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Old 07-02-2018, 04:31 PM   #1
momaka
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Cool Your Video Card Cooling Mods

As the thread title suggests, this thread is about posting mods that you have done to your GPUs / video cards in order to improve their cooling. This could be anything, such as a simple modded VGA BIOS and/or heatsink replacement, to more intricate works like liquid cooling systems, special voltage mods, and etc.

The only reason I decided to make this into a separate thread rather than continue posting in the Ghetto Mod thread is that here, you can post *any* GPU cooler mods and not just necessarily “ghetto” ones. Also, this way, it should be easier to find the mods in case anyone else wants to try them or wants to get ideas on how to improve GPU cooling in general.

In my opinion, a lot of graphics card failures can be prevented if the temperature is kept lower. Generally, I try to keep things under 60C whenever possible (and for some cards even lower, if known to have more issues). This applies even more to problematic GPU and chipset series, such as nVidia GeForce 6, 7, and 8 for example. After all, enough of us have seen those GeForce 6150/6200 chipsets fail to agree that improved cooling can help things.

That being said, I will start with one of my home-brew coolers that I made for an ASUS Radeon 9200 SE (“slow edition” … I know, don’t laugh!) 64 MB AGP video card. Here is how the card looked originally:
https://www.badcaps.net/forum/attach...1&d=1530570530
https://www.badcaps.net/forum/attach...1&d=1530570530
https://www.badcaps.net/forum/attach...1&d=1530570530

This video card was in my first own gaming computer back in the early 2000’s, and hence I have a bit of a sentimental attachment to it. Therefore, I wanted to make sure it’s cooled well, even though it is a Radeon R200 series-based (RV280) video card, and these just don’t suffer from failures and artifacts (mostly due to the GPU being an oldschool wire-bond chip.) Nevertheless, the card’s stock cooler would always get pretty much scorching hot during gaming, so I always had an 80 mm fan running and pointed at it back in the day. But since I have so many Xbox 360 CPU and GPU heatsinks that I have no particular use for, I figured this trusty old video card could get a slight upgrade. Why not, right?
So here’s the result of that:
https://www.badcaps.net/forum/attach...1&d=1530570530
https://www.badcaps.net/forum/attach...1&d=1530570530
https://www.badcaps.net/forum/attach...1&d=1530570530
The new heatsink fit like a glove. I just needed to make minor cuts in two of the corners in order to get around various components on the board. Other than that, there wasn’t much else to this mod. Like many of the early Radeon video cards, screw distance is standard 55 mm diagonally for this card and only 2 screws hold the cooler. Speaking of which, here is what was under the original one:
https://www.badcaps.net/forum/attach...1&d=1530570530
ASUS didn’t use much thermal compound and it was the cheap white stuff. Surprisingly, though, it was still all very moist. I guess my early cooling mod with the 80 mm fan back in the days has paid off.

With the new heatsink I made above, the video card will still get pretty toasty without any fans or other active cooling, but not as much as with the stock cooler, thanks to the largely increased surface area. And adding even a slow-turning 80 mm fan running at 5V is enough to keep it cool.

Unfortunately, this video card is too old to have any temperature monitoring, so I couldn’t probe how much cooler it is running than before (Normally, I like to make temperature graphs of before and after). But if I had to guess, the original heatsink would probably run around 50-60C under full load. With the modded Xbox 360 GPU rev 2 heatsink above, I don’t think the card goes above 50-55C without active cooling, based on touch. Of course, the room temperature can affect those readings quite a bit too. But I did my tests in the same day with same room temperature, which was around 22C / 73-74F that day.

Also, here’s a GPU-Z screenshot, just because I always like to include it:
https://www.badcaps.net/forum/attach...1&d=1530570530

And that’s all I got for this one. More mods to come later – I have made a pretty big library of my mods, with pictures and whatnot. Actually, this has turned into sort of a hobby for me – video card cooler modding – if there is even such a thing, lol. But I do know that member ChaosLegionnaire is the other person here who likes doing this stuff too and we frequently correspond to each other about it over PMs. So let’s see if there are more of you out there that like doing this.

