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6950 TIM replacement and heatsink removal
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Elk
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Default 6950 TIM replacement and heatsink removal - 01-08-2011, 01:12 | posts: 27

Note; at first I didnt think mx3 had done much, having used it over the weekend it really has made a difference, card runs much quieter.

Hi all, I've been looking over 6950 threads having got mine, and have seen that a few people are considering removing the stock cooler or replacing the TIM.

Wanted to say a few words. First of those is at your own risk, and sorry if this has been said before.

This is for the release 6950 pcb only!!!! If In doubt do not try!

-heatsink removal is very, very simple. You need a medium cross head and a small cross head screwdriver.
-remove all the screws from the backplate NOT the heatsink plate (heatsink plate meaning 4 smaller screws connected with a separate metal plate above the core.)
-remove the two screws on the rear plate (the bit with the metal vent in it), NOT the screw above the dvi connector.
-then unscrew the heatsink plate, do NOT unscrew one screw at a time; loosen either side of the core gradually until they come off, take your time, do NOT slip.

At this point check you have all screws out. From here it is the core attaching to the TIM attaching to the heatsink that is holding pcb/heatsink together...leading me on to the TIM.

I want to say it is bad but to be honest experience has taught me it does a job. Here are some pics;





It is layered on, it is like putty and it makes terrible, uneven contact (see core shot). Having said that it was intended to work with gravity against it hung upside down; not rely on pure pressure; my results are four degrees better with the more liquid mx3 on the core.

Once all screws are out you can gradually lever off the pcb from the heatsink. This is where you need to be extra careful. Slow and steady pressure where there was movement got mine off. A piece of clear stretchy plastic gave way when I took the heatsink off- I think this is anti tamper- it has no other reason for being there; HIS card; it is of no consequence and is stuck to the block near the vrms. (see the bigger rectangular white sticker below)

CAREFUL ONCE THE PCB COMES AWAY- THE FAN IS STILL ATTACHED- wouldnt bother unplugging it!



You can fold the two parts apart now, and lay them separate. From here you will not be able to get the original TIM off without a TIM cleaner or isopropyl alcohol; it is like putty.

The vapour chamber baseplate looked like something you might find in a scrapyard.



It was awful. I had a few bits of 1200 grit sandpaper and polished off the worst but do not lap it- it is too thin, 1200 grit cleaned it rather than removed copper.

I put VERY (really very) small amounts of mx3 on the indentations of the vrm heatsink, and put a double grain of rice bang centre of the core- double due to lack of mounting pressure; I wanted a good contact.

Screwing it all up is simple. (on re reading pun most certainly intended!)

As per temps; EDIT- when I first wrote it didnt seem to change much, given mx3 isnt meant to change I assumed that was that. As is there is a big difference, I cant gauge in temps but my gpu with a custom fan profile is much quieter.

Vrms are down 4 degrees@load, worth the muck about. With an aftermarket cooler I can see massive benefits here due to better, even mounting and the air not being pre heated by the vrms. Would I recommend doing what I did...EDIT- after using for a while- so long as you know your card works ok, yes, for a quids worth of mx3, its worth it.

If an aftermarket cooler comes out for these things I will be right on it. A well designed cooler will permit 1000 core woth extra shaders, silently, making these cards immense value.

Last edited by Elk; 01-10-2011 at 01:40.
   
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Mr.Joe
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Default 01-08-2011, 01:18 | posts: 289 | Location: Sweden

I had mine apart earlier today (before i read all this stuff) and i couldn't seem to get the vapourchamber off from the aluminum stuff surrounding it... you got any idea if it's glued on or what? you see i really wanna lap it since it has a little inwards bump (don't know what it's called)
Anyways, Cheers ^^
   
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Elk
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Default 01-08-2011, 01:21 | posts: 27

I only went as far as separating pcb and heatsink- the vapour chamber isn't meant to come away from the aluminium heatsink as far as I know- is that what you mean?
   
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Mr.Joe
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Default 01-08-2011, 01:23 | posts: 289 | Location: Sweden

Yeah, that's exactly what i wanna do :/

*Detaching the chamber from the aluminum that is

Last edited by Mr.Joe; 01-08-2011 at 01:29.
   
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Elk
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Default 01-08-2011, 01:26 | posts: 27

To be certain I am on stock pcb- his release one.

Once you have the backplate off, unscrew the two screws off the rear plate, (the vent out of your case).

Then unscrew the four screws around the core. (as above)

Once I did this i got very worried, it looks as if the core is still attached. IF ALL THE SCRWS ABOVE ARE OFF AND YOUR CARD IS THE SAME AS MINE. then you can gradually add pressure and it will start to give. There is no need for real force, and having done it, I dont think it is worth it.

