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CPU cooler on GPU (super silent cooling)
http://silentpcreview.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=66695
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Author:  MattP [ Tue Nov 05, 2013 12:08 pm ]
Post subject:  CPU cooler on GPU (super silent cooling)

Hey everyone, I've done an experiment that I think will be of interest to a few of you :)

One of thing with graphics cards is that they usually use more power than CPUs (often TWICE as much), but their heatsinks are not very efficient at all. The air is just recycled, rather than blown out of the case. There are some coolers that do vent air directly out, but they're usually noisy.

Add the fact that the space available on the side of a GPU limits fan sizes to about 90mm, things can get a bit hot and noisy...

soooo, I did this:

CPU cooler on GPU - YouTube

My idea is that I can make a little compartment for the GPU (in a custom case of course) and have a fans at both ends making a little wind tunnel. The GPU can then be cooled SILENTLY. :brrr:

The max TDP of the graphics card I was usuing was roughly 170w, so this should easily work for higher wattage cards like the GTX 680 etc.

Author:  frenchie [ Tue Nov 05, 2013 12:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: CPU cooler on GPU (super silent cooling)

Hi MattP,
Thanks for posting the video.
I've seen mods like this done before, using those integrated closed loop liquid coolers. You can even have the radiator out of the case :)
My next mod is actually exactly what you did with a GTX460, but with a 92mm tower cooler (no room for anything higher).

How did you attach the cooler ? Any chance you can post close up pics ?

Author:  MattP [ Wed Nov 06, 2013 6:31 am ]
Post subject:  Re: CPU cooler on GPU (super silent cooling)

Hmm, using a liquid cooler sounds like quite a good solution actually. I'd rather avoid them though, because of the pump noise.

Regarding the pics, I've disassembled it for now as I'm waiting until I get a better card to mod. The video is HD though, so you could pause it and have a pretty good view of the mount.

All it was was a sheet of steel cut to cover the base of the cooler, with holes drilled into it for the screws going through the mounting holes. It, surprisingly, gives quite a lot of pressure and works rather well!

Author:  claes [ Wed Nov 06, 2013 3:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: CPU cooler on GPU (super silent cooling)

I use Kuhler 620s to cool my GTX 470 SLI setup. While it is significantly quieter than the reference fan the pump noise is definitely the loudest component until my ap181s spin up on load (I let them hit ~1100 rpm when benching).

You can learn more about "the mod" here.

I was intending on trying your method once I moved to a single GPU - looks great! Might try it out when I upgrade.

Author:  Potenza [ Thu Nov 07, 2013 11:43 am ]
Post subject:  Re: CPU cooler on GPU (super silent cooling)

An interesting idea that has crossed my mind several times, MattP. I often wonder why GPU's aren't like CPU's. In an ideal world a motherboard would have two chip-slots so that you can install a CPU and a GPU with an aftermarket cooler. Whenever I'm thinking about a case with perfect airflow, I have to concede that the GPU is always the primary disturber.

Anyway, well done, the video you made was fun to watch!

Author:  grimreeper [ Thu Nov 28, 2013 9:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: CPU cooler on GPU (super silent cooling)

Hi MattP.
I am very impressed by original build and this mod. I have considered doing this but I wasn't sure how to go about creating a custom mounting bracket.
Can you tell us how you made the custom mount? From the looks of it you are using motherboard standoffs to attack the piece of steel to the card?
Was it just luck that they were the right length for the gap between the cooler base and gpu board or did you do something here to get the distance correct?

Author:  MattP [ Fri Nov 29, 2013 2:19 am ]
Post subject:  Re: CPU cooler on GPU (super silent cooling)

The cooler is mounted using just a steel plate, which was actually the side of an old PSU and was cut to fit using tin snips, with holes drilled in the right places for the screws.

The standoffs you see actually came with the cooler, so they are designed to be the right height with that particular cooler when used as intended. I found that they were a little too short when used on the GPU because of the difference between how high the actual chip protrudes from the board. It actually worked in my favour though as the steel flexed slightly so it made a tighter fit.

Author:  grimreeper [ Fri Nov 29, 2013 2:26 am ]
Post subject:  Re: CPU cooler on GPU (super silent cooling)

MattP wrote:
The cooler is mounted using just a steel plate, which was actually the side of an old PSU and was cut to fit using tin snips, with holes drilled in the right places for the screws.

The standoffs you see actually came with the cooler, so they are designed to be the right height with that particular cooler when used as intended. I found that they were a little too short when used on the GPU because of the difference between how high the actual chip protrudes from the board. It actually worked in my favour though as the steel flexed slightly so it made a tighter fit.

That is lucky you had the standoffs handy. Maybe next you can put on a Nofan CR-100A just for your own amusement (ok, my amusement mostly).

Author:  MattP [ Fri Nov 29, 2013 3:11 am ]
Post subject:  Re: CPU cooler on GPU (super silent cooling)

Don't think that's not crossed my mind :wink: but unfortunately it would have no chance of cooling a GPU, as TDPs are usually MUCH higher in the 150w range for a midrange card.

Author:  grimreeper [ Fri Nov 29, 2013 3:34 am ]
Post subject:  Re: CPU cooler on GPU (super silent cooling)

MattP wrote:
Don't think that's not crossed my mind :wink: but unfortunately it would have no chance of cooling a GPU, as TDPs are usually MUCH higher in the 150w range for a midrange card.

Yeah, my 7870 XT has a TDP of 185W. I tried to cool it passively with a Arctic Cooling Accelero S1 Plus. Stock cooler couldn't even the TDP lol, so now have the S1 Plus and 2 120mm Nexus fans ziptied on.
I killed my 5850 trying to cool it passively with a Accelero S1 Rev.2 lol.

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