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Looking For Graphics Card Cooling Options ...

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I have a couple of GTX 460 SE's in SLI, and the top one can get above 70 degrees during benchmarks. I'm currently toying with the ideas of modding my case to put in an intake fan on the side or buying aftermarket coolers. Problem is, pretty much all aftermarket coolers take up three slots, which would severely restrict airflow to my top card. I thought about taking the shrouds off of my cards to promote airflow over the heatsink. Would that help any? If it comes to it, I might end up water cooling them, but I don't want to spend a whole lot of extra money, and I already have an Antec H2O 620 on my CPU. I'm not in any hurry to get any of this done, especially with the amount of homework over the past couple weeks. Any comments on these ideas, additional suggestions, advice on implementing any of the above options, etc. would be appreciated!
post #2 of 9
hey,

try setting custom fan profiles for the cards through overclocking utilities such as evga precision and afterburner, if your not annoyed by the fan noise. I kept my evga gtx460 @ 55C with 55-60% fan speed . If you have the tools u can, as u mentioned try fitting on a fan on the side.

maybe you could mount fans onto the hard drive racks using zip ties, an air penetrator fan should be good.

i had the same problem with a card, i took off the shroud and mounted a 80mm fan directly onto the heatsink with a voltage of 7. it cut down my temps significantly. the card was a 5670 by xfx so i didnt feel "sorry".
if you dont have a problem custom modding the cards then u can do the same.
hope it helps, good luck.
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
[INTEL 2500K] [4.5GHZ] [MSI] [Z77A-GD55] [ASUS HD 6970 2GB DIRECT CU II] [CORSAIR VENGENCE 4x2GB 1600MHZ] 
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[COOLERMASTER ELITE 370 MIDTOWER] [R.A.T 7] [RAZER VESPULA] [THX STUDIO PRO] 
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[SYTHE][4 CHANNEL FAN CONTROLLER] 
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
[INTEL 2500K] [4.5GHZ] [MSI] [Z77A-GD55] [ASUS HD 6970 2GB DIRECT CU II] [CORSAIR VENGENCE 4x2GB 1600MHZ] 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
[SEAGATE BARRACUDA SATA3] [INTEL][ 520 60GB] [LG CD/DVD BURNER] [NZXT HAVIK 140] 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
[WINDOWS 7 ULTIMATE 64bit] Samsung E2220 [MICROSOFT X4 SIDEWINDER] [OCZ MODEXTREME PRO 700W] 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
[COOLERMASTER ELITE 370 MIDTOWER] [R.A.T 7] [RAZER VESPULA] [THX STUDIO PRO] 
Other
[SYTHE][4 CHANNEL FAN CONTROLLER] 
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post #3 of 9
or change the case! the case ive got i got for $40 CAD , a total of 7 fans can be mounted, (2x 140mm side, 140mm front, 2x 120mm top, 120mm back)
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
[INTEL 2500K] [4.5GHZ] [MSI] [Z77A-GD55] [ASUS HD 6970 2GB DIRECT CU II] [CORSAIR VENGENCE 4x2GB 1600MHZ] 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
[SEAGATE BARRACUDA SATA3] [INTEL][ 520 60GB] [LG CD/DVD BURNER] [NZXT HAVIK 140] 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
[WINDOWS 7 ULTIMATE 64bit] Samsung E2220 [MICROSOFT X4 SIDEWINDER] [OCZ MODEXTREME PRO 700W] 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
[COOLERMASTER ELITE 370 MIDTOWER] [R.A.T 7] [RAZER VESPULA] [THX STUDIO PRO] 
Other
[SYTHE][4 CHANNEL FAN CONTROLLER] 
  hide details  
Reply
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
[INTEL 2500K] [4.5GHZ] [MSI] [Z77A-GD55] [ASUS HD 6970 2GB DIRECT CU II] [CORSAIR VENGENCE 4x2GB 1600MHZ] 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
[SEAGATE BARRACUDA SATA3] [INTEL][ 520 60GB] [LG CD/DVD BURNER] [NZXT HAVIK 140] 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
[WINDOWS 7 ULTIMATE 64bit] Samsung E2220 [MICROSOFT X4 SIDEWINDER] [OCZ MODEXTREME PRO 700W] 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
[COOLERMASTER ELITE 370 MIDTOWER] [R.A.T 7] [RAZER VESPULA] [THX STUDIO PRO] 
Other
[SYTHE][4 CHANNEL FAN CONTROLLER] 
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post #4 of 9
70*C is perfectly fine, no need to mod anything or spend more money. If you want to cool them down a bit for free (at the expense of noise), do as the other guy said and setup a custom fan profile that ramps up faster than the stock profile.. or just set the fan speed manually.
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
I'm using the default fan profile that comes with afterburner (fan speed = temperature, e.g. 70 degrees = 70% fan). I don't have a problem with 70 degrees, my problem is that right now I am sitting at 876 MHz/987.5mV. I know that I could push my card to 915MHz/1075mV if I had better cooling. Right now if it try that, my computer shuts down when the top card hits 85 degrees. I've unlocked the fan speed to 100% max via BIOS modding on both cards. I guess I'll try zap-strapping a fan to the sides of them, and post with results.

