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How To: Extensively Modify Your Thermaltake Big Typhoon

post #1 of 116
Thread Starter 

The Big Typhoon is huge, it pwns, and it is generally recognized as one of the best, if not THE best, widely-distributed air heatsink. We like it because it's quiet, we like it because it's sort of shnazzy, but most of all, we like it because it is a weapon of mass dissipation; it pwns temps down far below what any stock heatsink could ever hope to acheive.

...but that is not enough my fellow modders. Why cool when you can cool MORE? Why leave it stock when you can MOD?! Why pwn... when you can PWN HARD?!?! Yes my modders, the time for justice is now. Inefficiency will grovel on its face and heat will cower like the girly-man that it is. The smoke will not get out my brothers. It will stay in.

In each section I'll provide in-depth explanations and pictures on everything you need to know in order to reproduce what I've done as well as temperature decrease estimates (and by "estimates" I mean "very broad estimates"), supplies/cost, as well as where to buy.

I will take you on a mystical adventure; we shall frolick through the wonderland of elbowgrease that overflows with copper, plastic, and various other nonbiodegradable substances. Onward courageous modders!




There are some words that are evil when found in the same sentence as "heatsink." "Machine marks"... "Grooves"... "Gashes"... and for the slightly less intelligent Billy-Bobs among us... "Those ugly line thingies."

With all of the hullabaloo surrounding the Big Typhoon I frankly thought it would have a mirror finish from factory just like Zalman. Boy was I wrong. If your idea of smooth is 50 grit sandpaper, then sure, it's smoother than a baby's bottom. A crusty, hard, uneven baby's bottom. The baby needs to die. Just like ugly babies... your heatsink's machine marks need to... Am I digging a hole for myself? Just take a look for yourself:



The Reasoning Behind the Mod:
Anyway, I'm going to show you how to "lap" your heatsink to the extreme. For those of you that haven't heard the term "lap", it essentially means "to sand and polish a surface until smooth." Lapping, when done properly, will decrease your temperatures because it evens out the heatsink's base and removes the gashes, thus, forming better contact with your processor's integrated heatsink (IHS)... or in Billy-Bob terms... "square, metal, on-top-of-the-cpu thingy." In the end, less thermal paste is needed and the heat travels through the thin layer of paste quicker. I've lapped four heatsinks so far, and every single one has been concave, and has had the deepest gashes right in the middle of the heatsink (where it most needs to be smooth!). I'll prove this to you later with pictures.

Preparation/Information:
Temperature Decrease:
5-10°C
Pros:
Biggest Temperature Decrease Mod
Pretty hard to break anything
Bragging Rights
Cons:
Very time consuming
Probably voids warranty (Who cares? It's not like you're going to break a solid piece of copper)
Could make the heatsink base uneven if you don't choose a proper surface to sand on
Might be a bit expensive when you consider that the sandpaper costs almost 25% the price of the heatsink
Supplies/Cost:
5-pack of 320 grit sandpaper - $3.00
5-pack of 400 grit sandpaper - $3.00
5-pack of 600 grit sandpaper - $3.00
1 sheet of 1500 grit sandpaper (optional) - $1.70
Microfiber pads (optional and overkill...but I'm all about overkill) - $20.00
Smooth Surface (Read on to see what I consider a "smooth" surface)
Cup/Bowl to hold water
Television
Where to Buy:
Home Depot or any hardware store for up to 600 grit. Anything above 600 grit will be hard to find (and if 600 is the best you can find, don't worry, it's plenty good enough). Just phone the store first to save yourself some trouble. The microfiber pads will be hard to locate. I bought them at a specialty woodworking store a few years ago when I lapped a Thunderbird core.

Unlike Norton Anti-Virus, this Norton product actually works well:


That blank sheet on the right was the 1500 grit and MAN was it hard to find! I finally found some at an Ace Hardware store and after driving all the way there I found out they only had ONE sheet left! Craziness... When I looked on the back I found out it was made in Finland of all places:



After you've bought your sandpaper you'll need to find a smooth surface. In fact, you might need to buy one if you don't have one already. If you're going to spend hours carefully sanding this thing you want to be SURE that the surface is smooth beforehand. Otherwise, you're wasting your time. A lot of things that initially seem smooth really aren't all that smooth. Boards do not count as smooth because they have grains. Kitchen counters.. well it depends.. Look closely... The odds are it has dips and wear and scratches from use. Glass? Well maybe, but it depends on what kind. Some glass is far from smooth.

