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Discussion Starter #1
After installing Nvidia System Monitor onto my new XFX 790i Ultra SLI, I was really surprised to see how hot the southbridge was running at around 65C. And that was with a 60mm fan already on the NB heatsink. I was used to less than half those temps on my 650i even under load. You can see the hardware mod that got me those results here.

Back to the point, I was concerned about the longevity of my MB with temps like that from only lite duty tasks, so I went investigating and found a handful of options that I thought would work such as the Thermaltake Extreme Spirit II chipset cooler that I used to modify the heat pipes on my 650i and the Zaward Twin Towers chipset cooler which I planned to cut off the center tower and only use the offset one on top of the existing cooling system designed by Nvidia. Both of these options would require me to cut, grind down and lap the top of the stock SB heat sink. I wanted to see what results I could get before going to such extremes so I continued searching and came across this little chipset cooling kit and figured I could make something work with it.

I ended up using the 40mm fan that came with the kit on the upper section of the stock Nvidia NB heatsink next to a new aluminum 60mm fan on the main section. I actually ordered a handful of those multicolored aluminum LED fans along with some other stuff from The Cooler Guys as they had them for a couple bucks less than Direction.

I also have some little 30mm fans hanging around that work great for screwing into the sides of cooling fins like on mosfet heatsinks or chipset heatsinks. Those little fans last forever and they're cheap. So anyways, I screwed one into the side of the little heatsink that came with the chipset cooling kit and then used my dremel to cut some slits through the bottom in hopes of better airflow and/or heat transference. Then I mixed up some Arctic Silver Thermal Adhesive and dabbed it on top of the existing cooling fins over the stock SB cooling block to attach it. Five minutes later, I could pick up the whole motherboard by the thing.

I also swapped out the boring black 60mm fan I bought with the MB with a much more stylish aluminum one. The aluminum was a bit more challenging to cut and trim to fit the stock Nvidia heatsink, but well worth the effort as it will maximize the cooling efficiency with it fitting right up tight to it.

Okay so what did I actually change?
  • Replaced the stock thermal adhesive on the NB & SB with some Arctic Cooling MX-2
  • Replaced a 60mm 19CFM fan with an aluminum 60mm 4 LED 23.72CFM fan
  • Added a 40mm 4.84CFM fan to the upper NB heatsink
  • Added a 30mm X 30mm X 7mm Heatsink with a 30mm 3.7CFM fan to the stock SB cooling block
I'm really happy with the results. The MCP/southbridge has been running no hotter than 46C all day now; a far cry from 65C!

EDIT: After realizing that my BIOS had been reverted back to default, I set everything back to my preferred settings and the MCP temps jumped back up to the 52C-54C range. That is still a great improvement, but I knew I could do better than that, so I went with plan B. I am starting a new thread for phase two of this project as it is an all out hardware mod. I am cutting the fins off from the top of the stock south bridge heat block, lapping it and installing a modified Thermalright HR-05 SLI on top of it.

CHECK OUT PHASE TWO HERE

Check out the pictures from phase one of this project:

Some views of the heatsink and fan:




















Here's a couple views of the trimmed to fit 60mm fan:








 

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Discussion Starter #3
Quote:

Originally Posted by PhaedraCorruption View Post
Very nice. Must have taken you a while to trim that fan down.
Thanks! It took about 15 minutes. I used a circular saw with a carbide tipped blade. Cuts like butter!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Quote:

Originally Posted by Adrienspawn View Post
+, Nice work! I really love that huge aluminum fan. Not sure about the stacked SB heatsink though. I would have put just a fan on it.

Notice a difference in noise?
Thanks. Actually yes, for the better. That black 60mm fan that I replaced was definitely louder and with less CFM. I just don't get that. Also, those little 30mm fans are pretty stealthy for their size. What I hear mostly are my 38mm thick fans.

As for the SB stacked up like that, I know it's not the most attractive looking setup, but I am still planning to do it right and shave down the fins on the stock heat block. Then lap it and attach a whole separate HSF over it similar to how I did my 650i MB. You can check out that mod through my signature link if you aren't sure exactly what I mean.
 

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I have the components for what you did for the lower part of the frankensink, and I'll probably try this tonight.

Great job
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Quote:

Originally Posted by junkyard00000 View Post
I have the components for what you did for the lower part of the frankensink, and I'll probably try this tonight.