PS: Current cooling setup is a 200mm fan on the front of my CM Storm Enforcer, and 2x 120mm fans on my Antec H20 620 blowing out the back of my case. I've removed the top HDD cage to provide better airflow, and I think I've don a half decent job of cable management.
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
After taking one of the fans off of my rad, I zap-strapped it to my graphics cards. I ran IBT for a bit to make sure my CPU wouldn't overheat, then headed over to Furmark. Temps were only one or two degrees below the temps I had recorded previously. I took the side of my case off, and temperatures started dropping almost immediately. Therefore, I think my cards are probably being suffocated, and don't have enough cool air to properly cool themselves. I guess that means I'll be modding my case and installing an intake fan. I also tweaked my custom fan profile in afterburner a bit; that may also have been the cause of the drop in temps when I first installed the fan.
post #7 of 9
eh..aftermarket sinks definitely take up space..try the shroud thing IMO..if you can just clear the plastic..and leave all the stock sink stuff on..+ do the zip-tie fan to the hdd cage thing(if you can)
 
Thuban Powah!
(14 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Xeon X5650 Asus P6X58D-E Sapphire HD 7950 G.Skill Trident-X 2600 CL10 
Hard DriveCoolingPowerCase
Samsung 840 pro Bong cooler / RASA waterblock Rosewill Capstone Gold 750 None 
MouseMouse PadAudio
cheap! Newegg box panel ibeats with onboard. 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Phenom II X6 1075T w/2 cores locked @ 4.2+ M4a89GTD-Pro XFX Radeon HD 5870 8gb Samsung ddr3 1600 11-11-11-28@ 8-8-8-24 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
OCZ Agility2 40gb WD Blue 500GB Lite-On RASA waterblock 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows & Linux Samsung 1080p 2 ms Dell Thermaltake TR2-800 
CaseMouse
Cooler Master Elite 330 (was) cheap 
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Thuban Powah!
(14 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Xeon X5650 Asus P6X58D-E Sapphire HD 7950 G.Skill Trident-X 2600 CL10 
Hard DriveCoolingPowerCase
Samsung 840 pro Bong cooler / RASA waterblock Rosewill Capstone Gold 750 None 
MouseMouse PadAudio
cheap! Newegg box panel ibeats with onboard. 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Phenom II X6 1075T w/2 cores locked @ 4.2+ M4a89GTD-Pro XFX Radeon HD 5870 8gb Samsung ddr3 1600 11-11-11-28@ 8-8-8-24 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
OCZ Agility2 40gb WD Blue 500GB Lite-On RASA waterblock 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows & Linux Samsung 1080p 2 ms Dell Thermaltake TR2-800 
CaseMouse
Cooler Master Elite 330 (was) cheap 
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Reply
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
I took a look at the bottom card, and couldn't figure out how to get the shroud off without damaging anything. It seems like it's attached to the heatsink somehow. I couldn't find any tabs or anything really obvious like that to try. I'll have to put my top 3.5" cage back in and see how that works with a fan strapped to it.
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Well, after jamming the top 3.5" cage back in my case (it's a pain when everything's already in there) and zap-strapping one of my 120mm fans to it (the same one I used for my earlier test), it doesn't seem to help much. Temps only dropped a degree on my top card (the one I'm worried about), even after taking the side off of the case. I guess modding my case still sounds like the best option, unless anyone else has any suggestions.
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