Best way to take off a glued heatsink on a Ti4200?

LastRide

Senior member
Jul 13, 2002
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I have a visiontek Ti4200 128MB card.I would like to take off the stock heatsink and fan and apply AS3 on the chip.I ordered some heatsinks and a blue orb to replace the stock HS and fan.What is the best method of taking off the heatsink without possibly damaging the chip?.Mine has thermal glue or something holding it in place,white in color.The HS does not use push pins or anything like that but glued in place.I have read about using a knife or screwdriver and rotating the tool to pry the HS off the chip.I took a look at my card and the paste or whatever they use looks kinda hard and they used alot of that paste seeping out the sides.I had very little room to put a screwdriver or knife between the chip and HS to get a grip to pry,so I gave up concerned I was going to damage the chip.Anyone know the proper way to take it off or suggestions?.Also what I can use to clean it up after its off?.Is the chip metal on top or is it all plastic?.I see black platic on the sides,can't tell on top.Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

ciparis

Member
Aug 10, 2001
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I have that card, and recently upgraded the cooling. Some tips, and some disappointing news...

I put mine in the freezer, then I used a plastic spatula to pry the stock cooler off. Luckily mine wasn't very well bonded - the Visiontek crew had gotten a bit lazy, and only the edge had epoxy on it. It overclocked stably to 300 regardless.


Getting the residue off was much more difficult than with the typical TIM you see on bargain coolers. I had to basically scrape it. Alot. Sandpaper would work well I think, but I didn't have any handy. The chip is plastic on the outsides with a metal core. It's not really a precision surface - expect to use lots of compound to get a good mating with your heat sink.

The RAM chips are not good candidates for many heatsinks. There is very close placement of a resistor on two sides of each chip. The resistor is taller than the chip, meaning your RAM heat sinks can't be much (if any) larger than the RAM chips in order to still be able to fit - longer RAM heat sinks that are designed to bridge across two chips are out of the question.

The Blue Orb is also a fairly pointless replacement to the stock cooler. It basically is a blue orb already, with a visiontek sticker; all you'll really be doing is replacing the (effective) thermal epoxy / pinless installation with one using compound and pins. It will be a good deal of warranty-voiding work for little benefit. The crystal orb would be a better choice, although I'd probably spring for the much larger copper GF4 cooler.

Also, although the visiontek card has heatsink holes, they are not the same diameter as the thermaltake GPU heatsinks assume; they're too small. If you look at the card, you will see what look to be small washers embedded in each hole. That's what spoils the fit of the pins on coolers like the blue (and crystal) orb. You'll need to drill those out. They're very soft so it's not at all hard. You can even just use a small phillips head if you don't have a drill handy - just a bit of abrasion will clear out the "washer", widening the hole enough to allow the mounting pins to go through.

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As for what I did with mine, I was very disappointed with aftermarket GPU coolers in general. They sacrifice alot in order to fit into a standard card slot. Even the crystal orb was a big letdown. They all seem to provide very little additional cooling, and the GF4 produces alot of heat.

But I don't actually have any PCI cards installed, and if I did it would still be an easy matter to locate any PCI cards in the farthest PCI slot to provide lots of room for a larger AGP card cooler. So I took an old silver orb (socket A) cooler and a bit of arctic alumina epoxy and made a minor addition to my card. It now has a massive, reasonably lightweight aluminum athlon cooler attached, which (aside from looking like a cylinder head stickout out the side of an old motorcycle engine) provides outstanding cooling.

I can complete a 3dmark bench at 330 core, although I usually leave it running 24/7 at 315 - the max you can do with coolbits-enabled nividia drivers (it's nice not having to run powerstrip) and which leaves a nice, comfortable headroom for guaranteed stability.

My RAM maxed out at only 545; 550 is more typical.

This Ti4200 128 meg card does 12,200 3Dmarks (standard settings at 1024*768). My system is a P4 1.6A running at 2.5 (155 bus, XMS3000 memory at 3:4 for 207MHz DDR RAM speed) on an Abit IT7. All air-cooled - using a volcano 7+ on LOW fan speed. Fast and quiet.
 

LastRide

Senior member
Jul 13, 2002
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Thanks for the quick reply.It sounds like a lot of work for little gain.I may just consider scrapping the whole idea or get a better heatsink and fan as you mentioned.I still haven't recieved my parts.I may consider keeping the ramsinks and pick a different cooler.I bought the blue orb cause it had pushpins and I didn't want to start drilling and using screws to put back on the stock HS and fan.I did notice its basically the same cooler but I thought it would be easier to replace.The ramsinks and the blue orb come as a package or I could have bought the ramsinks seperately.Here is the link to the place I got this stuff from and below that different coolers.Is there any coolers on the 2nd link that you might think will work better?.I live in Canada so prices are in Canadian if it sounds alot:).

Ramsinks and Blue Orb

Chipset Cooling
 

ciparis

Member
Aug 10, 2001
43
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That's alot of money, even in Canadian dollars, for a blue orb-based solution. I'm not a big fan of returning things (poor retailers need all the help they can get) but I don't think that's a great deal.

The large copper Thermaltake GF4 cooler (which includes RAM sinks as well) is widely available for $20 US

If that's a loony in the pics, those are pretty big RAM sinks. Basically you have two sides on those RAM chips in which a heat sink can overlap. Those square sinks might fit, but you'll be mounting them using just the corners of the sinks - the rest will overlap and hang over the card, and I can't recall just how far you can go before hitting nother surface mount component. I'd consider looking for an BGA type RAM sinks... individual ones are generally smaller (like BGA RAM chips themselves) and you'll be more likely to get them to fit on the visiontek card. But there's nothing wrong with an off-centered overlap if you can still cover the entire chip - give it a look when your sinks arrive and check it out then. They look like they're pretty high quality, but I'd be surprised if they make a huge difference in your top RAM speed. Generally you'll get more out of improving the GPU cooling than improving the RAM cooling, in my opinion. But of course, improving both is always nice ;)
 

LastRide

Senior member
Jul 13, 2002
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76
Thats a picture of a penny,just a shiney new one.I don't like returning stuff myself.I can always sell the blue orb and use the heatsinks cause they look small enough but I'll take a look at it.By the pic the sinks look a bit smaller than the penny width wise.The ramsinks won't be worth installing unless I find a good cooler that will do the job.Maybe I'll try what you did.I wanted to use AS3 and be able to clip the HS on the board but it looks like I might have to use compound which I didn't want to use.Our dollar sucks right now,$20 U.S is $31.60 canadian.By the time you make a money order and shipping,duty it aint going to be worth it to save a couple dollars for the headache.Maybe even cost more in the end.There are cheaper places here but they had a couple other things I needed.They have the Panaflo L1A case fans for $10 each which is a good deal for up here.
 

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