(And if the thread goes popular enough, maybe we can sticky-it. )
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Asus Radeon 9200 SE 64M (1).jpg (309.5 KB, 24 views)
File Type: jpg Asus Radeon 9200 SE 64M (3).jpg (120.2 KB, 19 views)
File Type: jpg Asus Radeon 9200 SE 64M (2).jpg (318.8 KB, 15 views)
File Type: jpg Asus Radeon 9200 SE 64M (4).jpg (180.0 KB, 17 views)
File Type: jpg Asus Radeon 9200 SE 64M - modded cooler (1).jpg (146.3 KB, 24 views)
File Type: jpg Asus Radeon 9200 SE 64M - modded cooler (3).jpg (125.3 KB, 17 views)
File Type: jpg Asus Radeon 9200 SE 64M - modded cooler (2).jpg (161.5 KB, 12 views)
File Type: png Asus Radeon 9200SE.PNG (27.1 KB, 17 views)

Last edited by momaka; 07-02-2018 at 04:38 PM..
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Old 07-03-2018, 03:21 PM   #2
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Default Re: Your Video Card Cooling Mods - ASUS V3800M rev 1.02

As I was working on the heatsink for the above Radeon 9200 video card, I figured why not make one for this ASUS V3800M rev 1.02 (nVidia Riva TNT2 64 with 32 MB) video card too. So I did.

Original heatsink:
https://www.badcaps.net/forum/attach...1&d=1530652738

I know what you may be thinking: Oh, its an old low-power video card, it cant have any issues with heat. But it does. Look at the back behind the GPU chip:
https://www.badcaps.net/forum/attach...1&d=1530652738
See that darkened spot? Thats because the heatsink does actually run very, very hot. Of course, this is also an old wire-bond technology GPU chip, so thats why they keep working forever (though, I cant say thats the case for all wire-bond GPU chips, as the nVidia GeForce 4 TI all can fail with artifacts from excessive heat).

Much like the Radeon 9200 card, I made a new heatsink for the ASUS V3800M from my stash of spare Xbox 360 heatsinks except this time I used a GPU rev. 1 heatsink (i.e. all aluminum and no heat pipe). Results:
https://www.badcaps.net/forum/attach...1&d=1530652738
https://www.badcaps.net/forum/attach...1&d=1530652738
much more surface area now.

And even though this is a very old card that I probably wont use much (if at all), I did recently stumble on a cool socket 7 system last winter with a K6 CPU. It has an AGP 2x slot, and although it came with a slightly newer nVidia video card (I think GeForce 420 MX, though I could be wrong), the ASUS V3800M matches the PCB color of the motherboard perfectly and they are still of compatible vintage. So Ill probably end up pairing those together.

P.S. Oh, and here a GPU-Z screenshot.
https://www.badcaps.net/forum/attach...1&d=1530652738
Now go admire those 2 ROPs!
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Old 07-05-2018, 01:45 AM   #3
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Default Re: Your Video Card Cooling Mods

Quote:
Originally Posted by momaka View Post
this has turned into sort of a hobby for me video card cooler modding. I do know that member ChaosLegionnaire is the other person here who likes doing this stuff
to be precise, what i do is simply video card cooler replacement with an already pre-made aftermarket one. i do not modify the existing heatsink or any existing heatsink to fit a video card as i lack the tools and expertise.

i need to get this clear cuz i dont want newbies or new members on the forum messaging me about video card cooler modding when i dont actually mod. so we need to differentiate between modding and replacement.

that aside, back to my comment as per below.
Quote:
Originally Posted by momaka View Post
ASUS didnt use much thermal compound and it was the cheap white stuff.
more sloppy tim application from the manufacturer again. so people, this is the second thing u do to improve your video card's cooling: video card tim replacement. i've seen many stories of video cards dying prematurely from sloppy manufacturer sweatshop tim application. while some other manufacturers simply just use shitty tim. i've had a 20C drop in load temps on one of my video cards from just replacing the tim.
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Old 07-05-2018, 10:41 AM   #4
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Default Re: Your Video Card Cooling Mods

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChaosLegionnaire View Post
to be precise, what i do is simply video card cooler replacement with an already pre-made aftermarket one. i do not modify the existing heatsink or any existing heatsink to fit a video card as i lack the tools and expertise.

i need to get this clear cuz i dont want newbies or new members on the forum messaging me about video card cooler modding when i dont actually mod. so we need to differentiate between modding and replacement.
Well, replacing the cooler with a different one is still modifying the video card's cooling, which is what I also intended to be as part of the scope of this thread.

Don't worry about anyone contacting/abusing your PM about these mods - seeing how popular this thread has gone overnight (HA HA , I'm so good at sarcasm ), I'm pretty sure you won't have problems with that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChaosLegionnaire View Post
more sloppy tim application from the manufacturer again. so people, this is the second thing u do to improve your video card's cooling: video card tim replacement. i've seen many stories of video cards dying prematurely from sloppy manufacturer sweatshop tim application. while some other manufacturers simply just use shitty tim. i've had a 20C drop in load temps on one of my video cards from just replacing the tim.
Yeah, sometimes they do indeed do a poor job. But with newer video cards, I haven't see that as much. With cards today having pretty high TDP relative to their surface area, manufacturers have started to do a better job than before. Nevertheless, I agree that it is worth checking if you're getting high temperatures, especially on older and possibly heat-abused video cards, as the thermal compound can be getting pretty dry at that point.

