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Air cooling hack

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 3, 2012 2:17:55 PM

I have a Geforce GTX470.
It is a great card but it runs hot and loud.

When the squirrel fan gets to 80%, it sounds as loud as a jet engine.

The first thing I noticed was that the card was sucking in hot air coming through my hard drives.
I made an L-shaped baffle from a plastic rectangular juice jug.
I cut off two sides of the jug and placed the baffle in the 2" gap between the drive bay and the cards.
Hot air from the drives is directed behind the geforce to the RAM and CPU side of the motherboard.
The cards are supplied with fresh air from the 135mm fan on the case door.

To increase airflow through the geforce, add a 76mm/3" fan to the heatsink cap.
Remove the geforce cap/duct that is over the heatsink.
Drill four holes in the cap to attach the fan right over the opening to the 50mm/2" squirrel fan.
Attach the 3" fan to the cap w/ screws and power it up.
The additional 3" fan blows more air through the geforce and lowers temps a lot.
I see about 10 deg C lower in Windows and 5C lower under load.


This hack should work for just about any graphic card that runs too hot.

More about : air cooling hack

a c 217 U Graphics card
March 3, 2012 3:29:05 PM

Not that I have issues at all, as I have a case where the air flow goes directly into the case and across the graphics cards and the CPU, which made my 470's run much cooler and quiet over my previous Antec 102 case, but I'd love to see pictures of this setup.
a b U Graphics card
March 3, 2012 3:58:42 PM

Still wouldn't work for my case lol, 3 gtx 470's, 2 sound cards, 5 hard drives and 2 bluray drives kinda kill any airflow i couldve had even with a storm sniper with 3 220mm fans.
Related resources
March 3, 2012 8:25:20 PM



Here is the inside of my case as requested

Custom Iridescent BLACK
' Lewis Hamilton Formula 1 mid-tower case
OCZ 700 Watt power supply
APC Battery BackUPS-ES750 10 outlets
Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 - 3.4 Ghz
EVGA nForce 750i FTW motherboard
EVGA GeForce GTX 470 video card
Acer 24” LCD monitor
8 GB 1000 MHz Kingston Hyper-X RAM
HighPoint RocketRaid 640 SATA III PCIe card
120 GB Patriot Pyro Solid State Drive
500 GB Seagate Barracuda hard drive
2 TB Western Digital Green hard drive
Thermaltake e-SATA backup dock
' w/ 3 Western Digital drives
Lightscribe DVD-RW + CD-RW drive
CD-ROM drive
HP 6988 Photo printer
Epson Perfection 2400 scanner
Haupauge WinTV PCI card
Hidden BLUE interior LED fans
' 2x 120mm case, 92mm CPU, 135mm door, 75mm GPU
' Custom GPU Intake Manifold and fan

Windows 7.1 Professional 64 bit
WACOM Large Bamboo graphics tablet and pen
Microsoft Wireless keyboard 3000
Microsoft Wireless mouse 5000
MadCatz Cyborg R.A.T. mouse 3
MadCatz Xbox controller
Logitech MOMO Driving Force steering wheel and pedals
Logitech Attack 3 joystick
Logitech G5.1 speakers

Benchmark Test Results

PassMark perfomance test v6.1 x64 = 1735
http://www.passmark.com/

3D Mark11 Entry level = 3889 Performance level = 2710
http://www.futuremark.com/
a c 84 U Graphics card
March 3, 2012 9:24:30 PM

thats one busy looking case if I've ever seen one.
You have heard of cable management, right? :) 
March 3, 2012 9:31:22 PM

Ye i think your cables are limiting airflow..
March 3, 2012 10:08:49 PM

The cables are deliberately placed to block all beneficial airflow.
Ha! Gotcha didn't I.
Troll.

