If it's the thin single slot cooler then there are about twelve cross head screws on the backside of the card, so long as you use a good quality screwdriver and don't wreck the heads, you could remove the entire cooler and redo the TIM on the GPU as well as cleaning out the fluff bunnies.
I tried to remove the cover off with brutal force but doesn't work, LOL.
I bended the cover a bit and it looks a little ugly.
My last resort was to take off all the screws for the heatsink and fan, after taking them out, It is a little bit easier to take off the cover but I till have to use some brutal force to take the cover off(the reason is because the cover is glued to the heatsink.
After taking out the cover, I found that the dust clogged the heatsink, I cleared them out and apply new thermal paste.
Now, the temperature is a lot better, still high but it is a lot better than before. Now its running around 65C idle with 30% fan speed instead of 86C.
I am sooo happy although the cover is a little bit messed up. They really have stupid design on the cover. Should just put screws on it, instead of using clip and why the hell they glue the cover with the heatsink, they never think of the heatsink will getting clog up?
I think they did it because they want us to buy a new graphic card when its messed up? lol.
30%stock fan speed .. is not enough ... push it UP to 60% with riva tuner!!!!
He already stated that he tried running the fan as high as 100% and it didn’t help much. We also already established that his problem was dust build-up, which he corrected... Reading comprehension ftw...
Re the dust thing my XFX 8800GT Alpha Dog has been running for about 2 years and had started making a lot of noise even under no load. RivaTuner showed (at idle) core temp of 73! And Duty Cycle % (fan speed %) on about 83! So after reading up I figured (hoped) it might be dust.
I undid the seven tiny screws on both long edges of the card (4 one side, 3 the other). In order to reach the 3 on one edge I had to remove an aluminium edge attached with two larger screws. I could unscrew one of the large screws and this allowed me to move the aluminium bar out of the way enough to reach the 3 tiny screws and remove them.
With the cover off, the problem became immediately clear. There is a row of (from memory) around 20 square heatpipes side-by-side shaped in an arc around the edge of the fan, designed to have air blown down them. The ends nearest the fan on all these pipes were clogged solid with dust and fluff. I would guess 90% of the air from the fan was being blocked. I removed all this stuff, and also used cotton buds dipped in water and squeezed out to clean both edges of teh fan blades. I basically cleaned up any sign of dust over the whole card, and while I was at it did the same in the PC on the CPU fan and powersupply fan.
After reassembly and leaving the PC running at idle the new figures were amazing. Core temp sits stable at 56 (17 degrees less), and fan speed sits on around 52% (about 30% less). I would like this to be lower actually - have heard it should idle on 29% - but still the change in noise was remarkable. It is hard to hear above CPU fan now. Under heavy gaming load temp core temp rises to 72 (less than my old idle temp) and fan up to around 80%.
Even my ambient temp in the case dropped 10 degrees according to rivatuner. Nice. If you are having problems with card running hot I thoroughly recommend opening it up and cleaning out the dust form the heatsink pipes.
Any quickfire tips on reducing my idle to 30% Duty Cycle would be much appreciated.
OK, found this, which I followed and worked OK - it's a reasonably clear set of instructions so thanks to the author. Will revisit with a few tweaks later. You learn a lot just watching the monitor graphs, so process is a bit iterative.
I always just took the card out and used an air compressor to blow the crap out of my cards. It has yet to fail me. It always knocks the dust out no matter what kind of card it is. Just shoot the nozzle in where the fan blows out in reverse, and then back the way it normally blows.
Sounds like you got it though, but just a thought for the future.