Question GPU Cooler maintenance advise


Oct 12, 2016
So i like many others have painted my card in the style of the Titan X but full black instead of leaving the top/bottom strips silver as i never understood why nvidia did that.... but anyway the previous owner of this card said it was "well looked after" which was a lie as when i had received it it was caked in dust inside & out, during the painting i cleaned the plates prior to spraying, blew out the heatsink for dust and brushed the fan fins but had little effect on the fan which has stubborn residue stuck between the fins
i wondered if the pads where the VRMs are would benefit with changing and with what.

i had put Arctic Silver 5 on the heatsink as it seems to work just fine elsewhere..
the window is stained like a horrid brown colour and i have scrubbed real hard to try and clean it but yet it remains stained

i had acquired another 980 cooler from the bay for £12 but unfortunately its missing all of its screws and they are seeming impossible to source... i bought it as i can then find a GTX 980 much cheaper then change whatever cheap cooler is on with this one

i need some advice on what cleaning items would work well to help get this back to a nice clean and working state, i had done research prior as always but as always i get mixed asnwers which are inconclusive
any help much appreciated
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Mar 10, 2019
Some acrylic formulations will age to a yellow-brown hue--particularly in the constant presence of heat.
There really isn't anything that you can do about that, except replace the acrylic panel with a new one.

It's also possible that the system that the card came from was used in the presence of tobacco smoke (which might explain the "gunk" in the fan). That kind of staining is from the tar in tobacco smoke. Sometimes it will clean off with isopropanol, and sometimes the tar will stain the acrylic quite deeply. It's sort-of a mixed bag, on that one. Again, replacement of the acrylic panel may be required.


For smokers stains, use 409 straight up. Soak it like crazy (the stain is probably on the underside, blown there by the fan). If it is tobacco, it'll be quite obvious. And don't scrub, just squirt, wait, wipe and repeat. Anything abrasive will scratch that acrylic easily, in which case you'll be needing the Novus polish/scratch remover previously mentioned by Lutfij.

If 409/isopropyl doesn't work, chances are it's not stained, but burned, the acrylic has yellowed due to excessive heat, (also as previously mentioned by AllanGH), in which case I'd just paint it and have done as a replacement that's in good or better condition will be next to impossible to aquire.