My Ghetto Khuler 620 Mod +
Hi all. So after reading countless, 5, threads about how Easy and efficient the Kuhler 620 mod is I went ahead and bought one. It is a nice looking unit and this is my first go with any sort of water cooling. I own a EVGA GTX 465 SC successfully flashed to a GTX 470. It performs perfectly for me but just a bit loud when the heat gets cooking. Let's solve that with some better cooling.
I used my Galaxy S 4G phone and my Cannon Rebel XSi to take the pictures, you can obviously tell which is which.
First off, my case is a very old Cooler Master Elite (the first model ever??) which has served me through many a year and has been an instrument of experimentation. I have cut out pieces of the motherboard plate in an attempt to update the non existent cable routing but sadly it still suffers. There is also just enough room to fit a modern graphics card, albeit at the expense of a few hard-drive brackets. The good thing is that all the functionality still works and it has pretty good airflow, although it is no Keira Knightley in looks.
I added a + to the title because I have a budget motherboard, Asus P5Q SE/R, which I have always been meaning to add additional cooling to the mosfets, because frankly they are naked and need some bling.
First mod, Enzotech Mosfet Heat Sinks.
Pretty simple mod to extend the life of the motherboard. I have reached 3.8 Ghz with this board but I think I might go for 4.0 now that I have a little better cooling, this is OCN after all.
Now for the juicy bits. The Antec Kuhler 620 self contained water cooling unit.
Very nice unit, I really like the look of it. Seems pretty popular overall. Comes with everything you might need, for the CPU that is...
Now the first thing I wanted to do was make sure that the Block would fit on the GPU with the heat plate still installed. I had every intention of keeping the plate as it provides cooling for the VRAM and VRM's, it also adds strength to the PCB.
Good fit, if I lapped the surface it would probably be even better. Careful inspection of the surface of the block showed (after cleaning the TIM off) that it had a very slight convex shape, I have no idea why, in any case I would want to lapp the surface if I had intended to place the block directly on the GPU die, just something to think about.
Now I have a fairly small mid-tower case, a very old case, and did I mention it was small... and old? How am I going to fit this massive (small) radiator in here?
Will it fit according to the installation guide?
Sadly no, the mounting holes don't even partially line up, and the PSU bumps into the curve of the radiator, not to mention there is a small metal rail purposefully placed to make installation highly difficult. It is as if this 6+ year old case was not designed for any sort of water cooling at all! I could drill new holes but that would offset the exhaust fan and frankly I don't feel like taking my PC apart.
This is where I failed with the pictures. I had already spent 4 hours finding problems and brute forcing solutions to work so I forgot to get some pictures in, at this point I just wanted to get the system running again so you will have to wait till the end to see my solution, it is what makes this mod so ghetto!
Now I lack the high end modding tools necessary to create a custom bracket for the 620 so I opted for the popular Zip Tie method. However the small zip ties I was using did not thread through the GPU heat plate, the screw holes were a tad too small, I obviously have the midget screw version. No worries I do have the tool that is great at causing destruction, aka the Dremel.
As you can see I used the Dremel with a small drill bit to widen the screw holes. In order to protect the rest of the heat plate from user error, a highly spinning sharp piece of steel can do wonders to soft metal, I covered the holes and surrounding area in electrical tape (no I don't think it would actually do anything either but it made me feel better). Finally I used a simple piece of paper to catch all the metal filings created on the top of the plate. Steady hands proved useful here, and yes the plate was detached from the actual GPU
The Kuhler 620 spider-fied and ready to go.
You will find that the 620 block has been fed through the PCI brackets.
There was simply no where else to mount the radiator. I really wanted to mount it internally and keep everything nice and tidy inside the case but without extreme modification it was a no go. As you all know the Kuhler is a self contained unit, so there was no way of feeding the tubes individually through the brackets, so I cut one of the bracket rails off and using my skillful super human finger powers of bending, bent the top and bottom bracket rails to squeeze the block through. Now you are all wondering... how did I get the GPU through that tiny space with the block? Well I did not, I had to mount the block to the GPU inside the case. Not too terribly difficult so long as you don't smash anything
. Once the block was fitted to the GPU it was no more difficult installing it on the motherboard as normal. Note which direction the pump is facing, it fit naturally in that direction.
There was one final mod I had to do to get the door on. The back rail with the lock hole bumped into the radiator, of all things really? At this point I was about done and really just wanted to get back online, so using a pair of heavy duty wire cutters and a clamp wrench I bent a section in order to fit the door.
Back in service.
I'll post some temperature proofs here in a little bit but my GTX 470 now idles at my Case temperature of 30'c and full load using OCCT @ 800 core temperatures don't go over 62'c. Absolutely awesome considering previous overclock of 1.035 voltage @ 750 core would load at 85'c, which is perfectly accepted for this card. Really though the immense silence is blowing out my ear-drums, I love it.
I hope anyone else out there with a GTX 465/470 and an old super outdated case will now see that there is hope and with a bit of ingenuity you too can benefit from this simple and relatively inexpensive mod.