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7950 GT- Zalman VF700 - and Artic Silver?????

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I've got an eVGA 7950 GT 512 MB graphics card.

For a fun day, I decided to randomly splurge $30 at radioshack to buy a Zalman VF700. That's the best they had, they didn't have the better model VF900, and it's more of a "fun to mod!!" thing than it is about getting the best deal, best cooling, etc. etc.

But out of curiosity, compared to the VF900, how's the VF700?
Really all I want to do is two things..

1) Stop the occassional random freezing/crashes I get, which is caused by the GPU overheating. Obviously my stock cooler is a piece of CRAP. An after-market GPU cooler will definitely fix it, as my case already has great airflow.
2) Have fun installing something on my computer.

A bonus would be to overclock my GPU. Right now at stock, I can't go higher than 550MHz/1.4Ghz to 555/1.5Ghz. I can overclock my memory to 1.6-1.7GHz without any problem, but anything past 555MHz core and my GPU says "NO MORE!!!!!!!!!!" No artifacts at all either, just random shut downs and 2-8 second freezes at 560, and it REFUSES to test out past that.
So basically I can't overclock it..... The core already freaks out on occassion at the regular default 550Mhz.



Here's where the Artic Silver Compound comes in. My sister's Nvidia 6800, after 2 years, has the universal problem of the thermal compound dissolving, causing it to overheat to 120+++ celsius underclocked and 180'C normal. I bought some Artic Silver compound at radio shack (which is WHY I went there in the first place) and that's when I bought the VF700.

Since I am going to be taking off my stock cooler on the 7950 GT and added on the VF700, should I go ahead and remove the thermal compound and apply a fresh batch of Artic Silver while I'm at it? My card is brand new, less than 6 months old, and I do not want to go through the trouble of re-applying a compound if it is not necessary.


Thank you for reading, this was fun writing! I love this community!

-RonnyRulz
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post #2 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by RonnyRulz View Post
Since I am going to be taking off my stock cooler on the 7950 GT and added on the VF700, should I go ahead and remove the thermal compound and apply a fresh batch of Artic Silver while I'm at it? My card is brand new, less than 6 months old, and I do not want to go through the trouble of re-applying a compound if it is not necessary.


Thank you for reading, this was fun writing! I love this community!

-RonnyRulz
Definitely clean the GPU and reapply compound ...
    
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post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by s1rrah View Post
Definitely clean the GPU and reapply compound ...
I've never cleaned a GPU before. Is there a specific type of alcohol you have to use? If anyone has a link to a guide, I'd be very grateful!

Oh yes, and thank you very much!
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post #4 of 10
I have experience with the 7950GT card (except mine's BFG, not eVGA), and here's the changes (with AS5 and VF900):

Stock everything:
57C idle, 85C load
565/715 core/mem

Overclocked, w/ VF900:
41C idle, 55C load
615/800 core/mem

I'd say you'll definitely see a drastic improvement with the VF700, though not quite as large as the VF900

Edit: It's the same 70% or better isopropyl you use to clean the cpu when applying fresh paste there.
R'lyeh
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post #5 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by RonnyRulz View Post
I've never cleaned a GPU before. Is there a specific type of alcohol you have to use? If anyone has a link to a guide, I'd be very grateful!

Oh yes, and thank you very much!
Just use rubbing alcohol on a paper towel. Gently clean the GPU until all the paste is off. Try not to touch the GPU with your bare skin/finger to avoid getting oils on the surface.

Clean your coolers surface similarly, even though it's brand new and has no visible compound on it.

Because GPU surfaces are much smaller than CPU surfaces and generally can't be lapped, I like to spread the AS5 with a plastic spreader of some kind, just a *very* very thin layer. Personally, I found an old credit card and cut a long strip off of it ... then used the small flat end to spread the compound.

When working with perfectly flat CPU surfaces, I use a small BB sized dot and just let the pressure from the mount spread it, but with GPU's, like I mentioned, you just can't be sure of perfectly flat surfaces on either the cooler surface or the GPU surface and so I go ahead and spread it.

Again, place only enough AS5 on the GPU that is necessary to spread it to cover the whole surface; it doesn't take much. Remember, AS5 is conductive, so you don't want any being squeezed out the sides where it might contact things it shouldn't.

Have fun,

    
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6700K @ 4.7ghz Asus Sabertooth Z170 Mark 1 Seahawk X 1080 ti 16gb Corsair Dominator Platinum @ 3200mhz 
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Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
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post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by s1rrah View Post
Just use rubbing alcohol on a paper towel. Gently clean the GPU until all the paste is off. Try not to touch the GPU with your bare skin/finger to avoid getting oils on the surface.