My small case is packed to the max with components.
In this photo one cannot see the HD fan, the CPU snorkle and the big side fan.
Please notice there are no cables in the way of the Geforce intake.
I have plenty of air flow where I need it.
My over clocked CPU and my HD's have never had a heat problem.

a c 217 U Graphics card
March 3, 2012 10:25:37 PM

That picture really didn't show the mod you applied. By the looks of things, that mod's main purpose seems to be to offset the cable management. The cable management problem may in part be due to a cheap case.
a b U Graphics card
March 3, 2012 10:32:52 PM

i love it when people dont want to hear something so they just delete stuff
a c 217 U Graphics card
March 3, 2012 10:57:42 PM

This is what people are expecting from cable management. It may not be perfect, but do you notice that all the cables run behind the motherboard back panel?


a c 271 U Graphics card
March 3, 2012 11:05:23 PM

cbrunnem said:
i love it when people dont want to hear something so they just delete stuff


Your post was deleted because it was inappropriate.
March 3, 2012 11:08:20 PM

Yes, I have a cheap $50 case and an older Core 2 CPU.
It is easy to solve problems when one has unlimited funds.
I prefer to experiment and apply my engineering skills to maximize the efficiency of an existing system.
I test, I tweak and then I test again to see if my experiment worked.
Not all of them do.

And it still works great and kicks butt.
I can play any game at 1920x1200 with full detail and get over 60FPS.
I want a new Core i5 and DDR3, but I don't need it yet.

My case is just big enough to fit a full size mb and all of my stuff inside.
I do not have a modular PSU right now, so there are a lot of extra cables.
The other thing one can not see is that my case is on its side, and a larger case would not fit on my desk.
Because of it being on its side conventional airflow management does not have the benefit of convection.
I have exercised cable and airflow management, it is just that you can't see all that I have done from one photo.
I endlessly experimenting with improving what I have.
I am not so anal that I worry about managing every cable inside of a box that no one will ever see.
The extra cables I just stuff in wherever they will not block critical components.
The cables are always getting moved about, so I placed them on top near the drives and the airflow is directed underneath.
Where the heat, the motherboard and the memory is.

I am so sorry every time I post on this Forum.
Too many trolls.
I forgot that I swore to never try help anybody ever again.
a c 217 U Graphics card
March 3, 2012 11:12:05 PM

I'm sorry, I didn't think I was trolling, but I would have liked another picture or 2 from other angles. That one makes it tough to see the mod you did. I don't fully understand where the air is coming from from that angle and it might even be magnifying the cable management issue.

As far as the case goes, this one is cheaper than you might expect. I believe I payed $120 for it. I also place on the ground next to my system, rather on my desk, except if I'm working on it at the time. Having good cable management and a good case makes adding things a lot easier. I used to cringe every time I'd add things before I managed my cables.
March 3, 2012 11:22:04 PM

2579840,10,527370 said:
This is what people are expecting from cable management. It may not be perfect, but do you notice that all the cables run behind the motherboard back panel?

I admit that is a nice setup.
Do you notice that I do not have the same case as you?
I can not run cables behind the motherboard.

My case is about 1/2 the size of yours, and there are no gaps or holes around the mb to run cables into or out of that space.
The front of my mb is tight to the drives, the bottom is right against the case and the top is tight to the PSU.

The definition of a 'hack' is a cheap and easy improvement to a problem.
I hope my idea may help others and some people appreciate it.
Please don't immediately shoot someone down before you know any facts of their particular setup.
March 3, 2012 11:29:20 PM

bystander said:
I'm sorry, I didn't think I was trolling, but I would have liked another picture or 2 from other angles. That one makes it tough to see the mod you did. I don't fully understand where the air is coming from from that angle and it might even be magnifying the cable management issue.

As far as the case goes, this one is cheaper than you might expect. I believe I payed $120 for it. I also place on the ground next to my system, rather on my desk, except if I'm working on it at the time. Having good cable management and a good case makes adding things a lot easier. I used to cringe every time I'd add things before I managed my cables.


