First post, by nforce4max
The reason why that I made this thread is that people who search around on the net will find it so it is not just meant for Vogons. 😀
For V1 and V2 these cards are pretty easy to work with and any stick on cooler (3M thermal adhesive tape) will be more than enough. Don't use any epoxy or anything that will create a permanent bond.
For Banshee and Voodoo 3. Be very careful when trying to remove the coolers from these cards especially if thermal epoxy has been used. There are two very similar methods to removing coolers that used the epoxy. Both are the same except one goes a step further to chill the card in a freezer. If you can't bend the cooler with a flat tip screwdriver but instead the pcb bends be very careful. The bga can pull a trace from the pcb and the bga package can crack. If the bga package cracks and doesn't go across the die you must apply pressure to allow the gpu to function correctly again. I learned the hard way this morning. If the die cracks then you have a brick but it can still serve as a donor for other cards as parts.
For V5 the task is very easy, a few min in the freezer, any swipe card, and a flat tip screwdriver. The coolers are very thin and bend very easily so they pop off. Don't try to bend them all in one go but work a little more each time you apply pressure. The epoxy will crack as the cooler bends then pop off with a ringing sound.
To clean up the epoxy on Banshee up through to v56k all you need is 91% grade rubbing alcohol. You can reuse the stock cooler to help clean the gpu free of epoxy by applying some alcohol on the gpu and then placing the cooler back on. After a few min you can then scrape some of the epoxy off. Will take two or three times to full clean up. Once done you have a few choices, either stick on or bolt mounted/push pin. I prefer bolt as it is full secure and if the bga package cracks you can recover the card that would have been bricked.
One thing to keep in mind for the thermal tape that was used on the V3 it can be fairly strong so keep an eye on the pcb and core. For the cards that have the very small cooler like the v3 2k the cooler comes off with ease.
The choices for thermal compound are pretty good but arctic silver 5 works great on these older cards and is cheaper than 3M thermal tape. It acts like a glue as it sets in but takes time but medical or scotch tape will help keep the cooler in place if there is no mounting holes in place.
For a little extra cooling vram coolers to the backside of the gpu will help with temps and allow for slightly higher clocks when overclocking. For Banshee and V3 cards cooling the mosfet that powers the gpu will help to extend the life of the card as well further improve stability.
On a far away planet reading your posts in the year 10,191.