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Just a tip to share

Posted on 2004-10-28
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Last Modified: 2013-11-10
Hi all.  I thought I'd just share a tip with everyone regarding an experiment that I did last week with my video card and see if anyone else has tried this.    
I have an ATI 8500 graphics card with an attached fan that has been dying over the last couple of months.  The fan on the card was making a lot of noise and the speed/noise was fluctuating up and down.   The card is about a year and half old, so the the retail warranty was up.  However, there was a manuafacturers warranty of 3 years.   I checked into it and realized that I'd have to pull the card, send it via courier to ATI and wait probably a few weeks before they delivered it back (repaired, hopefully - they didn't actually say they would repair, just send it in to them).
I didn't want to be without the card that long, so I decided to do the following:
- I unscrewed the fan from the heat sink on the card and removed it.  The power for this fan was right on the card.
- carefully popped off the heatsink from the chip (it was glued on)
- cleaned the top of the heatsink with some solvent I had lying around.
- right in the middle, (about 2 cm square) put on a dab of thermal paste right that I got for free from a local shop
- put a drop of crazy glue (which I also had) on each of the 4 corners of the chip
- pressed on a heatsink/fan combo that I had leftover from on old 486 machine (I have a box full of free parts.  it was just the right size with a completely flat heatsink bottom - no ridges or lips of any kind) and waited for the crazy glue to set up.
- plugged in the new fan into one of the power leads from the power supply.  

It works perfectly!   The fan has essentially 0 DB sound but pushes a lot of air.  It used to be quite hot on the backside of the card, but with this new fan/heat sink, I can now just barely feel any kind of heat, even after an intense gaming session.  (it's quite a bit bigger that the original heatsink)  

Has anyone else done this sort of "fix" to their card?

cheers
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Question by:HJohnson
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11 Comments
 
LVL 69

Assisted Solution

by:Callandor
Callandor earned 100 total points
ID: 12436069
Another way to fix this sort of problem is to remove the video card fan and hook up an 80mm case fan and point it at the card.  Kudos for the do-it-yourself solution, though.
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LVL 32

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LucF earned 100 total points
ID: 12436115
Same way as I had an old videocard around, also with a faulty fan (didn't run anymore at all) and I also had a nice basic PII (slot1 cooler) of which the heatsink is just HUGE. I mounted the heatsink to the videocard, no fan attached, still works like a charm, zero noise and no moving parts to fail. And as a plus, the videocard also runs much cooler.

I like it :o)

LucF
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Author Comment

by:HJohnson
ID: 12437170
Ha!   The slot1 heatsink must have looked cool on the card!  How did you mount it on the card?  Crazy glue?
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Author Comment

by:HJohnson
ID: 12437358
I guess that the manufacturer doesn't put in a bigger heatsink/fan because the one I put on interferes with the closest PCI slot.
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LVL 3

Assisted Solution

by:SBPCGuru
SBPCGuru earned 100 total points
ID: 12437633
Actually, I have a GeForce3 Ti4200 64MB Video Card.  The fan went out, had a retail warranty of 3 years.  Called ASUS and they sent me a new fan in 5 days through the mail for free.  I was worried they were going to make me send in the whole card, but they didn't.  So, KUDOS to ASUS.  They will be the brand I always buy for motherboards and vga cards.
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by:HJohnson
ID: 12437796
That's good to know.   ATI even refused to discuss the problem without the video card in their hands.  I also would have had to pay for shipping both ways.  
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LVL 32

Expert Comment

by:LucF
ID: 12438219
>>The slot1 heatsink must have looked cool on the card!<<
Well... sort of, I couldn't use two of my PCI slots anymore, but it was surely fun to show people my videocard cooler was bigger than my CPU cooler.

>> How did you mount it on the card?<<
Epoxy :o) a very thin layer.
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LVL 1

Author Comment

by:HJohnson
ID: 12438742
>> Epoxy
Interesting to know that.  I was wondering if an epoxy would be a heat barrier or not.

I've got two 80mm fans (one in front <in> and one in the rear <out>) right now which seems to do a great job of moving the hot air out of the case.

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LVL 32

Expert Comment

by:LucF
ID: 12438788
In fact, epoxy transfers heat pretty good, of course, not as good as thermal paste, but with a heatsink that big I wasn't worried too much. (and it's always fun to try such things with old dust collecting hardware, if it starts smoking... hmm... too bad) I never even considered doing this on my nice Wildcat 4 7210

LucF
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LVL 3

Assisted Solution

by:woof-dog
woof-dog earned 100 total points
ID: 12439374
ATI wouldn't discuss the problem as they have to cover themself first and make sure that they would not be giving you false information.  If you then actied off that information which could have been incorrect then you would have said they told me to do that!  That is one reason why they want the card.

Also mostly these days I have noticed that when the ask for the card to come back they have their own reasons.  When they get the card to have a look at it and if the fault is due to a company error or damaged by something that they cover then normally they will just replace the card.  

I had a mate with a faulty MB.  Shipped it back and within 1-2 weeks (can't remember how long 2 weeks max) he had a brand new MB.  It is cheaper for company to just ship out a new one then to spend the time searching and looking for the fualt then fixing it.


As for making my own fix.  Not so much I normally mod a old case to suit my needs.  The last one I did was for my old Duron 750.  I clocked the 750 to 850 (?) or 800, fans on the case, USB ports moved to the front of the case :-) FDD slot moved and added extra HDD casing.  Why did I do this?  because I can :-)  I was bored and had nothing better to do oneday!
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by:HJohnson
ID: 12440781
Amen!   (time to add some neon then...)
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