I will be installing the DD-GTX480 on my EVGA GTX480. Since I had to take it
all the way apart I might as well walk you through the whole process.
The front of the GeForce GTX 480 graphics card consists of a glossy
black plastic shroud, the five heatpipe cooler and large radiating
surface and the squirrel-cage fan.
The first step in taking apart the GeForce GTX 480 is to remove the
fan shroud, which is easy to do as it is a tooless process. I really
like this design as you can easily clean out the fins of the heat sink
without having to remove any screws! You can just squeeze the plastic
around the clips and they release and you can use compressed air to blow
the dust out of the fins. Notice that once the fan shroud is removed
you can see how ginormous the metal plate is on the heat sink!
Next you can remove the four larger Philips head spring screws as
they attach the heatsink to the video card. With the heatsink removed
you can see the core for the very first time! The design of this cooler
is great as once again you can change out the thermal paste in a matter
The stock cooler and fan assembly is held on with 19 screws in all, 17 on the back and two on the end next to the DVI ports. At this point in time you can go ahead and remove all of them.
Danger Den made a disassembly video, if you have never taken a card apart or just want to have a nice video to show you how its well worth watching.
With the card apart we can see where EVGA put thermal paste and where they put thermal tape. Now this will be different for the water block, but we will cover that in a second.
If you have ever wandered what an excessive amount of thermal paste
looks like, this is a prime example.
For now what is needed is the card cleaned. I did the bulk of my cleaning with isopropyl alcohol and cotton swabs. Once the bulk was off I did a final cleaning with Arctic Silver ArctiClean two part cleaning system.
With the card cleaned next step is to put on the thermal paste and thremaltape. Once that is done then it’s setting the card onto the block. It’s highly suggested that you take the card to the block and not the block to the card due to its weight.
Danger Den also has a video showing how to install the block to the card. Again, very handy if you have never done it before.
Once set you install mounting hardware into 7 places. The mounting hardware consists of a stainless steel screw, flat washer, and a rubber washer. The rubber washer acts as a spring providing tension and pressure adjustment. It is possible to bend the card. If the card is bent then you have to back off one or more of the screws. The rubber washer helps take up the slack.
Danger Den suggest completely installing the block then removing it to see how the thermal paste spread as well as seeing if the thermal tape covers correctly. As you can see we have great coverage on the GPU, and the tape transferred from the card to the block. Now let’s put the card back together and get some testing done!
And here we have everything assembled and ready to be put in the system and leak testing.