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Thread: R9 290X + Gelid Icy Vision using modified AMD metal plate for better VRM cooling

  1. #1
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    R9 290X + Gelid Icy Vision using modified AMD metal plate for better VRM cooling

    Last weekend I had a bit of fun trying to replace my stock R9 290X coolers with Gelid Icy Vision!

    Long story short I did one of my R9 290 couple of weeks ago, but went with Gelid provided RAM sinks and VRM radiators. The result was good but not great as VRM1 temps went up compared to stock card quite a bit. When mining my R9 290 VRM1 could go as high as 88C-91C in my crowded HTPC case compared to around 68C - 70C with stock cooler running custom fan profile. Obviously GPU temperatures were much better using Icy Vision and noise came down massively
    To modify my main PC CF 290X setup I've decided to try and reuse original AMD VRM/Memory plate. I mean, how hard can it be?


    Lets start with bare card first:






    When taking plate off, be careful not to damage thermal pads as they can be reused!


    Next step should be to transfer all thermal pads back to card (something I didn't do first time around hence pads are a bit dirty, my 2nd card in the background was done much cleaner)


    Now we should have plate with soldered radiator ready for separation. Take the fan out first and then, either using soldering torch or oven, heat up the plate and radiator to around 230C for it to separate.
    End result should look like this:




    Radiator




    Next step is to cut bigger hole in the plate to accommodate mounting plate from Gelid (I did it using angle grinder and metal file):






    For the new radiator to fit this bit has to be half the original thickness:


    Nearly there! Notice that bottom memory chip is only half covered by block, but that's fine.




    Nice fit after putting screws back!




    Completed card:







    Result!


    VRM1 temperatures down to 56C - 60C (gaming, benchmarking)! Card is now cool and much quieter even though Gelid fans are not PWM (this can be fixed with any fan controller)!

    Now for CF setup I strongly suggest 4 slot spacing between cards as 3 slots is not enough for good airflow to the top card. Once both cards have enough breathing space temperatures are amazing for the price!
    I only paid around 30.00 UK pounds for each Icy Vision and for that price you can't get cooler on R9 290X!

    To finish off, for those wondering what are the temps under full Litecoin mining load:
    GPU - 61C
    VRM1 - 63C
    VRM2 - 57C
    Reading taken from bottom (cooler) card after 24h of 100% load. These readings should be representative of single GPU configuration


    The whole process took me 5h to do 2 cards, but the 2nd card was done in well under 2h as I already knew what to do.
    I'm happy with the result and regard that 5h as well spent! My PC while mining can't be heard in the next room any more! Wife is pleased and I can sleep well, knowing my cards are at more reasonable temperatures for 24/7
    Last edited by Lightman; 03-04-2014 at 06:44 AM. Reason: Corrections and additions
    RiG1: Ryzen 7 1700 @4.0GHz 1.39V, Asus X370 Prime, G.Skill RipJaws 2x8GB 3200MHz CL14 Samsung B-die, TuL Vega 56 Stock, Samsung SS805 100GB SLC SDD (OS Drive) + 512GB Evo 850 SSD (2nd OS Drive) + 3TB Seagate + 1TB Seagate, BeQuiet PowerZone 1000W

    RiG2: HTPC AMD A10-7850K APU, 2x8GB Kingstone HyperX 2400C12, AsRock FM2A88M Extreme4+, 128GB SSD + 640GB Samsung 7200, LG Blu-ray Recorder, Thermaltake BACH, Hiper 4M880 880W PSU

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  2. #2
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    awesome lightman
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  3. #3
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    nice i should have done that when putting a universal block on my reference 7970
    maybe next time
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  4. #4
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    Thanks guys!

    Now having ran this setup for two weeks and finally spreading cards away from each other thanks to PCIe extender I cannot be happier! Temperatures are topping around 75C on the hotter card and 68C on the colder when ran with only 1 case fan on! It's cool and quiet!

    RiG1: Ryzen 7 1700 @4.0GHz 1.39V, Asus X370 Prime, G.Skill RipJaws 2x8GB 3200MHz CL14 Samsung B-die, TuL Vega 56 Stock, Samsung SS805 100GB SLC SDD (OS Drive) + 512GB Evo 850 SSD (2nd OS Drive) + 3TB Seagate + 1TB Seagate, BeQuiet PowerZone 1000W

    RiG2: HTPC AMD A10-7850K APU, 2x8GB Kingstone HyperX 2400C12, AsRock FM2A88M Extreme4+, 128GB SSD + 640GB Samsung 7200, LG Blu-ray Recorder, Thermaltake BACH, Hiper 4M880 880W PSU

    SmartPhone Samsung Galaxy S7 EDGE
    XBONE paired with 55'' Samsung LED 3D TV

  5. #5
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    I completed a similar mod to this by only using a 1/4" drill to drill out the integrated posts on the aluminum baseplate. I'm also using an Arctic Cooling Accelero Xtreme IV heatsink instead. I reused the OEM backplate/spring thing with the screws and springs taken out, and used the bolts and nuts that came with the Accelero to get enough even mounting leverage on the GPU.

    If you ask me, this setup couldn't be made more perfect in terms of cooling and longevity. The cooling system itself is rock solid for all components, and doesn't require any crazy mounting brackets or tabs. Furthermore, if I should ever need to change the GPU heatsink or whatever, its just 4 finger screw nuts and the fan cable to deal with and I'm done. All in all, the actual install was far less involved than Arctic Cooling's instructions. However the modding was rather fun but a bit time consuming.

    I totally borked the vapor chamber/heatsink from the original AMD cooling solution using my oven:



    for the glory of bardob!



  6. #6
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    It did happen to one of my vapor-chamber radiators too! Funny noises coming from it when it was growing
    RiG1: Ryzen 7 1700 @4.0GHz 1.39V, Asus X370 Prime, G.Skill RipJaws 2x8GB 3200MHz CL14 Samsung B-die, TuL Vega 56 Stock, Samsung SS805 100GB SLC SDD (OS Drive) + 512GB Evo 850 SSD (2nd OS Drive) + 3TB Seagate + 1TB Seagate, BeQuiet PowerZone 1000W

    RiG2: HTPC AMD A10-7850K APU, 2x8GB Kingstone HyperX 2400C12, AsRock FM2A88M Extreme4+, 128GB SSD + 640GB Samsung 7200, LG Blu-ray Recorder, Thermaltake BACH, Hiper 4M880 880W PSU

    SmartPhone Samsung Galaxy S7 EDGE
    XBONE paired with 55'' Samsung LED 3D TV

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