asked if I could share a bit about the Phanteks blocks for the Strix 2080Ti O11G cards. I didnt take photos with the intention of writing a how to for installing these but will post what I did take mostly just to show the difference in the HUGE fail that is a Barrow block that literally took blood from me!
So here goes with what I have.
Phanteks has always made nice presentations of their products, this block is no different Solid firm packaging that not only protects the contents very well it also leaves an initial sense of gratification that you didnt buy in inferior product.
Upon opening the block is presented again a black background with stop fittings and a tube of TIM visible. I cant speak for their TIM, I didnt deploy it for this build and chose to stick with my go to Thermal Grizzly Krynonaut. Once the block is reomoved the cavity below holds the included screws, nylon washers, RGB cable and thermal pads. Speaking of thermal pads it was refreshing to see that they actually too the time to have everything already cut. I find that to be perhaps one of the most annoying parts of the process to take a few included thermal pads in a manufacturers packaging that have to be trimmed along both axis' to get a correct fit. These were simply peel and stick.
For starters its advised to do this on a padded mat and use a anti static grounded wrist strap. Removal of the OEM heatsink is pretty straight forward. Six screws visible through the back plate with 4 around the chip and two more just past the primary VRMS. Remove these six screws and put her on her back. With gentle pressure lift the heat sink and fan assembly off, there will be a little time pressure but it gives way suddenly so be prepared. Roll the entire assembly overended away from the PCIE mount. There you will see the Fan and RGB connectors have latches that are fairly easy to pinch and remove unlike the days of old where you had to be extremely careful or risk damaging the connectors that admittedly, I have done. Once these are disconnected you can lay that aside as you are finished with it and wont be needing it any longer. One tid bit of info the access to the screws around the die are large enough one can reach in and remove the screw with the tamper sticker with a pair of needle nose pliers leaving the sticker completely intact. Supposedly its not necessary in the US market as they made a change to the warranty policy for the US for whatever reason but I still kept it intact regardless. Removal of the support frame which is pretty beefy in the build is also straight forward, remove all the screws but be wary of those on the end going through the PCIE mounting bracket and into the frame, there are two of them that are not next to any output ports. Once the screws are out again with a gentle steady force pull up on the frame until the thermal pad tension gives way and you are holding the frame in your hand. Save all screws that went into the card as they are needed to reattach the OEM back plate. The two going through the PCIE mounting bracket wont be needed, I threaded mine into the support frame from which they came for safe keeping. You wont need to pull the back plate away and disconnect the eye logo RGB header. At this point you can put all the screws back to secure the back plate. For a video to see dissambly Steve at Gamers Nexus did a tear down.
Now that you have her naked time to get her ready for a new dress that will show off her figure and definitely make for a slimmer figure. I Wipe off the bulk TIM with a paper towel then follow behind with ArctiClean Thermal material remover and Qtips. Its a citrus based solvent that you will have no doubt once you get a whiff of it. Follow behind that with their step two surface purifier or my preference is 99$ Isopropyl Alcohol with Qtips first then just a wipe with a paper towel. I also dab a little on the paper towel to moisten it, not drench, and wipe all other points that will be receiving thermal pads to remove any residue....ie mosfets and chokes.
All the thermal pads are pre cut with very good instructions to their placements. Once of the better installation instructions Ive seen. Peel stiff side, place the pads. I like to do a test fit by completing by aligning the mounting holes setting the block and inserting all 6 screws new ones in kit with nylon washers) completing assembly then removing the block again to check impressions left in the thermal pads to ensure good contact and yes I also use cheap TIM as well to make sure that's seating well too, especially in blocks I havent worked with before. Once Im confident that a block is made as is should be I wont check again. In doing so i leave the top protective layer on the thermal pads until this check is done. Your choice. I can tell you that this block was well made and all thermal pads are the same thickness with no extra thick pads to account for poor design. My test fit was sheer perfection with every component leaving a very nice impression. If you did the test fit of course you will have to clean off the TIM again. Dont forget to remove the top thermal pad film for final fit and reinstall the block.
The RGB cable is not connected to the strip in the block. The strip is not held in by adhesive but fits snugly in its channel. I found it easier to pull the stip out a little to get the cable connected.
Thats it for the most part. There is a protective film over the acrylic front that I leave on until its actually going in the case so the photos don't show the normal shine because the film is still on.
One thing I did before bothering with the second block is make sure the Nvlink bridge fit as Barrow was a total fail at this. How can someone make a block and miss a major design point. For that POS block the G 1/4 terminal block was so far left it was physically impossbile to mount the bridge, even borrowed and tried a different one.
These blocks would actually look nice mounted vertically but until I can source a 2 slot Nvlink Bridge that cant happen.
I meant to write then add photos then write and photo etc but the new format prohibits that, unless Im just to stupid to figure it out.