At this point maybe you're left thinking, "Okay so what the heck CAN I use?!" My answer? Be creative. I actually used something that I doubt you'll have... A lexan panel from the inside of a broken LCD monitor. One side was textured, but the other was incredibly smooth:



Just use whatever you can find that's big enough and extremely smooth, but just be SURE that it is before you start, because if it has irregularities, that will affect the end result of your heatsink base. For example, a concave surface will give you a convex heatsink base and vice versa.

Execution:
Now you're just about ready to start. Because you will be wet sanding, you will want to fill a cup or bowl with water. I listed TV in the "supplies" because if you don't have some form of entertainment during this endeavor you will go crazy with boredom. Television helps it go faster and that way you can have fun and get things done at the same time.

Now, place your sandpaper on your smooth surface, dip your fingers into the your water, dab it onto where you plan to sand, and begin sanding. Every time it begins to get sticky and/or dry, just dab more water on the sandpaper. If you take longer strokes it will sand faster, but just be sure to do your best to avoid any skipping (where it hangs and jumps) or tilting (where it comes off the flat base and sands the corners). Sometimes it's really hard to keep it from skipping but do your best. Adjust your downpressure and "angle of push" until you get a working system going. I found that sometimes it was easiest to grip it by the grooves of the fan with your thumb and middle finger. Just don't bend the fins too much while you're gripping the heatsink.

I came up with a method to ensure even sanding; choose a number of repetitions and stick to it, turning 90 degrees after each set. For example:

15 forward and back motions
turn 90 degrees
15 forward and back motions
turn 90 degrees
etc.

You will want to sand with the 320 grit until the only thing left on the base is the scratches from the sandpaper. First the concaveness will go, but getting the gashes out will take a while longer. Don't move up in grit until ALL gashes are gone. After that move up to 400 grit and sand until you are sure every gash from the 320 grit is gone. When you hit 600 grit... if that's the highest grit you have... just keep sanding on the same place. Eventually the sandpaper will wear out and you'll essentially have a very high grit. The worn out sandpaper and copper shavings will help to get it smoother than 600 grit.

If you have a higher grit just keep moving up. If you decide to go nuts and use microfiber pads, then you'll have to shift your method a bit because the pads are flexible, thus, not smooth if you're not careful. Hold the heatsink upside down swipe the pads "up and down" the heatsink base while gradually and consistently moving across the base. Then, turn 90 degrees and repeat, moving up in grit as necessary. Don't forget to use water during this prodecure as well. You can get it to a stinkin' mirror like this.

I actually started with 400 grit (all I originally had available), which was a major pain in the rear, and, by the time I had obtained 320 grit to start lapping another heatsink, it was already too late to go back to 320 grit on the Big Typhoon. I made the mistake of moving up in grit before every single gash was COMPLETELY gone from the base, but even so, all I ended up being left with was 2 incredibly thin hair-line scratches. It took me about 6 hours with the sandpaper and another 3 with the microfiber pads. I watched TV the whole time to remain sane.

If you take your time and do things right you can expect results along the lines of this:






Y'know there are a lot of lazy people, and air is one of them. Okay, maybe not the best opener. Move along.

The Reasoning Behind the Mod:
Just like electricity and water, air (EARTH FIRE HEART GO CAPTAIN PLANET!!! ... sorry...) takes the path of least resistance. There are some gaps on the sides of the heatsink's fins which allow air to escape. While this air may help cool certain components (such as the MOSFETS on the DFI expert), I really want it to be cooling my CPU! The idea is pretty simple: block the gaps and force the air to go through the fins, yielding more heat dissipation. After completing the mod myself I found that there was so much back-pressure created by blocking the gaps, that this mod isn't really worth doing unless you plan on doing the next one as well because more air was coming back through the top of the fan than through the fins.

