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GeCube SilenCool X800XL Fanless Graphics Card - GeCube SilenCool X800XL
GeCube has gone for one DVI and one VGA output at the rear. This is standard for all but the highest end cards but if I had spent over £200 on a graphics card I’d want to see dual DVI on the end of it, so I say that it’s time manufacturers start to move that down the range a little.
In the box is a two channel version of Cyberlink Power DVD 5 and Counter-Strike Condition Zero, neither of which are exactly awe inspiring. You also get two TV out cables; one with composite and S-video on the end, and another that gives you component output.
In terms of benchmarking the silent cooling solution behaved impeccably, with no crashes or locks ups to spoil the testing. We ideally wanted to compare the numbers with the low noise fan equipped Sapphire X800 XL Ultimate Edition, but it tuned out that the motherboard we were using for testing was significantly underperforming.
As a result the numbers we obtained from the GeCube are significantly higher. 57.9fps at 1,600 x 1,200 in Half Life 2 with both FSAA and AF is a very playable score, though Doom 3 wasn’t as accommodating. Judging from Far Cry as well, 1,280 x 1,024 with filtering and FSAA enabled is the sweet spot for this card – at least in current games.
The good news though is that the lack of fan assisted cooling isn’t holding back the card in any way. I then installed it in my own system to get more of a real world feel for it and it ate up all the Star Wars: Battlefront and Counter-Strike: Source I could throw at it. One tip though - don’t touch the heat-pipes while playing a 3D game. I wondered exactly how hot they might be to the touch and quickly discovered that the answer was - very hot. With that in mind I’d recommend using a PC with good ventilation. This does though counter the idea of going for an entirely silent PC. It could be done but it would be a risk as far as stability goes. In my system, a large SilverStone TC05 with front and back 120mm fans, the GeCube SilenCool performed impeccably.
Hats off to GeCube for pushing the boundaries of silent cooling with its totally silent and impressively performing SilenCool X800XL graphics card. Its fanless approach is, ironically enough, going to win it a lot of fans.