GPU / Waterblock Contact

Discussion in 'Water Cooling' started by jamesman32, Jun 24, 2018.

  1. jamesman32

    jamesman32 Limp Gawd

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    Thanks in advance to any who may have ideas on how to fix this:

    I have a Gigabyte GTX 1070 ITX card that I’ve just purchased a full-cover block for from Alphacool, the Eiswolf M04 in particular. I have an issue where the GPU die does not contact the water block. In game temps are as high as 92c (throttling) after just a few moments, while the CPU (same loop) sits comfortably around 32c under load. At idle the GPU sits around 38c which is near where it was on the stock cooler.

    The install instructions were definitely natively written in German and then translated to English but the photos included in the guide were fairly helpful. I believe I’ve installed everything correctly (thermal pads, spacers, etc.) as I’ve taken the block apart and put it back together 8 times now with the same result each time. There’s a bit less than 1mm of gap between the block and GPU die when no thermal paste is applied and when there is paste, it’s not properly spread by contact (pics below for reference).

    I’ve ordered a few copper shims of various thicknesses off Amazon but I’m curious if that’s really a “good” solution to this problem? I assume the stack up of shim plus TIM on either side will be less efficient than direct contact? I paid $140 for the GPU kit from Alphacool so I’d really like for the thermal results to be top notch. Is there anything else I should try before RMA? Will the shims work well?

    8CC87DE8-7D68-4308-A4B9-D4B5521FAA58.jpeg AD9714A3-83B1-4331-BBED-8716D26B9C6A.jpeg 1BE90A57-2705-471F-B03D-E73F3EE5EE33.jpeg
     
  2. pendragon1

    pendragon1 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    try emailing them. it looks like there is a gap on the screw posts under the block. is it stitting on any components?
    upload_2018-6-24_19-33-13.png
     
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  3. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    I have no experience with either this GPU nor the specific block, but you shouldn't need to put a copper shim in between. That is a hack, and will negatively impact your results.

    The block SHOULD fit on its own.

    Sometimes there are washers in the mounting holes that need to be removed. Check for that. Otherwise RMA the block. Something is wrong.
     
  4. jamesman32

    jamesman32 Limp Gawd

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    The areas you pointed out that look like gaps are actually just posts in the block that the standoff’s are mounted to to receive the screws coming from the backplate. I’ve checked and there aren’t any gaps anywhere. The screws thread all the way up to their shoulders and hit the bottom of the standoff threads. So it looks like everything is the right height.

    I removed the washers left from the stock cooler the first time around, so I’ve eliminated that issue. I have an email out to Aquatuning/Alphacool but since they’re based in Germany I’m waiting on an initial reply now. Thanks for the confirmation that the block should work as is.
     
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  5. jamesman32

    jamesman32 Limp Gawd

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    I figured I'd throw an update here just in case anyone stumbles on a similar issue. I found a 20 x 20 x 0.8mm copper shim for the GPU block (for now) and tested it out. Idles are around 30c and 75% load in game peaks around 45c with 23c ambient temps.

    I swapped my 1600 for a 2600x and have seen pretty big swing in CPU temps - idle is anywhere from 32c to 40c but as of now I attribute that to the pretty aggressive default vCore values (my 1600 was downvolted to 1.0v, and of course tdp was 30w lower).

    Time to start playing with OCs!
     
  6. Zarathustra[H]

    Zarathustra[H] Official Forum Curmudgeon

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    I don't know how that block normally performs, but those GPU temps are pretty damned high for a custom water loop. With my EK Full over on my Pascal Titan X it idles practically at loop temp, so ~24C. My Max load overclocked on the GPU is ~32C if I turn the fans up a lot, but I do have a lot of radiator.

    So I understand if you just want to get going while you resolve this, but if I were you I wouldn't rest u til they made that work for you. You should be getting much better temps.
     
  7. VanGoghComplex

    VanGoghComplex [H]ard|Gawd

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    Those Alphacool blocks typically do run a little hotter; they aren't true full-cover blocks. The core is actively cooled, and the rest of the "block" is just a super-beefy anodized aluminum heatsink. They certainly aren't a bad product, they're just not the same as a full-cover.

    OP, I'd carefully review Alphacool's latest compatibility chart and your part numbers, being absolutely sure you have the right "M##" version for your card - these blocks can be a pain to order properly, as Alphacool's compatibility list and the product listings often seem to disagree. Also check to see if Gigabyte made a PCB change to that model at any point; I don't know how common this is but I encountered it while searching for a block for my ASUS 1080ti.

    Once you've made certain that you've purchased the right block, keep riding Alphacool. You should not have to shim anything; if you ordered right and there's no monkey business on Gigabyte's part, Alphacool owes you a new block.
     
  8. jamesman32

    jamesman32 Limp Gawd

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    Thanks for the detailed information specific to this brand! I’m working with their support team over email, hopefully will be getting a new block shortly.

    I initially did plan to go with a true full cover block, but one was never made for my card by the big names (EKWB, XSPC, etc) probably because it is such a niche card. Based on the block design by Alphacool I expected thermals to be a little higher - not even withstanding that I’m only using a 240mm radiator for both CPU/GPU at the moment due to case size.
     
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  9. VanGoghComplex

    VanGoghComplex [H]ard|Gawd

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    No problem. I ran one if those GPX blocks on my 970 for a time. I really liked the product, but it's a unique one. =)
     
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  10. pendragon1

    pendragon1 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    yeah for what you have I didn't think those temps where too far off. youre loosing a little bit due to the shim but due to the design it will naturally be a bit hotter. still waaaaay cooler than stock! hope you get it sorted in the end.