[SOLVED] So the GTX 1080Ti is approaching 3 years old...

Phaaze88

Titan
Ambassador
I figured it's almost time I opened it up, clean it more thoroughly, and change the paste myself - I've got plenty of NT-H2 on hand.

These are questions more towards people who've done this already:
-is the paste application any different than the traditional cpu one(drop in the middle)? The mounting pressure from the heatsink isn't the same, right?
-is it necessary to replace the thermal pads? I don't have any on hand at the moment.
 

Eximo

Titan
Ambassador
Doesn't sound like there is any need at all. 61C is practically chilled for a GPU. You must not be asking much of it, or it has a very good cooler on it.

Even water cooled and overclocked my 1080 will still hit 55C at full blast. I would expect it to be riding it's throttle point, usually 83C. ASUS and others sets theirs to 73C sometimes to keep the card silent.



Air is an insulator, the purpose of thermal pads is to remove that air gap and connect things that need cooling to parts of the cooling system. Once they have been squished down they tend to retain the shape of what they were in contact with, kind of like, gum?, or a dense foam. So when you place them back down you just want to try and make sure to get them back in the same places and not have dirt, debris, etc trapped under them. If they are misaligned those little pockets of indentation will not help in the cooling and trap air between the component and cooler. The pads tend to stick to either the card or the cooler, just transfer anything that came off with the cooler back to the card before reapplying paste and sticking the cooler back on, should get the best results.

If they tear, not the end of the world, as long as the majority of the chip or component in question is covered, should be okay. Aside from the VRMs, which can often operate up to crazy temps like 130C, most things don't need a whole lot of cooling. Memory is capable of getting warm, but if it is an axially cooled card, usually no big deal. Blowerstyle, it kind of matters since there is no direct airflow.
 

Eximo

Titan
Ambassador
You can re-use thermal pads if you are careful, just try not to leave any air gaps. Though ideally they would also get replaced.

GPU cooling is direct die, so relying on spread is not a great idea. Cover the die by spreading manually, or just be over-generous. Can't really go wrong there, but you want every part of the die covered. When you take it apart you will likely see the excess they used to make sure.

This is only really necessary if you feel you have cooling problems.
 

Phaaze88

Titan
Ambassador
You can re-use thermal pads if you are careful, just try not to leave any air gaps. Though ideally they would also get replaced.
So I'd be in a pickle if i tear any... and what do you mean by air gaps? It's not the same as thermal paste?

GPU cooling is direct die, so relying on spread is not a great idea. Cover the die by spreading manually, or just be over-generous. Can't really go wrong there, but you want every part of the die covered. When you take it apart you will likely see the excess they used to make sure.
Understood.

This is only really necessary if you feel you have cooling problems.
Not at all. I thought it'd be a good idea sooner or later.
It seldom sees over 61C, even in the warm climate of the southern US.

I occasionally use compressed air, and also an alcohol dipped q-tip to clean behind the fan blades.


Too soon for a paste job perhaps?
 

Eximo

Titan
Ambassador
Doesn't sound like there is any need at all. 61C is practically chilled for a GPU. You must not be asking much of it, or it has a very good cooler on it.

Even water cooled and overclocked my 1080 will still hit 55C at full blast. I would expect it to be riding it's throttle point, usually 83C. ASUS and others sets theirs to 73C sometimes to keep the card silent.



Air is an insulator, the purpose of thermal pads is to remove that air gap and connect things that need cooling to parts of the cooling system. Once they have been squished down they tend to retain the shape of what they were in contact with, kind of like, gum?, or a dense foam. So when you place them back down you just want to try and make sure to get them back in the same places and not have dirt, debris, etc trapped under them. If they are misaligned those little pockets of indentation will not help in the cooling and trap air between the component and cooler. The pads tend to stick to either the card or the cooler, just transfer anything that came off with the cooler back to the card before reapplying paste and sticking the cooler back on, should get the best results.

If they tear, not the end of the world, as long as the majority of the chip or component in question is covered, should be okay. Aside from the VRMs, which can often operate up to crazy temps like 130C, most things don't need a whole lot of cooling. Memory is capable of getting warm, but if it is an axially cooled card, usually no big deal. Blowerstyle, it kind of matters since there is no direct airflow.
 

Phaaze88

Titan
Ambassador
Doesn't sound like there is any need at all. 61C is practically chilled for a GPU. You must not be asking much of it, or it has a very good cooler on it.
That's from Realbench, AAA game, or even a not-so-optimal indie title.
https://www.gigabyte.com/us/Graphics-Card/GV-N108TGAMING-OC-11GD#kf

As for the rest... it's kinda relative to a spring-loaded mattress vs memory foam.
So if I were to open it up, it'd be safer to replace the pads too - not to say it can't be done, but it's a little trickier to get the 'pressed' pads aligned during the reassembly process.

I'll hold off on it then, and in the meantime, find what size pads I'd need for it.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY