wnd's weblog

Big graphics card is big

7 May 2008 22:18:51 hardware
Chipped off heatsink to fit 9600GT

About a day ago I finally received my new graphics card. GeForce 9600GT would be more powerful than my old and faithfull 7800GT, but more importantly, 9600GT wouldn’t have any moving parts – it would be completely silent. When I got home, I opened the box and was surprised how big the thing was. I soon shut down my computer and opened the case. I removed the old GFX-card only to find out my the graphics card wouldn’t fit in, thanks to larger-than-average chipset heatsink. Now what?

So the thing won’t fit in as-is. Forgetting the whole thing is out of the question so the only option is to make it fit. After carefully considering all options, I decided to find out what would happen when a chipset heatsink and side cutters would meet. To my surprise my cheap Chinese side cutters won. I disassembled my computer to remove the motherboard from the case and popped the lately replaced chipset heatsink off the motherboard.

I then made some measurements of the chipset fan and my new GFX-card. I realised that I could either chip almost half of the fins, or move the heatsink a bit aside, and cut only two rows of fins out of the way. Since the chipset core was only about one eighth of the casing area, I decided in favour of cutting two rows on fins and relocating the heatsink.

I had to hack Debian’s nvidia-kernel-source package to get the latest nVidia drivers (171.06) installed neatly. Version 169.12 of the drivers would fail completely with 9600GT. My system is now running its second day with the new graphics card and mutilated chipset heatsink. So far everything looks good – and sounds just brilliant. I can warmly recommend Geforce 9600GT with passive heatsink for discriminating Linux user.