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First a little background. My 7970 runs in an open frame case, and even though it is a great clocker I kept it at 1125/1550 for 24/7 use since it runs hot. 84-85c in an open case at those speeds even with only 1.18v, and the stock cooler is terribly loud @ 100%. Hair dryer near your head loud.
I reseated the stock cooler with some TIM I had lying around and it dropped 6c, but 79c was still too hot and loud for me. I researched some coolers, but I had two requirements...best cooling performance I could get, but at decent noise levels since my GPU runs at 100% 24/7. I couldn't run a waterblock and add it to my loop, since I run a TEC waterblock setup and even with 3x120 and 2x140mm rad in series my water temps still are 5-6c over ambient at idle. Adding a GPU that runs 100% all the time will dump more heat into my loop, and I don't want that. I couldn't add a second loop, because my case has NO room at all for it. Two big radiators, pump, dual bay res, TEC Controller, two non-modular PSU's, long GPU (sometimes two), and lots of 1/2" tubing...no way could I get a second pump, res, and rad in there.
I researched some air coolers, and planned to mod a CPU cooler on my GPU like I did back in ~2004. That way I could run a single low RPM fan and get some nice temps, and while looking around at coolers I stumbled upon "The Mod". I ordered a Custom bracket from DWood right before he stopped taking orders, and in the mean time I purchased an H70 from Ebay, some tiny zip-ties from the local hardware store, and a shim from EK. I dremeled off the blower portion of the stock cooler to keep the hot VRMs cool and made my own temporary shroud. Lapped the H70, and stuck it on using some old left over Arctic Ceramique (V1, not even the improved V2). Used some scrap metal I had lying around to mount the rad to the horizontal bar on my case, and fired it up. This got me ~61c after the TIM cured. Huge improvement from 85c.
Next post, some RAM sinks and the TripT bracket...