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No reference 460 Coolers? Then time to make my own!

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
My Gigabyte 768 Mb has always ran hot, so I decided to replace the TIM to see if that could fix it's thermal woes. Taking apart the cooler quickly showed me that this card is the victim of a bad cooler design design: the rad is less than 1cm thick in many places and the base of the cooler is as rough as an emery board.

So I looked into aftermarket options for the Gigabyte 460... there's nothing out there aside from a gargantuan Arctic "Super-Mega-Extreme cooler thingy" that no one seems to carry. And water cooling just isn't an option my budget will handle.

So I did what any OCN'er with a box full of old heatsinks would do: Decide to build a monster Frankenstein cooler from coolers pulled from dead systems.



I started with a big old stock AMD Clawhammer cooler as the main block as little else was big enough or thick enough to mount to the GTX 460 with it's odd-ball rectangular mounting layout.





Several other heatsinks will be attached to the main one with Arctic ceramic thermal adhesive and look something like this when completed:






Here's a semi-lapped Clawhammer cooler getting marked out for drilling:



I didn't trust threading the 4-40 screws holding the sink on into the aluminum heatsink itself, so instead I opted to install steel nuts into the sink for a more secure hold. That meant using a bigger bit:



And here's where I am at so far, the mounting system works very well if a bit ugly and I have put a little epoxy on the nuts to make for easy re-installation after I attach the rest of the heatsinks to the core sink.



I'm just waiting for epoxy to cure before putting the rest together, updates and thermal tests to come tomorrow!
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post #2 of 8
Nifty
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post #3 of 8
i really want to see what it looks like fully finished and the temps.
post #4 of 8
I'm surprised your stock cooler was that bad....are you sure the card was ok?
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post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by railfan844 View Post
I'm surprised your stock cooler was that bad....are you sure the card was ok?
The card on it's own is cool enough to get by, but this cards issues really come into play as it is in a SLI setup in a mATX system. I popped a reference cooler off the MSI this card is paired with and no temperature issues.

So the card's fine but the cooler sucks.
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post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Photograph View Post
The card on it's own is cool enough to get by, but this cards issues really come into play as it is in a SLI setup in a mATX system. I popped a reference cooler off the MSI this card is paired with and no temperature issues.

So the card's fine but the cooler sucks.
And how exactly are you going to fit this in a mATX SLI setup?
I'd be very surprised this can keep the 460 at acceptable temps.
Mine does not ever hit over 60 during games, and i'm running SLI too.
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deluxe View Post
And how exactly are you going to fit this in a mATX SLI setup?
I'd be very surprised this can keep the 460 at acceptable temps.
Mine does not ever hit over 60 during games, and i'm running SLI too.
You're on a full sized ATX board so you have a whole empty slot worth of space between the cards when installed:

Your board:


I don't have any space when two cards are installed so the inside card has very limited airflow:

My little board:


As for temps, I am testing the cards right now and will post results shortly
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post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hey everybody, I finished the cooler mod and it just fits when the case is closed but is running cool enough for everyday use. The cooler weighs more than my Ven-X and is super fugly but under load I now top out at 48° C in Furmark on the modded card. The inside card is still toasty hitting 82° under full load in Furmark. I can live with that, as it's still nearly 20° cooler than the last time I tried SLI-ing the 460's in this machine.

So here's the finished product in all it's functional fuglyness:







I even heatsinked the vrm's on the back of the board:





And here it is installed, as you can see it's a very tight fit:







Woo hoo, the case still closes!



Thanks for looking!
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