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Water-Cooling the Graphics Core

The standard cooler of the Sparkle FX 5900XT graphics card (and its twin brother from Point of View) is a massive aluminum contraption which looks much like the reference cooler from the Ti4600. There’s one 40mm fan, covered with a protective grid from above. The cooler is installed on the GPU with thermal paste in between and touches the memory chips through non-adhesive thick (2mm) thermal pads.

This thing cools well, but some modification will help.

The simplest and most efficient thing you can do is install additional blowers. In our case, blown on by two 80mm fans the graphics card didn’t overheat even at 600MHz GPU frequency and 1.8 Vgpu.

The next step is installation of a water-cooling system on the chip. We used the most aggressive option – a dedicated Koolance EXOS unit with a Koolance water-block for graphics cards.

You shouldn’t wait for miracles from water cooling, though. If the card has normal temperatures before its installation, you won’t get any perceptible frequency gains. In our case, water cooling added 10MHz to the GPU clock rate.

The status of the card: the chip’s lid is on, Vgpu is 1.8v.

Note that after the removal of the standard cooler the memory chips remained naked, without any cooling, save for the blowers. This fact didn’t affect their overclockability: 955MHz.

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