gfx Overclocking

I have the new Fallout. It is amazing. Finally I have a new game that I enjoy and that my graphics card(MSI NGTX275 Lightning) cant run on ULTRA on my HD 1920×1080 screen without a tiny bit of lag, Which means I now have an excuse to overclock this card! ๐Ÿ˜€ More than its factory overclock anyway! ๐Ÿ˜› For starters I’m running (a now -old-) Intel Q6600 under (Swiftech ๐Ÿ˜€ ) water-cooling @ 3.6ghz (stock is 2.4ghz) and 6gb of DDR2 RAM also overclocked(thou I forget how much xD) So it’s just my card that has been stock up till now!

To begin the stock cooling on this card is really good, much better than the reference design.. BUT it still idles in windows ~56’C (to be fair it is directly above my triple 120mm radiator for my CPU ๐Ÿ˜› ) but I thought it would be best to take her apart, investigate and at the very least replace the T.I.M with something better like arctic silver ceramic..

On taking her apart I found that the heat-sink surface had horribly deep milling groves in it! NOT very good for efficient contact at all! This meant only one thing! I need to lap this baby! ๐Ÿ˜€ Break out the sandpaper and 3 hours of your life kids! ๐Ÿ˜›

A quick scratch in the sandpaper box yielded some good grit sizes, namely; 220, 400, 800, 1000 & 1200 more than enough to get an awesome surface (but not quite mirror mind you) you also need a FLAT surface like a tile or mirror, I found a big piece of glass lying around. And a little bit of water with a drop of dish soap in it which I find makes life easier…

WOOT! there is a proper copper block under here! not a cheap aluminum one ๐Ÿ˜€

Start with the 220 grit and get through the top layer of crap until a flat uniform surface is achieved, then move up a grit size until the -scratches- from the previous size are removed (AND not before!). Also I find the best “technique” to use it to move the heat-sink in straight strokes for 10-20 strokes while applying moderate pressure and then rotate the heat-sink 90′ and repeat. This ensures the surface is lapped evenly…

400 grit… things coming along…

getting near to mirror…

Ahh finally after 3 hours of lapping we’re at the 1200 grit stage and things are looking good! Not quite mirror finish but as smooth as it needs to get for our application. Using a higher grit from here e.g. 2000 – 2500 will result in a mirror finish but wont yield any more performance increase so just for looks really.. I wont bother ๐Ÿ˜›

even still thou! It’s pretty damn shiny ๐Ÿ˜›

Meanwhile back at the ranch… I gave the fan mounts a quick spray for some extra flair considering this is now the modified, upgraded model xD also cleaned everything else up a bit ๐Ÿ™‚

Fan’s back on… I actually put them on the wrong sides and had to change it later. xD -selfnoobpwn.

Top cover back on… pic says it all…

Cleaned up the mating surfaces nicely with my arctic surface prep and then applied some nice arctic silver ceramic and reinstalled ๐Ÿ™‚

I must say, while lapping is alot of work it looks gooooood and feels guuud too ๐Ÿ˜€

Got her back together without the infamous remaining screw! ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€

So what about the performance! Back in windows after some testing temps seem to idle around 45’C now!! A HUGE improvement of around 11’C!!! Hopefully this hard-work will pay off in some added overclocking headroom since more clock-speed needs more voltage which results in more heat! And the point this card start shutting down is 80’C to protect itself… BUT that’s it for now kids! check back soon for some proper overclocking action ๐Ÿ˜€


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