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Big Typhoon cooling R9 270X mod (hack n slash warning!)

post #1 of 3
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So now that the summer is here and the PC room is getting hot, like 32c hot, i thought that removing the the stock double fans and replacing them with two bigger AC F9 PWM ones might do the trick and lower the maximum temps of 78c i was getting to something a big more to my liking



That didn't do much, so i said to go radical and just use one of he smaller (non-PC related) heatsinks that i might be able to fit in my case



But then it was obvious that i would need A LOT of chopping on the Case, so much so that it would be quite ugly... Also these heatsinks have very thick and too little fins compared to the PC ones and the fans that would be needed would make A LOT of noise, so i thought to find a suitable CPU heatsink to install instead. After some searching i saw that most big heatsinks would have to come out of the box because the were all too high to fit, and also the fan direction would be kinda weird: either front to back with half the heatsink coming out of the bottom of the box, or side to side also with the same length problem. But my good old Thermaltake Big Typhoon that i had on my CPU was almost perfect to fit there, if i could just bend the heatpipes a bit and offset the main body with the fins and the fan from the contacting plate



So i took everything apart, got the tools out and sure enough the cooper heatpipes was a breeze to bend: just put the CPU contacting plate on a vice and gently push until you have it were you want it! As a matter a fact, i also stretched it a tiny bit to add some length to ithe whole thing, because even though i was going to use a thick-as-hell 4mm Aluminium plate for 'backplate' to keep the PCB from bending, i still didn't like all that weight on the PCI-E connector and the two little screws that mount the card, i wanted to make it support at least some of that weight by toughing to the bottom of the box.
The "adapter" plate to keep the heatsink onto the GPU was very easy to make, just a square piece of the same 4mm unbendable (by those little M3 screws) plate again with some cuts into it so the heatpipes can do through. The heatsink base plate also needed the little alignment fins on the top of it taken out so the adapter could sit flat, and a bit of grinding in the corners to fit between the 4 corner screws. In fact i mounted the heatsink a bit rotated in relation the square that the 4 mounting holes make, because i didn't want to remove too much of that cooper heatsink plate (and it's still big enough to cover the 40x40mm core and 'surroundings')



Then it was time to cool the rest of the big semiconductors on that board: i could replace the black little heatsink that cools half the memory chips with a bigger one, but i know from experience that some of those are glued so much that its a pain in the @ss to remove, and there is a risk to damage things as well, so i left that one alone. For the other 4 chips i used a small piece i cut of the heatsink of an old inverter, and i glued it to the chips. I took the risk and used thermal glue, because i read that the two-sided taped ones that you can buy can drop off, and a piece of metal (=conductive) dropping onto a PCB sounds like a VERY bad idea IMHO.
I also cut and glued on some tiny pieces (MOSFETs package is 5x6mm) of an old Northbridge 7mm high heatsink to the 5 power MOSFETS that were on that end of the PCB



Next was the time of the 5 more power MOSFETS (VRM ones) at the other side of the PCB, and those small heatsinks needed more fiddling about, because the MOSFETs are in a line and between them there are some higher sitting SMDs... But nothing a bit of grinding can't fix, and then for good measure i also glued a piece of that 7mm heatsink on the power inductors as well ( i had to drill holes in those because of some higher sitting caps too)




Then all that was left is to cut the case on the bottom, and the heatsink could exhaust all that hot air OUT of the box finally!
This is a big issue i have with the majority of the latest cards: were did the 'exhaust hot air in the back' topology go? Its so bad to draw and dump the same air around the box, my previous GTX275 might have sounded like a airplane taking of, but it dumped the hot air out of the box were it belongs!



Fortunately my measurements were good enough that i didn't need any grinding to fit the card in the box, it just slided right in smile.gif





And that is most of the heavy work done, a PCB connector to standard 4pin fan connector had to be maid, some soft foam on the bottom of the box to hold some of that heatsinks weight and also to seal the hole better, some studs changed to screws and some of that stuff, but it was all done.
I also tested a small 60cm fan blowing on the back side heatsinks (VRMs) but then even without the fan and after 20min of running Heaven bench the heatsinks were barely warm to the touch, so no need for that (stock at least).
I tried a 65cfm and then a 74cfm AC F12 PWM fan that seems to work well, and temps in Heaven test after 20mins were 61c with 31.2 room temp, and i only got to 59c after some Dirt Rally gameplay.

So that was a successful endeavor and also a subtle one since the case seems the same, besides sitting on two book currently to give the hot air some room to evacuate. No one will ever know that i gutted my sweet little 10yo machine smile.gif
*final PC case picture not included due to the condition of the rest of the surroundings...

