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Watercooling reference GTX 670 with Universal block

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Hi -
Just finished watercooling my reference design EVGA GTX670's.
I decided not to go with full cover blocks this time and ran into some unexpected hiccups. Put this together to help anyone who might go with a universal block on the reference gtx670.
My vrm chips weren't soldered perfectly flat and not all were the same height. So the Swiftech 14x14 copper heatsinks kept falling off. These normally stick really well - quality stuff!
My solution was to recreate the stock vrm heatsink in copper, so the copper heatsinks would stick and would work with airflow from the side.

Parts I used - EK Supreme HF bridge edition universal blocks, Bitspower fittings, Akust short copper heatsinks (for the ram chip under the block and on top of the backside of the gpu mobo), Swiftech 14x14 copper heatsinks, thermal tape (sorry, can't rember brand) and a leftover Cooler Master 70x15mm fan to blow air over the vrm heatsinks (it has a 7w inline resistor to cut the speed/noise down to a reasonable level).


Copper source - the plate from the stock heatsink
450

Clamp the heatsink in a vice, grab a large flat head screwdriver and your favorite hammer. Place the flat tip against the edge and one solid whack should send it flying.

This glue is also on the copper plate - 400 grit sand paper removed it quickly. CLEAN OFF DUST VERY THOUROUGHLY WHEN DONE.
450

Using a hacksaw and some fine files I cut and filed the plates to the exact size of the aluminum plate.
Grabbed a drill bit of the exact size of the stock hs holes, reused the push pins (didn't have any screws-nuts of the right size) and voila! I used calipers to measure the stock heatsink, the edge of a small file to score the cut lines on the copper plate and clamped it between two pieces of card stock so the vice would not gouge the plate.
When done I cleaned the heck out of it with tack clothes, brake cleaner and finally isopropyl alcohol.
450

I had just enough of the thermal tape left over from a DangerDen waterblock kit that I was able to cover the bottom with fresh tape (thick white stuff - looks just like the green stuff on the stock heatsink). I did have to use a little of the original tape, but it isn't advised since it stretches thin when pulling off the old part.

Add heatsinks and prepare for leak testing.
450

Installed - the cooler master fan is temporarily attached to the top gpu block. Will figure out something more elegent later.
700

Can't recall the last time I saw the southbridge chip in a gaming computer.
So far temps are awesome. Will update as I get data.

If you are wondering why I have the spacers before the 90 degree fittings - can't get the second one screwed down otherwise.
Edited by Fan o' water - 10/4/12 at 8:28pm
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Mild Mod
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post #2 of 15
Nice, post your temps when you can. I idle around 24-25C on Speed 4 of 10 on my PWM controlled MCP-35x pump.
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post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
I will post some temps later today.
Idling I am seeing 24C on one and 22C on the other. My pump is single speed though. Judging by the reduced turbulence in my reservoir compared to when I had the single GTX 480 full block, I'd say the EK's are a higher restriction design. Light though! The DD block was a tank!

Hmm...what do I mess with next....biggrin.gif

Cheers thumb.gif
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post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
So this morning with an ambient temp in this room of 20C, the cards were idling at 22 and 24C
Using my usual benchmarks I was seeing 35 and 37C. Excellent!
I expect those to rise if summer ever gets here.

Running the same tests on a 27C day, the air cooled versions were idling around 33C and benching about 77C. One did spike at 83C with every setting maxed out on FluidMark.

I have an excess of cooling for this system now, so temps should be good! An SR-1 280 mm rad and a GTX120 Gen 2 with Gentle Typhoon AP-15's in push pull.
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post #5 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fan o' water View Post

Can't recall the last time I saw the southbridge chip in a gaming computer.

I seriously had no idea what was happening in that shot even with your caption and then the realization of what I was seeing was staggering! That card is super-small. Nice job! thumb.gif
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks Cortexodus!

The short pcb of the reference design really appealed to me. So far so good!

Playing BF3 on ultra on a 30" monitor I am only seeing an 18C rise over ambient. The EK blocks work really well.

Cheers thumb.gif
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post #7 of 15
How much air are you moving around in your case? I'm curious about the vram temps with those sinks in place. I was thinking of using universal blocks with two Lightning 680's but am worried about the vram temps. I want to be able to increase voltage and the lightnings are the only card that allow you to do that other than the Classifieds, but they require a stupid $100 POS to unlock voltage where the lightnings can do it via afterburner.
Edited by CMDPromptX - 6/30/12 at 10:58am
post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
CMDPromtX - I am not aware of a software that reports vrm or vram temps. If you are, please pass a link along. I'd love to know.
After a long session of the BF3 campaign the tips of the copper on the ram were warm, but far from hot. On the vrm's the ones closest to the small fan were warm, but not hot and the ones closest to the mobo were quite warm, but not hot. i am an engineer and have soft office hands and i could have kept my fingers on the warmest heatsink all day.

Airflow through my case - CoolerMaster Megaflow intake with only one hdd cage installed and the grill cut out (Corsair 650D case). 1400 rpm fans on the SR-1 280mm rad up top and two GT AP-15's on the gtx120 on the back. The little coolermaster fan is running at 2700 rpm on a 7v resistor.

I can't say I saved much money over the full coverage blocks, maybe $30 each? Two things that swayed to a universal block - since my cards have vram on the back I was going to have to buy heatsinks anyway. I had used uni blocks before with zero isses (but I didn't oc those cards).

Cheers
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850 Pro SSD, 2 Cav Blacks Asus HWLabs 280mm SR-1 and GTX120 mm radiators EK GPU waterblock and backplate 
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Mild Mod
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Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingCooling
850 Pro SSD, 2 Cav Blacks Asus HWLabs 280mm SR-1 and GTX120 mm radiators EK GPU waterblock and backplate 
CoolingOSMonitorKeyboard
EK Supremacy EVO cpu block W7 64 Pro Dell U3011  Razer BlackWidow Ultimate 
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post #9 of 15
Fan o' water, thanks for the detailed response. I just bought two MSI Lightnings and the universal blocks + heatsinks. We'll see how it goes. I have one front intake and one rear exhaust fan and 4X120 on a radiator for the CPU blowing out of the case at the top - all in the upper chamber of my case. The two GPU's will be cooled by 8X120 in the lower chamber so their airflow won't help in moving the air around in the upper chamber. All the fans run at a max of 1850RPM but I tend to keep them around 600RPM as I'm massively over-radded. I may have to up the channel on the two case fans. We'll see how it goes.

Thanks.
post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
That must be a big case. I keep working my way to smaller ones, but I have too much stuff! biggrin.gif
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i7-5930k 4.5Ghz @1.331v Asus X99-A EVGA GTX 780Ti 1058/7800 16Gb Gskill DDR4-2400 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingCooling
850 Pro SSD, 2 Cav Blacks Asus HWLabs 280mm SR-1 and GTX120 mm radiators EK GPU waterblock and backplate 
CoolingOSMonitorKeyboard
EK Supremacy EVO cpu block W7 64 Pro Dell U3011  Razer BlackWidow Ultimate 
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Mild Mod
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Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingCooling
850 Pro SSD, 2 Cav Blacks Asus HWLabs 280mm SR-1 and GTX120 mm radiators EK GPU waterblock and backplate 
CoolingOSMonitorKeyboard
EK Supremacy EVO cpu block W7 64 Pro Dell U3011  Razer BlackWidow Ultimate 
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