Intel Core 2 Duo E8400
Asus Striker II NSE nForce 790i motherboard
OCZ SLI-ready DDR3-1600 2 gig kit
Asus EN9800GTX Top geForce 9800GTX video card
Thermaltake Toughpower ESA 850 watt PSU
Cooler Master Aquagate Max liquid cooling system
Thermaltake Armor+ ESA full tower
Windows Vista Ultimate 32-bit
I should mention at this point that SilenX does have recommendations for passive/fan use of the IXG-80HA2. Without going through the entire list card by card, the recommendation for passive use is limited to geForce mid-range cards 9600GT and earlier, and ATI Radeon cards earlier than the HD 3850. A minimum of one fan is recommended for geForce 8800 and 9800, along with ATI Radeon HD 38xx and 48xx. A minimum of two fans is recommended for geForce GTX series.
I decided to install the SilenX IXG-80HA2 on the warmest video card I have, a factory overclocked 9800GTX. I will be using all three fans supplied in the IXG-3F2 fan kit.
First, remove the existing cooler from your video card. Clean the thermal compound and/or thermal pad goop from the GPU and memory. Thermal pad goop is usually pretty tough, and isopropyl alcohol alone often won’t cut it. When necessary, I use a xylol-based cleaner like “Goof-Off” or “Oops”. I have also used naptha-based products like lighter fluid or charcoal lighter, but I’d probably limit it to products designed for the purpose. These products leave a film behind, so be sure to use isopropyl alcohol to clean any residue prior to installation.
I used isopropyl alcohol throughout. Though the memory looked clean, the ramsinks didn’t stick well, and I assume that there was something left behind that I couldn’t see.
At this time, I set the cooler on the card to see which mounting holes to install the nipples in. While you have the cooler in place, observe to see if there are memory chips under the base, if there are, placing ramsinks on those memory chips will interfere with installation of the cooler. More on that in a second.
Install the nipples in the proper holes. The black adhesive washers go between the base and the video card. I felt that it was easier placing the black washers on the nipples with adhesive side pointing out. Clean the base with isopropyl alcohol.
If there were any memory chips under the cooler base, remove the adhesive backing on included thermal pads and place a pad on each of the affected memory chips. Remember to remove the backing on both sides prior to cooler installation.
Install ramsinks on the remaining memory chips by removing the adhesive backing and holding the ramsink firmly on the memory chip for a few seconds. Though the memory chips looked clean, the ramsinks didn’t stick well, this has happened to me in the past. As I usually do, I dampened the adhesive surface with isopropyl alcohol and quickly placed the ramsink on the memory before the alcohol evaporates. This makes the adhesive “stickier” and helps the ramsink to stick better. Hold the ramsink firmly against the memory for a few seconds before moving on to the next ramsink.
Apply thermal compound to the GPU surface, either the included compound or your favorite. Apply a dab of compound about the size of a grain of rice and spread it over the GPU surface with a credit card, drivers’ license, or other flat item. If not using the included thermal compound, DO NOT APPLY BY THE MANUFACTURER’s INSTRUCTIONS!! An exposed heatpipe base will not properly spread out the thermal compound across the heatspreader surface; you have to spread it yourself.
Place the cooler on the video card with nipples through the mounting holes. Turn the card upside down. Place a supplied red washer over each nipple. Start each of the mounting screws, don’t tighten them down yet. Tighten each a small amount at a time until they are tight.
If you look closely at the photo, the card appears bent. This is not due to the close-up photo, the card was actually bowed. I loosened the two rearward screws slightly and the card straightened back out most of the way, but not all. Keep in mind that this video card was designed for a full-card shroud, and the PCB is probably a little thinner than some.
Next, install the fans if you aren’t using the cooler in passive mode. The fans have small tabs that fit into the holes in the cooler fins. Installation is very simple, the fans snap right in. I placed the fans so that the wires point towards the PCI slot so that I could hide the wires behind the cooler.it worked well.
Plug the fan connectors into the included harness. I hid the wires between the cooler and video card.
SilenX recommends you plug the fans into a motherboard fanbus rather than the one on your video card, which isn’t really intended to power three fans. If you don’t have an available fanbus you may need a fan to 4-pin Molex adapter, which isn’t included with the fan kit. Included with the fan kit are two adapters, one to run the fans at “medium” speed, and one for “low” speed. I used the Low Speed adapter.
That’s it. Install the card on the motherboard, and plug in the fan harness.