Preparation/Information:
Temperature Decrease:
I had one of our very own members, TheEddie, do a before and after for me. Here are his findings using the FM121 fan mentioned in the next section. Oddly, this mod seems to help more at lower RPMs with the FM121 (Not necessarily the stock fan). Here are his findings:

1600RPM - 1 to 1.5°C (possibly 2°C) decrease
1900RPM - Approximately 1°C decrease
2400RPM - No notable decrease

Pros:
Mild Temperature Decrease
Easy and pretty fast
Cheap
Bragging Rights (this is on all of my pros lists so get used to it)
Cons:
Could be a detriment to the cooling of surrounding components
Might shorten the life of the fan due to additional strain
Supplies/Cost:
Foam, Styrofoam, or some other sturdy, light, cheap substance
Box cutter or Xactoknife
Ruler with cm measurements
Where to Buy:
I didn't need to buy anything. You could even use the foam that came packed between the base and the fan in the retail box.
I've read of people plugging these gaps with foam, but I wanted something that I could be sure wouldn't just fall out and jam up something important. I can see it now, "Woops, the foam fell into my video card fan and fried it. Another $350 down the drain." So, instead of foam, I used styrofoam. You want to be sure it's light because at 813 grams, the Big Typhoon is already 363 grams heavier than the MAXimum recommended heatsink weight. Putting something heavy in these gaps would put a lot of leverage on an already very-heavy heatsink. You don't want to ruin a perfectly good CPU or motherboard do you?
I measured the sytrofoam blocks as precisely as possible for you. They were a little snug, but that's what I wanted. Like I said earlier, I don't want these to fall out and melt or jam something up. Here are the dimensions (and they are very exact): 14mm x 58 mm x 7mm (height x length x depth) They'll look something like this:



Execution:
To cut the sytrofoam use small strokes and sort of jiggle your knife as you move it down the sytrofoam. You want a smooth edge, not a torn-up mess. Be careful when you cut them. I... got a little overzealous:



That's right men. I bleed for modding. I bleed for you brothers! *pounds chest like an idiot* Well, it beats sticking your finger into a vantec tornado anyway.

As for installation... It's pretty simple, just unscrew your fan from the base, then begin by tilting the blocks in like so:



After that just snug 'em up like so:



...and you're set.

When you put the fan and grill back on, just be sure you think about where you're going to plug the fan in and how you want the heatpipes oriented on your motherboard. Make sure the logo on the grill is right-side up (if you even choose to put it back on). If you plan on doing the next mod, then obviously you're doing to want to skip the things I just mentioned.




Y'know sometimes noise can be sort of a good thing... ... ....... .......................

...I really don't like introductory paragraphs. As cheif delusionary of this modding trip I henceforth declare all thesis statements null, void, and doomed to the gallows. Move along.

The Reasoning Behind this Mod
Since I began writing this guide Thermaltake has released a "VX" version of their Big Typhoon. Basically what they did was swap the original fan with a better one. Everything else is the same! Save a few bucks, buy an original Big Typhoon and purchase one of the following fans (all of which are better than the one on the VX).

Now, if you've ever taken basic Chemistry you know that a the more reactants involved with a chemical reaction, the more reactions that will take place (up to the amount of the limiting reagent). Well in this case, the "reactants" are the air and the heat. The "limiting reagent" is the amount of heat that each cubic foot of air can absorb from the heatsink fins. If more air moves through the fins then it's not so limiting anymore is it? In short, if we move more air, we lose more heat, assuming the ambient temperature is below the temperature of the heatsink itself... ...but that has more to do with thing moving down a concentration gradient, and that's another discussion for another day.

Preparation/Information
Temperature Decrease:
2-6°C
Pros:
Moderate Temperature Decrease
Bragging Rights (Look at me! I swapped a fan!)
Cons:
Increased Air Turbulence and Fan Noise Levels
Replaces a Perfectly Good Fan
Supplies/Cost:
Silverstone FM121, AeroCool XtremeTurbine, or the Nidec 220 CFM (Thanks to jrabb1920)
Where to Buy:
FM121:
Newegg - About $21 with 3-day shipping http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811999344
Tigerdirect.ca - ? You check http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applicatio...0&sku=S35-1084
NCIX.com - 31 CAD with Express Shipping http://www.ncix.com/products/index.p...e%20Technology

AeroCool Xtreme Turbine:
Xoxide has a number of color and LED options and ships to CA and USA - About $22 USD with standard shipping http://search.store.yahoo.com/cgi-bi...catalog=xoxide
ZipZoomFly - $19 with free ground shipping http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/Produc...uctCode=372107
Newegg - About $21 with 3-day shipping http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16835129246

Nidec 220CFM Fan:
See here for Information: http://www.nidec.com/va450dc/va450dc.htm
See here for purchasing information: http://www.nidec.com/saleslocations.htm
The stock fan on the Big Typhoon actually performs fairly admirably as far as stock fans go, but there is certainly room for improvement. For example, after doing the styrofoam mod there is so much back pressure that I can feel excess air blowing rather hard upward through the grill. However, the good thing about the stock fan is that, at 16 dBA it's hard to hear anything, even with your ear right next to it).

