Editor's Note: Material contained in this article was supplied by our friends over at Sidewinder Computers.
One of the questions we are often asked...is there a way to safely remove GPU/Memory Heatsinks for use on another card later without having to use those less efficient thermal interface pads?
The answer is yes...but you have to plan for it ahead of time. Possibily, if you didn't plan ahead, the only way you're going to get them off is to decide whether you are willing to sacrifice the Video Card or the Ramsinks and use a rotary tool to cut them apart - but that's a little extreme.
The key is to use both thermal adhesive AND thermal grease.
In this example, Arctic Silver Thermal Adhesive and Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Grease were used with some Tweakmonster Revision 4 Ramsinks on an almost ancient Asus 32 MEG GForce 2 video card (photo 1 below).
First, I applied the thermal grease around the edges of each memory chip (photo 2 below), leaving a small rectangular section in the center (about 3 to 4 millimeters wide) exposed. That's where the adhesive will go. I found it easier to pull excess thermal grease from the GPU area with the coffee stirrer than it was trying squeeze out the exact right amount for each memory chip.
I then mixed equal parts of thermal adhesive Part "A" and Part "B", and applied the mixture to that exposed section (photo 3 below). Take special care in making sure that either grease or adhesive covers the entire surface of the memory chip, but NOT on ANY part of the traces (circuit lines connecting the chips to the PCB).
Here we see the finished product (photo 4 below). To remove the ramsinks in the future, one quick firm twist is all that is required to pop the ramsinks off of the board, yet they are still on securely enough that they will not come off if you accidentally jar them a little while you are working in your case.
Taking a two-pronged attacked when installing heatsinks may take a little more time, but if you plan to reuse those components in the future, it makes life a lot easier. For more thermal and modding products, visit Sidewinder Computers.
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