Edit: I forgot to mention that after much reading about it, i was not sure if the heatsink was going to work as good as it should in that orientation, and i was mentally preparing for the event that the box would have to be laid on its side... But there was no issue at all, in the very first tests, after 15mins of Heaven flat on its side max GPU was 58c and after another 15min of Heaven in the normal case position max temp was 59c, so minimal difference at most (and these tests were a week ago and since then the temps are just fine and lower than ever).
Edited by JohnnyG01 - 7/25/16 at 6:09am
Thy Old Lady
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Xeon X5460 Asus P5Q3 (P45/ICH10R) Sapphire R9 270X Dual-X 2GB OC Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB Kit 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingCooling
Kingston SSDNow 40GB Westrn Digital WD20PURX Purple 2TB Thermaltake Big Typhoon (GPU) Raijintek Themis (CPU) 
OSMonitorPowerCase
Windows 7 Ultimate x64 LG Flatron IPS235 Corsair TX750W Coolermaser Elite 332 
Other
Cat 
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Thy Old Lady
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Xeon X5460 Asus P5Q3 (P45/ICH10R) Sapphire R9 270X Dual-X 2GB OC Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB Kit 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingCooling
Kingston SSDNow 40GB Westrn Digital WD20PURX Purple 2TB Thermaltake Big Typhoon (GPU) Raijintek Themis (CPU) 
OSMonitorPowerCase
Windows 7 Ultimate x64 LG Flatron IPS235 Corsair TX750W Coolermaser Elite 332 
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Cat 
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post #2 of 3
It used to be that heat pipes had to be vertical, but long ago the began filling them with materials the provide capillary action to move the coolant to the heat source (instead of gravity).

Very nice work there, you have skills!
My System
(15 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
FX6300 Black M5A99X EVO R2.0 Nvidia GTS450 Team Vulcan PC3 12800 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Samsung 840 PRO Asus DRW-1608P (x2) Custom Water Cooling Win7 (Ult), Win 8.1 & Win Server 2012 R2 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
2 X Samsung 915N Ducky Shine III, Blue Cherry/Blue LEDs PCP&C 1kw Lian Li PC-71 (W/Window) 
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My System
(15 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
FX6300 Black M5A99X EVO R2.0 Nvidia GTS450 Team Vulcan PC3 12800 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Samsung 840 PRO Asus DRW-1608P (x2) Custom Water Cooling Win7 (Ult), Win 8.1 & Win Server 2012 R2 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
2 X Samsung 915N Ducky Shine III, Blue Cherry/Blue LEDs PCP&C 1kw Lian Li PC-71 (W/Window) 
MouseAudio
Logiteck G400s none 
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post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by billbartuska View Post

It used to be that heat pipes had to be vertical, but long ago the began filling them with materials the provide capillary action to move the coolant to the heat source (instead of gravity).

Very nice work there, you have skills!

Thanks for the compliment sir.

I read as much as i could from all the various data i found out there, and truth is that most in the OC community told that there is no problem in any orientation, but those curves i saw in the pdf i linked showed a decline in heat transferring capacity on almost all types of wicks, so i was a bit leaning on the idea that i would lost at least some performance if i left the case the right way up. Also my heatsink is an old one, so i didn't know what to expect, lucky me all if fine with that issue!

As for the mod it could be nicer if i had access to machines, cnc or not, but i don't so all the cuts and grinds and stuff are ruff and all, but at least it was easy enough that it can be done using only home-grade (?) power tools and not lathes and things like that biggrin.gif
Thy Old Lady
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Xeon X5460 Asus P5Q3 (P45/ICH10R) Sapphire R9 270X Dual-X 2GB OC Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB Kit 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingCooling
Kingston SSDNow 40GB Westrn Digital WD20PURX Purple 2TB Thermaltake Big Typhoon (GPU) Raijintek Themis (CPU) 
OSMonitorPowerCase
Windows 7 Ultimate x64 LG Flatron IPS235 Corsair TX750W Coolermaser Elite 332 
Other
Cat 
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Thy Old Lady
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Xeon X5460 Asus P5Q3 (P45/ICH10R) Sapphire R9 270X Dual-X 2GB OC Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB Kit 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingCooling
Kingston SSDNow 40GB Westrn Digital WD20PURX Purple 2TB Thermaltake Big Typhoon (GPU) Raijintek Themis (CPU) 
OSMonitorPowerCase
Windows 7 Ultimate x64 LG Flatron IPS235 Corsair TX750W Coolermaser Elite 332 
Other
Cat 
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