Well, if you don't care about silence, or you already have a monster fan in your case screaming along, then I doubt you care about the stock fan's silence. After swapping to the FM121 myself (which I did last... so this guide is a little asynchronous...) I found that the noise was quite tolerable, though nowhere close to "silent"... so if you use your PC as a theatre PC, stick to the stock fan.

Incase you don't know the abbreviations, here you go:
CFM - Cubic Feet per Minute (Cubic Feet of air in this instance)
RPM - Revolutions (Number of complete 360° spins of the fan) per Minute
dBA - A-weighted Decibel Scale

Breakdown of the Fans:
Stock Fan:
-Orange in Color
-6 Blades
-Fixed Speed without a fan controller
-54CFM at 1300RPM and 16dBA

Silverstone FM121:
-White in Color
-9 Blades
-Variable Speed
-??CFM at 800RPM and 17 dBA
-110CFM at 2400RPM and 39.5dBA
-Seems to be the most popular replacement

AeroCool XtremeTurbine:
-Metallic Silver in Color
-16 Blades (Most of any 120mm fan)
-Fixed Speed without a fan controller
-89CFM at 1800RPM and 32.5dBA
-Its "turbine" design prevents the use of a grill

Nidec VA450DC:
-Plain-Jane Black
-9 Blades
-Fixed Speed without a fan controller
-220CFM at 5250RPM and 64.8 dBA
-Incredibly powerful, VERY loud, and harder to purchase

Execution:
Just unscrew the stock fan and grill and put it on. With the FM121 You could use the stock grill or the packaged grill, but with the Aerocool Xtreme Turbine you'll have to go without a grill. The Nidec is about as extreme as you can go fan-wise, but I hope you're either deaf or don't care about noise because it will be very very loud. Sleeve the wires beforehand if you want (or just wrap them in electrical tape) then just make sure the fan and grill are oriented the way you want it to be in your case and screw it in. Don't forget to consider where you will be plugging the fan into the motherboard.

In addition to this you can also cut a hole in your case panel/window and run ducting directly to the fan. I didn't think this deserved its own section, but doing this should lower temps slightly depending on the ambient temperature of the room. I wasn't too keen on uglifying my case, however, so I passed on that mod.




I'm not about stealing other people's glory, so before you even read this I want to give all credit to our very own HardwaterH4ck3r for the concept. If you rep me for this mod you had darn well better rep him too, but to be fair to other members, only rep him if you found this particular part of the guide helpful. Heck, I've even made it easy for you. All you have to do is click here to rep him:


I made sure not to read his guide again before writing this because I want to offer my own thoughts. I also wanted to give you all some better pictures. The guide just couldn't be "ultimate" without including this mod.

Reasoning Behind the Mod:
There's a reason why the Big Typhoon is so honking massive, and why it has so many fins. Let us return to my chemistry analogy once more. In chemistry, greater surface area allows for a chemical reaction to take place faster. Think about it... If you stick a block of sugar into water it'll take a long time to dissolve, but if you pour in sugar crystals, it'll dissolve in moments. While there aren't any chemicals involved here, the concept is similar; the ramsinks should add a significant enough amount of surface area to the base of the heatsink that more heat will be able to dissipate faster giving you cooler temperatures.

As I was thinking about this, I considered the fact that the "styrofoam mod" might actually be a detriment to this mod, since there might be less air turbulence this way, but I'll be placing the ramsinks under the fins, not under the plugged gaps, so there should still be plenty of airflow to cool the ramsinks.

