Modding an H60 for my 6870 MSI

Joined
Aug 29, 2005
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EDIT3: Added pics, scroll down!

This is a work in progress, but I wanted to give you guys the lowdown on my very much WIP of modding a Corsair H60 watercooler (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835181015) to work on my 6870 MSI Twin Frozer II (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127545).

Pics and more precise details will come later, but I'll explain what I did for now.

First, I removed the fan and heatsink assembly of the 6870. There were ~12 screws on the back retaining everything, as well as two on the side by the DVI-out retaining the heatsink assembly. There was thermal tape sitting on the ram chips underneath the heatsink assembly, and of course your standard block on the GPU itself. Cleaned the paste off (which btw after just a year of use had become very brittle and "burnt" looking)

With all that off, I unpacked my H60 and tried to figure out how-the-hell I was going to attach this cooler to the board and get good contact. After consulting with a coworker of mine (who's got a bit more of a fabricating and "mechanic" background) we decided we *might* be able to drill some new holes on the stock Brackets (shown in the pics on newegg) to line up two of the four holes. I decided against this though as I would be blocking the majority of the ram chips, preventing me from putting any kind of heatsink on them.

What to do then? Well, having given up on using the stock bracket (the holes do not line up in any way shape or form), I dug through my 15 years of pc parts for some kind of misc bracket, standoff, ANYTHING that I might be able to attach to the board, which then could attach to the cooler. No dice. Everything was either too long or too short, or could only line up one or two of the holes at best.

So, deciding that "I'm a risk taker", I went with one of the world's best solutions for making stuff stay stuck to other stuff (nope not duct tape this time), ZIP TIES.

Yep, ZIP TIES. I ended up placing ties from the furthest screw holes to the diagonal opposite, then did the same in a cross pattern, and finally a third at a skewed angle. I had to readjust and retighten them several times, and in the end I don't believe the GPU to Block is perfect, but it "looks OK". ( I will edit later with good pics on this as describing the setup is clearly insufficient. )

After putting this in place, I did a mock seating of the card to see how I would need to rotate the tubing coming off the block to the rad. I found that no matter what I did, it would be partially blocking the ram chips, so more mods were in store. Using some ramsinks (these, plus others of two different sizes http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835708012) and some thermal compound (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835100013) I attached sinks to all the open ramchips. The ones that were blocked or partially blocked, I bent the prongs of the ramsinks such that they were free, again checking and re-checking to ensure that they would fit under the tubing of the block as well as the kinked angle of the block itself. (Pics coming to clarify). I found that on 4 of the chips I did not have 100% coverage of the ramchips, which kind of worries me, but in the end I feel is better than the thermal tape trash that was on them before under than heatsink assy that was there before. I would love some feedback on how safe this is.

Anyways, with it all set up, I threw it all in my system which is currently:
i5 655k @ 4.0ghz (soon to be upgraded to an i7 830)
A P55 Asus (don't have model atm)
inside NZXT Phantom case (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811146068)
6870 x 2 (this MSI one, plus an ASUS one, both with non-stock coolers)

I could not use the H60's included fan, as it is a 4pin CPU fan, so I used a standard one with similar holes and it all matched up just fine (as expected, they're all pretty much the same). I haven't found a place for the rad/fan yet, so at the moment it's just sitting on my floor with the case lid off.

Everything booted fine, and temps at idle were 40C on the modded card and 47C on the asus one.
Under load (BFBC2 @ 1920x1200 with nearly maxed image qual settings) my temps were 70-74C on the modded card and 84C on the ASUS. Previously, the MSI was hitting 104C *no matter what i did to improve airflow aside from removing the other card* and the ASUS hitting 89C. This would cause the msi to downclock itself and give me massive stuttering.

I believe that the temps on the MSI were either incorrectly reported or something is/was wrong with the card itself. I had previously taken off the msi cooler and put new thermal compound on it, but that did not help the heat issues. I had also attempted to put a fan rigged inside the case near/inbetween/beside the two vid cards but to no avail. Maybe a 1deg reduction. So i'm still wary about why it was getting this hot, but I'm happy that this cooler is "working".

My plans are to 1. redo the zipties (as I have a distinct fear they will warp and stretch) in the short term 2. Try to find a solution as to why my temps were so high and still are pretty high on this card, 3. Decide on a good location for the rad/fan (i haven't had time, i'm thinking inside a HD cage on the case) and finally 4. Fabricate a bracket so that I can actually attach the cooler correctly.

I'm just really wondering why Corsair hasn't made a universal bracket for ATI / Nvidia cards, as I'm certainly not the only one to ask for it.

Feedback appreciated !

edit 1: I didn't put this in the "ATI Flavor" sub-board as I feel like the exact same procedure could be done to an nvidia card, as it is a hack-job at the moment
edit 2: I just realized while proofreading this over a second time that I did not put any sinks on my mosfets. I better do that when i get home from work!
 
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scojer

[H]F Junkie
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Jun 13, 2009
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Can't wait for the pics to see how this turns out! A while back I had a low profile vid card, and it didn't have a fan on it. I took off the craptastic heat sink that was on it, and threw a NB HS/F that I had laying around, and secured it with zip ties! I upgraded to superglue after that. It worked for 4 years til I sold it. Anyway, that might be something you might consider? I know some people don't like supergluing their HSF onto something. As for the chips not being entirely covered, is to modify the HS. Get a flat piece of metal, and put that on the chip, then offset the heat sink so it does fit. So, if you have any of those heat sinks extra, lob off some of the fins, then put them on there. It sounds confusing, if I had a pic of what I'm talking about I'd show you. Hopefully you understand!
 

