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Home Made Heatpipe Gpu Cooler


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#1 Janneman84

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Posted 09 March 2008 - 05:37 PM

I wanted to have a nice heatpipe cooler, like the people who got one after they had sent in their xbox for RROD repair. So I made one myself rolleyes.gif

For this I used two heatpipes and the brackets from a Zalman heatpipe HDD cooler. The brackets proofed to be a good tool to bend and straighten the pipe to my needs.

Once the pipes were bent I used pliers to flatten the pipe to make it fit into the GPU-sink. Then I soldered the pipes onto the sink. For this I used the kitchen stove (no soldering iron beats that smile.gif). I guess the next pictures speak for themselves:

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I know it looks kinda sucky, If i were to do it again it'd probably look a lot better. The heatsink has suffered a little from experimenting, but hey it works all great smile.gif. The additional fan that I placed now blows directly on both the CPU and GPU heatsink, great isn't it?:

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It's a Zalman OP1 slimline 80mm fan, which is only halve as thick as ordinary 80mm fans.

As for the temperatures, the fans don't start to blow very loud after a while anymore. This proofes that the temperatures are lower because that's what triggers the fans to run faster.

Besides that I also modded the psu brick. Mine had a very noisy fan in it and hardly produced any airflow. My idea: remove the fan and add a lot of ventilation holes:

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About 230 3mm holes, and no fan smile.gif. It was kinda tricky to make it work because the psu won't start without an rmp signal from the fan. Luckily this could be fixed easily: just connect the blue rpm wire to the black ground wire and then the psu and xbox boots without hesitation.

As you can see I've added small heatsinks all over the place, those are Zalman ZM80 VGA heatsinks. Also under the GPU-sink there are two ram-chips. To make them connect to the gpu sink I cut small slices from the pink pads on the bottom of the motherboards (they're thick enough). Naturally I used some heat compound to make sure they connect well to the sink.

As for the fans, I used rubber bands to absorbe the vibrations to make them more silent. Besides that I made them run a lot slower by connecting them in series, cutting their operating voltage in halve. By doing that they only need one outlet from the motherboard, so I could use the other one to power the intake fan on the side (with a resistor to slow it down). By the way, I carefully chose which fan outlet to use for which fan, or I could have created a positive feedbeck loop ohmy.gif, haha (too much to explain).

To make the airflow more efficient, I placed a small piece of cardboard into the fanduct to force the upper fan to suck air from the gpu. I also cut away the metal grill behind the fan, and I made the holes of the plastic grill a little larger.

To make the silent treatment complete I (of course) flashed my dvd-drive with a firmware that makes it run more quietly.

Edited by Janneman84, 09 March 2008 - 05:45 PM.


#2 SEXBOX360

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Posted 09 March 2008 - 06:17 PM

I liked the idea about drilling holes. I might take a look at it or add a heatsink cause if I'm going to mod mine and then every noise is going to be eliminated if it's possible.

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#3 uberwoot

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Posted 09 March 2008 - 07:07 PM

Dont wanna burst your bubble but maskeing a heatpipe cooling aint as easy as soldering on some heat pipes and beaing done with it. +1 for effort but it will never work

#4 jopotus

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Posted 09 March 2008 - 07:10 PM

i like the heat pipe. nice work. it looks little hmm. but i like it. does yours psu make noise? my psu is totally silent.. it has always been.. weird.

#5 nos33

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Posted 09 March 2008 - 07:57 PM

Yeah when making heat piping you need to use the right stuff. it is not a simple thing to do. you need the right coper tubing and the right braze and basically weld the whole thing together. But i like your idea. And what is with the rubber band around the fans?? never seen that before.

Edited by nos33, 09 March 2008 - 08:00 PM.


#6 Janneman84

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Posted 09 March 2008 - 10:57 PM

QUOTE(nos33 @ Mar 9 2008, 08:33 PM) View Post

Yeah when making heat piping you need to use the right stuff. it is not a simple thing to do. you need the right coper tubing and the right braze and basically weld the whole thing together. But i like your idea. And what is with the rubber band around the fans?? never seen that before.


I didn't make the pipes myself, so they can't be wrong. I tested them in an open flame, they worked smile.gif

I put the rubber bands around the fans to absorb annoying vibrations.


If 'normal' soldering isn't going to work, then wat is?

I mean I just found out that another guy in this forum did the heatpipe soldering too:
http://forums.xbox-s...o...6843&st=120

Edited by Janneman84, 09 March 2008 - 11:01 PM.


