VRM and Memory heatsinks necessary Radeon HD 7850

If I liquid cool the GPU only, do I need heatsinks for the VRM/Memory? I will have a case fan blowing across the card.

I have two Radeon HD 7850s in Crossfire. The top one, an Asus Direct CU II design gets hot enough that I get a reduced framerate unless I have the Asus fan spinning loudly.

The lower card stays below 45 deg C while gaming at inaudible fan speeds. It exhausts at least some of it's heat out the back (His Ice-Q design with a single centrifugal fan).

I am simply looking for a slight overclock 1000/1248 and a quieter setup as I had with the single HIS card.

I purchased a Zalman LQ-320, with the intent of modifying the mounting bracket to fit my card. I will be drilling holes into the Intel bracket to bolt it on properly.

With the warranty void (I got the card for $100, so NBD), I might modify the original bracket/fans and renstall over the cooler, so it can cool my Memory/VRM a bit (at reduced RPM).
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  1. You should try the NZXT Kraken G10 CPU to GPU cooling adapter/bracket. This alows you to use a variaty of cpu coolers on your GPU.
  2. Seeing that product is actually what prompted this. If you include shipping, it's $40 though. Doesn't seem worthwhile if I can drill some holes in the included Zalman Intel bracket. I did the measurements and it should work.

    BTW, is it just me, or did NZXT just copy what dWood was doing for years, before mysteriously disappearing? Patent your designs people.
  3. Since you're not using a waterblock that can cover a huge surface area of your card including the VRMs - you should install heat sinks on your VRM because it always go hot. You don't want to get toasted components, right? ;)
  4. That was my original question. The reason I want opinions or references to the necessity of coolers on the memory/VRMs is because they are uncooled from the factory. I would bet that the side fan is providing more cooling now that the heat sink is out of the way.

    I say now, because I installed the Zalman cooler today. I drilled the holes in the AMD bracket (better clearance) and installed four fine 2mm x 20mm bolts/nuts. I counted the threads and ensured they were all even and that I wasn't bending the card.

    There was a huge difference, and now my secondary card gets hotter during testing, but only to about 45 deg C. My main card dropped from 55 Deg C to 35 Deg C max during testing. I might have to spend another $60 when the Zalman cooler goes on sale again :)

    I bumped the speed up to the 1000mhz/1245mhz mild overclock I wanted. I gained about 5 FPS (10%) in testing, and 3d Mark 11 went up to 4,000 from 3,500. Overclocks did not improve my scores before due to excessive heat.

    For those that are precise with a drill and at tightening/torqueing bolts, I recommend this over spending $40 on the NZXT bracket. I also recommend buying the cheapest version of a card possible and doing this mod, the numbers and Db are better.
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