This said, I still find that inadequate coolers are more often the issue than bad thermal compound application. So heatsink replacement is almost inevitable on some of the low and mid-range cards. High-end cards nowadays, on the other hand, can usually be tamed by lowering their maximum TDP in BIOS and/or increasing the fan speed. Yes, you might loose some performance that way (with reducing the TDP, which ends up reducing the clocks and voltages), but if that can double the lifetime of your video card, it may be worthwhile doing. Lately, I've been seeing a somewhat large flood of bad/defective R9 290 cards on eBay. I can't say if it's related to cooling, as 3rd party brands of the R9 290 often use pretty beefy coolers (it is a 200+ Watt beast, after all). But still, I've seen these run at around the 60C mark under average-to-high load. So it could well be that they can't take even that much. ATI and nVidia can spread whatever lies they like, but 70C or 80C or 90C as the maximum temperature is NOT OK. Yes, a flip-chip may be rated to survive that temperature for some short durations. But long term after so many power/heat cycles, not a chance.

Last edited by momaka; 07-05-2018 at 10:50 AM..
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Old 07-06-2018, 04:06 PM   #5
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Default Re: Your Video Card Cooling Mods - PNY GeForce 8400 GS PCI (GH84W0SPUE49P)

Now here is a real looser (of a heatsink). This PNY GeForce 8400 GS 512 MB DDR2 video card (PNY Technologies GH84W0SPUE49P+0TE4ADA) came with a super weak cooler:


While GeForce 8400 GS video cards are pretty much worthless these days, note that this is a PCI video card! Essentially, if you have an old PC (or server board) with only PCI slots, this is actually one of the best cards you can put in it, besides the Radeon HD2400 PCI and GeForce GT 520 PCI - but good luck finding these anywhere and at cheap prices. The GeForce 6200 PCI and Radeon x1300 PCI are the other popular choices, but they are a lot weaker. Then there are the older PCI cards like GeForce MX4000/MX440 PCI, FX 5200/5500 PCI, and Radeon 9200/9250, but these dont have full DirectX 9 support, and therefore wont run Aero theme in Windows Vista or 7, if thats what you intend to have.

I got the above 8400 GS in a package deal with two other cards, all for $13 shipped to my door not bad at all! . The ASUS V3800M posted above was actually one of the cards in that package (the other was a Radeon HD3450 PCI-E).

That aside, the stock cooler on the 8400 GS card was really not up to the task. Just look at this temperature graph:


Oh, and that was taken after I fixed the seized puny PNY (lol ) cooling fan. Who knows how hot it ran before that. But as you can see from the above graph, the idle temperature was 44C, while the full load temperature easily reached 56-58C with short 1 minute load tests. It may not seem like a shocker, but this was at a pretty cool room temperature of 66-67F / 19C with a fully open PC case. And the temperature on the GPU core would have kept rising if I ran a continuous long stress test rather than short 1-mnitue tests with break intervals in between. Also note that the temperature spikes are rather steep, meaning that the stock heatsink has small thermal capacity, poor coupling from GPU die to fins, and just small cooling capacity (i.e. not much surface area).

So this video card definitely needed a better heatsink, especially since its a GeForce 8 series card. After all, these are well-known to go bad at high temperatures. My solution: an Xbox 360 GPU rev. 2 cooler yet again. As usual, I took off the old cooler and measured the screw distance. It is 55 mm diagonally, which is a bit unusual for nVidia (normally they use 80 mm diagonal 2-screw pattern on older cards.) Speaking of which, here is the old cooler on the bottom side:
https://www.badcaps.net/forum/attach...1&d=1530914622

And here is the GPU core exposed (and cleaned):
https://www.badcaps.net/forum/attach...1&d=1530914622

The nice thing about this small card: there werent many components around the GPU chip to interfere with my modded heatsink. In fact, I didnt have to cut away anything from the Xbox 360 GPU heatsink this time. Everything fit perfectly and the heat pipe element on the Xbox 360 HS didnt go past the bracket area (on many smaller video cards, it usually does, so I cant use those Xbox 360 GPU rev. 2 HSes too often not to mention they can only dissipate up to 35-40 Watts TDP safely, so they are only fit for low-power cards.)

And the result of the modding was this:



With a relatively low-power 80 mm fan running on 7V and loosely blowing air towards the modded heatsink, this is the temperature graph I got:

Two words: HUGE difference! With the same room temperature of 66F / 19C and same test PC, the stable idle temperature was now 29-30C thats a 14C drop! But the load temperature was even better: maximum of 36-37C sustained after 1 *hour* of testing, not 1 minute like before. And the temperature graph above spans over 13 minutes (what SpeedFan uses by default) rather than just the narrow 5 minutes of the first graph thus the temperature spikes with the stock cooler shown before are even sharper compared to the above graph.