#7 kirky1991

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Posted 09 March 2008 - 11:11 PM

It'll work, it may not be super efficient but it'll do its job! Soldering should be ok if it dont get too hot blink.gif which i expect it not to and if it does then Whoops jester.gif

#8 Janneman84

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Posted 16 March 2008 - 05:10 PM

Well the last one didn't work (heatsinks got hardly warm), so my next attempt is this:

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The heatpipes aren't crushed anymore, they now actually work smile.gif. You can see a thermal diode placed into the heatsink. I also checked the temperature of the heatpipe itself and the extra heatsinks.

I got the highest temperatures by starting Devil May Cry 4 (demo) and letting it run the 'press start' screen. Actually playing the game gave me lower temps.

The temperature of the diode as placed in the picture never got above 84C. Remember that's tops, normal playing any game gave me temperatures under 80C. Meanwhile the heatpipes/extra sink got around 70C.

Don't forget that I connected both exhaust fans in series letting them run at halve their usual voltage. They're CPU-temp regulated and I have an intake fan directly on top of the cpu, meaning that the exhaust fans run very quietly and slowly.

The temperatures are about 10C lower than before. The reason that it's not more is probably because the heat from the blue heatsinks warms the air up before it hits the original sink. I also had the idea of placing a third heatpipe that goes upward sticking out on top of the console. It'd probably work a lot better, but I won't do it for now.

In the end I'm happy with my xbox, it's quiet and the temperatures are acceptable.

#9 Scan-C

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Posted 16 March 2008 - 05:29 PM

Hm nice idea but that "cooler" at the end of the heatpipe gets really hot? I can't imagine that. The heatpipes are crushed so the structure inside is probably damaged. Also the liquid in the pipe can't condensate well through the pieces pressed together. Did you look out for the direction of the pipe? They have a cool and a hot side and if you reverse them they'll not work as efficient.
Good idea but you can get more out of that.

#10 PezDispenser

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 12:02 AM

Dude, I completely respect your idea, with the heat-pipe. You also did a good job, given the tools you're using.

But, I think Ausmods is gonna have a cooling problem, with that slim360, when he puts it all back together. There will be major hot-spots in those heatsinks. (he either needs all copper sinks, or more plumbing) He's just experimenting, hoping to find something that will work, as far as I'm concerned. [How cool will that be, if/when it does work?!]

I actually have more respect for your idea, cooling-wise. If you centered those tubes, above the chip under the heatsink, it should work okay...

If you had to re-do it for some reason, I'd really suggest finding a way to at least mimic the proper tool for bending the tubing. You want absolutely no kinking (thats the most likely place for cracking later) to restrict the flow. I'd also say spend the $10 at radio shack or wherever, to get a soldering iron.

I'm still under my 3rod warranty, or I'd be redoing the heatsinks myself. (My personal plan is to replace both heatsinks with computer CPU fan/heatsinks & go external with the dvd drive.)

You're idea sounds good. I'd really go to town on the tubing though, only leave 3 or 4 fins between tubes (looks like that'd be 2 or 3 more tubes). Then find somewhere away from the CPU heatsink & have the tubes all run in to a larger radiator.

Having the tubing recurve back for another pass, would cut down on the number of pieces & be more typical of a commercial product...

Of course, that's always assuming there's enough space inside, for all this junk. That's the real trick Ausmods has to work out with the slim360.

#11 uberwoot

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 02:41 AM

Place the thermal probe under the heatsink as close as you can get it to the core. no one really cares about the heatsinks temps thats not important. the important temp is the temp of the core.

#12 Janneman84

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 03:59 PM

QUOTE(Scan-C @ Mar 16 2008, 06:05 PM) View Post

Hm nice idea but that "cooler" at the end of the heatpipe gets really hot? I can't imagine that. The heatpipes are crushed so the structure inside is probably damaged. Also the liquid in the pipe can't condensate well through the pieces pressed together. Did you look out for the direction of the pipe? They have a cool and a hot side and if you reverse them they'll not work as efficient.
Good idea but you can get more out of that.

You should have paid attention. In my last post I showed a redone mod with heatpipes that aren't crushed anymore.

As for the thermal diode, it's only like 3mm away from the gpu so placing it underneath probably doesn't make much difference.

I found this: ZM-NBHP1
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These heatpipes would be perfect. You could make your own bending tools by taking a piece of wood and drilling a 5mm hole in it (just a thought).

I really think making a heatpipe stick out on top (right in front of the HDD) would help a lot. Would anyone like to give it a try?




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