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Making the best of HD6870 stock cooling.

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
These HD6870s I have are almost a year old now, and today I took the heatsinks off of both of them to apply some new thermal paste to them. One card opened up flawlessly, but the other card not so much. The thermal padding that connects the vram to the heatsink didn't separate as neatly.

So now GPU1, the top one, is about 10c cooler than GPU2, under load.

When I saw this I actually took GPU2 apart again and reapplied the thermal paste to make sure I did it correctly and the temperatures didn't improve.

My question is, could poorly heatsinked vram be contributing to the increased GPU temperature, and is it possible to peel the thermal padding off and just use thermal paste? My concern with that is I don't know if the gap is narrow enough for thermal paste to be a viable option.

Applying new thermal paste dropped GPU1's average temperature about 6c. The factory did such a ****ty job with the thermal paste on GPU2 though, it had a couple rather large air pockets.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

EDIT: I should add for reference. When playing Shogun 2 at maxed settings before I did anything to the cards, my average temps were GPU1: 75-80c GPU2: 76-82c. Now after the changes GPU1: 70-72c GPU2: 81-84c.
Edited by Barash - 10/15/11 at 7:13pm
post #2 of 12
If there is that much of a difference post-surgery I'd say your right assuming something is not properly seated. I'd suggest buying some actual thermal paste and redoing those ramsinks. You can also google how some people have made their own thermal paste ( I have no personal experience with this )
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
That's the problem though, I'm not sure if that will work because I don't know if the gap is tight enough for thermal paste to work right. What the factory used to transfer heat is some gummy padding stuff that feels like it will break apart if I try to peel it off. Its really sticky and its covered in dust, what parts of it were exposed to the air blowing through the card. So if I take that off, I need to know for certain that thermal paste will work properly because there's no replacing that thermal padding.
Edited by Barash - 10/15/11 at 10:26pm
post #4 of 12
You won't beable to replace the thermal pads on your ram with paste. Too much of a gap. I doubt(never heard of) ram not being properly sinked to cause an increase in the gpu core. Just possible artifacting/instabibly in the gpu.

Also what is the gap between gpu 1 and gpu 2? How is your air flow? Your second card could literaly just be suffocating and not getting enough fresh air through it.
Edited by animal0307 - 10/15/11 at 10:32pm
post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barash View Post
That's the problem though, I'm not sure if that will work because I don't know if the gap is tight enough for thermal paste to work right. What the factory used to transfer heat is some gummy padding stuff that feels like it will break apart if I try to peel it off. Its really sticky and its covered in dust, what parts of it were exposed to the air blowing through the card. So if I take that off, I need to know for certain that thermal paste will work properly because there's no replacing that thermal padding.
Thermal paste would work fine, to be quite honest you could probably use regular thermal grease and it wouldn't move.

EDIT: What gap are you talking about?
post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by animal0307 View Post
You won't beable to replace the thermal pads on your ram with paste. Too much of a gap. I doubt(never heard of) ram not being properly sinked to cause an increase in the gpu core. Just possible artifacting/instabibly in the gpu.
What do you think is causing the significant increase in gpu core temp then?
post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roll Cam Tide View Post
Thermal paste would work fine, to be quite honest you could probably use regular thermal grease and it wouldn't move.

EDIT: What gap are you talking about?
The gap between the ram chips and the heatsink.
post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by animal0307 View Post
The gap between the ram chips and the heatsink.
Maybe I'm just not understanding but there shouldn't be a gap, the heatsinks should just sit down lower once the thermal pad is gone.
post #9 of 12
you are going to need some thermal gap padding. do you know the width of the gaps? I have some 1mm and 3mm. see the top two items in this photo

Alienware 15
(10 items)
 
  
CPUGraphicsRAMHard Drive
Intel i7-4710HQ 3.5GHz Nvidia GeForce GTX 970M 3GB 16GB (2x8GB) Crucial Ballistix 1600 MHz Crucial MX200 500GB SSD 
OSMouseMouse PadAudio
Windows 8.1 Razer DeathAdder Chroma SteelSeries Qck StarCraft II Creative Sound Core3D-EX Audio 
OtherOther
Creative Aurvana Live Headphones SteelSeries QcK Starcraft Heart of the Swarm Mo... 
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Alienware 15
(10 items)
 
  
CPUGraphicsRAMHard Drive
Intel i7-4710HQ 3.5GHz Nvidia GeForce GTX 970M 3GB 16GB (2x8GB) Crucial Ballistix 1600 MHz Crucial MX200 500GB SSD 
OSMouseMouse PadAudio
Windows 8.1 Razer DeathAdder Chroma SteelSeries Qck StarCraft II Creative Sound Core3D-EX Audio 
OtherOther
Creative Aurvana Live Headphones SteelSeries QcK Starcraft Heart of the Swarm Mo... 
  hide details  
Reply
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by animal0307 View Post
You won't beable to replace the thermal pads on your ram with paste. Too much of a gap. I doubt(never heard of) ram not being properly sinked to cause an increase in the gpu core. Just possible artifacting/instabibly in the gpu.

Also what is the gap between gpu 1 and gpu 2? How is your air flow? Your second card could literaly just be suffocating and not getting enough fresh air through it.
GPU number 2 is the one that's having the temperature problem, and its the one on the bottom, so it has more airflow than the other one.

So paste is too runny to use as a replacement for the padding? Does anyone know for sure how big the gap would be? There's really no way I can think of measuring it, so that information might have to come from the manufacturer. I'd imagine there would have to be one since the padding is relatively thick.

@dutchgenius: yea that was definitely something I was considering.
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