With these improved temperatures, I can safely say I expect this card to work fine in the hot summer temperatures we have now. From what I have seen in the past, GPU temperature rise is directly proportional to room/ambient temperature rise. So with 84-86F / 29-30C temperatures I get inside in the summer (about 10C higher than the winter), the idle and load temps should also increase by about 10C i.e. probably around 40C for idle and 47-48C for load. I say thats not too shabby.

Of course, again, this is only if I run the card with active cooling i.e. a fan. Passive cooling requires even bigger heatsink than what I have above. So dont think this mod will allow your card to run passively.

Also, some info regarding the capacitors used on this video card:
CX300 and CX301 (marked with one blue dot): 2x Chemicon KZG, 16V, 470 uF, 8 x 13 mm.
These are connected to the 12V rail on the PCI connector. They serve as the input / high-side caps both to the GPU V_core buck regulator and the RAM linear regulator.
I replaced only CX301 with a Nichicon HN, 16V, 1500 uF, 10 x 20 mm cap. Heres an updated picture of that:
https://www.badcaps.net/forum/attach...1&d=1530914622

CX303 and CX305 (marked with two blue dots): 1x Chemicon KZG, 16V, 470 uF, 8 x 13 mm and 1x Nichicon HN, 6.3V, 1500 uF, 10 x 14 mm (2009 date code).
These filter the GPU V_core rail. Its interesting how PNY chose to use a good Nichicon cap in there (probably mindful that KZG will likely fail by itself. )

CX307 (marked with 3 blue dots): Nichicon HN, 6.3V, 1500 uF, 10 x 14 mm (2009 date code).
This cap filters power for the RAM Vdd/Vddq rail.

Only reason I didnt do a full recap is because I dont know when I will put this card in service and the KZG caps were still in spec (even though we all know that doesnt mean anything, especially when KZG sits on the shelf unused). But I figure the Nichicon caps will hold things fine, even if the two KZG caps I didnt replace, failed.

And last but not least mandatory (okay, not really) GPU-Z screenshot:
https://www.badcaps.net/forum/attach...1&d=1530915048
The card may only have a 64-bit memory bus, but dont underestimate it it still offers more performance than what the PCI bus can handle.

So all in all, if you have one of these cards, its definitely worth modding its cooler. Youll get reliability and peace of mind that it wont overheat. The stock cooler with its tiny fan is not of high quality, and will seize sooner rather than later. With this mod, I also got a much more silent video card now.

Last edited by momaka; 07-06-2018 at 04:11 PM..
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Old 07-06-2018, 10:43 PM   #6
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Default Re: Your Video Card Cooling Mods - PNY GeForce 8400 GS PCI (GH84W0SPUE49P)

Quote:
Originally Posted by momaka View Post
CX303 and CX305 (marked with two blue dots): 1x Chemicon KZG, 16V, 470 uF, 8 x 13 mm and 1x Nichicon HN, 6.3V, 1500 uF, 10 x 14 mm (2009 date code).
These filter the GPU V_core rail. It’s interesting how PNY chose to use a good Nichicon cap in there (probably mindful that KZG will likely fail by itself. )
Those 470F 16V KZG appear to have 2009 datecodes, as with the Nichicon HN. So the KZG in question might actually be fine in the long term. The only post-2008 KZG I’ve seen bulge were subjected to extreme amounts of heat over a long period of time. Compared to the pre-2008 KZG that I’ve seen bulge left and right under non-existent thermal duress, the post-2008 KZG fail very rarely. Granted, only time will tell if the newer KZG will be reliable, but if the electrolyte was still so volatile, I’d think we’d be seeing more failures from them in the field.

Quote:
Only reason I didn’t do a full recap is because I don’t know when I will put this card in service and the KZG caps were still in spec (even though we all know that doesn’t mean anything, especially when KZG sits on the shelf unused). But I figure the Nichicon caps will hold things fine, even if the two KZG caps I didn’t replace, failed.
Well, KZG were notorious for failing _without_ bulging back in the day. But I’ve seen enough of the older ones outgas by their lonesome (more than enough, actually) that I no longer trust the older ones to “die quietly”.

I think the stock cooler is inadequate because they’d rather have the card fit in small cases and die a “planned obsolescence” death (even though it’s a PCI card...) than properly allow the card to dissipate heat, even if it wouldn’t be as suitable to small form factor computers, and “last a long time”.

