Sunday, July 12, 2015

Noise Pollution: Replacing Fans on a Sapphire Radeon HD 6950 2GB

A few years back, I bought a Sapphire Radeon HD 6950 2GB for my main gaming PC, which I've since replaced with an MSI GTX 970 Gaming 4GB card. However, towards the end of it's service, one or both of the fans on the card started to make a lot of noise; especially when they spun at faster speeds needed to keep the thing cool while I played games! I've wanted to put the card back into service in my wife's PC, but not before I'd done something about that racket, so I found some compatible fans on Ebay and went about replacing them. Here's my check list of items I used, in case you fancy giving this a go yourself
My trusty Sapphire Radeon HD 6950

Four screws holding the heat sink in place.

Heat sink removed

Removing the plastic shroud meant unscrewing these little fellas

Bleaurgh... Dust build up in the heat sink

The plastic shroud and noisy fan(s)

Shroud with fans removed

Replacement fans

New fans fitted to the shroud

GPU covered in thermal paste - this needs to go!

All clean - this was so reflective, taking a photo was almost impossible!

"Job's a good-un", as they say...

The procedure took me just under two hours to complete and so far seems to have been a complete success; the card has returned to normal noise levels when under load. Something interesting that I noticed when I had the heat sink off is that it doesn't appear to make direct contact with the video memory chips on the board, but the clearance between the two doesn't facilitate the installation of after-market heat sinks. This is a bit disappointing as video memory can get quite hot as well as the GPU itself!