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[Official] NVIDIA GPU Mod Club - AKA "The Mod"

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post #1 of 8631 (permalink) Old 01-21-2012, 01:18 PM - Thread Starter
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The purpose of this group is to devote and assist in the growing interest of using a conventional self contained CPU cooler as a GPU cooler. There has been a growing group of people taking the risk and modding there GPU cards to accommodate a conventional CPU cooler. This group is established to share and inform peoples experiences and results when undertaking "The Mod"

I was orginally inspired by the great cravinmild and his intial undertaking of "The Mod" https://www.overclock.net/t/1086286/complete-build-log-zotac-560ti-corsair-h70/0_50
His help was invaluable and helped tremendously in getting this going. thumb.gif


Those that are considering the mod should know that they take full responsibility for the outcome.
If you don't feel comfortable tearing apart your GPU with the possibility of forever destroying it, then DONT DO IT.

Modding any GPU can and may void you warranty.


For those undertaking the mod they are encouraged to create a full work log here on OCN with benchmarks before and after using at least Furmark and or Heaven. Pictures are strongly encouraged before, during and after the mod.

There is a AMD/ATI GPU Mod Club - AKA "The Red Mod" for those that have AMD cards. Thanks to bmgjet for kicking it off!

FAQ's (Click to show)

Q: Most commonly asked question and concern: What about the VRM's?

A: Ideally the mod is not to replace the cooling fan for the VRM's. On most reference cards it is encouraged to retain the fan assembly to us in conjunction with the cooler head. If it is not a reference card and the fan has to be replacedm then it encouraged to use a spot fan to aid in cooling the VRM's. Even though I have run my cards without the fan assembly cooling the VRM's, I eventually reinstalled them after getting some new Thermal Pads from Frozen CPU.

Q: Where do I fit the Rads?

A: Wherever you can! You can try any place that you would typically put a CPU fan as long as it reaches. In my rig I had to stack at least 3 fans in front of the RAD to make it reach the front intakes on my case. However that also means I had to relocate the 2 hdd and 1 ssd. the also fit up top as exhaust but the temps were no where as good as the front intakes.

Q: Will it void my warranty?

A: No. One of the greatest things about this mod is that it is non destructive to the card and to the cooler. When done properly you can return the card to stock if needed.
Materials Needed (Click to show)

Whats needed?

1) CPU Cooler, so far there has been a mix of conventional CPU Coolers being used successfully.

Antec 620
Corsair H100
Corsair H70
Corsair H80

There is a difference between the Corsair models that needs to be considered. The Antec water lines are longer then the Corsair's. Its important to consider where you are going to place the radiator and which model you choose to accommodate your case. They vary in prices but any conventional cooler should work just fine.

2) Zip Ties and Mounting Rings (or custom mounting rings.)

So far the mod has been done mostly using zip ties to fastened the cooler to the card. However there is an excellent bracket made by a fellow OCN Artisan that has made custom mounting rings to attach. See his information here. I would highly recommend Dwood's bracket.

In the USA places such as Home Depot, Lowes and some of the auto parts stores like Autozone carry them in bulk with and assortment of different sizes.

3) TIM (Thermal Compound)

Most coolers will come with TIM already applied. I rather do it myself. The cooler cold plate may not have enough to cover the entire IHS on the GPU.

Some people have used standard CPU TIM such as:

Arctic Silver 5
Arctic Cooling MX-4
IC Diamond 7
Installation Process (Click to show)

1) Remove existing cooler assembly to expose the GPU IHS. Clean off existing TIM and reapply if necessary.

Pictures courtesy of the great"cravinmild" - see worklog unless otherwise noted.

From his worklog: There are more or less three parts to the card......show here. Heatsink/fan, heatplate the heatsink it attaches to, the last is the pcb holding the vram,gpu and other circuitry.


2) Attach the zip ties to the cooler.



3) Feed zip ties thru existing screw holes on pcb and or pcb heatsink plate.


From angel88888 worklog

5) Fasten securely.


Photos from my worklog

6) Trim excess zip ties


7) Ready to Install!


The end result should look like this. Courteousy of "rttnpig]" - see worklog for details

Guide to Modding Antec 620 Cooler Using Minimum Amount of Zipties and Dwoods Modded Mount (Click to show)
Step 1: Remove the old cooler and prep the chip (Click to show)
Like the title says, remove the old cooler carefully and clean off the chip with 91-99% alcohol. Make sure the chip is very clean!
Step 2: Lap the Antec 620 cooler surface (Click to show)
The antec cooler is great. However, the bottom of the cooler isn't so great. It is a very concave surface. Meaning the center of the surface is higher than the rest of the area. With a heatsink, you want the entire surface to be completely flat. Take 400-600 grit sand paper and sand the surface back and forth on the glass surface. This will begin to remove the concave surface and make the cooler head flat. You can stop after you think your sanding all the surface of the copper head. Next take 1500-2500 grit sand paper and begin to sand the surface till it removes all the scratches in it and creates a mirror finish.
Step 3: Get Dwoods mounting plate (Click to show)
I would highly recommend anyone doing the mod to get Dwoods mounting bracket. It takes the headache out of mounting the cooler to the gpu. See his information here.
Step 4: Get 4 inch small 18lb zip ties and attached pump to bracket (Click to show)
These zip ties go through the normal screw holes on the PCB.
The zip tie should be tied to the AMD bracket mount after it has been cut. Basically you want to zip the tie with the long end on the outside of the bracket and pointed down.
Then once you zip it tight, fish the 4 zip ties through the holes on the PCB.
Next, you want to take 4 more zip ties and basically use the lock ends on them as a sort of nut for the system. Do not zip the nuts tight or else you won't be able to attach the pump to the cooler. That will come later.
Once you have 4 of the zip ties through the PCB and secured by 4 other zip ties of the other end you can put thermal paste on the chip and mount the pump. Flip the card over and be careful not to swivel and twist around the pump on the chip, I had a problem with this but you might be better at it. Once you have the pump on the chip and the bracket secure to the pump tighten the zip ties from the other end of the PCB so that they act as nuts holding the bracket and pump tight to the chip and PCB.
Once that is complete you can trim the excess of the zip ties and make sure the bracket and pump is secure. You should be able to twist the pump very little on the chip after everything is tight, that is fine. I used pliers and pulled gently on the zip ties up and pushed the nuts down to make sure everything was nice and tight.
Step 5: Test the card and make any necessary adjustments (Click to show)
The Antec 620 instructions should detail you with how to hookup the fan and pump. Make sure you don't ever run the pump under 100% power. And mount the radiator blowing out of your case in however orientation you need it. I prefer push-pull but its up to you. You should have crazy low temps anyway so your fine.
I don't have any evidence to suggest that if your chip gets over 60C with this Antec 620 mod that you should seriously consider either repasting the chip and resetting the cooler or checking to make sure everything is ok with the pump. You should have a great result and that should be it!

Advanced Mod Technique - IHS Removal (Click to show)

This process is not for the faint of heart. This is where you grab a hammer and razor and remove the stock heat spreader to reveal the GPU core. You will attach the cooler head directly to the GPU core. Is is also encouraged to lap your cooler head to get a perfectly flat surface. Some of these heads have a slight convex or concave surface. In order to take full advantage you will need to achieve a perfectly flat surface. See my lapping process here: GTX 480 SLI IHS Mod

The reward is significantly lower temps. I experienced a drop of 5c by attaching directly to the die. thumb.gif

!!!!!VERY DANGEROUS!!!!! This mod could easily break your GPU! You're forewarned!

Credit has to be given to Cakewalk_S who wrote an excellent guide for this process. It is highly suggested to read and re-read before attacking your GPU.

[Official Guide] Modifying/Removing NVidia GPU Heat Spreader/IHS

cravinmild has a great worklog on this as well:

I also did this mod on both my GTX 480's and am very happy with the results.



*This thread has official status... officially! Keep up the great work, guys! - StarYoshi

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post #2 of 8631 (permalink) Old 01-21-2012, 07:25 PM
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NICE! thumb.gif

I love the idea of this mod club. Now, I will give some positive rep to the first person to use pink zip ties on their gpu mod!

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post #3 of 8631 (permalink) Old 01-21-2012, 08:15 PM
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correct me, thanks to the idea of ​​RAFALE77 and I can fine-tunes a link thanks to Jake Crimmins , my setup Essure the basis of a M-ATX case (NZXT VULCAN) and an SLI GTX580 OC 823Mhz

The advantage of this system:

everything is cheaper than a single waterblock for these cards! The only downside is we have to keep the OEM fan on the card to cool the VRM and RAM, but at least we can lower the rate of 50% and will remain quieter much quieter, and it is maintenance free








who can not afford to pay for a real Watercooling, I managed differently and for less and maintenance free, so the CPU speed has a H100 4.8Ghz and my 580GTX SLI Antec 620 each a cadense everyone 823Mhz

I just returned to shoehorn my SLI Antec 620 with WC in a tower Micro-ATX (I think I'm the first to do so in a M-ATX)

In his more than excellent temperature

at rest for both cards 29 °, play for 2 hours on the first card BF3 44 ° and the other 48 ° and 57 ° in 2.5 heaven

Excuse me for my english I'm french

so here's how I :


To make the modified mount as stock looking as possible, I decided to use 20 gauge steel to make the new piece fit on top of the modified ANTEC 620 bracket. After measuring the mounting holes on the GTX 580 and the outer diameter of the ANTEC 620, I created a template I could follow. After the template was transferred to the sheet of steel the center hole was drilled with a 2-7/8" hole saw. The next step was drilling out the mounting holes. After drilling all of the holes I used a dremel to roughly cut around the outside line. I made small cuts with metal shears to give it the final shape. All of the surfaces were then filed and sanded smooth.


The next step was modifying the stock retention ring to allow my ANTEC 620 to mount to the card. I had a spare Intel mounting bracket available to use but the AMD bracket will do the same job. All 4 of the tabs needed to be cut off, and after I filed down all of the sharp edges I sanded the entire retention ring.

It was finally time to bond the modified ANTEC 620 retention bracket with the 20 guage steel bracket that I fabricated. I used epoxy to bond the two brackets together. To ensure good adhesion, I completely sanded both parts. I let the epoxy cure over night, and then sanded down any excess. After sanding down the excess epoxy, I gave the whole thing a quick touch-up with some spray paint to make it look similar to the stock bracket.



I removed the stock cooler that covers just the GPU after letting the card cool down. I then installed four 4-40 machine screws with nuts onto the card. I slipped the custom made bracket over the screws, and put the top nuts in place to keep it from falling off. Lastly I installed the ANTEC 620 pump and cooling block combo onto the card. The process was very similar to mounting the ANTEC 620 onto a CPU. I tightened the top nuts down finger tight to avoid damaging the GPU.

voila, is the gain is 30 °: Pouce:
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post #4 of 8631 (permalink) Old 01-21-2012, 08:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Thats hella sexy setup! thumb.gif
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post #5 of 8631 (permalink) Old 01-21-2012, 10:02 PM
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Is it possible I can get a bracket for my card somewhere? My local machine shop refuses to laser out a single bracket. :\

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post #6 of 8631 (permalink) Old 01-22-2012, 09:28 AM
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Rage, awesome job on getting this up and running, it looks fantastic. Also props to you and bmgjet for getting this going for the red team too. I think its important to keep our sister club close and information flowing between the two. I cant say how much I enjoyed the way you have arranged all the pics to make a single complete and very accurate build log. The pics you have chosen were perfect. You have spent allot of time on this and it shows. This is a fantastic start Rage, thank you for this club.

While looking at the graph its amazing to see all the peeps who have also seen the benefits of THE MOD and have taken the time to complete it themselves, there are allot of us now. Until there is a marketable solution I can only see this club of ours growing and growing.

Those of us who have done this already know the benefits of this mod as far as silence goes. Perhaps another list to show the difference between stock and after mod results. Temps obviously but also ability to oc and raise voltages, time taken to complete. Also FAQ section for things like the regularly asked "how are the vram and vrm temps" or will this coolers line reach my ...... You get the idea.

Once again Rage thanks for the time you've spent on this and it all looks great.

+rep for you

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post #7 of 8631 (permalink) Old 01-26-2012, 05:35 PM
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I have decided to join the club! I havnt had time to fire them up yet, been pretty busy with other stuff. But here are some pics. I like how the first mod i decide to do it is just tear up my GPUs. Ha. Enjoy!


I cut up the shrouds.. Got to drinkin and said screw it.


The bottom one is the first one I cut, as you can see it is not very circular.. On the second shroud I went much slower and it shows

Thanks for the idea, I had some fun doing this mod.

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post #8 of 8631 (permalink) Old 01-27-2012, 11:51 AM
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post #9 of 8631 (permalink) Old 01-27-2012, 04:21 PM
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What can i say besides absolutly brilliant, if i could 2x +rep you i would. You've managed to keep the original card apperance with that ingenious cutting for the pump and then to clean it up with the wrap around the outside edge...... a wonderful addiontion to the mod. I can see this method being used by many to keep the shroud intact and giving the mod as a whole that "polished" look. I would do this if i needed to also. Thank you for adding the wonderful pics, they will help many im sure thumb.gif

Welcome to the club

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post #10 of 8631 (permalink) Old 01-28-2012, 06:06 AM
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I'm VERY impressed with these, keep up the good work guys!

~ Hey there, I'm Brett smile.gif
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