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Thread: R9 290 sem-ghetto VRM-block?

  1. #1
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    R9 290 sem-ghetto VRM-block?

    I posted this at OCN, but I hope I get some feedback here as well This is XTREMEsystems after all, not REGULARsystems.

    So, I was thinking of WC'ing my 290. It sounds like a leafblower when playing videos, which is not cool (pun intended). I was thinking of doing the stock cooler mod, but I'm not sure how good the stock sink is if I cannot afford wasting three slots (I guess the sink itself is one slot) and want to push the card a bit, and if I need to RMA it's a huge pain to get a stock cooler over here, and having one shipped from overseas is not really an option due to shipping costs. After looking at different solutions I thought of this:

    http://www.alphacool.com/product_inf...n4r2jrdfl0o876

    or

    http://www.frozencpu.com/products/21...kel_11721.html

    With a bit of dremel work and a drill + a set of washers, screws and springs it should work, no? Then perhaps one of these on the bottom inlet/outlet:

    http://www.performance-pcs.com/catal...ducts_id=26764

    I'm a bit worried if this will indeed be a triple slot solution. I can't find the height of the Alphacool anywhere, and the Heatkiller one is 17.5mm. The added thickness from the angle adapter is unknown, but according to http://www.ring-plug-thread-gages.co...read-data.html it must be at least 13.157mm (so I assume 13.5-14.0 is reasonable, as the fitting itself must be slightly bigger). Add 5mm due to PCB + VRM thickness and we're at 35.5-36.5mm already. The "slot width" is 0.8" I think, which is 20.3mm, 20.3x2=40.6mm, so I should have a little bit of space left?

    Input please (I know there are fullcover solutions out there, but I'd rather have a core only block). The backup plan for the VRM area is the Gelid kit, but it also need a fan. Plus, ghetto = identity and soul in my book :p
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  2. #2
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    Take a look at the GPU-X DIY kit from Heatkiller - it is a universal block with a VRM cold plate optional addon.



    The concern with modding those mosfet blocks would be that there is not enough space between the caps and the chokes for something that fat. It's easy just to modify the end points of the bar, but if the block itself is too fat to fit you're in trouble.



    You can also try modding a air cooled heatsink to fit of course too but that's not very extreme lol. Let me know if you do it and it works, I need to get the VRMs cooled on my 290 once it comes back from RMA for testing universal blocks.

  3. #3
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    I believe the microSW-X comes in two versions, the 40mm long and the 60mm long.

    If i am correct, the widht does not exceeed 15-16mm, so the short version and a custom cut copper plate might do the job...if the space between the caps exceeds 60mm, it might be a tight fit for the long version also...

    Contact Watercool, to give you exact dimensions and maybe a 1:1 drawing like the other ones they have in their download page. Print, cut and do some test fitting...

    One more thing, the copper plates come in two versions one 80x30mm with 2 mounting threads for the 40mm version and one 100x40mm for the 60mm version...it seems that the hole distance on the PCB might be covered only by the 100x30mm plate...

  4. #4
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    Maybe it's a little bit more complicated than I thought. Google told me that the choke-cap distance is about 15.2mm, so I'd have to cut down the width of the bottom plate a bit. That's not an issue, just a little bit of extra work. I'm more worried about the cap-to-cap distance. This might fit better, but it will be quite close I think: http://shop.watercool.de/epages/Wate...Products/11622

    I NEED THE CAP-TO-CAP DISTANCE!!! if it's 60mm or more the G3 might fit (the spare parts database suggests the block itself is 60mm long)
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by felix_w View Post
    I believe the microSW-X comes in two versions, the 40mm long and the 60mm long.

    If i am correct, the widht does not exceeed 15-16mm, so the short version and a custom cut copper plate might do the job...if the space between the caps exceeds 60mm, it might be a tight fit for the long version also...

    Contact Watercool, to give you exact dimensions and maybe a 1:1 drawing like the other ones they have in their download page. Print, cut and do some test fitting...