Hopefully this ll help those torn with replacing TIM and those looking to install new coolers.
   
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Mr.Joe
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Default 01-08-2011, 01:27 | posts: 289 | Location: Sweden

Right, i got some other questions too if you don't mind....

1. What's the GPU Temp #2? (i know that #3 is VRM..)

2. When i'm (either one) of my 69(70)'s with a fan speed @ like 50% and clocks: 910/1500 it's ALL GOOD but whenever i put the fanspeed to auto and it goes down to like 40% and 90c+ something (not the core) gets too hot and i get a kinda blank image with horizontal stripes....
It's not any of the temps that GPUz are reading that's going too high either...
ALL temps are below the 95s and it's really bugging me...
   
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Elk
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Default 01-08-2011, 01:33 | posts: 27

1. What's the GPU Temp #2? (i know that #3 is VRM..)
No idea. To be honest I am no expert but I check the vrms and the core. Vrms most.

2. You bought a 6950 not a 6970-they may not run as 6970s...

You touch on a few issues;
-stock fan profile is bobbins for temps.
-I brick myself when my gpu core hits eighty, because at that point your vrms are pumping boiling hot air into the gpu core (use gpuz to check). Best advice I can give is dont overclock as unless you are powering something silly big res, you do not need it.

All together this card is utterly incredible, but do not pull the wool over your eyes, the extra shaders dont do much and what they do add you will pay for in heat. These cards win because for the next year I can spank any game at stock at 1900x1200...two years down the line there is 20% more power there, for the price of an aftermarket cooler.

Last edited by Elk; 01-08-2011 at 01:47.
   
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Mr.Joe
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Default 01-08-2011, 01:40 | posts: 289 | Location: Sweden

1. same here

2. no comment

3. stock fan profile makes enough noise but doesn't really cool enough... you should know what i mean have my own TRIXX profile, awesome program btw

4. Useing a DELL 3007WFP (2560x1600) so there are a few pixels to be rendered ^^

5. from what i can see (and i can't see much since i'm on a single 6950 and a x2 6000+ @3.3 but still..) the gain from the extra shaders is about 2% clock/clock and i'd guess the overclock limit is slightly lower with the extra shaders so whenever afterburner'll support voltage tweaking for us it'll be interesting to see if the extra overclock actually can make the 6950 bios even a little faster ;]
   
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Elk
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Default 01-08-2011, 01:41 | posts: 27

Quote:
Detaching the chamber from the aluminum that is
Erm..do not do this. Really bad idea. The thermal contact between the vapour chamber and heatsink is crucual. It would be like trimming the ends off of heatpipes.


As per this unlocking I love amd but this is lots of epeen for not much performance. For a hard core noise immune bencher it is ace, but for a gamer- it is inconsequential for the most part- no real significance and higher clocks would probably give the same result for the same heat and power, only place it matters is when you are really pushing the limits.

Last edited by Elk; 01-08-2011 at 01:45.
   
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Mr.Joe
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Default 01-08-2011, 01:46 | posts: 289 | Location: Sweden

Need these babies in CF before i can make a verdict...
btw one of my babies runs like 10c hotter in furmark than the other one (77vs86).
same thermal compound... any idea why?^*@46%fan

Last edited by Mr.Joe; 01-08-2011 at 01:56.
   
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Elk
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Default 01-08-2011, 01:49 | posts: 27

Guessing its the top card...if it is the answer is airflow and the only real solution is spacing them out on your motherboard with a bigger crossfire connector- depends which mo bo you have though.

If you are off crossfire I would guess you just have a higher leakage part. These chips clearly werent binned for their shader count!

Quote:
x2 6000+
You need to sort that!

Last edited by Elk; 01-08-2011 at 01:51.
   
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Mr.Joe
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Default 01-08-2011, 01:58 | posts: 289 | Location: Sweden

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elk View Post
Guessing its the top card...if it is the answer is airflow and the only real solution is spacing them out on your motherboard with a bigger crossfire connector- depends which mo bo you have though.

If you are off crossfire I would guess you just have a higher leakage part. These chips clearly werent binned for their shader count!



You need to sort that!
Getting my rampage back someday next week so i can't do benching nor CF at the moment at all really '
That's what makes me so curious about the temps. My only guess is the little bump in the cuppersurfice where the gpu is ment to contact against the cupper...
   
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Elk
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Default 01-08-2011, 02:25 | posts: 27

It was rushed. My 6950 also had part of its 6pin shaved off!
   