Clean your coolers surface similarly, even though it's brand new and has no visible compound on it.

Because GPU surfaces are much smaller than CPU surfaces and generally can't be lapped, I like to spread the AS5 with a plastic spreader of some kind, just a *very* very thin layer. Personally, I found an old credit card and cut a long strip off of it ... then used the small flat end to spread the compound.

When working with perfectly flat CPU surfaces, I use a small BB sized dot and just let the pressure from the mount spread it, but with GPU's, like I mentioned, you just can't be sure of perfectly flat surfaces on either the cooler surface or the GPU surface and so I go ahead and spread it.

Again, place only enough AS5 on the GPU that is necessary to spread it to cover the whole surface; it doesn't take much. Remember, AS5 is conductive, so you don't want any being squeezed out the sides where it might contact things it shouldn't.

Have fun,

Thanks!
This will be fun!
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 Asus P5W-DH Deluxe 7950 GT 2GB Corsair XMS2 w/ Heat Spreader 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
300GB, 7200rpm Windows XP x64 46" 1080p HDTV Logitech G15 
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post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by afzsom View Post
I have experience with the 7950GT card (except mine's BFG, not eVGA), and here's the changes (with AS5 and VF900):

Stock everything:
57C idle, 85C load
565/715 core/mem

Overclocked, w/ VF900:
41C idle, 55C load
615/800 core/mem

I'd say you'll definitely see a drastic improvement with the VF700, though not quite as large as the VF900

Edit: It's the same 70% or better isopropyl you use to clean the cpu when applying fresh paste there.
Wow, 30C lower on load? That's great!
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 Asus P5W-DH Deluxe 7950 GT 2GB Corsair XMS2 w/ Heat Spreader 
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 Asus P5W-DH Deluxe 7950 GT 2GB Corsair XMS2 w/ Heat Spreader 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
300GB, 7200rpm Windows XP x64 46" 1080p HDTV Logitech G15 
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post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Do I put Artic Silver on the RAM modules too, or only the GPU???

When I removed the fan and heatsink from the card, the ram modules and the GPU (along with a tiny sliver of a chip just below the GPU, as if part of it) were all covered with a light grayish material (former failed thermal compound)
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 Asus P5W-DH Deluxe 7950 GT 2GB Corsair XMS2 w/ Heat Spreader 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
300GB, 7200rpm Windows XP x64 46" 1080p HDTV Logitech G15 
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post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by RonnyRulz View Post
Do I put Artic Silver on the RAM modules too, or only the GPU???

When I removed the fan and heatsink from the card, the ram modules and the GPU (along with a tiny sliver of a chip just below the GPU, as if part of it) were all covered with a light grayish material (former failed thermal compound)
Technically, to get the ramsinks to stick, you'd have to use some sort of thermal *adhesive* or epoxy ... but I wouldn't suggest that.

Don't the ramsinks come with adhesive stickers on them so that you can put them on the RAM chips? They should ... and no, you aren't supposed to use any other compound on the RAM chips.

Just clean the other off, it's most likely old compound or sticker goo ...
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
6700K @ 4.7ghz Asus Sabertooth Z170 Mark 1 Seahawk X 1080 ti 16gb Corsair Dominator Platinum @ 3200mhz 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
2TB Samsung Evo 950 LG Blu Ray / DVD  H115i Win 7 
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Acer XB270HU Logitech G710 EVGA 1000w Corsair 780T 
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Logitech G502 My girlfriends butt. Asus z170 onboard 
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
6700K @ 4.7ghz Asus Sabertooth Z170 Mark 1 Seahawk X 1080 ti 16gb Corsair Dominator Platinum @ 3200mhz 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
2TB Samsung Evo 950 LG Blu Ray / DVD  H115i Win 7 
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post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Yes, it has stickers for all of the modules. Ah yes, it's a different type of material than the GPU's grey stuck. You're right, it's just the sticky from the stickers.

Thanks!
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Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 Asus P5W-DH Deluxe 7950 GT 2GB Corsair XMS2 w/ Heat Spreader 
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My PC
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 Asus P5W-DH Deluxe 7950 GT 2GB Corsair XMS2 w/ Heat Spreader 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
300GB, 7200rpm Windows XP x64 46" 1080p HDTV Logitech G15 
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