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Taking care of noisy videocards

 
 
bigal bigal is offline
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      01-19-2006
I have been listening to one of my computers make periodic noise soon after it boots. The noise was more like a whine, like a bearing going out. It would come and go, but mostly occurred during the first 15 minutes of running. The first time I took it down to my workbench and fired it up, I found the problem - the stock GPU cooler on the Geforce 5700 Ultra was doing it's thing. I touched it, and the noise stopped. Hey I thought, maybe that's all it needed - tender loving care.

So I put the machine back in service, and it was fine for a few days. Then the noise returned. So last night I went though my stock of parts and found the solution - a Vantec Iceberq 4. I bought this 2 years ago, and even though it wasn't rated for the 5700 card (it was rated for the 5600 - close enough in my book), I was determined to make it work.

As it turned out, my biggest problem was the small mounting holes around the GPU chip package. The normal push-pins were too big, so I found a couple of skinny wood screws and screwed down the new GPU cooler assembly, being careful to add thermal paste beforehand and then to go easy in the torque so I didn't crush the die. As you can see in the pictures, it went well, but now I have two long screws poking out the back of the card. Perhaps I should hang little red flags on the ends, or maybe I should just cut them off the next time I have the case open. Right now it's nice and quiet, and I have two blue LEDs glowing from the plastic blade area.


 

Last edited by bigal; 01-19-2006 at 02:32 AM.. Reason: added pictures
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unholy unholy is offline
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      01-19-2006
is it just me or did u actuall make new holes .

If you did, welcome to the massive and totally super uber dangerous world of modding working exlectronics!
 
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bigal bigal is offline
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      01-19-2006
No, I'm not stupid enough to drill new holes in a PCB. Who knows what trace you might cut by drilling at a new location? I used existing holes that were too small for the GPU cooler push-pins to pass through. I solved this by using actual wood screws to screw into the holes, and they were a tight-enough fit to hold the GPU cooler in place. These holes I used were not the same ones that the old GPU cooler was using with the push-pins. In the bottom-left picture, you can see one of the larger holes that were too far away from the GPU cooler mounting points.
 
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The Modfather The Modfather is offline
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      01-19-2006
Yep, I see what you did there, clever.
 
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Gez Gez is offline
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      01-19-2006
nice work... kinda dumb leaving those screws open like that though... i would have at least put tape on the ends of them...
 
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unholy unholy is offline
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      01-20-2006
This is why i thought you drilled through.



but then if u look in the last picture the cooler must be rotated more for the screw to go to the right place without needing to drill.
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bigal bigal is offline
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      01-22-2006
It might be possible to drill holes through the PCB, but if there are existing holes in there, it's much smarter to figure out a way to use them. I would have made custom brackets before drilling new holes.

I should do something about the screws sticking through the back of the PCB, and maybe I'll use a Dremel disc to trim them down to size. By the way Nathan, your picture processing skills are getting better; picture in a picture looks pretty cool.

What are you guys working on? Anybody fix something in a unique way?
 
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unholy unholy is offline
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      01-22-2006
not really but i am planing on getting my AMD 64 X2 SOON!!! w00t i can be just like al, except without a 7800gtx
 
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bigal bigal is offline
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      01-22-2006
....it's a GT. Even Big Al can't afford a GTX card.

How are you able to swing an Athlon 64 X2 CPU? Are you saving your pennies, or working for dollars?
 
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unholy unholy is offline
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      01-23-2006
well gt i can afford because i save i dont spend before i have the money unlike Al and his credit card
 
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