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Old October 10, 2008, 01:07 PM
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Default The Journey of a Watercooled GTX 260

Having just gone through this I thought I would share a few pointers and pics for people considering WC on their GTX 2xx cards.

First thing to consider is full block vs. dedicated GPU block and discretes for memory/power. In my case I chose dedicated GPU block for a couple of reasons:

1) Re-use when I inevitably upgrade. I don't have to drain my loop and reinstall. Plus $$$ investment in new full cover.
2) Flex issues. Some full cover blocks have had issues with flexing the board and causing some bowing over the GPU contact area. Since the dedicated GPU is only attached at 4 points very close to the GPU itself I am thinking there is no chance of this happening.

So once I decided dedicated GPU cooler I needed to think about the discrete cooling of the memory and power devices. I have tons of those little Zalman blue memory heatsinks but attaching lot's of these with new thermal tape is not much fun and until the tape sets they are prone to falling off when handling the card. Also, I have heard of overheating VRM's on the GTX2xx cards with discretes so something beefier should be considered.

That's when I saw these D-Tek Uni-sinks. They cover everything at once and they bolt securely to the card so no heatsinks dropping off.

Next I made the unfortunate assumption looking at the picture of the uni-sink that the rectangular opening for the GPU would support other types of waterblock. Bad idea. I ordered a Swiftch MCW60-R because of it's excellent performance data and discovered that the way that the uni-sink is built will only accept a D-Tek Fuzion GPU block. Unfortunately NCIX has a zero tolerance, no return policy on watercooling equipment even if it is still sealed in it's package

The next part of the puzzle is how the heck do you get the original heatsink cover off this thing? In the attached photo you will see the 10 screws that hold the front and back halves of the shell together. On my XFX card they were underneath the label so I chose to cut out the label in small circles to expose the screws. Peeling off the whole label would have been quite messy. Also, this back cover gets re-used with the unisink so keeping it clean looking is a bonus. Once you remove the 10 screws there are a variety of clips around the perimeter of teh shells that hold them together. Using a wide, sharp instrument (I used a chisel) you can leverage the parts apart in the area of the clips and they just pop open. I did it without damaging any clips but some people have reported breaking them. YMMV. To remove the top half you need to use a bit of a twisting motion combined with pulling it apart to loosen the TIM (Thermal Interface Material). Once apart clean it all up with IPA (India Pale Ale)... well actually IsoPropyl Alcohol but beer sounds good too

Fastening the Uni-sink is dead easy. About 10 screws and you are done. The Fuzion 2 water block then just fastens via 4 spring loaded screws to the unisink (don't forget the MX2 or your favourite TIM.

Attach it to your loop and start benching...

With my OEM heatsink and fan at 60% and Extra Voltage at 1.06V I was OC to 756 core and 1512 shaders and was hitting about 62-64C in Furmark.

With the Fuzion2 I was able to boost the extra voltage to 1.12 and increase shaders to 1620 and core to 810. Hitting about 43C in Furmark

Overall a highly recommended solution for your GTX 2xx card.
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Old October 14, 2008, 05:09 PM
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What happened to the uni-sink? It looks completely different to the old one...
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Old October 14, 2008, 05:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freakgeek1337 View Post
What happened to the uni-sink? It looks completely different to the old one...
It's a new revision it seems. Mine is the old version and I like it better than those foot massage soles
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Old October 14, 2008, 05:57 PM
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The old version looks better, but the new one is better designed for airflow going down the length of the card from a front fan. Although either are technically overkill for the job, simply because of their size.
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Old October 21, 2008, 06:34 AM
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Quick question,

what do you have on your loop ?

Is the block restrictive ? I would consider putting it in my loop with the CPU, but was wondering If I would lose to much cooling power.

My loop is :

MCP 355 with Petra custom top - D-tek fuxzion v2 - PA 120.3 with 6 push-pull Loons.

It could become :

MCP 355 with Petra custom top - D-tek fuxzion v2 - D-Tek GPU bloc V2 - PA 120.3 with 6 push-pull Loons.

I have used Matin's flow rate estimator and it gives me 1.42 GPM with the D-Tek V1 tough. 1,42 brings me on the limit of Good to Great according to him. So Flow rate should be ok. Now heat dissipation capacity ?

And D-tek GPU V1 vs Dtek Gpu v2, is there any significant restrictions modifications ?
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Last edited by matsta31; October 21, 2008 at 06:47 AM.
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Old October 21, 2008, 07:02 AM
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No problem with restriction. I have a MCP355 with Petra's top, Fuzion CPU v2 and Fuzion GPU v2 in the same loop and the temps is great. Anything over 1 GPM is good ;)

About the v1 vs v2, the v1 is very very restrictive but the v2 loosened it greatly to match a MCW60.
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Old October 21, 2008, 07:28 AM
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Good news.

XFX does cover a change of heatsink in warrenty, so I guess they wont refuse any RMA if I had to cut the scticker out....
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Old October 21, 2008, 08:07 AM
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Most Nvidia card manufacturers are quite linient, really you change a heatsink, as long as you put the original back before RMA, 99% it will be approved. I'm still thinking of selling me 4870 and going for a GTX260 Core 216 really.. Especially with the first attempt on installing a 4870 card, made the card not work, I am already freightened to do a second attempt..
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Old October 24, 2008, 12:41 PM
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just a quick note to the OP, the uni-sink will work with the mcw60-r. I know because thats what i did, It takes a little moding though lol.
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Old October 24, 2008, 01:18 PM
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That my friend is a thing of beauty, if i was still in my glory days of gaming id buy this card but i shall wait as my 8800gt is still running solid. And Miggs78 you should have gone Nvidia buddy, oh well theres always next time cheers!!
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