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Copper Gpu Heatsink


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#1 DuBob4432

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Posted 17 July 2007 - 08:56 PM

well, i decided to make my own thread for this so those of you who haven't seen the others can see what i have been up to.

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 -

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received the heatsinks that are to be modified -

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render of approximately what the finished unit should look like -

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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:

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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 smile.gif

mod edit: updated

Edited by MickRaider, 20 July 2007 - 12:07 AM.


#2 BecomethemonsteR

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Posted 17 July 2007 - 10:49 PM

That is really nice!

#3 the_massakre

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Posted 17 July 2007 - 11:25 PM

will they be "plug and play" other than applying thermal paste and screwing them down?

Edited by grim_d, 18 July 2007 - 10:26 AM.


#4 Onesimos

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Posted 17 July 2007 - 11:32 PM

I would think the reason that MS would shy away from copper would be more to it reactivity than thermal conductivity. My questions would be, how fast will the copper tarnish, and how effective will the copper be after it tarnishes?

Just some random thoughts that popped into my head.

#5 MickRaider

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Posted 17 July 2007 - 11:57 PM

You should really make a model that allows for the xclamp replacement.

Those look amazing though.

#6 RDC

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Posted 18 July 2007 - 02:19 AM

This isn't a sales thread guys, keep it strictly pics and general info/questions on the heatsink or this thread will be Closed. There is a proper place for the Buying, Selling and Trading of 360 related components on the forums for a reason. When/If it's there, then you can have at the number game all ya want.

@ DuBob4432 - Nice work on the thing, hope to see some real numbers on it vs. a pure stock (with the M$ thermal compound, if ya can call it that) and maybe a stock with AS5 upgrade, then stock (but lapped and AS5) heatsink. Be nice to bench it against the new heat pipe sink that's out as well, just for the numbers. wink.gif

#7 DuBob4432

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Posted 18 July 2007 - 02:45 AM

QUOTE(the_massakre @ Jul 17 2007, 04:01 PM) View Post

i second that question,and will they be "plug and play" other than applying thermal paste and screwing them down?


these are basically the same size as the oem unit, give or take .1mm at the very most, so if they work better then yes, you would just attach them and go

QUOTE(Onesimos @ Jul 17 2007, 04:08 PM) View Post

I would think the reason that MS would shy away from copper would be more to it reactivity than thermal conductivity. My questions would be, how fast will the copper tarnish, and how effective will the copper be after it tarnishes?

Just some random thoughts that popped into my head.


this is a good point. i have been building computers for over 12yrs, a lot to some of you and not long to others. i have always used copper heatsinks regardless of whether i was overclocking or running at stock speeds, it is just how i build them.

i personally have never had and issue but i live in the dry az desert, humidity is something i really don't ever have to deal with.

when i did get these back they were a bit tarnished from all the handling to get them cut, but 10mins in ketchup cleaned them up to as good as new.

this aspect/point that you bring up is a good one and i would like to hear from people that live in other areas around the globe to hear their reports of copper usage in computers. i do know that all of the best computer heatsinks are copper, but i don't know if they are treated as i would think any type of coating would act like an insulator.

QUOTE(MickRaider @ Jul 17 2007, 04:33 PM) View Post

You should really make a model that allows for the xclamp replacement.

Those look amazing though.


that idea was thought of and here is a render we were going to use -

IPB Image

the problem being that milling the fins is very hard to do, we would have to build some sort of fixture out of something stronger, insert it in the area to support the fins and then drill/mill out the fins. this is something that may or may not be looked into based on how well they work smile.gif.

QUOTE(darkmike57 @ Jul 17 2007, 05:39 PM) View Post

You would make money out of the ass if you got someone to mass produce these.


not to worry, first priority is to make sure they work, then go from there.

QUOTE(SuDDeN @ Jul 17 2007, 05:41 PM) View Post

biggrin.gif
Said it about 10 times in Various Threads! biggrin.gif

MAKE SURE - That I am at least Number 2 on the list for getting one of these.......
I will gladly plop $50 on it...... I wouldn't even blink twice. I can Paypal when ever you want it. smile.gif

Just don't forget me......


you will not be forgotten smile.gif just want to make sure these work correctly first smile.gif

QUOTE(RDC @ Jul 17 2007, 06:55 PM) View Post

@ DuBob4432 - Nice work on the thing, hope to see some real numbers on it vs. a pure stock (with the M$ thermal compound, if ya can call it that) and maybe a stock with AS5 upgrade, then stock (but lapped and AS5) heatsink. Be nice to bench it against the new heat pipe sink that's out as well, just for the numbers. wink.gif


good ideas. i will probably look in the b/s/t for a couple stock units to send over to RBJTech, one leave as stock, have my buddy do a clean up cut on the other which gives it a very nice finish, near mirror. the only problem is i don't know what ms uses for a thermal compound as the stuff i found other my own reminded me more of tar than anything else smile.gif


QUOTE(RDC @ Jul 17 2007, 06:55 PM) View Post

This isn't a sales thread guys, keep it strictly pics and general info/questions on the heatsink or this thread will be Closed. There is a proper place for the Buying, Selling and Trading of 360 related components on the forums for a reason. When/If it's there, then you can have at the number game all ya want.


yes, please don't get this closed. please keep the discussion on areas you can see for improvement. if you see/know something i have overlooked, please let me know as any assistance in that area would only help others out. again, as i have stated numerous times, first priority is to make sure they work better than a stock aluminum one.

thanks for all the support and please don't get the thread closed asking about buying them, that is most definitely not what this thread is about, just and update smile.gif

Edited by DuBob4432, 18 July 2007 - 03:00 AM.