Last edited by Wester547; 07-06-2018 at 10:44 PM..
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Old 07-07-2018, 03:18 PM   #7
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Default Re: Your Video Card Cooling Mods - PNY GeForce 8400 GS PCI (GH84W0SPUE49P)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wester547 View Post
Well, KZG were notorious for failing _without_ bulging back in the day.
Interesting, because I saw bulging and oozing KZGs from a motherboard that was just sitting in a room, L O L. Looked like volcano vents on my 2004 Asus A7N8X-X motherboard, when just sitting!
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Old 07-07-2018, 05:33 PM   #8
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Default Re: Your Video Card Cooling Mods - PNY GeForce 8400 GS PCI (GH84W0SPUE49P)

Quote:
Originally Posted by momaka View Post
And the result of the modding was this:

Is it just me or does that heatsink make that card totally worthless, it's way too tall and kinda kills the idea of low profile and probably wont fit in a full height slot.

Last edited by Per Hansson; 07-09-2018 at 09:45 AM.. Reason: Reduced Quote
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Old 07-07-2018, 05:48 PM   #9
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Default Re: Your Video Card Cooling Mods - PNY GeForce 8400 GS PCI (GH84W0SPUE49P)

Quote:
Originally Posted by momaka View Post
While GeForce 8400 GS video cards are pretty much worthless these days, note that this is a PCI video card!
I think they're worthless for 2010s' standards, even way back in 2012, FFS!
They're basically only worth a shit in a Dell Dimension 2400 and the like, L O L

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Old 07-07-2018, 10:45 PM   #10
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Smile Re: Your Video Card Cooling Mods

My video card mod is pretty simple, but it works. Here I have the Gigabyte GV-R677SL-1GD. It is the Radeon HD 6770, the 40 nm "Juniper" chipset, completely passive cooled, with 1 GB of DDR5 (VGA, DVI and HDMI ports are all present). I hung a generic 120mm fan from the heatsink with some wire used for home thermostats or land-line phones. I used to do some protein folding with it, using the card's Cuda cores (I was folding for Team Saturn, not Team Badcaps, sorry). The clock would run at the higher 850 MHz clock speed under this workload, and it would never go over 53 Celsius with the fan. Impressive!

This card is in my main machine (AMD 8150 chip, 16 GB RAM, Windows 7, OCZ Mod X-Stream Pro 600W PSU). I just use it for surfing, e-mail and Office suite tasks. AFAIK, this workload lets the video card use the power-saving mode most of the time these days (157 MHz core clock and 300 MHz memory clock). It runs around 37 Celsius. Maybe a few degrees higher when playing Youtube videos or watching a DVD with VLC Media Player.

If high temps and expansion/contraction cycles shorten the card's life, I think I have done what I can to make the card last a long, long time. (I could make another fan blow on the other part of the heat sink, above the PSU fan, but I believe the additional cooling would be negligible. And BTW, the heat sink goes beyond the end of the card -- behind the "PCI Express" labels stuck on the sleeved PSU power cables.)

P.S. Note to self: Please don't use a 1/8 second shutter speed when hand-holding the camera. Images won't always be perfectly sharp like this one is!

EDIT: I'm not sure how to get this picture to appear inline. Unless I figure out how to do it, you'll have to click on it to view it. Sorry!
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Old 07-08-2018, 02:36 AM   #11
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Default Re: Your Video Card Cooling Mods

Quote:
Originally Posted by RJARRRPCGP View Post
Interesting, because I saw bulging and oozing KZGs from a motherboard that was just sitting in a room, L O L. Looked like volcano vents on my 2004 Asus A7N8X-X motherboard, when just sitting!
Ditto. Two Tyan K8W's in my case
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Old 07-08-2018, 09:20 PM   #12
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Default Re: Your Video Card Cooling Mods

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hondaman View Post
My video card mod is pretty simple, but it works. Here I have the Gigabyte GV-R677SL-1GD. It is the Radeon HD 6770, the 40 nm "Juniper" chipset, completely passive cooled, with 1 GB of DDR5 (VGA, DVI and HDMI ports are all present). I hung a generic 120mm fan from the heatsink with some wire used for home thermostats or land-line phones. I used to do some protein folding with it, using the card's Cuda cores (I was folding for Team Saturn, not Team Badcaps, sorry). The clock would run at the higher 850 MHz clock speed under this workload, and it would never go over 53 Celsius with the fan. Impressive!
Nice work there!

Those Radeon HD6k cards are even more susceptible to going bad when exposed to high temperatures. So with yours running no more than 53C, I imagine it should definitely last a long time. Thus, no need to mount a second fan and only make your PC noisier. (The only advantage of two fans is if one fails under load, at least the other one could still keep the card cooled better than none at all).