I like a simple small case.
I keep it off of the ground because it gets too dirty on the floor.
The main thing missing in the photo is that there is a large 135mm side fan blowing in directly over the GPU and mb.
That fresh air gets sucked into the geforce and the hot air from the drives in front is directed out the back.
Just because you see cables, that does not mean they are in the way.

I AM DONE!
a b U Graphics card
March 3, 2012 11:31:53 PM

the responses by the people in this particular thread are not that 'troll' like. I would like to see the mod from a better angle.

Your cable management doesn't look good, but if you have come to the conclusion that the cables are not restricting airflow in a negative manner then it is irrelevant.

on the subject of swearing to never help anybody ever again. That is simply an unfortunate but semi-understandable mentality.
a b U Graphics card
March 3, 2012 11:35:12 PM

If you wanted to further increase the airflow into your case you could put a shroud around the 135mm fan.
March 4, 2012 12:20:06 AM

Thanks snappy, I tried that but it would not fit.
So I decided to block the airflow between the HD and the GPU and let the big fan blow everywhere.
Half of the big fan is over the cards and half is over the mb chipset fan.

One other feature of my case is the side has a telescoping 3" fresh air intake tube for the CPU heatsink.
For that reason I selected a high quality downdraft heatsink that floats over the CPU on heat pipes.
Every slot on my mb is occupied, but I ran the cables in the card area under the last card.
Just look at all of the devices I have listed that are in my little case.
I have edited the photo I took today, and here is an older pic that shows the airflow better.
When I added the SSD, the airflow in the old pic was blowing hot air into the GPU and the temps went up.



I like to help people, but the users on this Forum are so much smarter than I am that they don't need my help.
And they are mean and call me stupid.
Like, I only have a Masters Degree in Mechanical Engineering and have been building computers since the 1980's, so what do I know.
This was intended to be a simple note about a simple hack.
Maybe I am just to old for this crowd.
a c 217 U Graphics card
March 4, 2012 12:35:58 AM

No one called you stupid. One person called you out on your cable management.

Anyways, your Engineering degree explains a lot about your reaction. Engineers tend to struggle with pride.
March 4, 2012 12:50:32 AM

Also i would call it a mod, if anything.
a b U Graphics card
March 4, 2012 1:29:11 AM

not knocking you or anything but do you really need all that *** in there i understand redundancy but the amount of drives u have is ridiculous maybe u should consider nas backup or something like that because with a case crammed like that everything must get pretty toasty
March 4, 2012 2:04:18 AM

NAS Backup = $1500 w/ drives, yeah right.
Why would I need a NAS for a $1000 home PC?

I have a SSD, a fast Barracuda for other software and a 2TB WD green for everything else. I have two dvd drives. I have tried to remove the floppy, but I got a error even though I disabled the floppy in BIOS, so I left it in.

As for cards, I have a TV tuner card (I don't own a TV anymore), I have a sata 3 RAID card for the SSD and also it is much faster than the nvidia mb sata 2 with my older drives. My geforce takes up 2 slots and I have an EVGA power boost pcie card that feeds the pci bus more power. All of my backup needs are served by my esata dock and multiple drives.

Why must you continue to criticize other peoples setup.
I did not build an Xbox, this is a general purpose engineering and graphics PC, that just happens to be a kick butt gaming rig as well.
While I think you have a nice PC, please remember the computers are meant to be general purpose machines. And I have other things to spend massive amounts of money on, like my house, my car, etc. Most of the time good enough is just fine. One does not need a 200 mph Porsche to drive to the market, when my 150 mph Subaru WRX will do just fine.

Jeez, all I did was screw in a little fan and I am having to justify myself to people who just don't understand that PC's are as different as the people that own them.
March 4, 2012 2:11:08 AM

BTW: To quantify.

Is 40C on the CPU and 45C on the GPU too hot or just right.
Under load the CPU goes up to 55C and the GPU gets up to 80C.
The geforce is safe up to 104C and was running loud at about 90C before my hack.
I also adjusted the fan curve in MSI Afterburner so that it never has to run faster than 80% rpm.

