Pillaging A Sapphire Radeon HD 7750 Ultimate
We weren't able to find any older passively-cooled Nvidia cards that'd work, so we made a Radeon HD 7750 from Sapphire suffer. Why Sapphire? That's just the first board I grabbed when I came up with this idea. It could have just as easily been a HIS card. I remember that the iSilence Cooler does its job really well, going nearly unchanged since the days of AMD's Radeon HD 6670.
Within minutes, I had the sink removed and cleaned off, and the same for Nvidia's sample.
So what now? We're off by just one millimeter in length and width. In the end, I had to get crafty and enlarge the holes to make the PCB fit under Sapphire's sink.
You can do this with something like a good pair of scissors. Just be careful and trim the enlarged holes.
Of course, you need to keep a sharp eye on thermals the first time you fire up the modified card. Then, carefully re-tighten the screws after an hour of burn-in.
Why not use an Arctic Accelero S1 Plus?
Sure, that might have worked. In some situations, it could have even been better. But the Arctic cooler doesn't solve the PCB fitment issues. In fact, its bundled screws are even thicker up top to ensure the cooler doesn't go anywhere after installation. Also, the S1 Plus is extremely large, which means you need 16 cm above the upper card slot edge, and there was no way to get that into the case we're using.
No matter what you do, there's no way to avoid enlarging the screw holes. The safest way to do it is up to you. With a little skill and a little courage, you can use this cooler or try another one, so long as it's not too heavy for Nvidia's little PCB.