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Originally Posted by Ashdown View Post
I took the stock cooler off my Asus GTX 480 so I could fit an Arctic Cooling AXP just the other day.

It was really easy;

1. Unscrew all the screws on the back of card using a small Phillips screwdriver. There were two that were hidden below a strip of foam on mine which you have to rip (I assume it's there for warranty voiding purposes).
2. Press all the tabs in around the side of the card which will remove to the top of the cooler.
3. Pull the heatsink off the chip (a little force is required here).
4. Pull the base of the cooler off, making sure you disconnect the fan (again a little force is required).

That's the 480, but I assume it's pretty much the same for all 400 series cards that are fitted with stock coolers.
Thanks, I ended up finally putting waterblocks on my GTX480's last night (yes I bought 480's lol...)

It was much easier than I thought - but I see how people can strip screws easily now. When I first started I was not applying enough downward force while unscrewing and could feel the screw slowly stripping. After I then used the base of my palm to press directly down on the screwdriver as I unscrewed them and they came out without much of any issue. Patience is the keyword apparently - as rushing it at any point can cause a problem - including slipped screwdriver which happened to me once but I was lucky enough not to damage the PCB.

The reference EVGA cooler wasn't as difficult to take off as I thought and the MSI Twin Frozr II cooler was even easier than that was! Overall maybe I got lucky because the screws didn't seem to have too much lock-tite on them.

The hardest part about mounting the waterblocks was making the decision to remove the foam strip on the backside of the cards lol.
    
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5 3570K Gigabyte GA-77X-UD5H IGP Intel HD4000 G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
512gb Crucial M4 & 2x750GB WD Blacks in Raid 0 Lite-On iHAS424-98 Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit Acer G24 24" 2ms@1920x1200 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
USB Keyboard SILVERSTONE ST1000-P 1000W Case Labs MH10 #1 Logitech Wireless 
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