as many of you know, there is a serious deficiency in the gpu cooling on the 360. many people have contributed many fine mods to keep the 360 cooler as the newest games seem to push the hardware harder and harder.
the one issue was that most everybody used the stock aluminum gpu heatsink as that is basically the only option unless you go liquid cooling. aluminum is not the best thermal conductor but is cheap and that is why i am thinking ms used their current design. i and many others could go on and on about the actual design from a cooling standpoint and most would give ms a F in their design from that side.
more than 1 person has wondered if copper would do a better job than the aluminum gpu heatsink, but nothing was available. i am lucky enough to have incredible resources available to me in the form a good friend who happens to be an aerospace machinist that owns his own company and there at my disposal through him access to more than a couple million dollars worth of high end, industrial cnc equipment. i figured as i am in the process of learning solidworks this would be a great project to take one and also be able to have the units cnc cut from a block of high purity copper.
i soon realized through reading and also from my friend that copper is a real pain the ass to machine because it is so soft, and the more pure, the softer. in his work he works works w/ aluminum, titanium, stainless steel and a bit of bronze, and bronze being a real pita as it is in the copper family, with other additions to it. so machining from a block of copper was going to more than likely break parts as the clearance between the fins i was wanting meant a very small cutter would have to do the work, along w/ a very long cut time. i couldn't ask him to break parts and also keep a hundred thousand dollar machine offline for many hours as it cut these units, just not feasible.
after a bit of thought i figured i could have an already on the shelf unit modified, but again, finding one w/ the fins going the correct way and being large enough to cut down proved another obstacle. after quite a bit of looking, i finally found one and ordered a couple. being that my friend has a whole machine shop at his disposal, they have conventional tools and he was able to cut them using more conventional methods and the cnc equipment was not needed. he was able to hold very good tolerances even w/ the fins as they are extremely thin and therefore structurally weak.
here is the evolution of the process and what got me to where i am at now -
first model - a 40fin model - basically learning solidworks -
received the heatsinks that are to be modified -
render of approximately what the finished unit should look like -
just so you know, the stock 360 gpu heatsink has 34 fins, where the new one has ~60 fins thus giving quite a bit more surface area, i just hope it is not too much....
one of the other issues was weight. after seeing RBJTech's newest xclamp replacement method, i am now very sure these won't mess up the board as they weigh in at ~13.2oz compared to 3oz for the stock ones. the virgin ones were ~23oz, so ~10oz was taken off.
now for the pics of the alpha prototype, round 1:
i am in the process of getting the correct screws and sending one to RBJTech for a nice comparison of the data he has w/ the stock unit. these current ones are not M5 tapped, so that is why i am going to get him the correct screws for it. it will be interesting to see what, if any differences the copper units offer over the ones ms uses. copper is about quite a bit better than aluminum in reference to thermal conductivity and the ones i have here are 99.9%+ pure oxygen free copper, so you really can't get any more pure.
here is a link to the old/original thread in case you wanted to read all that went on during the last couple of months regarding this setup.
i will keep you all updated here as things continue
mod edit: updated
Edited by MickRaider, 20 July 2007 - 12:07 AM.