Great job

Thanks! You may want to wait til about thursday when I get my next order of toys. I will be doing Phase Two of this mod and it will be much more impressive; looking much more like a factory install. I'm very optimistic about the cooling results too. I ordered parts today. Crap! That means Friday then, most likely and then I won't be able to play around with it til Monday. Grrr! Good luck with yours! Post pics and results here if you'd like.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Paraleyes View Post
Thanks! You may want to wait til about thursday when I get my next order of toys. I will be doing Phase Two of this mod and it will be much more impressive; looking much more like a factory install. I'm very optimistic about the cooling results too. I ordered parts today. Crap! That means Friday then, most likely and then I won't be able to play around with it til Monday. Grrr! Good luck with yours! Post pics and results here if you'd like.
I think I'll wait to see what else you have in store first, seeing what you have done already leaves me wondering what's next lol.

I would, but my camera broke a few weeks ago :/ I dont have any real way of getting halfway decent pictures.

Interesting side note... I have about 5 or 6 of those little heatsinks that I've picked up over the past few months. I have them all lined up hahaha
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I'm sure I won't disappoint. I ordered a handful of different chipset coolers, so I'll have a lot to choose from to get the right look and performance for what I want. I kinda got tired of trying to figure out the best one for my project just by looking at pictures.

Oh, I found those same little heatsink kits in all black and a gold set as well today if you're not into the green. They were all about $10-$12 still. Nope, don't remember where.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I thought I'd post a spoiler of my plans here since it will be nearly a week before I can do it. I'm either going to be installing a:
I decided to buy a few different coolers so I'll have all my options at hand when I need them. I know I'll use whichever other eventually anyways. I have a lot to consider as far as which will look better with the rest of my system, which will perform better, and which slot they will block after installation.

Other than the copper pipe, I believe the xigmatek cooler will look better as I just purchased the xigmatek dark knight cpu cooler as well. I know either way, I will be doing some color manipulation here before it's all said and done.

I don't know which of these would perform better. The Thermalright is bigger, but the Xigmatek has D.H.T.(Direct Heatpipe Touch) just like the dark knight and that has been a proven enhancement on many coolers.

I'd prefer to take up some of the PCI-E slot rather than the PCI slot because the only thing I'll ever put into the PCI-E slot would be an sound card upgrade and I know the one I would buy will fit along side the cooler. I've had pretty good luck bending copper heatpipes to work how I want them, but I'm not sure how difficult those aluminum heatpipes will be to bend. I will attempt to bend a gradual "S" shape into the Thermalright cooler so that it curves back to occupy the PCI-E slot rather than the PCI slot.

I will be removing the fins from the stock cooling system over the SB area and doing whatever lapping is necessary to obtain the best possible thermal transfer. I may also lap down the Thermalright cooler's base in order to deal with any clearance issues.

Anybody have some ideas or preference to either of these coolers? Here's a picture of the two coolers in scale with each other and how they will line up on the motherboard.

 

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Just a heads up, but bending the aluminum heatpipe may fatigue and break it.

The thermalright is larger, but its fins are also spread apart farther (judging from the picture,) so I assume it would perform better with a quieter slower fan.

[EDIT:
I forgot to mention lol
I like what you've planned here. I expect good things
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I'm spending the day on this mod. I already have the stock nvidia South Bridge cut down and lapped. I'm still trying to decide which cooler to use. They both have their own obstacles.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Quote:


Originally Posted by grishkathefool
View Post

The TR looks nicer on the board, imo.

That picture shows the Xigmatek way smaller than I thought it was. It's actually way wider than the width of a single slot, so I am just finishing up fitting the Thermalright.

I'm actually going to start a new thread later tonight for this 2nd phase of the mod, but I'll post a link through this thread. I'm considering posting this in a different section so that more people see it, but I'm not sure where the best place for a thread like this would be. I'll look into it later. Any ideas?
 

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I would say that this is the most appropriate venue for your experiments. Keep in mind that it will be refreshed in the New Post list as often as it is posted to...
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Quote:

Originally Posted by grishkathefool View Post
I would say that this is the most appropriate venue for your experiments. Keep in mind that it will be refreshed in the New Post list as often as it is posted to...
I agree. Too bad I can't change the title of this thread. I may just edit the 1st post to show everything when I'm done. Tomorrow's another day.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
40C! That is down from 65C with Nvidia's stock design!!! No Joke!

So obviously I just finished up the Mod. It looks SWEET! I'll be posting the mod with a build log in it's entirety including tons of pictures in the Hardware Mods section as this 2nd phase is more of a fit for that.

Link coming
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I can't make up my mind where to post this project. It would either be here and I would just edit the 1st post to add an additional 32 images, or I would start a new thread in the Other Hardware Mods section.

The Mod is done. I just don't know where it would get more views. Anyone? Here's a teaser:
 
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