I just reflowed an HD6850 today, tough I haven't tested it yet. Was giving me artifacts... if I could even get it to boot half the time (2 times out of 3, the card needed a "warmup" from a cold boot before the PC could detect it, and if it got too hot, the PC also wouldn't detect it again.) Also have an HD6670 that I managed to fix with a reflow... though I haven't tested that one lone term under stress to see if it really is fixed or not. The HD 3k and 4k series, on the other hand, do manage to work fine for a decent period of time after a reflow, especially if cooled well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by brethin View Post
Is it just me or does that heatsink make that card totally worthless, it's way too tall and kinda kills the idea of low profile and probably wont fit in a full height slot.
It fits in a full height slot just fine, with enough room to even put a side-facing fan to blow across the card (and space between the fan and the case side too, if needed).

So just because the card is no longer capable of being used in a low-profile "hot box" PC, it's automatically "totally useless"?
There are actually quite a few normal towers that have PCI slots only. While most are systems from the socket 478 Pentium 4 era, there are also some cheaper socket 775 systems that have PCI slots only (mostly crappy Acers and eMachines... though some did come with Pentium Dual Core / Core 2 Duo.)

That said, if I did want to keep it low-profile, I could have just used a different heatsink (with taller fins) that wasn't so big to go out of the card, and then put a 60 mm blower fan on that. That's actually how PNY should have done it really. Instead they were cheap bastards and put this inadequate cooler on it. And putting a card with such cooling in a tiny, low-profile, hot shoebox PC is pretty much guaranteed death of the card after a few years. I've seen enough of those that I don't need convincing anymore. In fact, I even have two in my parts box (regular PCI-E 8400 GS) that I use for pulling parts from, among many others.

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Originally Posted by RJARRRPCGP View Post
I think they're worthless for 2010s' standards, even way back in 2012, FFS!
For games, yes.

But nVidia cards started offering pretty decent hardware H.264 decoding since their GeForce 7000 series and even better with the 8000 series.

So if you're trying to set up a basic HTPC for playing a bunch of DVD-quality and 720p HD ripped content (i.e. not online or YouTube), that GeForce 8400 should definitely help with that, even if you have a very old and slow CPU. And with CPUs like Core 2 Duo, it should still help offload the CPU workload a good amount at higher bit rate HD video.

In any case, the whole point of that mod was actually more about showing what kind of heatsink size you should expect for a card of 25-30 Watt TDP (max). I've used that same Xbox 360 GPU rev.2 heatsink on many other video cards of mine, and as long as the expected TDP is under 35 Watts, it will keep things pretty cool. I even used it as a temporary heatsink on a slot Pentium 3 Katmai 500 MHz.

Last edited by momaka; 07-08-2018 at 09:33 PM..
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Old 07-09-2018, 03:48 AM   #13
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Default Re: Your Video Card Cooling Mods

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Nice work there!

Those Radeon HD6k cards are even more susceptible to going bad when exposed to high temperatures. So with yours running no more than 53C, I imagine it should definitely last a long time. Thus, no need to mount a second fan and only make your PC noisier. (The only advantage of two fans is if one fails under load, at least the other one could still keep the card cooled better than none at all).

I just reflowed an HD6850 today, tough I haven't tested it yet. Was giving me artifacts... if I could even get it to boot half the time (2 times out of 3, the card needed a "warmup" from a cold boot before the PC could detect it, and if it got too hot, the PC also wouldn't detect it again.)
Shit! I just got a complete system with a Gigabyte AM3 motherboard and a Radeon HD 6850. Also probably at least 8 GB of DDR3, for just $150! It's a PC bundle, because I couldn't get a good deal, otherwise!

I sure wasn't going to buy a GT 1030, for gosh sakes!

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Old 07-09-2018, 12:22 PM   #14
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Default Re: Your Video Card Cooling Mods

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Shit! I just got a complete system with a Gigabyte AM3 motherboard and a Radeon HD 6850.
Well no worries about that HD6850 - just pull the BIOS with GPU-Z, edit the fan curves with RBE (Radeon BIOS Editor) so that max fan duty cycle occurs at 70-75C and minimum starts around 40C. Then flash back with ATIFlash (through Windows or DOS, doesn't matter), and see if the card runs cooler. If you keep it in the 50-55C mark under full load, it should be fine... unless the previous owner overclocked it and loaded it heavily without paying attention to the temps. That was the case with my HD6850.
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Old 07-21-2018, 11:21 PM   #15
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Default Re: Your Video Card Cooling Mods

now for my contribution to the thread. i hate passive heatsinks with a passion partly because of the hot climate here. the second reason being passive heatsinks still need some airflow from a nearby case fan or some such to remain cool. in that case, that defeats the purpose of a fanless silent pc build.

