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Guide WCing a Gainward GTX275 the cheap way!

Discussion in 'Modding' started by Zurechial, 10 Jan 2010.

  1. Zurechial

    Zurechial Elitist

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    I picked up a cheap Gainward GTX275 recently and the noise of the fans on the GTX 275 is driving me crazy ever since I installed it so I've been looking at full-cover blocks to stick it into my loop, but the Gainward G200 cards use a non-reference PCB layout which only the EK 'GW' series of full-cover blocks seem to fit properly.
    My previous card was a GTS512 and I cooled that with an MCW60 + a D-Tek Unisink (modded to fit).

    I can't justify paying €85 for a block that only fits a card with a limited lifetime (DX11 around the corner and all that), plus I'd like to re-use the MCW60 since I already have it.
    There are no uni-sink style heatsinks on the market that I can find for the GTX275 for passive/air cooling of the RAM, VRMs, etc while leaving the GPU to a waterblock.

    The design of the Gainward's stock HSF is interesting, though:


    Fans + Shroud removed:
    [​IMG]

    Copper Base, Heatpipes & Fins removed:
    [​IMG]

    It practically has its own UniSink assembly already attached! :D
    VRMs, NVIO, RAM, the lot!

    There's also a 'warranty void if removed' sticker on the backplate of the HSF but who cares about that? :p
    (Famous last words..)

    My MCW60 is the G80 revision so I don't have the G200 adapter plate for it.
    I've ordered one from a dodgy-looking ebay shop for a tenner, but if that never shows up I'll just make my own and take this ghetto cooling solution that bit further.

    I'm not certain that the MCW60 will fit onto the core with that aluminium heatsink in place, but a bit of filing and grinding should make it fit. :D

    The other concern is that without the fans there will be considerably less airflow going over that aluminium heatsink and it doesn't seem to be particularly thick nor blessed with huge surface area.
    On the other hand, the two 120mm intake fans in the front of my case are blowing straight onto the card and the three 120mm exhaust fans on the bottom of the case are sucking warm air straight off the surface of the card, so I might be okay on that front.

    Has anyone else seen this done with the gainward/palit HSF before?
    Just waiting to see if that GT200 adapter plate arrives, I'll post pics and results when I try it out.
     
    Last edited: 17 Apr 2011
  2. Zurechial

    Zurechial Elitist

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    Great Success!

    When I lifted the HSF off and tried to fit the MCW60 with the GT200 Adapter plate, I found that Gainward not only used a non-reference PCB, but the mounting holes for the HSF were non-reference too! :duh:

    Luckily, there were 4 holes through which the aluminium heatsink was screwed down which did match the reference GT200 plate, so I screwed the waterblock to the card through the Gainward Heatsink!



    Removed the 4 screws from the heatsink and pushed the MCW60 screws through the holes instead, from the back:
    [​IMG]

    Attached the MCW60 to the 4 screws (with the GT200 adapter plate) and clamped it down with the mini thumb-nuts.
    [​IMG]

    Mounted in the case:
    [​IMG]

    Sorry for the awful picture quality, I've only my phone's camera to use!

    Core temps are down from 75C under load (FurMark) to 40C under load. :)
    The heatsink on the RAM gets too hot to touch even with all the airflow going over it from 5x 120mm fans, but then it did on the 8800GTS512 too.
    There's a lot less metal in the GTX275 heatsink, but hopefully it won't fry my RAM or VRMs.
    I'll update again if it does. :p


    Idle temperatures after watercooling:
    [​IMG]
    The GTX 275 is in the same loop as an i7 920 @ 4GHz, cooled by an EK supreme LT.
    18w Laing DDC Pump, 2 Radiators (3x120mm + 2x120mm).

    So, aside from my concerns for the RAM, using the Gainward/Palit stock heatsink with an MCW60 does seem to work after all!
    It's certainly cheaper than a full-cover block, especially if you have the MCW60 already from a previous card, but I doubt I'll be able to overclock the memory much further than the Gainward factory values.
    The important thing is that it's now silent (not marketing-silent, but actually silent :hehe: ).
     
    Last edited: 11 Jan 2010
  3. capnPedro

    capnPedro Hacker. Maker. Engineer.

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    Lucky lucky you - it's great when things work out like that.

    How about bodging the heatsink onto the RAM sink part to cool it? :lol:
     
  4. Zurechial

    Zurechial Elitist

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    Absolutely! It's gratifying and cheap. :D

    It'd be hard to do it with good contact because of the grooved surface on the Gainward heatsink.
    It's giving me ideas though..
    Some way of moving heat out of the aluminium heatsink and into the copper waterblock would really make this assembly ideal and make me a bit more confident about overclocking the memory.

    Maybe if I filed flat the area on the aluminium heatsink surrounding the hole for the GPU, then put a wide, polished copper plate between the waterblock and the GPU heatspreader that extended out onto the aluminium heatsink..
    Some AS5 between the copper transfer plate and the heatsink would probably make enough contact to sufficiently cool the aluminium, but I'd have to keep it thin to avoid ruining the heat transfer from the GPU to the waterblock..

    Now I just need to buy some copper sheeting and try this out. :D
     
  5. Gnemelf

    Gnemelf Member

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    nice!!!
     
  6. benji2412

    benji2412 <insert message here>

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    My gtx260 has a plate like that, nice one - I'll bear it in mind when I WC mine. Also I managed to remove the warranty stickers without damaging them :D (they are now kept safe like the holy grail!).
     
  7. Picarro

    Picarro New Member

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    As a tip, use a hairdryer to remove the warranty stickers. It gets hot enough to let the glue melt, but doesn't f*** with the soldering on the boards ;)
     
  8. Zurechial

    Zurechial Elitist

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    Same :D
    Handy to have... just in case.


    I like that hairdryer idea too.

    If it wasn't for the good deal I got I never would have bought a Gainward though, on principle.
    I ordinarily only buy brands that allow the user to replace the stock HSF without voiding the warranty, such as EVGA.
    It just happened to work out nicely in this instance. :D
     
  9. trig

    trig god's little mistake

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    lol...that takes me back...a hair dryer has helped me with many a con back in the day.
     
  10. blockhd

    blockhd New Member

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    Hello! What happened to this GPU? did it survive? :)))) I have same gpu and i decided to overclock it, since i am not planning on changing my gpu in a while... I have full WC loop for proc, NB/SB, MOS-FET and now GPU. Did it survive with just that thin passive cooling?
     

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