Build Your Own: Single-Slot GeForce GTX 750 Ti

We already proved that it's possible to game on a GeForce GTX 750 Ti with a passive heat sink. Now we're going to do the same thing with a single-slot cooler. Can you build your own low-profile board based on GM107? Sure, if you have the right AMD donor.

We received plenty of feedback from our U.S. and German audiences on Passively Cooling Nvidia's GeForce GTX 750 Ti...With An AMD Sink, and we wanted to give customization another shot. What can you expect this time around? We'll see (yet again) that Nvidia's GPU Boost is quite effective as a thermal protection mechanism. And we'll toy around with single-slot coolers from AMD graphics cards to make today's story happen.

Our spare parts come from AMD's FirePro V3900. That board is based on a Turks GPU, which takes us back to 2012 and a 40 nm manufacturing process. A 50 W thermal ceiling is lower than what Nvidia's card needs to handle, but the GeForce GTX 750 Ti is more elegant with its power management, and we have to believe AMD's thermal solution has some headroom built in.

Still, the question remains: can the single-slot, low-profile FirePro V3900's heat sink and fan keep Nvidia's first Maxwell-based GPU running stably?

How much performance might you sacrifice in the process of dipping from a dual- to single-slot cooler? That's probably the most important question coming from HTPC and small form factor enthusiasts.

Let's get to work customizing our board in order to answer that question.

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  • silverblue
    And now... fitting a Titan/780 Ti cooler to a 290X. ;)
  • Other Comments
  • de5_Roy
    i've been waiting to read it for a while. it was very good.
    one aspect of gcn based radeons is that despite their low power use in entry level cards, all of them use higher amount of pwoer during bluray playback. both kepler and maxwell (gm107) use quite less. a single slot, low profile operation, a card with gpu like gm107 will be very suitable for htpc. not to mention the sheer amount of gaming performance advantage over other gfx card around the same power use. hopefully, the future 20nm gpus will introduce even more performance under the same power use.
  • brarboy
    Amd and Nvidia in same boat. You really got my attention here :D
  • silverblue
    And now... fitting a Titan/780 Ti cooler to a 290X. ;)
  • AMD Radeon
    Sorry i edit this
  • dish_moose
    I get a little cautious about making holes in multi layer pcbs and using metal screws. Without knowing the power plane structure and clearances, you gamble shorting out internal layers if you are not lucky/careful.-Bruce
  • jamesedgeuk2000
    I think I have noticed a flaw with what you guys did here. The card only supply's power to the fan it doesn't regulate PWM or sense RPM, so am I correct in assuming that it's using voltage regulation to control fan speed and therefore doing it blind based on it's temperature curve? If so then as you have replaced the standard fan with a much weaker one you should really consider raising the fan curve to compensate.
  • CodeMatias
    Why not use a K2000 cooler? also nvidia small die so it might work better, and K2000 is ~80W so it should cool the 750ti just fine.
  • CodeMatias
    Quote:
    And now... fitting a Titan/780 Ti cooler to a 290X. ;)
    Asus already did... It doesn't work, the 290X just draws too much power
  • Captain75
    I need a low profile version of the card though -_-
  • AndrewJacksonZA
    Anonymous said:
    And now... fitting a Titan/780 Ti cooler to a 290X. ;)
    Yes silverblue, yes! :-)
  • Onus
    I'm sorry, but this is NOT a "low profile" card. It is single-slot, but not low-profile. It needs to be able to fit in an InWin BK655.300 (or similar mITX case) to be low-profile. For that, the circuit board itself must be short.
  • FormatC
    Quote:
    Why not use a K2000 cooler? also nvidia small die so it might work better, and K2000 is ~80W so it should cool the 750ti just fine.

    The cooler doesn't fit. Some caps and coils are too high and the distance between the holes is not compatible. I've tried other FirePro cards but it was not possible too...

    Quote:
    The card only supply's power to the fan it doesn't regulate PWM or sense RPM, so am I correct in assuming that it's using voltage regulation to control fan speed

    This fan is voltage controlled, right. The goal was to use Boost to limit the temps and show you that you lost only a little bit performance. I had no non-Ti in my hands to ise it. This slower card is really perfect for this kind of cooling :(

    Quote:
    I get a little cautious about making holes in multi layer pcbs and using metal screws.

    It is one of the rules, that around this holes is nothing. You have always 1 mm reserve and more ;)
  • Pedasc
    Just to echo Onus the AMD card they took the cooler off of is "low profile". This card still has a full size PCB, it is not "low profile".
  • FormatC
    The goal was only to show, that a low-profile and single-slot card might work. It's clear that nobody can take a saw and modify the reference board... :D
  • AndrewJacksonZA
    Anonymous said:
    It's clear that nobody can take a saw and modify the reference board... :D
    <obligatory>Chuck Norris can.</obligatory> ;-)
  • de5_Roy
    Anonymous said:
    Anonymous said:
    It's clear that nobody can take a saw and modify the reference board... :D
    <obligatory>Chuck Norris can.</obligatory> ;-)


    chuck norris does not need a saw to modify the reference nvidia pcb down to low profile form factor. he simply throws the card in the air and roundhouse kicks it to cutoff the excess height and into to the motherboard's pcie x16 slot. the shock wave from the roundhouse kick then causes the case re-assemble itself and the pc to start.
  • vertexx
    Now if only someone would come out with a single-slot low-profile version. That would really be something!
  • renz496
    Anonymous said:
    I'm sorry, but this is NOT a "low profile" card. It is single-slot, but not low-profile. It needs to be able to fit in an InWin BK655.300 (or similar mITX case) to be low-profile. For that, the circuit board itself must be short.


    then get this card and replace the heatsink

    http://www.galaxytech.com/__EN_GB__/Product2/ProductDetail?proID=517&isStop=0&isPack=False&isPow=False
  • Onus
    Yeah, it can't be double-slot. I couldn't tell if it has the half-height bracket though, and the spec sheet doesn't list it as an accessory.
  • RedJaron
    Anonymous said:
    Quote:
    And now... fitting a Titan/780 Ti cooler to a 290X. ;)
    Asus already did... It doesn't work, the 290X just draws too much power

    The reason this didn't work is because the GK110 chip is quite a bit larger than Hawai'i. In Asus' case, two of the heat pipes don't even touch the chip and were useless.


    There's no reason a 780 type cooling solution can't be used, but you need to address the smaller surface area on the chip for optimal heat transference.