I think, I should share my little experience with cooling down reference SAPPHIRE R9 290
I didn't like those high temperatures and noise
coming from the reference design, so I was thinking about proper solution.
And my choice?Arctic Accelero Xtreme IV
, plus I was going to solve VRM
temps by custom made aluminium heatsinks.
Anyway, I had to do a lot of measurments
before actually doing some cuts.
Also the plastic clips, which hold the big black heatsink at back of the card, had to be mounted at proper place (there is a possible collision of one plastic clip with chipset heatsink of my MSI Z87 Mpower SP
This was my rough drawing:
I cut both VRM heatsinks and 16 little memory heatsinks from these two aluminium blocks
One of them had to be modified because of collision with mounting bracket of Accelero:
Another was making a little contact with Accelero's heatpipe:
I mounted those memory heatsinks at card by 0,5mm thick Alphacool double-sided thermal adhesive pad
. Holds much better than Akasa's equivalent.
Sorry, I forgot to take more photos of VRM heatsinks
before I put them on card.
Hope this is enough:
For installation of VRM heatsinks I used 2 screws
to bolt them right through proper holes at card.
As thermal pad I used 2 layers of Phobya XT thermal pad 1mm
, giving me enough space to avoid any contact with card's components but VRM's.
For safety's sake I stuck Alphacool double-sided thermal adhesive pad
on dangerous places because of possible short circuit.
After I installed VRM heatsinks on card, found out last collision with graphics card holder, so I had to make last cut to smaller VRM heatsink:
After all this, I was finished with "front" side of the card.
So, I had to start dealing with Accelero and "back" of the card.
As thermal paste between Accelero and core I used GELID Solutions GC-Extreme Thermal Compound
The "back" of the card was a little tricky, I had to find "hot places"
(VRM's), then cut holes into protective film for thick blue thermal pads and place black foam above core and big black heatsink at proper position. And finally secure Accelero:
Almost 1,5 kg, oh boy.
Later I turned around the Accelero's plastic shroud with fans (the plastic with sign Arctic Acellero... is now close to PCI-E conector of motherboard) and then I removed all stickers from Accelero.
Btw., I must say, that removing card from PCI-E locking mechanism is a real pain. That big black heatsink is blocking locking mechanism at motherboard, so you have to unclick it with some long and thin wire or something.
It's shame, that I didn't do a proper temperature testing with reference cooling, but I saw temps like 85-90°C for core and 70-80°C for VRM's with ridiculous noise, so with this Accelero mod it's a big improvement and with a less noise.
After I was done with installation (april 2014), I did 5 min. FurMark
test with my old setup (4670k, other fans, CPU cooler,...). I think the ambient temp was 20°C.
Here is result:
Now, with my current rig, I've done this quick pass of Fire Strike
with my settings for everyday use
(all power savings, quiet fans,...). Air temp at intake area was 21°C:
And here is a quick pass of Fire Strike
with my overclock
settings (max. overclock, gpu has 200mV offset, 100% fans,...). Air temp at intake area was 21°C:
I noticed one thing, after couple of weeks, the temps of the core started rising slowly. When I checked card, 4 main screws
, which holds Accelero, was loosen
. I had to tighten them. Temps stabilized, but just to be sure, I added under the card a little support (flashlight FTW:D)
I'm really happy with the temps and quietness of my rig and I hope this "review" will be helpful to all, who are struggling with high temps or using 3rd party coolers.
Of course, any questions, observations and suggestions will be appreciated. Btw. I'm sorry for any grammar mistakes, English is not my native language.BIG EDIT:
So after some time, I decided to get rid off
that big backplate.
Don't get me wrong, temps were great, but I didn't like a few things.
It was painful to pull card from PCI-E conector, backplate just blocked it. Also the PCB was twisted and warped because of those plastic clips holding backplate on the card.
A little voice in my head just screamed for getting card's cooling to another level.
I found some M2 screws
and used them with reference mounting plate
to get proper pressure between core and accelero.
I used two aluminium profiles
, small piece of Fujipoly Ultra Extreme Thermal Pad
and black EK-FC R9-290X Backplate
For easier preparing work, I detached aluminium plate from reference cooler and used it as the basis for measurement.
Some electric and hand tools
multi grinder, cordless drill, circular sawbench, metal files, jaw vice, hack-saw,...
And what can I say, it just took a lot of work
to get everything done:
To install EK backplate, I drilled into heatsink M2 screw holes at proper places. M3 screws were used on remaining places.
Safety comes first, I covered small parts on PCB with Alphacool double-sided thermal adhesive pad
to avoid short curcuit.
There were used Phobya XT thermal pads
0,5mm thick on memory chips, on VRM2 same pads
1mm thick. On VRM1 I used Fujipoly Ultra Extreme Thermal Pad
1mm thick. Between accelero and core was used Gelid GC-Extreme Thermal Compound
Here's a quick test in GPU-Z and compared to same test I did right after I took off that big Accelero's backplate:Before: After:
The ambient temp was a little higher (+ 1,2°C) on second test. Only temp drop (-8°C) was for VRM1 strip, so I'm guessing Fujipoly is responsible for that (+ bigger heatsink of course).
Before taking off that big Accelero's backplate I did simple 30min test, so I did it also with new VRM heatsink (still without EK backplate) at same ambient temp:Before: After:
I think nice temp drop against that black Accelero's backplate.
But with newer VRM heatsink Furmark showed almost the same temps as with Accelero's backplate:Before: After:
However I am hoping for little lower temp after instalation of EK's backplate.
Right now I'm waiting for delivery of EK backplate to complete this mod, so I'm gonna make final update later. Update on EK's backplate:
Backplate arrived and I could finally get my hands on it.
I had to do some modifications around core's area because of the mounting plate from reference cooler.
Then I placed thermal pads on back of the card:
EK's backplate should be screwed into card by M3 srews, not M2 as I thought. Luckily I had some M2 screws at home which could be used there.
I did same tests to compare results with
EK's backplate:8 min. in GPU-Z:Without: With:
Ambient temps was higher (+3,3 °C), so core temp is pretty much the same, VRM1 temp went down (-2,3 °C) and VRM2 also went down a little (-1,3 °C).30 min. in GPU-Z:Without: With:
Again, ambient temps was higher (+3,5 °C), core temp didn't change, VRM1 temp went down (-1,5 °C) and VRM2 also went down a little (-1,5 °C).5 min. in FurMark burn-in test:Without: With:
Ambient temp was again higher in these days (+2,5 °C), core temp didn't change much (-0,5 °C), VRM1 went down (-4,5 °C) and VRM2 temp went up a little (+ 0,5 °C).
What can I say, I just like how this mod turned out, how it performs and also how it looks. Thx for watching.
And finally, this is how the mod looks in my rig right now: