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Antec Kuhler/GTX 480 Closed Loop Water Cooling Mod *~GUIDE~*

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hi guys, this is my little guide for how I installed an Antec Kuler on my new/refurbed EVGA GTX 480. I included pictures showing installation using both the cable tie method and the more secure mounting bracket method. I got my bracket from user "Dwood" over at OCN. After conversion from USD to GBP, the total cost of the bracket (including postage) was around 8 quid and it took about 2 weeks to arrive. Feel free to ask any questions smile.gif.

Things you'll need
GTX 480 (other compatible card)
12 or so cable ties or an appropriate bracket
A philips head screw driver
Scissors
Some Thermal Interface Material (and something to clean the old stuff off with)

The Guide
First step is to pop the top half of the shroud off. You don't need to remove any screws for this part, you just need to pop the plastic tabs on either side (4 tabs on one side, 3 on the other):

themod1red.png

Once that's done you'll be left with something that looks like this:

e4dc6dfc.jpg

The next step is to remove the following 4 screws.:
Note: These are the only 4 screws you will need to remove during this mod.

themod2red.png

You'll be left with something like this:

c60f7f8a.jpg

Clean off the old TIM to get the Kuler and card ready for mounting:

(IF YOU'RE USING ONE OF DWOODS BRACKETS, SCROLL DOWN A LITTLE tongue.gif)
Next, take 4 of your cable ties and slide them through each other to form a shape like this (make sure to leave room enough for you to be able to slide it round the tabs on the Kuhler):

d0a10fbf.jpg

Slide the square cable tie shape over the Kuhler and tighten them a little:

e83e6ce6.jpg

Next, slide 4 more cable ties through the 'corners' of the shape and tighten around the ring:

4d9de974.jpg
1ebf02af.jpg

Slide the 4 ties through the holes around the GPU (don't forget to use some thermal paste):

36ad9e53.jpg

Take 4 more cable ties and slide them over the last 4, and tighten to 'lock' the cooler in place:

b53869c0.jpg

Grab a pair of scissors and snip everything down for a nice clean look, and the job's done smile.gif:

361cb286.jpg

(CONTINUE HERE IF YOU'RE USING A BRACKET TO INSTALL THE KUHLER)
First off, grab your bracket:

f2140617.jpg

Arrange everything so that they sit in this order (top to bottom):
Bolt -> Bracket -> Kuhler -> PCB -> Washers -> Screw

376fb51a.jpg

Tighten the bolts just enough so they stay on, then stick the Kuhler through and twist just like you would with the stock bracket. Once it's in, screw it tight enough that the Kuler doesn't move below the bracket, but no so much that you bend the PCB:

ce3363fd.jpg

Stick some decent fans on the Kuhler, pop everything back in the case and reap the benefits of your quiet, cool running GTX 480 biggrin.gif:

ce3363fd.jpg

With a 900MHz overclock, my temps after Kumbuster (for 40 mins) maxed out at 58 degrees (confirmed by CPUID HardwareMonitor and MSI Afterburner, though Kumbuster itself registered max temp as 60 degrees). Playing BF3 on Ultra Preset (4x AA) @ 1080P for half an hour on Grandbazar (64 man conquest), temps maxed at 70 degrees and frames were avg 52FPS. At no point did it get any louder than at idle biggrin.gif.

480Mod.png
480Mod2.png


EXTRA's:

2003ab67.jpg

17875737.jpg

2fd1553c.jpg
Edited by tobsmonster2 - 5/30/12 at 10:42am
    
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post #2 of 9
Not gonna lie, the zip ties are pretty ghetto. I love it.
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post #3 of 9
+1 for the ghetto'ness of the zip ties smile.gif

Nice write up as well.
post #4 of 9
What are your ram temperatures?
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post #5 of 9
Wow! that is impressive. I just sold my gtx480, I had slapped an Accellero Xtreme 2 on there and my temps hovered around 59-61c with a 850Mhz overclock with idle fan noise.

At first when I saw the zip ties.... but honestly once you cut the ends off of them, it's hard to tell what they are, and once inside your case, no one is gonna notice unless they get up close or are looking for them. I use black electrical tape when there are colored wires exposed (EX: front panel audio cable [to my sound card] had tiny bit of red and yellow exposed).. . you can't tell unless your up close inspecting.

I applaud you good sir applaud.gif for ingenuity and creativity. Way to keep the 480 rolling punches with the big boys thumb.gif it's still a great card

Edit
rep++;
Edited by FishCommander - 6/12/12 at 2:53pm
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post #6 of 9
I'm wondering, for future expansion would you be able to do a 2 or 3 way SLI using dwood's method like this? Or, is the thickness of the antec too much to be able to fit it into the sli arrangement. Did you find it went more than 2 slots in thickness?
     
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post #7 of 9
Thank you OP for this guide, you are the gentleman who has saved my hearing!! biggrin.gif



25cm side fan on my case is plenty to keep the VRM's well under 50 C
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post #8 of 9
Hello!
Thanks for posting this awesome guide - I just attached two Corsair H55s to my old GTX 480s using the zip-tie method, which dropped the temperature at load from 110°C to... 45!!!! What's even better, is that the original fans barely spin up now, so my computer is nice and quiet when I'm playing games!

The mod was extremely easy to do, although you might need to take the following into account...

1) The radiators are large - make sure you have adequate space, especially if you are fitting two of them (I had to Dremel a hole in the back of my case so I could mount one on the outside).
2) The water pipes are not super flexible - something else you'll need to bare in mind when you try and install them.
3) The H55s draw power from two fan headers (one for the fan and one for the pump) - I had to buy a separate fan controller in order to power both coolers.

All in all, I am extremely pleased with how this mod turned out!!!! I think I might just try some overclocking tomorrow, now that my 480s are icy cold!

biggrin.gif

Dan
post #9 of 9
Great guide, great pics. Well done and take some +reps thumb.gif
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