#8 grim_d

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Posted 18 July 2007 - 10:22 AM

QUOTE(DuBob4432 @ Jul 18 2007, 03:21 AM) View Post


yes, please don't get this closed. please keep the discussion on areas you can see for improvement. if you see/know something i have overlooked, please let me know as any assistance in that area would only help others out. again, as i have stated numerous times, first priority is to make sure they work better than a stock aluminum one.

thanks for all the support and please don't get the thread closed asking about buying them, that is most definitely not what this thread is about, just and update smile.gif


don't worry about that, any offending posts will be dealt with and the member cautioned appropriately. As long as you yourself are not trying the salesman act we should be sweet.

It would be pointless to close a thread that could benefit the community because a few members couldn't be bothered to read the rules, I'm sure RDC will keep an eye on things, as will I.

Offending posts will be removed or edited as seen, this includes any posts with things like "how much will these cost".

Edited by grim_d, 18 July 2007 - 10:28 AM.


#9 qweewqaz

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Posted 18 July 2007 - 10:31 AM

AWSOME!! love.gif love.gif

#10 101499

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Posted 18 July 2007 - 02:24 PM

they look great. I have been thinking about this and id love to try this out for my self. the only problem is that i can only find "rods" of copper. they are cylinders. where did you find the blacks.

i think it would definately be worth the time to make it compatible w/ the xclamp replacement

#11 Tobias Redfield

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Posted 18 July 2007 - 06:06 PM

Just brilliant biggrin.gif

#12 DuBob4432

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Posted 18 July 2007 - 07:12 PM

QUOTE(101499 @ Jul 18 2007, 07:00 AM) View Post

they look great. I have been thinking about this and id love to try this out for my self. the only problem is that i can only find "rods" of copper. they are cylinders. where did you find the blacks.

i think it would definately be worth the time to make it compatible w/ the xclamp replacement


one of the main problems was finding the copper when i was going to have it machined - that was very difficult considering the purity of copper i wanted - you want at least c1020 or c1010 (or c10200/c10100) as they are 99+% pure. plus the prices for what i did see were very high.

after learning the difficulties of that, finding another, larger heatsink was in order and actually what you see is a larger heatsink cut down, the original was 100mm x 74mm x 24mm, where these are cut down to 90mm x 70mm x 14.4mm. these started to life as dynatron a52s and now they are cut down and drilled and tapped for the 360 gpu smile.gif

for the diy'ers, here are the bottom dimensions:

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and then you would need a drill and tap for the m5 thread if you are using the newest version of RBJTech's xclamp replacement or whichever thread you desire. definitely post back here and let us know how it goes. i will still be sending a unit to RBJTech so he can compare it to his database of all his other temperature readings wink.gif

#13 VoxAngel

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Posted 18 July 2007 - 07:33 PM

QUOTE(Onesimos @ Jul 17 2007, 04:08 PM) View Post
I would think the reason that MS would shy away from copper would be more to it reactivity than thermal conductivity. My questions would be, how fast will the copper tarnish, and how effective will the copper be after it tarnishes?

Just some random thoughts that popped into my head.


Technically, over the life of the heatsink, the tarnish wouldn't even come close to affecting the effective cooling of the sink. Especially because of the dry environment within the case.

The only issue anyone may have about tarnish is purely asthetic.


#14 DuBob4432

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Posted 18 July 2007 - 08:34 PM

anybody know if there would be an issue using steel screws/bolts to hold this due to a chemical reaction? i know there are issues when mixing aluminum and copper in a liquid cooling enviornment, not sure if thee would be an issue w/ this. i am pretty sure i could get brass in the threading i have it threaded in atm.

thanks in advance smile.gif

#15 RBJTech

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Posted 18 July 2007 - 09:22 PM

QUOTE(DuBob4432 @ Jul 18 2007, 09:10 PM) View Post

anybody know if there would be an issue using steel screws/bolts to hold this due to a chemical reaction? i know there are issues when mixing aluminum and copper in a liquid cooling enviornment, not sure if thee would be an issue w/ this. i am pretty sure i could get brass in the threading i have it threaded in atm.

thanks in advance smile.gif


I don't think there will be any issues as it's a thermal device only - I believe you only start getting problems when you mix metals as part of an electrical conductor but I'm no expert on this ...

Worst case - we could use nylon M5 bolts.

Looking good btw - can't wait to test it ... biggrin.gif

Looking at the design - this is my prediction on the results ...

1. At stock fan speed and shroud design - I don't believe it will be any better than stock - infact, it may be worse due to the density of the fins. (*)
2. With stock fan speed and the shroud divider - Better than stock (with divider) but not significant.
3. With increased fan speed (say 6v), shroud divider - Much better than stock by a reasonable margin.

(*)
The fin density has a lot to do with a heatsink design - unless you can sqeeze the air down the narrow channels, then you're not going to exchange the heat to the air at a sufficient rate. So with a high density fin design, the balance of surface area vs air exchange needs to be correct - hence my thoughts above.








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