Originally Posted by Robilar
Here are some pics of my aftermarket cooling and the space limitations of a sound card in the middle slot with SLI.
This thread has been extremely helpful and inspiring. Through reading much of the information given here, I finally felt confident enough to achieve some of the overclocking Iâ€™ve been wanted to. After reading a few pages here, I immediately ordered a pair of those coolers and 4gb of Corsair Dominator PC2 8500
. I feel obligated to give back to the thread by sharing some of my feats with the cooling uprades Iâ€™ve done to my P5N32-E SLI PLUS
I also used a pair of Thermaltake CL-C0034 Extreme Spirit II
North Bridge (northbridge) and South Bridge (southbridge) fan and heatsinks. However, I attached them to the existing stock heat pipe cooling system on my P5N32-E SLI PLUS motherboard by removing the cooling fins over the north bridge and the Ai Lifestyle shield over the south bridge so the stock heat pipe system can still work as a team with the upgraded system I created.
I will also show how a Creative X-Fi or Audigy2 zs card can still fit next to the Thermaltake Extreme Spirit II south bridge cooler and with two GTX 260
cards in SLI 2-way. Even though I opted not to do this as I am fully satisfied with the stock AMR card that came with my P5N32-E SLI PLUS, I still wanted to see if it could be done. Yes there will be pictures.
After removing the stock copper heat pipe cooling system with a pair of small needle nosed pliers pushing the plastic retainer pins back through and out, I cleaned off the old and dried up thermal compound I found on the underside of the stock cooling blocks, cleaned the surfaces and applied Arctic Silver 5
(See Image 1
) on the necessary surfaces. Starting with the South Bridge, I removed the â€œAi Lifestyleâ€ Shield(See Image 2
) from the stock heat pipe block. Then using some longer bolts I purchased matching the thread size of the hardware supplied with the Extreme Spirit II coolers, I reattached the stock south bridge heatpipe cooler. Notice the clearance available over the stock block here(See Image 3
â€“ Image 4
Now before I installed the Extreme Spirit II I went ahead and trimmed the fins on one side using a small carbide tipped circular saw blade(See Image 5
). Here is a close up of the trimmed fins(See Image 6
). With the corner edges of those fins shaved off, I was able to mount the Extreme Spirit II at a slight angle allowing for airflow in the direction I desired. These next two pictures show how the Extreme Spirit II fits along side a GTX 260 above(See Image 7
) and below(See Image 8
) it. I also fancied a small heat shield out of an aluminum can(See Image 9
) that I will use to protect the 2nd GTX 260 I intend to purchase in the near future. I donâ€™t know if it will help protect that bottom GTX 260 from the heat generated by the south bridge chip or not, but I know it wonâ€™t hurt. That is the whole reason I trimmed the corners and mounted at an angle in the 1st place, because I didnâ€™t want it to blast hot air directly on the back of the bottom GTX 260 core. Mounting the Extreme Spirit II on the south bridge was challenging, but with a stubborn diligence to make it work, I was able to make a custom bracket out of an old expansion slot shield(See Image 10
) with a pair of 8 Inch needle nosed pliers, a vice grip, some tin snips, a cordless drill and a black Sharpie. The upper end of the bracket needed to be bent down so the securing nut would still clearance the back of the upper GTX 260. Have another look here(See Image 11
). And of course hereâ€™s an up close look at how the south bridge Extreme Spirit II upgrade turned out(See Image 12
Mentioned briefly in the very beginning of this thread was information stating that the Extreme Spirit II on the south bridge will interfere with a Creative X-Fi or Audigy2 zs card in the coinciding PCI slot. This is not so. It will absolutely work if you mount the fan on the other side of the heatsink(See Image 13
). This may not have been so with the 8800GTXs, but there is a bit more room available using GTX 260s as the fan section is inset quite differently. The Extreme Spirit II would need to be lowered down approximately 3/16th inches towards the bottom of the board. However, this will not effect the efficiency of the Extreme Spirit II as itâ€™s heat pipe cooling block will completely cover your south bridge chip at this lower mounting point and with the fully adjustable install kit, this was easily achieved. I took special care in lining everything up so I could verify this satisfying my curiosity. Furthermore, I wanted to point out that if desired, one could easily upgrade the 40mm X 40mm X 10mm fan included with the Extreme Spirit II with any 40mm X 40mm X 20mm fan, either by mounting it on the opposite side of the heatsink(See Image 14
), or by predrilling a new hole to relocate the screw(See Image 15
Okay with the south bridge upgrade complete, Iâ€™ll move on to the easy part being that the north bridge doesnâ€™t have any clearance issued to worry about. My plan was to have the fan blow the air through the heatsink in the same direction as my Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro all to be sucked out the rear of my case with my rear exhaust fan. I removed the stock north bridge copper heat pipe cooling system the same way I did with the south bridge saving the black plastic clips for who knows what. Then I secured it with screws to the side of my project countertop flush to the top allowing me to make a clean flat and straight cut removing the stock fins from the block(See Image 16
). After sticking some very fine grit sand paper to a long sanding block, I cleaned up any imperfections the saw made making sure to create a very flat surface to mount the Extreme Spirit II cooler to(See Image 17
). Here is a close up of how the north bridge Extreme Spirit II upgrade turned out(See Image 18
). Iâ€™m super happy with how everything turned out. Here, you can see how I was able to retain the stock mosfet cooling(See Image 19
). After upgrading my CPU cooler, I was unable to use the top ASUS cooling fan, so I ordered a couple of 30mm case fans
that screwed perfectly into the top mosfet cooling heatsink.