DOOMHAMMA

Gawd
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Sep 16, 2010
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If there were a thread for it, this is certainly one where I would love to see photos ;p
 
Joined
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I'll probably throw some on to reinforce the zipties, I have Loctite 444 which states "for printed circuit board assembly", and has a thermal conductivity of only 0.11 so i'll minimize the use of it...
 
Joined
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Excuse my poor pics and poor hosting choice!
The system all together (minus that ramsink that decided to fall off due to my poor usage of thermal adhesive):
11iekp3.jpg

A close up inside the case, blurry:
dz8eq9.jpg

The card overhead, showing my ghetto zipties:
iyn8no.jpg

A side view, notice how clean I am with those ramsinks:
30m385c.jpg

Another sideview:
20r6yxc.jpg

I ended up adding a glob of Loctite444 mentioned before (it's basically superglue that's "guaranteed" not to be conductive, although I'm pretty sure all superglue has this property) along one edge of the block/gpu. As well I added ramsinks to the mosfets and every other chipset I could find a place to put them (i had 4 leftover and figured "couldn't hurt")

One thing is for sure, my warranty is beyond void.
 
Joined
Aug 29, 2005
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couldnt find any black zipties?

I used them all up trying to perfect the positioning.

After adding all other ramsinks, the loctite444, and adjusting the zipties slightly:

Temps at idle:
2s9yo8g.jpg

Temps at "load", BFBC2 @ 1920x1200 @ 16xAF 16xSSAA(i think read below), Vsync was turned on by accident (and I meant to write 60-63deg max temps, oops)
2hmjvow.jpg


p.s. the options for the 3d advanced settings tab in CCC change from the current menu, to one that has options with different wording/menu formats seemingly randomly. not sure what's going on with that...anyways, I'm a pretty happy camper. edit: The minimum FPS (aside from the low fps at start of map) was 44 and my microstutters are gone!
 
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Joined
Aug 29, 2005
Messages
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I'm going to do some testing with the fan for the other card turned down to 50%, i probably won't post anymore screenies, but I'll post the temp results.
 

Wildace

Supreme [H]ardness
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Jun 16, 2004
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that fps dip when you start a map n BFC2 is because the game loads all the building intact when it loads the map then the big lag spike is the game destroying all buildings syncing the destruction with the current status of the map. lol

i saw it in action on heavy metal.

the C flag when i loaded had all the buildings up but then the lag spike hit and i watched the game detroying the buildings at 1fps until C was completely leveled and the lag stopped
 

scojer

[H]F Junkie
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Now I want to do this. did you find a place for the fan yet?
 

lilbabycat

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I found that on this case I can mount it to the side panel, but I have to move one of my HD's from the cage sitting in front of it and remove the cage itself first. And it would make opening the case very annoying as the tubing isn't that long.

Also, I did testing at 50% fan on the 1st card, played a 2hr session of BFBC2 at settings above (sans v-sync), in a room that was ~78F, and my at load temps sat at 62-68C on the modded card and 65-75 on the asus card.
 
Joined
Aug 29, 2010
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This is an awesome idea! Have you thought of fashioning some sort of X-bracket and putting springs between that and the card? That could work as well.
 

plunger

Gawd
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82-983-009-02.jpg

You need something like that. A metal back strap for car radio installation. I wouldn't pay more than a few bucks for it.
 
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82-983-009-02.jpg

You need something like that. A metal back strap for car radio installation. I wouldn't pay more than a few bucks for it.

Yeah, and have it in an X-shape across the block. Then use springs in tandem with screws to ease the tension on the PCB.
 

illli

[H]ard|Gawd
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Oct 26, 2005
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hey expansionsss, i'm curious how well your zip-tied h60 has been working after a few months of use. i've been thinking about doing something similar with my h60.
 

B2BigAl

2[H]4U
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Mar 23, 2003
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Haha, I hadn't seem this thread before, that's awesome. The zip ties are a nice touch! Those temps are pretty decent, especially considering you don't have a proper hold down mechanism.

My question is, why the hell doesn't corsair/antec/somebody make a wc kit for gpu's? There IS a market for them, and honestly, I know my gpu's could use watercooling a whole lot more than my CPU at this point.
 

cravinmild

n00b
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Dec 18, 2011
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This is an awsome method to cooling your gpu. I did my Zotac 560ti and an Asus Matrix Platinum 580GTX using a Corsair H70.

Checkout my build log here:
http://www.overclock.net/t/1086286/complete-build-log-zotac-560ti-corsair-h70

It would be much easier to wrap a zipstrap around the pump and then use another zipstrap connected to that and then down through the pcb holes.

My Matrix can idle as low as 17c using this mod and only hits 50c when playing bf3. After posting this mod there has been numerous peeps who have done the mod also with great results. Of all the mods done not one card has failed...ever. Its a remarkable mod to say the least. Congrats on your ati card.

Check out the rest of the mods on pages 1-3 of the "nvidia cooling" section of OCN
http://www.overclock.net/f/73/nvidia-cooling

Rage19420 has a monster thread going for this mod when he sli with dual Antac 620 watercoolers...epic stuff
 

onthemour

Limp Gawd
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Mar 8, 2011
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I got a h50 i'm not using and a reference 7970 that needs quieter cooling. Has anyone tried anything on a 7970?
 

DTN107

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Pictures are a bit too dark and blurry.

Needs more light and use macro settings on your camera. Even cheap $30 cameras has macro setting on it.
 
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