The temperature was never a problem, it was the noise of the geforce fan that I fixed.
a b U Graphics card
March 4, 2012 2:16:14 AM

the temperatures are slightly on the higher side, but nothing detrimental.

It really seems that you simply need a new case, but modification and additions are always fun.
a c 217 U Graphics card
March 4, 2012 2:22:33 AM

thesnappyfingers said:
the temperatures are slightly on the higher side, but nothing detrimental.

It really seems that you simply need a new case, but modification and additions are always fun.


For a 470, that's pretty good if you ask me. 470's are known to be hot.
March 4, 2012 2:25:56 AM

I know I have been over reacting (sorry everybody).
I must be in a bad mood today.

Like most of us here, we all take great pride in our rigs. Cable management, like who really cares if I am a little messy. I guess I took offense to someone saying I never heard of it, when I spent a great deal of effort to arrange the wires as best I could with what I own. I have been doing this too long to run out and spend money any time I have a problem. I like to try to fix things with my own inventions first.

Yes, engineers take pride in our work.
But engineers are never satisfied and work tirelessly to improve things.
I am always fiddling around inside my case, even when things are working fine. Test, tweak, test, tweak, double-check and test again.

Thank you for your patience.
March 4, 2012 2:34:34 AM

A new case would be nice . . .

My case is so old that before I gave it a custom automotive paint job it was BEIGE.
When was the last time you saw a beige pc?

I painted it basic black with pearl clearcoat on the front bezel.
Most of the time the bezel looks dark gray but when the light hits it right - SHAZAAM!
It turns sparkly rainbow bright - I'm McLuvin' it.
March 4, 2012 2:47:01 AM

dontqqnub said:
Also i would call it a mod, if anything.


I would not insult the people doing mods by calling my hack a mod.
This was quick and dirty and cheap cheap cheap.
I ripped the fan out of a dead PSU.
I have learned that when experimenting, it does not pay to spend a lot of time on it.
A lot of times the test results show that (some of) my great ideas just don't work.

You should see what my geforce looks like from all of the previous failed experiments.
YIKES!

At least there is no duct tape in there.
anymore.
a b U Graphics card
March 4, 2012 2:55:29 AM

bystander said:
For a 470, that's pretty good if you ask me. 470's are known to be hot.


Probably should have clarified. Your idle cpu temps seem to be slightly high if running stock voltage and clocks. For me anytime I have a PC with gpu temps under 80c I am happy. Once again none of your components temperatures are detrimental to the systems stability.
a b U Graphics card
March 4, 2012 2:58:11 AM

If it works, it works.

Those temps seem perfectly fine to me.

Maybe you could cut out a hole in the side of the case and let the unused power cables hang out.
a c 217 U Graphics card
March 4, 2012 3:49:24 AM

thesnappyfingers said:
Probably should have clarified. Your idle cpu temps seem to be slightly high if running stock voltage and clocks. For me anytime I have a PC with gpu temps under 80c I am happy. Once again none of your components temperatures are detrimental to the systems stability.


I'm not sure what core2duo's are supposed to idle and max out at, but those don't seem odd, at least compared to my temps. I do have a heavy OC, which may make mine idle higher than it could, but I have 35c-40c idle (different cores seem to run hotter than others). I suppose that depends on how aggressive his fan settings are, I personally let it idle at 40c for whisper quiet mode.
a b U Graphics card
March 4, 2012 5:29:27 AM

bystander said:
I'm not sure what core2duo's are supposed to idle and max out at, but those don't seem odd, at least compared to my temps. I do have a heavy OC, which may make mine idle higher than it could, but I have 35c-40c idle (different cores seem to run hotter than others). I suppose that depends on how aggressive his fan settings are, I personally let it idle at 40c for whisper quiet mode.


Are you referring to your case you posted earlier?
a c 109 U Graphics card
March 4, 2012 7:12:04 AM

Why don't you just buy a new case and solve all of your problems? :heink: 
a c 217 U Graphics card
March 4, 2012 2:35:25 PM

lycros said:
Are you referring to your case you posted earlier?