Here are some pictures of the finished product. (Image 20
â€“ Image 21
â€“ Image 22
â€“ Image 23
) And here is a final look at the P5N32-E SLI PLUS with the dual Thermaltake Extreme Spirit II coolers mounted back in the case. (Image 24
â€“ Image 25
â€“ Image 26
â€“ Image 27
Please donâ€™t make fun of my thermal paste mess under these two Extreme Spirit II coolers. I lost the Arctic Silver 5 after reinstalling the stock heatpipe system. I was forced to use the included ceramic thermal paste between the Extreme Spirit II blocks and the stock blocks and did not expect it to act the way it did. Lesson learned. However, at the end of my addition to this thread, you will be able to see the outstanding results Iâ€™ve had using this cooling system. I am thoroughly impressed with the included ceramic thermal paste.
Furthermore, after studying many of the new products out for now by ASUS, I can see how this very same approach Iâ€™ve taken can be implemented into upgrading the stock heatpipe cooling systems on nearly all of their products; including the P5Q, P5K, P5E and even the P5N series motherboards. I havenâ€™t been lucky enough to see up close and personal their very high end boards, but from the pictures Iâ€™ve seen at newegg, it looks as though this very same Extreme Spirit II can be used with only slight modifications to those as well.
Keep in mind that this type of modification will obviously void the warrantee, but to me itâ€™s more than worth it.
Tools used: Screw Drivers â€“ Two sizes of Needle Nosed Pliers â€“ Vice Grip Pliers â€“ Razor Blade/Utility Knife â€“ Palm Sander â€“ Fine Sand Paper â€“ Large Sanding Block â€“ Circular Saw with Carbide Tipped Blade â€“ Cordless Drill â€“ 1/8â€ Drill Bit â€“ Tin Snips â€“ Steady Hands
Have a friend help hold a circular saw steady for you if you donâ€™t feel comfortable doing it on your own. Youâ€™ll need all your fingers to get those frags. A good carbide tip blade is all you need and the more teeth, the better. I used to install Sun Rooms/Solariums made out of aluminum, so I am quite accustomed to working with metal. I knew Copper was very similar to Aluminum as far as cutting goes, so I went for it.
And here are my results(See Image 28
). As you can see, I like to keep my other monitor on so I can keep an eye on the system. I remember with my previous 7950s that SLI mode will disable the other monitor while gaming though. Iâ€™ll have to use the annoying alarms then; not that I need them anymore. With the help of Robilar and the rest of this thread, I was able to get my FSB to 410(1640). I did lower my multiplier to 8 until I get my E8500 next week I picked up from mwave.com for $186 + Free Shipping
. Otherwise, at a 9 multiplier with my E6600, I maxed out the FSB at 378(1512) and the CPU at 3402MHz. I canâ€™t wait to play with my new CPU! As far as my cooling results goes, depending on what the ambient room temperature is, wherever the motherboard temperature idles at, which is usually 28C to 31C, is right where it will stay, whether Iâ€™m sitting on the internet, or playing Crysis for 10 hours straight. It doesnâ€™t budge more than a single degree. Now those are some impressive results!