    One more thing, the copper plates come in two versions one 80x30mm with 2 mounting threads for the 40mm version and one 100x40mm for the 60mm version...it seems that the hole distance on the PCB might be covered only by the 100x30mm plate...
    Thanks I spent an hour and a half googling without noticing your post, and found some of this info, but not all. I think the only backplate that's useful here is the G3 one, so that complete set is probably the easiest (if it works). I would think one can mod the G2 backplate to fit the 60mm version, but if it's not needed... why bother :p The G2 is definately long enough (I don't get the 30mm/40mm part... the plates are not 30mm/40mm wide? According to Heatkiller they're 14.5mm, and the block itself is 16.5mm wide).
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  6. #6
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    That heakiller gpu only is bad ass. Can anyone point me to where the VRM b60 blocks are in stock?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by knopflerbruce View Post
    Thanks I spent an hour and a half googling without noticing your post, and found some of this info, but not all. I think the only backplate that's useful here is the G3 one, so that complete set is probably the easiest (if it works). I would think one can mod the G2 backplate to fit the 60mm version, but if it's not needed... why bother :p The G2 is definately long enough (I don't get the 30mm/40mm part... the plates are not 30mm/40mm wide? According to Heatkiller they're 14.5mm, and the block itself is 16.5mm wide).

    The blocks you're looking at are for mainboard VRMs. The proper ones ( the one's matching the GPU Block) are the ones on this page.

    After reading the above link, the dimensions i posted before will make sense.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by felix_w View Post
    The blocks you're looking at are for mainboard VRMs. The proper ones ( the one's matching the GPU Block) are the ones on this page.

    After reading the above link, the dimensions i posted before will make sense.
    Yep, they do. Didn't think of that, tbh :p But, do I have to add g1/4 threads on my own, then?
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by SNiiPE_DoGG View Post
    That heakiller gpu only is bad ass. Can anyone point me to where the VRM b60 blocks are in stock?
    http://www.performance-pcs.com/catal...ducts_id=36179 ?
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  10. #10
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    Hello!

    Made some measurements for you:



    This was my cooling for R9 290X with over 1,6V VGpu. No problems with decent airflow offcourse.


    You'll need a thermal pad or some kind of insulation, don't wanna short those or you'll get a nice smoking effect. Had a nice firework because I overtightened those two screws

  11. #11
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    Ouch Some thermal tape could be used, but some SHRRR SHRRR will also work, as cutting in the buttom plate (which is a couple mm thick - at least 1.65mm, to be precise) is completely safe. You feel like measuring the height difference between the SMDs (?) and the VRMs, too?
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  12. #12
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    Here you go:
    All height measurements are from PCB.

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    I like that all the VRMs are 0.26mm. No need for a thermal pad I'm not sure if the screw pattern is the same on all of these bottom plates (I think this is a stock photo) http://shop.watercool.de/epages/Wate...Products/79272 then there will still be at least two holes left to secure the block, which is enough Also, there will be at least 0.25mm clearance from the block down to the tallest cap... maybe I should try to shave a mm off the block, but not sure if it's needed. Will find out when I get the parts... Some non-conductive tape or similar is probably a good idea to avoid more fireworks :p

    Anything not sorted out yet...? I think I'm ready to order, no...?
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by knopflerbruce View Post
    Yep, they do. Didn't think of that, tbh :p But, do I have to add g1/4 threads on my own, then?
    If you mean that the gpu VRM block doesn;t seem to have threaded holes, then it's probably the photo...it's too dark to see them...

    Quote Originally Posted by knopflerbruce View Post
    I like that all the VRMs are 0.26mm. No need for a thermal pad I'm not sure if the screw pattern is the same on all of these bottom plates (I think this is a stock photo) http://shop.watercool.de/epages/Wate...Products/79272 then there will still be at least two holes left to secure the block, which is enough Also, there will be at least 0.25mm clearance from the block down to the tallest cap... maybe I should try to shave a mm off the block, but not sure if it's needed. Will find out when I get the parts... Some non-conductive tape or similar is probably a good idea to avoid more fireworks :p

    Anything not sorted out yet...? I think I'm ready to order, no...?
    Again, you're looking at a mainboard's VRM bottom plate, not sure these are compatible with the GPU VRM block.