so here is my powercolor go green radeon hd 5450 pci. note that this is the conventional pci version not pci-express. when i was gaming in far cry on my retro p4 pc with this card, the load temps climbed all the way to nearly 90C! i was using it in a horizontal atx case and there was a ventilation vent on the side near the leftmost pci slot. so i put a thermaltake 80mm smart case fan there and it brought the temperatures down a lot but it also brought with it a lot of noise because it was a 4800rpm fan!

some time later, i bought a delta air force base AFB0512HHB 50x15mm fan intending to use it to replace a northbridge cooler fan. but by chance, i found that the screw holes of the fan lined up exactly with the 43x43mm mounting holes on the 5450. i had already replaced the thermal paste on the gpu with gelid gc-2, added ramsinks for the ram, a heatsink for the plx bridge chip and mosfet sinks.

i measured the length of the screws required to bolt the fan onto the heatsink and the screws needed to be 30mm long, so i went out to get some. next, i just popped the push-pins of the heatsink off and changed it to the four 30mm long screws and nuts with plastic washers to prevent shorting, bolting the 50mm fan onto the stock passive heatsink and hey presto! turned the passive heatsink into an active one now! excellent apollo 13 style improvisational skillz using only what u have available on hand! hehe...

so even if the gpu fails within the warranty period, i could just remove the fan, screws, nuts, washers and remove the added heatsinks then pop the push pins back on to revert the heatsink to stock condition for rma.

while the delta air force base fan is pretty noisy at 6400rpm, when i add a 7v resistor to the fan, it becomes pretty silent and the temperatures only get hotter by 2C. with the fan at 7v and an ambient temp of 30C, the idle temp is 40C. at max load during gaming, the temps reach 48C. not too shabby for a once passive cooler that reached 90C during gaming load! the only disadvantage with this mod is that the video card now takes up two slots but thats the price to pay for better cooling and a longer lasting video card!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg powercolor 5450 pci.jpg (29.2 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg powercolor 5450 pci fan mod front.jpg (835.7 KB, 10 views)
File Type: jpg powercolor 5450 pci fan mod back.jpg (833.5 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg powercolor 5450 pci fan mod screw 1.jpg (372.3 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg powercolor 5450 pci fan mod screw 2.jpg (340.5 KB, 5 views)
Attached Files
File Type: pdf AFB50x50x15mm.pdf (348.4 KB, 1 views)

Last edited by ChaosLegionnaire; 07-21-2018 at 11:33 PM..
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Old 07-22-2018, 10:55 AM   #16
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Default Re: Your Video Card Cooling Mods

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so here is my powercolor go green radeon hd 5450 pci. note that this is the conventional pci version not pci-express. when i was gaming in far cry on my retro p4 pc with this card, the load temps climbed all the way to nearly 90C!
Not surprised. I've seen the PCI-E ASUS versions of that card with the weird propeller-shaped heatsink, and they often hit over 70-75C under load in an air-condition room.

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Originally Posted by ChaosLegionnaire View Post
some time later, i bought a delta air force base AFB0512HHB 50x15mm fan intending to use it to replace a northbridge cooler fan.
...
while the delta air force base fan is pretty noisy at 6400rpm, when i add a 7v resistor to the fan, it becomes pretty silent and the temperatures only get hotter by 2C.
That's not a fan! That's a jet turbine! ... or turbo compressor, if you like.

I also have a TaiSol (Delta) 70 mm fan that came with a stock AMD heatsink and that thing is mean!! If I disable motherboard fan control, I swear it must have enough wind force to blow the capacitors next to the CPU away.

I don't know what ball bearings Delta uses in these high-speed fans, but they must be of very good quality. I've seen what happens first hand with some of those cheap eBay car turbos (not on my own car, of course ).

On that note (and somewhat off-topic), I just bought some cheapo replacement bearings for a Nidec fan off of eBay (10 bearings for $1.25 shipped to me - w00t!! ). So we will see how long (or not) they will last (or not x2 ). Some of them already sound a bit noisy and almost as bad as the original failed bearings, right out of the bag too! My guess would be factory rejects or perhaps just extremely shoddy quality steel and machining. I didn't expect anything more for $1, of course. Rather, I was curious to see how bad they would be. Also got some bigger bearings for an older Tamiya RC car. The bigger ones sound even worse (at least half of them anyways). But I don't care, as those will go on the wheels, where they will be exposed to dirt and whatnot - why waste good bearings there anyways.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChaosLegionnaire View Post
with the fan at 7v and an ambient temp of 30C, the idle temp is 40C. at max load during gaming, the temps reach 48C. not too shabby for a once passive cooler that reached 90C during gaming load!
Just a small fan and you get over 40C drop in temperature - crazy right!

