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How to clean a 6870?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I bought my His 6870 Ref card back in March 2011. Since then, the card is about running 10-15C warmer idle/load than when it was new.
My guess is its starting to get dusty after nearly a year of use.

Is there any way to clean the dust out of the heatsink without voiding warranty? I'm not sure if there warranty voids if I open it up to clean the dust out.
So I was thinking if I ran the fan 100% for overnight, would it blow some of the dust out? Or would just cause more buildup.
post #2 of 7
get a compressed air can, or disasseble it
post #3 of 7
i wouldnt advice making it run at 100% overnight. you might have to remove it from your case, get a compressed air can. use that compressed air to blow the dust away all over your card. good luck smile.gif
post #4 of 7
It is very likely that's what is causing the temperature hike.

As far as I know disassembling a card will not void it's warranty, take that with a grain of salt however.

Now... even if it did void the warranty, the cards don't have a "void if removed" sticker on them so I don't really see how the manufacturer will ever know anyways tongue.gif.

Things to watch out for are your thermal pads, they cool chips and regulators while the die uses thermal paste. If you disassemble the card you will need to wipe and re-apply the paste on the die, preferably a more thicker paste such as MX-4 and not Arctic Silver 5. Anyways, these thermal pads that cool everything else besides the die may be torn or very dirty, don't attempt to clean them and don't touch them if you don't have any more pads as they break and dirty up very easily upon contact.

If your card is anything like most newer AMD cards the heatsink uses very thin channels which will catch dust and exponentially build up once you get a chunk on there. (Take a look at my thread) (I can almost say with certainty that yours is not that bad though smile.gif) So that's probably what is happening to yours.

Also the fan on 100% thing has a very slim chance of working.

Compressed air has a low chance of blowing out the dust from that area slightly behind the fan, even a high powered air compressor didn't clear my blockage. I used to blow my card out with an air compressor from the exhaust and intake every 3-6 months with my old 5850 and it still resulted in that thread I linked earlier in this post.

You have to catch the problem early for compressed air to work.

Edit:
Oh and if you've unscrewed all of the screws and are wondering why it's not coming apart it's because there's two more on the back near the DVI connection.
Edited by Khaotik55 - 2/2/12 at 1:13am
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
I let my pc idle for about an hour and my GPU temp is 40-45C which seems high to me considering it used to idle at 30-35C.

I do remember looking at a guide on how to disassemble a 6870 ref card and my card had no warranty stickers on it like the XFX one did. So I could probably disassemble it without them noticing if I ever have to RMA it.

Is there a way to take the plastic cover off without removing the entire heatsink and fan?
I just want to blow it out with my air compressor if possible. Otherwise, I'll just run the fan at 100% (though it will be hard to sleep because the PC is in my bedroom).
post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaded War View Post

Is there a way to take the plastic cover off without removing the entire heatsink and fan?
I just want to blow it out with my air compressor if possible. Otherwise, I'll just run the fan at 100% (though it will be hard to sleep because the PC is in my bedroom).

No, there's no way to get the shroud off without undoing the heatsink because in order to access the heatsink fins you need to remove the shroud, and in order to remove the shroud you need to get to the under-side of the middle plate, in order to get to the under-side of the middle plate you must undo the heatsink from the PCB so you can flip the middle plate to access the shroud screws.

Here's a thread with all sorts of visual goodies to help you out.
It's of a 5850 but I'm sure it's similar. My 6970 has a very similar design as my 5850.

Ps; there's no need to remove the fan, it's attached to the middle plate.

If you reeeeaaally don't want to disassemble the card, take a flashlight and look into the center of the card via the fan hole. That's where the heatsink starts and that's where most of the dust accumulates. If you see nice clean channels you don't have much of a problem and can usually just blast that out with an air compressor.

This is what you should see behind that blower wheel:
215
Edited by Khaotik55 - 2/2/12 at 1:43am
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Does anyone know if disassembling my card to will void my warranty? It's a HIS Radeon 6870 1GB reference card. I need to clean this thing out and get some good thermal compound on the GPU.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814161349
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