    E-mail Watercool support, so that you have exact dimensions of the GPU VRM block and plates. I guess that you will have to use a 1mm thick thermal pad in order to be sure that every component is protected and in contact.
    Last edited by felix_w; 08-23-2014 at 05:47 AM.

  15. #15
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    The problem with the GPU VRM block is that it needs some strange, watercool only (?) fittings. It was my best option until I noticed that. If it was G1/4" it would've been a no brainer And I'm not buying the GPU VRM block for the VRM bottom plate, but the mobo VRM block (60mm one), so it WILL fit the bottom plate

    I can try both thermal pad and paste, I shouldn't fry the card by booting it into windows to check VRM temps anyway...
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  16. #16
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    I guess that microsw has small fittings & tubing because of two things: 1) as flow there is paralelized to flow through main block, it would be worse if lot of flow came through 2ndary subloop, 2) it's too hard to use full size fittings in potentially very cramped place (think of SLI/CF).

  17. #17
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    You're probably right. I'm not going to use the Watercool block, though
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  18. #18
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    Dunno, i like it's idea a lot, as imho that is how any modern universal gpu block should have been (high, to enable SLI/CF bridge usage (there are others, eg. EK's bridge edition); universal vrm cooling (Watercool is first and so far only one)), and probably if i'd been shopping for universal blocks it might be my first choice.

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    just saw your thread and thougt id show you my half ghetto Vapor-X 290

    i ended up using 2 60mm add on gpu vrm blocks and cutting them down, one for the vrm and one for the "pcb cooler"


  20. #20
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    BTW found this - I plan to get one for the universal block roundup I'll be doing:

    http://www.performance-pcs.com/catal...ducts_id=40787

  21. #21
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    with the heatkiller you can just make your own copper mosfet baseplate like I did
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by bTx View Post
    just saw your thread and thougt id show you my half ghetto Vapor-X 290

    i ended up using 2 60mm add on gpu vrm blocks and cutting them down, one for the vrm and one for the "pcb cooler"

    Nice, nice That belongs in this forum.

    Quote Originally Posted by stren View Post
    BTW found this - I plan to get one for the universal block roundup I'll be doing:

    http://www.performance-pcs.com/catal...ducts_id=40787
    That was my first idea, but I think it might be too weak depending on the airflow. I've got two slots, that's all - and I WILL push for some high numbers at some point

    Quote Originally Posted by CrazyNutz View Post
    with the heatkiller you can just make your own copper mosfet baseplate like I did
    I considered it, but I didn't like it, for some reason. Maybe it was the push fittings, maybe it was the cost. Maybe just the lack of ghetto feeling you get while modding things, making your own solution It's certainly the easiest option, though... But, say I want to water cool something below the card... how do I do that with the heatkiller block? Can I just move what I think could be stop fittings (the shiny, silver colored things on the top of the block) around like I want to? If not I'm looking at a 270 degree angle I think :p
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  23. #23
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    Cost should be gauged a bit differently for universal blocks compared to normal full cover blocks, that one can only throw out after gpu upgrade.

  24. #24
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    I have two 280x in cf, and I dont use anything on the VRMs, there are some stock heatspreaders on there and the rams, and temps on the VRMs are around 80?C in games. Only furmark toasts them 100+ so i dont use it .No OC yet, i will add a fan in front later.
    I have a EK supreme hf and Supremecy Vga blocks. So I think adding this mini block is useless, to buy them offcourse, better add a little bit more money to buy full cover.

  25. #25
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    the mini block can be reused on other cards and you can buy new copper bases to cut again for $15, so if you upgrade often it's not useless.

    I used it with a 1mm thermal pad on the 290, overclocked to 1150/1375 +100/+100 VRMs would get to about 67C with ambients around 27-30C (loaded with furmark), the card has started to degrade so I can't get scientific numbers off of it, but that makes it better than the Swiftech full cover for example and in the region of any good full cover block without a backplate. Core temps were 'good' too.

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