I remember suggesting to member Pentium4 a few years back to do a similar mod on a PCI-E HD5450. IIRC, he said he was getting around 60-70C in idle and higher when watching a movie (HTPC). I told him to put something like an 80 mm fan and run it on 7V. He connected it on 5V, making the fan turn just barely. And even then, the load temps dropped down to under 55C under load. He said the fan was 100% silent too.

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the only disadvantage with this mod is that the video card now takes up two slots but thats the price to pay for better cooling and a longer lasting video card!
True.

This might matter more if the card was PCI-E (16x) and you had only one PCI-E 1x slot right below that (I think a number of OEM boards have this silly setup).

But with a PCI card like yours that's intended to go into an older PC, most likely the PC will have nothing else but PCI slots. And last time I checked, running out of PCI slots hasn't been a thing since the Pentium II/III era, as more and more motherboards started integrating LAN, audio, and other interfaces directly onto the motherboard.

Last edited by momaka; 07-22-2018 at 10:59 AM..
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Old 07-24-2018, 01:16 AM   #17
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Default Re: Your Video Card Cooling Mods

up next is my asus silent pipe radeon hd 3650 agp. after rummaging through my stuff, i found that a thermaltake 70x15mm fan i had that i was using to cool the zalman passive northbridge heatsink on one of my asus a8n-sli deluxe boards covered all of the heatsink fins connected to the single heatpipe on the asus silent pipe passive cooler. so i mounted the 70mm fan on the heatsink using cable ties and hey presto! again, i turned another passive cooler into an active one with minimal fuss and effort like the powercolor 5450. more excellent apollo 13 style improvisational skillz with what u have on hand again! hehehe! yea yea... i like blowing my own trumpet and feeding my own ego haha!

i also added heatsinks for all 8 ram chips, a heatsink for the plx bridge chip and mosfet heatsinks as well. the thermal paste for the gpu was also changed to arctic mx-4. owners of this kind of pci-e to agp cards beware! if the plx bridge chip runs too hot, it can cause the video card to freeze, crash or behave like it was faulty or failing. if u have this type of video card, u are strongly advised to attach some kind of a heatsink on the bridge chip as it runs quite hot, almost as hot as the gpu itself.

u may have also noticed from the pictures that one of the ramsinks on the front top left of the video card is smaller than the rest of the 7 ramsinks. why? because the heatpipe of the passive cooler ran too close to that ram chip. as a result, there was insufficient clearance to mount the 10mm tall ramsink, so i had to change with a smaller 5mm tall heatsink.

like the delta air force base fan on the 5450, the thermaltake 70mm fan was also like a jet engine! but adding a 7v resistor on the fan connector cable tamed and silenced the noise! with the fan at 7v and with an ambient temp of 30C, the idle temp was 38C. at max load during gaming, the temps reached 51C. excellent temps i must say!

i do not know how hot the heatsink runs when it is completely passive. i dont know and i dont care to find out after what happened to my 5450 reaching 90C during gaming! so that was a pretty fun exercise converting much hated by me passive heatsinks into active ones.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg asus 3650 agp fan mod front.jpg (782.8 KB, 12 views)
File Type: jpg asus 3650 agp fan mod back.jpg (824.8 KB, 10 views)
File Type: jpg asus 3650 agp fan mod heatsink fins.jpg (585.7 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg asus 3650 agp mosfet ramsinks 1.jpg (545.9 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg asus 3650 agp mosfet ramsinks 2.jpg (536.0 KB, 6 views)
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Old 07-24-2018, 05:05 PM   #18
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Default Re: Your Video Card Cooling Mods

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It fits in a full height slot just fine, with enough room to even put a side-facing fan to blow across the card (and space between the fan and the case side too, if needed).

So just because the card is no longer capable of being used in a low-profile "hot box" PC, it's automatically "totally useless"?
Yes it is, when you can get much better full height cards. That's like putting a VW bug motor in a Corvette.
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Old 07-24-2018, 09:55 PM   #19
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Default Re: Your Video Card Cooling Mods

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Yes it is, when you can get much better full height cards. That's like putting a VW bug motor in a Corvette.
The only redeeming quality is the fact that it is a PCI (not PCI-Express) card which makes it one of the "Latest" PCI video cards (remember there aren't many "newer" video cards offered in a PCI variant) and there really aren't much in the way of more powerful options. In the case of PCI-Express 8400gs's I'd definitely agree, I pretty much consider the "standard" PCI-Express 8400gs/8600gt scrap at this point, when you can get a gt 710 or radeon R5 230 for around the same price which is more powerful, more efficient and doesn't have a known die defect the 8400gs/8600gt don't make much sense except "special" versions like that PCI variant.
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