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Arctic Cooling NV Silencer 5 - Page 3 of 5

INSTALLATION CONTINUED
You may install this on your first attempt and it will work perfectly. Or, you may install this and find that the memory pads do not make flush contact with some of your card's memory modules. That was the case for me with three or four of the modules not making good contact. Additionally, there was very poor contact with my GPU core.

Poor Initial Contact

I spent a number of hours taking very, very thin layers off of my memory pads until I had both consistent contact with them and my GPU core. You don't want to remove too much copper at one time so this is definitely a project that may require a lot of patience and attention to detail. Trial and error is key.

High Spots Highlighted

In the image above you can see where the high areas of the memory modules are. It was simply a matter of taking a full sized metal file and running it across the surface between two or more of the pads.

NOTE: The mounting bolts were not removed so typical lapping techniques cannot be applied here without some work by hand on each memory pad.

Simply adding more thermal compound to the low areas wouldn't work in my case as the variances in height/depth were just too much between the GPU core and the base. Copper material had to be removed in substantial amounts from the memory pads. Also, I did tighten the screws quite a bit and alternated corners as usual. This didn't make any difference either.

Another item to consider is the thin heat sink for the voltage regulators. It can actually make contact with the plastic casing around the backside of the fan. I never could determine if this sink was really causing problems but it was on the "high side" of where there was no GPU core contact.

Voltage Regulator Sink Removed and Trimmed

The plastic tension pin the foreground is barely grazing the surface of the fan housing. You can see the exposed aluminum on the heat sinks where I removed about 1/8" with my Dremel. These sinks normally extend just past the tension pins. The fibrous white object is where the sticker was removed by the duct tape I used as a protective mask while doing some sanding on the memory pads. I masked the hole where the fan wire comes out so as not to allow any copper shavings into the fan motor.

Eventually, I achieved excellent GPU contact and adequate contact on all of the memory modules. I exhausted the supply of thermal compound that Arctic Cooling provided and so then moved on to using Arctic Silver 5 on the GPU core and Ceramique on my memory modules.

Installing the backplates is a simple matter of removing the original backplate's holding screw on the top left edge of the card. Then, you just unscrew the female mounting screws around each video port of the original backplate and then attach the provided single slot backplate that Arctic Cooler provides. The other backplate is simply an exhaust guard that you attach as would a blank bracket directly to your case.

The Stock Backplate Obstacle

As you can see above, there is a bit of a problem. Before the revised NV 5, people had to cut their own opening out of the stock backplate to allow for exhaust out the back of the case.

The Stock Backplate Removed

TIP: Use a pair of needle nose pliers or tweezers to grasp the insertion screws and turn loose. You can then remove by hand.

The New Backplate

The New Backplate

With the provided Arctic Cooling backplate installed there is no "support arm" as there was on the stock backplate. Looks like we have an extra screw to toss in our toolbox!

Exhaust View From Within Case

There is a gap between the end of the NV Silencer 5 and the exhaust backplate. It would be interesting to see if enclosing this area would make any difference in temperatures. Somehow I doubt this, but it would make a nice side project for a rainy day.

Exhaust View From Outside Case

Now, on to the benchmarks!

Next Page: Benchmarks

 


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