Preparation/Information:
Temperature Decrease:
0.5-1.5°C
Pros:
The easiest mod here
Bragging Rights (Because more copper is better...)
Cons:
Adds another 50 grams to the already freakishly-heavy heatsink
Fairly "expensive" considering the low temperature gains
Supplies/Cost:
Thermaltake Copper Ramsinks (cheapest I could find, plus they're both made by Thermaltake, so they'll be happy together)
Where to Buy:
Xoxide ships to the US and Canada. Here: http://www.xoxide.com/ramsink1.html
There is little preparation here short of opening the ramsink blister packaging:



I contemplated taking the adhesive off and using Arctic Silver Ceramique, but I've done this before when I modded my old X800 XL with a Zalman VF700 and Ramsinks. It made sense to use Ceramique in that case because the ram chips are smooth, but even so it was a hassle dealing with that Ceramique. In this case you're dealing with an uneven surface and I really think it'd be foolish to take those adhesive pads off for what could be a .5° gain. Heck, you might even hurt temps by taking them off and trying to use thermal paste.
Random Ramsink Picture:



Theoretically you could buy two packs of ramsinks and stick tons of ramsinks all over your Big Typhoon, but adding 100g to the weight is going to put a lot of stress on the motherboard and if you play with fire... you might get burnt... Just consider the cost before you break a $130 motherboard or a $400 CPU for a 1°C decrease. Besides, they don't stick on the heatpipes that well anyway.

Execution:
Peel the pads off and situate two on each side of the mount for the "I-bracket" on the base making as much contact with the copper as possible. I think the best way to put them on is to line up each of the four ramsinks you use on the base with a corner of the base itself. Put two more in the middle on either side of the the mount for the "I-bracket" itself.

Situate the remaining two close to the base on the heatpipes, but far enough that they are not on the curved part. You want them close to the base for two reasons. Firstly, this will put slightly less leverage on the motherboard (though I really thing they're so light it shouldn't matter). Secondly, there will be more air turbulence closer to the center of the base since the holes on the sides of the Big Typhoon were plugged earlier. This picture should help remove any doubt as to how to place them on the base:



To be completely honest with you, I noticed no significant drop in temps after doing this. Before and after doing this temps were the same. I did this in open air, though, and when it's in my case, where there is significant airflow, I think this might help a bit more.

On to Part 2! Video Time!
Murphy's Law
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Phenom X4 9850 BE Gigabyte GA-MA790GP-DS4H HIS Radeon HD 4850 512MB IceQ4 Edition 2x2GB OCZ Reaper DDR2 1066Mhz 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
2x1TB Seagates in RAID 1 Sony DRU-530A DVD-RW XP Pro SP3 Samsung 957MB 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Saitek Eclipse Antec NeoPower Blue 650W Lian-Li PC-65B Logitech MX518 v2.0 
Mouse Pad
Custom Bansheepad 
  hide details  
Reply
Murphy's Law
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Phenom X4 9850 BE Gigabyte GA-MA790GP-DS4H HIS Radeon HD 4850 512MB IceQ4 Edition 2x2GB OCZ Reaper DDR2 1066Mhz 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
2x1TB Seagates in RAID 1 Sony DRU-530A DVD-RW XP Pro SP3 Samsung 957MB 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Saitek Eclipse Antec NeoPower Blue 650W Lian-Li PC-65B Logitech MX518 v2.0 
Mouse Pad
Custom Bansheepad 
  hide details  
Reply
post #2 of 116
Thread Starter 

Incase you browsed here first by mistake, be aware that this is the 2nd part of 2-part guide. Part one is here. (This notation is for after it gets transfered to the FAQs section)




*Begins singing Josh Groban's "You Lift Me Up"* ERHERMN HrG..CRgle... I think I had something caught in my throat... So what?! I get excited about Velcro... big deal. Can I not sing sweet nerd-love ballads to my Velcro?

Reasoning Behind the Mod:
Um... like I was saying... Velcro is great, and pretty cheap. If you're going to do the ramsink mod you should consider doing this one as well. Like I mentioned earlier, the Big Typhoon weighs in at about 813 grams (or 863 if you did the ramsink mod), which is almost double the maximum recommended weight. Doing this mod will take some stress off of your CPU and motherboard. This might even help secure it during travel, though, anyone traveling with a Big Typhoon in their case should make sure to position the case on its side. The pictures here show me modding the stock fan, but when I later swapped to the FM121 I didn't re-do the mod because I won't be moving my case anymore. It's your call really.

