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stock amd 1090t cpu heatsink on xfx hd7950 (with reference like cooling) , easily done :D


hey there,
did you ever wondered how much cooler your graphics card will run if you install an amd heatsink on them instead of reference like cooling that some of them have

i had XFX Radeon HD 7950 Core Edition which have almost stock like cooling ( regardless of their "ghost cooling" )
it have very puny heatsink, i think it looks even smaller than my previous saphire hd6770's heatsink.
And when it come to cool a flagship card, then it takes big and sometime ugly to do that
with stock xfx heatsink, it used to remain between 80-85'c during constant >90% load while playing gta5 and crisis 3 which is higher than i would like my card to run
here are some temperature tests done by toms on reference heatsink

at this temp, it will die a sooner death, and every moment will agony for it, so i had to do something.
i didn't had enough money to buy an aftermarket heatsink for it, but i did had stock 1090t's heatsink and noctua nt-h1 thermal paste
first i tried cleaning gpu heatsink and applying nt-h1, i applied nt-h1 on gpu, vrm, memory chips and this almost emptied my new nt-h1 syringe, but this didn't brought any change in temps.
Now i was left with either let it die a slow and painful death, or proceed with experiment which may or may not work or may even kill it instantly due to some short circuit on gpu or even can kill my whole pc
well looking at the option, burning my whole pc sound better :p
so i went ahead, did some measurements, some markings, find sme screws with sufficient length and width so that they can get in between fins of heatsink without damaging fins and hold them tight enough to handle heatsink at it place. ( i had athlon 7750's heatsink too which had exactly this type of screws but at that time didn't remembered about them )
after finding such screws, next thing was to find some spring like thing for them ( just like that of stock heatsink screws ) , for that, i used the screws of stock heatsink and took out the spring from them.
last but not the least, i needed a peace of metal to place between heatsink and gpu so as to fill the gap between them ( because hd7950's gpu is a little small in height ), i could have experimented with lots of thermal paste for this purpose but that would have resulted in less efficient cooling, so i settled for a piece of aluminium sheet from hardware store

then i went ahead, applied and spread the thermal paste on gpu, on heatsink, and on both sides of aluminium sheet ( dot method can't be used here )
then carefully placed the metal peace on gpu and pressed it a little so that it sticks to gpu, then carefully placed the card on inverted heatsink, then held it at that place and tightened the screws , and thats it, nice and easy, got completed without any hassles :p

then installed it in pc with fingers crossed, and viola, it survived the post, then it completed the boot, then i went to temperature monitor program and it showed around 40'C then i fired a pi calculation benchmark using gpu which took less than a second and i saw negligible temp increase, then i tested it for longer time and found that it runs much cooler than previous heatsink , experiment was successful
thats the way it is done

here are some pics of stock amd heatsink on hd7950 gpu
close look at screws which went between heatsink's fins

back of the card

front of the card

side of the card

other side of the card

one more side pic

card installed in pc

i plugged the heatsink's fan on motherboard, and used the fan of gpu to blow some air on vrm area ( though i could have plugged the 1090t's fan on card's fan connector but fan's connector is a little big so i will need to break connector on card but i let it as it.
Now it remain below 55'c ( down from previous 85'c ) during constant >90% load while playing gta5 and crisis 3
now i can even clock it up to 1.3ghz and temps still remains below 70'c ( though at that speed my smps will die because this card will use too much power and my smps can't handle it for long )


CyberdyneSystems Model101
I dont think the card can take the weight of the CPU cooler . The card will start to bend soon.


Super Moderator
Staff member
The memory chips are not covered also which may reduce the cards lifetime. Op need to take care of that I guess and a backplate for the entire card if possible to balance out the load. Anyway, the mod work is indeed genius so kudos for that.
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