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Old June 17, 2014, 01:11 AM
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Default How to lower VRM temps on a XFX 280X TDFD

-----WARNING!!!!-----
First, due to the nature of the mod, you won't be getting warranty support after this.

On with the show!
I mine cryptos on my 280x just as a side hobby (it's paid for a mobo and 270X). With spring and summer I found that I was unhappy with the VRM temps I was getting. I started digging around and was inspired by the info in the following link: https://litecointalk.org/index.php?topic=16263.0

After the first time I disassembled the stock cooler, it became obvious why VRM temps were so poor. The stock cooler first blows cold air through the fins cooling the GPU itself. Then the much warmer air blows over the VRM and memory cooler.

Credit for the images in the following links go to the OP of the litecointalk posts.

The VRM and memory cooler itself is rather insufficient. The following link shows the entire VRM and memory cooling unit: xfx-280x-tdfd 001.JPG - directupload.net

Most of the visible parts of the cooler is made of plastic. Only the very last layer of the cooler is metal. xfx 005.JPG - directupload.net shows the other layers removed. The top of the picture shows some parts that extend out from the flat surface of the cooler were cut off.

The materials used for this mod is as follows:
- Copper sheet, 1mm thick, I bought a 6in x 12in sheet from Metal Supermarkets as I was planning on modding some of the other video cards I have ($15)
- Thermal adhesive, I used http://www.ncix.com/detail/arctic-si...10716-1661.htm
- Something to clean oil, the different parts of the VRM and memory cooler were oiled. My best guess is to help facilitate heat transfer from the base plate shown above to the other plastic parts.
- New thermal pads, I bought some from frozencpu.com for the VRMs

On this particular card there are 2 areas for the VRMs. First is the thin black bar on the right side of the image in xfx 005.JPG - directupload.net (immediately to the left of the part labeled R47). The second area is directly above the R22 component on the far left.

The point of this mod is to transfer the heat from the black cooler to an area where I can blow fresh air to cool the VRM and memory cooler.

The Result:
imgur: the simple image sharer

Temps:

VRM1 - without mod, ~95C - with mod, ~82C
VRM2 - without mod, ~89C - with mod, ~77C

I didn't bend these sheet so I cut around components that got in the way. I also cut part of the black cooler as described above so I can get more area in contact with the copper sheet. Lastly, you'll need to press and hold as much of the copper parts when using the adhesive so that any bent parts of the copper sheet can stick to the cooler.

I'm sure something like this can be replicated for other cards but I don't have any other high end cards :P

Edit: Forgot to add.... I have my case side panel open and a 140mm fan pointed at the exposed copper sheets.
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