Preparation/Information:
Temperature Decrease:
None and Three-Zeroths°C
Pros:
Cheap mod
Reduces risk of breaking thermal paste connection
Reduces tension put on CPU and motherboard by the heatsink
Bragging Rights (Girls think it's sexy?)
Cons:
Detracts from overall case appearance somewhat
Cutting through the adhesive of velcro can really gunk up your scissors
Supplies/Cost:
1.5m Roll of 1" wide Velcro - A little under $7
Scissors
Ruler with cm measurements
1" wide black electrical tape or similar
Where to Buy:
Home Depot or any hardware store

What you'll be doing is wrapping Velcro around the Big Typhoon fan in such a way that you can support it from within your case. You'll want to use the "hooks" (or "scratchy") side of the Velcro because the "loop" (or "fuzzy") side tends to wear out over time and it will be a lot easier replacing velcro strips than it will be re-doing this mod a second time. If you wrap the velcro fairly tightly around the fan housing, you'll need almost exactly 45.3cm of velcro. This will give you about 3-5mm of "give" where you can tighten it up more and trim the Velcro or just leave it a bit looser. My Velcro was an inch wide, which is too wide to fit around the edge of the fan, so I had to cut it down to the width of 16mm along the entire strip. I used the horizontal tail of the "V" in "Velcro" to help guide my cut:



Execution:
Once you've cut the Velcro to the proper width and length, you're ready to adhere it to the outside of your fan housing. It says on the box that if you stick the velcro to anything, then rip it off, then restick it, the strength of the adhesive will be weakened, which is kind of a no-brainer. In short, don't make a Billy-Bob mistake and take all of the plastic adhesive cover off at once. The best way to do it is to take it off a bit as a time as you surround the fan. Begin on the midpoint of the bottom of the fan, as this will hide any mistakes you make flushing up the velcro to itself.

Reveal a bit of the adhesive, and wrap it fairly tightly around the edge of the fan, pressing firmly as you go, and continue to peel away the protective backing and applying the Velcro as needed until you've finished. The end result should look like this:



I think it looks cool, and if you decide not to use velcro strips to support your Big Typhoon in the future, it really doesn't look all that much different than it was before you did the mod.

The next step is to put some Velcro squares on your case that your Big Typhoon will hang from. I "guesstimated" where my Big Typhoon would sit in my case, then cut four 2" long strips of the "hook" velcro. Before marking anything on my case I washed the area where I'd put the velcro with soap and water then dried it. I wanted to make sure the adhesive bond would be strong. I then measured a little over an inch above the bottom part of the metal and marked it. This will vary from case to case, but at this height, the Velcro will be completely obscured from view when the side panel is on. I laid two pairs of 2" strips side-by-side and 120mm apart, forming two 2" squares that are the same width apart as the sides of the fan:



The final step is to cut strips of the "loop" type of velcro to connect the fan to the case. You can figure out how long they need to be for yourself. I cut mine to 30cm each. You might even opt to use one long strip and wrap it all the way around, but that's not necessary and I didn't want to waste the extra length that would take. After you cut them you'll probably want to remove the adhesive backing and replace it with electrical tape because frankly it looks like crap, and I doubt you'd want to have something that ugly in your case after you've likely spent a lot of time modding it to look nice. Here's a comparison of the adhesive backing vs. electrical tape:



Just carefully remove the adhesive backing a bit at a time as you replace it with electrical tape. Take your time, and if you accidentally put a bubble in it, it's possible to pull it away, but it will stretch the electrical tape a bit. I messed up a few times but it ended up looking great anyway.

Here are some pictures to give you an idea of how it will look. I know... my case is a mess. I wrote this entire guide and did almost every mod in here in advance (before my computer was even reassembled) so I'd have time to finish it before heading back to college.

The Big Typhoon's heavy base makes it inclined to tilt at about 45 degrees. I pushed down on the fan grill until it was level and the Velcro held perfectly. There won't be near this amount of force pulling on the Velcro when your Big Typhoon is mounted on your CPU:



The following pictures gives you an idea of what it will look like with your side window on. As you can see, the Velcro squares are completely hidden from view:



After you finish the mod (assuming you bought the same brand/amount as me) you should have plenty of velcro leftover for wire management, hard drive mounting, cold cathode placement, for making abbreviations on a pool table, or whatever else you can think of:






So you've spent hours and hours lapping your Big Typhoon. It's incredibly smooth, but what's the point if the surface you're putting it on is not also smooth? A CPU's Integrated Heatsink (IHS) is, like just about every other heatsink you'll come in contact with; concave from factory.

