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Old 03-15-2019, 11:33 PM   #26
momaka
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Talking MSI GeForce GT 430 (N430GT-MD1GD3/OC/LP)

It’s been a somewhat long time since I posted a cooler mod. So let’s do this.

Here is an MSI GeForce GT430 (model N430GT-MD1GD3/OC/LP) video card I found in the recycle bin at a former workplace.


It came with a completely seized fan (50 mm PowerLogic PLD05010S12L). Some of you may have already spotted the glue/adhesive on the fan rotor hub, thinking that this might have something to do with the problem. But really, this is just me taking the picture after I attempted to repair the fan. I say “attempted”, because the fan was one of those sealed sleeve bearing types. Long story short, I did repair it. However, I had to bust its shaft to do that (at least that seemed like the best way to open it at the time - now I have a new and less destructive method… but that’s for another thread perhaps.)

Anyways… regarding the stock heatsink/fan on the MSI GT430 - it was barely enough to keep the card cool. With 70F / 21C room temperature, the GPU core load temps were about 53-54C… and that’s with an under-clocked core of 670 MHz (which I did to keep the GPU stable – more on that below.)

As my repaired fan started getting too wobbly and noisy again (the repair lasted only about a month of daily use ), I knew it was time to replace it for something “better” – even if temporarily. That’s when this “mod” (read: ghetto handiwork) was born:


Yes, folks, that’s half of an Xbox 360 fan! ghetto: Its “other half” has been married to another video card for many years now (a GeForce 7600 GS AGP), and still working!

The Xbox 360 fans are a little noisy, but they push quite a bit of air and have decent static pressure. With that said, it was clear I wasn’t going to run it full tilt @ 12V. Instead, I ran it on 7V (fan wired between 12V and 5V rails for + and GND, respectively.) This actually kept the fan quieter than the original 50 mm PowerLogic fan (which, according to the GPU BIOS, should always be running at 50%, except in cases of elevated temperature, possibly.)

So how much of a temperature improvement did I get with this 70 mm Xbox fan?
- About 5-6C, meaning my max load temps were now around 48C.
Overall, I don’t consider this a very significant improvement. However, given that I was still using the stock Aluminum heatsink, this isn’t bad either. The GT430 is roughly rated for 40-45 Watts TDP. So in all honesty, I expected worse (especially with the stock fan) and was pleasantly surprised to see the temperatures above.

Now, I can’t tell you if this mod will be permanent or if I will replace the heatsink as well. 48C seems all fine with 21C room temperature. But in the summer, of course, I expect my room to hit 28-29C as usual (and peak up to 30C). This means a 7 to 8C rise in ambient temperature. As such, I expect the load temperatures to rise by a proportional amount – i.e. possibly hitting ~55C or more. If more, I will likely mod it. I will also need to see how the card does in terms of stability at those elevated temperatures. Again, this card seems to be stable enough when under-clocked to 670 MHz core (sometimes still crashes after several hours of gaming sessions… which isn’t too bad IMO.), but certainly not at the stock 785 MHz core (30 minutes, typically).

Speaking of which here is a GPU-Z screen of the stock clocks.

It’s interesting to note that this is probably the highest-clocked GT430 video card I have seen anywhere. Most other GT430 cards are set to run at 700 MHz stock, with very few over-clocked to 730 MHz. (Also, is the number of ROPs and TMU's correct above? Techpowerup suggests this card has only 4 ROPs. But the Quadro 600 -equivalent has 8 ROPs.)

Perhaps MSI pushed the clocks too far, and now after a few years, the GPU chip has degraded in such a way that it can’t overclock anymore. Or perhaps not, seeing how I still sometimes get crashes even at 670 MHz core (it just takes a lot more time and loading for that to happen – as stated, at least 3-4 hours of gaming typically.) I guess it's also possible that when the original fan failed, the GPU chip overheated, and that somehow is now affecting the stock core clocks – i.e. a failing GPU chip? Ah well, it is a FERMI GPU, after all – got to expect that to happen sooner or later. This is why it’s important to keep your graphics cards cool.

Last edited by momaka; 03-15-2019 at 11:44 PM..
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