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post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
...you don't install thermal pads correctly when installing a GPU water block? Like, you either miss some or when putting the water block on over the standoffs one gets half-pulled off or something?

I have never seen this discussed, and was wondering if anyone's ever experienced this.

I assume if the ones over the memory aren't installed right then the GPU dies eventually? What about the pads over the other components on the PCB?

Just interested, that's all.
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post #2 of 8
Just means some of the ram chips aren't going to have (barely) any heat dissipation. I wouldn't personally want to go without, but it's your own personal choice
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post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Yeah, I wasn't saying I'd left them off. I was just curious as to what happens if they are left off...

Would the GPU still function? Or would it die quickly?
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post #4 of 8
If let's say the memory overheats to death, the GPU itself will still function. What wouldn't would be the memory, in which case the graphics card as a whole doesn't function, properly at least. Remember, the Voltage Regular Modules (VRMs) also require cooling and a full cover block will indeed have a section to cool these, with a thermal pad also required there.

Having said that, these thermal pads are very, very thin. If you screw on the full cover block without thermal pads, surely the metal from the block will be in contact with the memory and VRMs anyway so there will indeed be a heat transfer from them on to the block. Granted, the metal surface in contact with these components might not cover the entire surfaces of the memory and VRMs but it will still allow for transfer of heat. In the past, I've used graphics card memory heatsinks and they were a bit smaller than the memory chips themselves so even then was my memory not fully covered by a heat dissipating surface.

I say these thermal pads are like thermal compound for the GPU/CPU - use them to provide a better surface for heat dissipation but regardless of whether or not you use them, you will have a heat dissipating surface in either case if you use a compatible full cover block.
    
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post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gib007 View Post
If let's say the memory overheats to death, the GPU itself will still function. What wouldn't would be the memory, in which case the graphics card as a whole doesn't function, properly at least. Remember, the Voltage Regular Modules (VRMs) also require cooling and a full cover block will indeed have a section to cool these, with a thermal pad also required there.

Having said that, these thermal pads are very, very thin. If you screw on the full cover block without thermal pads, surely the metal from the block will be in contact with the memory and VRMs anyway so there will indeed be a heat transfer from them on to the block. Granted, the metal surface in contact with these components might not cover the entire surfaces of the memory and VRMs but it will still allow for transfer of heat. In the past, I've used graphics card memory heatsinks and they were a bit smaller than the memory chips themselves so even then was my memory not fully covered by a heat dissipating surface.

I say these thermal pads are like thermal compound for the GPU/CPU - use them to provide a better surface for heat dissipation but regardless of whether or not you use them, you will have a heat dissipating surface in either case if you use a compatible full cover block.
Good answer. In all honesty, I never check my thermal pads after I've screwed the water block on. I have no idea if they're in contact or not.

And, anyhow, even if you did take the water block off to check if they're in contact, what signs would there be of contact? Doesn't make sense to me. Maybe there will be indents in the thermal pads? I don't know.
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post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by jNSK View Post
Good answer. In all honesty, I never check my thermal pads after I've screwed the water block on. I have no idea if they're in contact or not.

And, anyhow, even if you did take the water block off to check if they're in contact, what signs would there be of contact? Doesn't make sense to me. Maybe there will be indents in the thermal pads? I don't know.
I too am wondering whether or not one thermal pad nudged to the side or "fell off" whilst placing my block. I think it's normal to wonder!
If you take off your block, no doubt the pad will fall off as soon as you lift the block (if they aren't adhesive on one side), meaning you again have to place them in position for re-mounting. The question is, when you re-mount the block, will they be in contact?
It's a vicious circle, hahaha.

Anyway, if you mounted the block properly (i.e. tightly enough), I'm sure the thermal pads will have some indents from the memory chips and the VRMs. I know my graphics card stock cooler has very sticky thermal pads inside it and there are big indents from all the memory chips and VRMs.

A true test to see if your block is functioning fully is use the program GPU-Z to monitor all the temperatures. If they lie within decent ranges for your loop, then don't worry. In fact, I'm pretty sure that if the memory isn't well cooled, as soon as you load it quite a bit, you will see artifacts and crash, especially if you overclock the memory. This is of course a good indication!
    
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post #7 of 8
On my first waterblock, going on my 580, a thermal pad someone got misplaced - it wasn't on three of the voltage regulators. The card was working fine for days, but after around a week I started to see artifacting in a couple of games. This was after OCing too. Got the card to 965 core with no problems at all.

As it turns out, it wasn't because of the block/thermal pads. I still don't know what the problem is, but it's happened with another WCed 580, and an air cooled one, so I'm thinking PSU at this point.
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post #8 of 8
My non-reference 5870 doesn't have any cooling on the ram (some air passes directly over the chips but that can't be too effective) and minimal on the VRMs, so it must not be a huge deal at stock speeds.
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