Yes, and the same in the Antec. I adjust my fan profile for being quiet at idle. Believe it or not (there was a THG article on this case), but this case is very quiet despite all the fans, and is also very cool from the comparison articles I've read.
March 4, 2012 4:23:54 PM

amuffin said:
Why don't you just buy a new case and solve all of your problems? :heink: 


I didn't know I had a problem until I joined this forum ;-) I will rush out right now and buy the best case I can find and transfer all of my component that are working perfectly into it. Because I have tons of money and all the time in the world to rebuild and troubleshoot a new system, when my computer is already working perfectly.

Thank you for showing me the error of my ways. I must be a very bad person for making my computer live in such a small box. Won't somebody please think of the children?
Oh . . . the humanity.
a c 84 U Graphics card
March 4, 2012 5:43:54 PM

edit nevermind :/ 
a b U Graphics card
March 4, 2012 5:52:51 PM

my question is why are you so hostile? also you have a masters degree in Mechanical engineering... thats a rarity most dont go that route. also a engineer that doesnt have a decent amount of money is weird as well...

But anyway. if you think that you dont have a problem then no need to go out and buy anything. especially with those temps. they are pretty good for the amount of things in there. im with you.
March 4, 2012 5:57:36 PM

Quote:
I brought a Gelid icy vision for my GTX 480 and am overclocked to 900 core and stay under 80c...
(Air cooling hack) great slogan to DIY.


Nice!
I have never been able to o/c very much without crashing.
Once the noise became a problem, I went back to stock.
I see no pressing need to o/c, my frame rates are fine.
In fact, I underclock to 400 while in 2D and Windows.
When I get a new mb I would like a H2O system.
March 4, 2012 8:56:35 PM

cbrunnem said:
my question is why are you so hostile? also you have a masters degree in Mechanical engineering... thats a rarity most dont go that route. also a engineer that doesnt have a decent amount of money is weird as well...

But anyway. if you think that you dont have a problem then no need to go out and buy anything. especially with those temps. they are pretty good for the amount of things in there. im with you.


Why am I hostile?
Hmm . . . Have you ever heard of a little thing called history?

When you go around making statements like:
"I don't understand why you do things different than me and I don't really want to know.
Don't bother trying to explain it to me, I have already made up my mind that you are wrong.
Just change to be just like me, ASAP and everything will be fine."
,
it tends to make most people a little defensive. Wars have been started for less.

Why do you question MY CHOICE to get a degree in Mechanical Engineering?
That makes no sense what-so-ever (and makes me very hostile).
Do you ride in a car?
Can you operate a toaster?
Do you use electricity?
Does your room have heat?
All done by mechanical engineers.

Why do you assume I do not have money?
I just chose to spend it on other things that are more important to ME than computer games.
You are free to spend YOUR money anyway you like.
As I previously stated I get more satisfaction out of fixing something, than I do by merely buying a replacement.

When one assumes, One makes an ASS out of U and ME.
March 4, 2012 10:02:58 PM

Ah dude, should see my cable management. Quite horrible at the moment. You've got nothing on me :) 

Btw, what year WRX do you have? I have a 2010 Clubspec 10 sedan (AU) :)  Goes like a rocket!
a b U Graphics card
March 4, 2012 11:09:28 PM

JoeMomma said:
Why am I hostile?
Hmm . . . Have you ever heard of a little thing called history?

When you go around making statements like:
"I don't understand why you do things different than me and I don't really want to know.
Don't bother trying to explain it to me, I have already made up my mind that you are wrong.
Just change to be just like me, ASAP and everything will be fine."
,
it tends to make most people a little defensive. Wars have been started for less.

Why do you question MY CHOICE to get a degree in Mechanical Engineering?
That makes no sense what-so-ever (and makes me very hostile).
Do you ride in a car?
Can you operate a toaster?
Do you use electricity?
Does your room have heat?
All done by mechanical engineers.