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Mr.Joe
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Default 01-08-2011, 02:32 | posts: 289 | Location: Sweden

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elk View Post
It was rushed. My 6950 also had part of its 6pin shaved off!
not really sure what you're on about right now to be honest ^^
   
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Elk
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Default 01-08-2011, 02:51 | posts: 27

the power connector nearest the fan had clearly been on a buffer/sander; one of its corners nearest the fan was worn off quite a lot.
   
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Mr.Joe
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Default 01-08-2011, 03:17 | posts: 289 | Location: Sweden

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elk View Post
the power connector nearest the fan had clearly been on a buffer/sander; one of its corners nearest the fan was worn off quite a lot.
Well this brings up another question actually... Why is there a big HOLE in the fan housing where the air can escape below the 6-pinner?? :S
   
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Elk
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Default 01-08-2011, 04:22 | posts: 27

Sorry that was a bit nonsensical; to be clear my point was regarding the pressure style cooling f these cards. Edit:

The hole is there as the fan simply blows air all around itself, increasing the pressure but not really blowing in a certain direction, the hole is there as it doesnt really matter and probably reduces noise.

Last edited by Elk; 01-10-2011 at 01:44.
   
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Mr.Joe
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Default 01-08-2011, 05:02 | posts: 289 | Location: Sweden

(Google didnt gimme anything)
What the he'll is a pressure cooler?
I know there's a difference between a radial cooler and an axial
Cooler but I thought that was it...
   
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Elk
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Default 01-10-2011, 01:20 | posts: 27

Paste seems to be curing, which is not usually noticed with mx3- temps down below 81, they were 83 before, and this is with a fan profile that gets very aggressive above 80.

It has made a difference, would reccommend it now, same fan profile, less noise.
   
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Default 04-10-2011, 18:54 | posts: 82

I also replaced my thermal compound with some icd7. Temps seem to be 2C lower.

There was some kind of plastic cover over a small chip near the crossfire connector. Oddly, the heatsink had a thermal tape for it, but on the chip was a small square cutout of plastic (like saran wrap) over it to protect or something. I left it there thinking something like this would've been done right at the factory.

Anyone else notice this? It's the yellow circle in the picture.


Last edited by homefry; 04-10-2011 at 19:00.
   
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Default 04-11-2011, 08:49 | posts: 4,091 | Location: where shrews live

that vrm (looks like one in the circle) needs a small heastsink on it if you're going aftermarket, these stock coolers are god awfull, cast HS without polish, disgusting work AMD. Mines plastered in little heatsinks and temps are great, 58C is the highest temp Ive seen on the card and that was at 1042/1475 insanity clocks lol, I suggest everyone here get an aftermarket cooler now and save the heat issues for someone else
   
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homefry
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Default 04-11-2011, 19:25 | posts: 82

I'm thinking of going aftermarket, but can't justify the $80 price. I'm actually thinking of going watercooling and only hooking up the gpu to a single loop. My megahalems is doing a fine job with fan rpm at 600rpm (silent, but deadly).

The stock cooler is not bad actually. If you want temps around 75C, the blower is not too loud. And the fan is positioned right above the vrm sink. VRM temps are at most 55C. Also that back plate gives it a nice look and will help with pcb flex.
   
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Default 04-15-2011, 04:00 | posts: 831 | Location: Hawkes Bay

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Joe View Post
Right, i got some other questions too if you don't mind....

1. What's the GPU Temp #2? (i know that #3 is VRM..)
temps are usually
1: Display IO
2: Shader IO
3: memory
4: VRM

or an combination of the above


   
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Default 04-15-2011, 04:16 | posts: 182 | Location: Szczecin

well, somehow I think that the imperfections of stock cooling are there on purpose to make the card die after like 3 years so you can buy another one:]
   
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Default 04-15-2011, 05:38 | posts: 4,826 | Location: Land of the Great Downunder

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elk View Post
Paste seems to be curing, which is not usually noticed with mx3- temps down below 81, they were 83 before, and this is with a fan profile that gets very aggressive above 80.

It has made a difference, would reccommend it now, same fan profile, less noise.
the only way to really get a clear idea of before and after is to turn off the auto fan control and set the fan control to manual and set it to the same speed for before and after.

auto fan control will adjust fan speeds according to temps and is designed to maintain a certain temperature to minimise noise. if there is an improvement in heat transfer, you wont notice it by just looking at the temps as the fan will run at a lower speed to maintain similar temps. its easier to just set the fan at the same constant speed to determine improvements.
   
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