When monitoring the core temperature of the 9800GTX while idling, the benefits of the ARCTIC cooler were immediately clear: the Accelero Xtreme Plus II does one hell of a job. Moving from the EVGA cooler to the ARCTIC product dropped the temperature by 26°C. With the EVGA stock cooler, the GPU would idle above 60°C, but now with this after-market solution it is idling in the 35°C. When overclocking the graphics card by 45MHz on the core and 100MHz on the video memory, there was not any noticeable increase in the operating temperature. Best of all is that this huge improvement in cooling performance comes while the ARCTIC cooler with its three fans is even quieter than the single fan on the EVGA heatsink.
The Unigine Heaven demo is the most demanding OpenGL workload currently available on Linux. When running Unigine Heaven at 1920 x 1080 on the 9800GTX, the difference in cooling performance remained quite clear. The ARCTIC Accelero Xtreme Plus II kept the GeForce 9800GTX about 24°C cooler than the EVGA cooling solution, while the noise level was almost inaudible. The ARCTIC cooler did not even let the NVIDIA GPU hit 45°C with this strenuous workload.
Upping the core frequency by 45MHz barely had any difference on the cooling performance, while the Unigine performance was barely affected. Of course, each test was run three times by the Phoronix Test Suite.