Why do you assume I do not have money?
I just chose to spend it on other things that are more important to ME than computer games.
You are free to spend YOUR money anyway you like.
As I previously stated I get more satisfaction out of fixing something, than I do by merely buying a replacement.

When one assumes, One makes an ASS out of U and ME.


i dont know why you are so worked up i just asked for some clarification. I asked why you got a Masters ME degree not an Engineering degree.

Im just wondering why you wen for a masters because most of the ME's at my school went straight to the work force and i went to a highly prestigious engineering school
a b U Graphics card
March 4, 2012 11:12:13 PM

My father and mother both have masters in mechanical engineering. They don't make a ton of money but they certainly love their jobs. Where i am from mechanical engineers are highly needed.

BTW who cares if you went to a highly prestigious engineering school, we have one around here too called MSOE(Milwaukee school of engineering) and UW Madison beats them at all their honor.

I am not trying to belittle you but judging someone from where they got their degree and what in is just plain stupid and makes you look lower than dirt.
a c 217 U Graphics card
March 4, 2012 11:15:41 PM

I find dealing with engineers to be an exercise in patience. So many feel they are an expert at everything due to their degree. The reality is, they are often wrong, but you have to humor them and carefully steer them into the right direction or go through building codes and studies just to make them understand the folly of their ways. They can be so frustrating, and Sacramento has a lot of them.
a b U Graphics card
March 4, 2012 11:34:27 PM

mightymaxio said:
My father and mother both have masters in mechanical engineering. They don't make a ton of money but they certainly love their jobs. Where i am from mechanical engineers are highly needed.

BTW who cares if you went to a highly prestigious engineering school, we have one around here too called MSOE(Milwaukee school of engineering) and UW Madison beats them at all their honor.

I am not trying to belittle you but judging someone from where they got their degree and what in is just plain stupid and makes you look lower than dirt.


i wasnt judging i simply asked why he got a masters degree. And judging someone from where they got their degree happens all the time. why do you think engineers from MIT stanford Cornell and Purdue all have such high highering rates.
March 5, 2012 5:22:57 PM

Engineers:
Go to school and learn a great deal about a very narrow subject area.
They continue to learn more and more about less and less,
until they know everything about nothing.

Designers:
Go to school and learn a little bit about a great many subjects.
They continue to learn less and less about more and more,
until they know nothing about everything.

Contractors:
Start off know a great deal about a great many subjects.
But they end up realizing that they know nothing about anything,
Due to spending too much time around Engineers and Designers.

I have been all 3 in my career(s).
I prefer being a Designer now.
a c 217 U Graphics card
March 5, 2012 11:41:49 PM

JoeMomma said:
Engineers:
Go to school and learn a great deal about a very narrow subject area.
They continue to learn more and more about less and less,
until they know everything about nothing.

Designers:
Go to school and learn a little bit about a great many subjects.
They continue to learn less and less about more and more,
until they know nothing about everything.

Contractors:
Start off know a great deal about a great many subjects.
But they end up realizing that they know nothing about anything,
Due to spending too much time around Engineers and Designers.

I have been all 3 in my career(s).
I prefer being a Designer now.


That sounds about right.
March 7, 2012 4:30:53 AM

Quote:
Best way to learn is through self teaching.


I was surprised to find that when one gets a Masters degree, that is what they make you do.
The professors don't teach you anything.
They just ask the right questions, and that makes all the difference.

Self-teaching is awesome, but it is good to have some structure.
And it won't get you hired, unless your boss is cool with that.
The key is to never stop learning, no matter how much you think you know.

When I was an engineer, I would never be a high and mighty 'Word of God' arrogant ass.
I would always ask the guys pounding nails or welding steel if they had any better ideas.
Lack of "formal" education does not mean they are dumb.

Non educated people have things to teach us.
Even if the lesson is 'Don't screw up like I just did'.
!