Lapping this is a peice of cake compared to lapping the Big Typhoon, but it is admittedly more nerve-racking; the value of the thing you'd be sanding is many times more expensive than a Big Typhoon, is more fragile, and the IHS itself is thin enough that you could accidentally sand through it or weaken it to the point that it will break. Some people would just rather take the IHS completely off, but I think lapping it strikes a fair balance of risk vs. reward, whereas taking the IHS completely off can make it a lot easier to scratch, chip, crush, or otherwise obliterate your CPU's core.

Reasoning Behind the Mod:
Pretty simple: Smooth Heatsink + Smooth IHS = Two surfaces that mate so closely that very little thermal paste is needed, which means better heat transferance and lower temps.

Preparation/Information:
Temperature Decrease:
1-2°C (That is a complete guess)
Pros:
Helps the Big Typhoon and Heatsink fit wonderfully
Bragging Rights
Cons:
Voids warranty (incase it isn't blatantly obvious)
Removes information printed on the IHS
Probably weakens the IHS somewhat
Supplies/Cost/Where to Buy:
See the previous lapping section if you don't already have the needed supplies.

Before doing anything, take high quality pictures of your CPU's IHS or take note of the information on it because you'll be sanding most or all of that off.

You're pretty much doing the exact same thing described in the lapping mod above, except with this one I recommend starting with 400 grit sandpaper. I just held my CPU by the corners and went in controlled circles.

Don't touch the pins when you sand or you risk bending them and/or breaking them off.

After I'd gotten the IHS smooth, I used 600 grit using linear (straight-line) motion. That way, I knew when I had sanded away the grooves made by the 400 grit because there would only be straight gashes. From then on I used microfiber pads as before to polish it up a bit.

It actually didn't look that smooth from the appearance of the metal but I assure you, it was quite smooth. Here's another montage showing how even IHSs are concave:



The following three pictures show how spread out such a small amount of Arctic Silver Ceramique becomes when pressed between the two lapped surfaces. I used this much thermal paste:



The reason the paste isn't round in the next picture is because it was stuck onto the heatsink incredibly incredibly hard. I was actually pretty afraid I'd damage it in the process (I had reason to beleive it was damaged before I did any of this though, and it was. It's since been replaced by an Opteron 148, which I lapped similarly).



...aaaaaand... the heatsink. The dot on there was plenty large enough to cover the entire core area of the IHS:



...and here my behbehs ( <- my corrupt Conan-O'Brien-pronunciation of "babies") ... is one of my favorite parts of my FAQ. It is a video showing that the heatsink and IHS are so smooth, that when placed together, they form a suction and the heatsink can actually lift the CPU off of the table. No tricks, no h4x, nothing fishy... I show myself wiping them both with a microfiber rag to prove there's no adhesive on either one, and my initial failure shows you that it's not any sort of magnetic gimmick. In fact, I was so surprised the first time that I did think I had somehow magnetized the metals. To test my theory I turned the LCD panel I sanded on (which is plastic, not metal) upside down and I could reproduce the same effect! It's legit boys! (Warning: Don't try this at home!)


...now you know why it felt like superglue was holding the heatsink and cpu together when I tried to pull them apart with thermal paste inbetween them.




Y'know how when you stick a NOS sticker on the side of a Honda it automatically gives the car 20 more horsepower? This mod is kind of like that. I'm being a little modest with my estimate, but basically, swapping this connector will get you down into phase territory. Plus, it glows. How sweet is that?

Reasoning Behind the Mod:
Basically, by swapping the ugly whitish connector with a UV-reactive blue one, temps drop 50°C. There's a lot of hardcore pwnage physics involved, but uh... You don't need to know them because if I told you, then... ...stuff would happen. Bad stuff. Really ba.... Uh... on to the next section.

