not annoying, and gave some really great results.
The IXG-80HA2 is very versatile, it will fit most gaming video cards built in the past four or so years, which means it will fit nearly all PCI-E midrange video cards and higher, and many AGP gaming cards.
Some consideration should be given before choosing the IXG-80HA2 though. It is large, nearly as large as a full-sized video card, which means you need at least 9.5″ of clearance between your drive bay and expansion slots. It should fit all midtowers, though I’d recommend measuring before ordering. It likely will not fit any mATX case or smaller. Also, keep in mind that this cooler is much larger than many of the video cards it will fit.in some cases more than twice as large. That really isn’t a problem, though this cooler would look pretty strange sitting on something like a Radeon HD 2400, which would be dwarfed by this cooler.
Also, when used passively, the cooler takes two PCI expansion slots, but with the fan kit, it uses three slots. Keep this in mind when using multiple video cards or PCI expansion cards.
Though it sounds pretty minor, the only issue I have with the cooler is the lack of a fan/4-pin Molex adapter included in the fan kit. I have thrown away or cut up for modding at least a dozen of these, and probably have 10 more lying around right now. But to be honest, it has been over two years since I received one with other hardware. For someone without an extra motherboard fan bus, the lack of an adapter might cause them to have to order one.which would prevent use of the fans for a few days, and likely force them to pay $4 or $5 shipping for a $1 item.
The IXG-80HA2 is a fairly new item, and I didn’t see one listed at any of the larger online retailers. I did find it listed at some smaller online specialty shops, priced at $59.95 for the cooler, and $29.95 for the fan kit. That makes it by far the most expensive air VGA cooler on the market. Once it hits the larger retailers, the price should drop considerably. ThinkComputers gives the SilenX iXtrema IXG-80HA2 VGA Cooler w/IXG-3F2 Fan Kit a 9 out of 10 score.
– Effective passive cooling solution for smaller gaming video cards
– Very impressive cooling solution for upper-end video cards when optional fan kit is used
– Testing showed up to 35% temp reduction over a decent stock cooler
– Fits a huge range of video cards
– Three fan modes, two are silent, full speed is not terribly loud
– Very light for its size
– Quite large, measure case clearance before purchasing
– Very pricy