Preparation/Information:
Temperature Decrease:
50°C
Pros:
Cheap Mod
It's Sexy because it's UV Responsive
Bragging Rights
Cons:
None
Supplies/Cost:
Blue UV Fan Connector - 49¢ (I recommend buying about 15-30 of them to save on shipping costs)
Where to Buy:
http://www.xoxide.com/3pinfeuvco.html

Execution:
If you've never swapped connectors before then don't sweat it. Even Billy-Bob could do this one... Maybe. Just get a small screwdriver, stick it into the little slots on the fan connector, and swap it out.

Here's a picture if you don't know what I mean:



I'd have sleeved it with blue UV tubing as well, but I'd already used mine up on the rest of my case, and I didn't want to buy more just for 10cm of tubing. If you take the wires out of the connector then accidentally mix them up, just use picture 1 as color-guide:



...and now... I'd like to present one more video that shows off the mods, the silence of the Big Typhoon, the final idle temperature (Of the now-broken 3700), and a little somethin' somethin' at the end. To clarify, the 3700 was not broken by anything I did here. It was broken the whole time, but since I was in the midst of troubleshooting while I wrote this guide, I did not yet know that. Enjoy:




Here are the temps of my Opteron 148 (Overclocked from 2.2Ghz to 2.75Ghz at 1.475v) after lapping the heatsink and IHS, doing ramsink and styrofoam mods, replacing the stock fan with an FM121 and shnazzing it up with the blue UV connector:

Ambient Temperature: 19.1°C (I used the digital thermometer that you see in video #2 near the intake fans of my case)
Idle Temperature: 27-28°C (speedfan)
Load Temperature: 37-38°C (speedfan with F@H running for 20 minutes)

I sure hope you've enjoyed reading this guide because I enjoyed writing it! I think that for every minute someone spends reading my guides, I've spent over an hour writing it (give or take). So in other words, you won't get any sympathy from me if you complain about its length. It's long because it's detailed. It took me approximately 45-50 hours to get it all together (that doesn't count the time I actually spent DOING the mods and taking the pictures). When it's all said and done, though, I enjoy doing the mods and helping you guys out so mod away! Godspeed with all of your modding efforts.


(It was not easy writing/sketching all of that upside down and backward . Da Vinci style baby!)

This has been another Monster FAQ by:



Special Thanks:
God - for sending his son to die for me, and for blessing me with the abilities and resources to be able to do things like this.
My Father - for allowing my to use his laptop, Photoshop 7 and tools while my computer was broken.
My Sister - for letting me use her computer to write much of this guide while dad was out of town
My Mother - for feeding me
Admin and Overclock.net as a whole - for equipping me with the knowledge to do things like this.
Donna Chang of DFI's RMA Department - for replacing my motherboard free of charge. (which helped me provide you with the real-world temps)
That Stupid Thunderstorm - for breaking my computer and causing me to disassemble everything, which eventually led me to swap from phase to air. If that unfortunate incident had not happened, this guide would not exist.
Credits:
HardwaterH4cker - For the Ramsink Mod Concept
TheEddie - For giving us some real-world numbers on the styrofoam mod
David James of DFIStreet.com - For the foam mod concept
Captain Planet Picture - http://www.toonarific.com/clipart/da...capplan001.gif
All photographs taken with the Canon Powershot S2 IS
All images edited with Photoshop 7.0
All animated GIFs created with Easy GIF Animator 3 Demo
All text written in Notepad (<-pwnage hardcore)
Title Image font used is Berlin Sans FB Demi Bold (Sharp style within Photoshop)
Animated GIF Image font used is Maiandra GD Bold (Sharp style within Photoshop)
Song Clip in Video #1 from Passage D by The Flashbulb
Song Clips in Video #2 from Headlock by Imogen Heap
Murphy's Law
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Murphy's Law
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post #3 of 116
Holy effin therough well done!
    
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post #4 of 116
Wow this is amaing! Nice Work!!!!
I <3 480's
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I <3 480's
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post #5 of 116
Wow! Rep+!
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post #6 of 116
Extremely in-depth guide with many pictures and good instructions A+
I don't even have a big typhoon
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Wow!
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post #8 of 116
thats a very good guide, just one little thing

lapping is making it flat, polishing is what puts the shine on it

over all a great guide for those air cooler guys
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post #9 of 116
You should use a grid pattern with permanent marker to make sure you sanding level. Also, use something like grid paper to make sure the surface is even.
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post #10 of 116
The Silverstone Fan at NCIX.com costs 31 CAD express shipping (Cheapest).
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