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Modding a 4770 to take a MCW60 waterblock

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Old 06-13-09, 08:05 PM Thread Starter   #1
Das kobold
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Modding a 4770 to take a MCW60 waterblock


So I bought two 4770s last week because of the price and some of the nice overclocks I have been reading about only to find that I couldn't use my Swiftech MCW60 waterblocks to cool them. ATI change the spacing of the heatsink mounting holes from the previous design that had been in place on my previous 3 generations of ATI cards. The holes are now much close together. I didn't want to buy two new blocks if anyone even sold them and nobody has an adaptor yet so I had to come up with something on my own. For about $5 in hardware from your local Do It Best hardware store and a couple of tools you might already have lying about, you can modify your MCW60 waterblock and 4770 so that they will mate together nicely.

Mods: If this post belongs in the watercooling section, please feel free to move.

If anyone has any questions or is unclear on anything, please let me know.


The obligatory warning.
Any modding seen here is done at your own risk and you will void your warranty. Always work on an antistatic surface.

Hardware needed:
Multiply this x2 if you are running Crossfire like me.

4 #8 nylon flat washers @.19 each
8 5/32 ID 5/16 OD Fiber washers @.25 each
4 6-32 x 3/4 hex head screws @.35 each
4 6-32 nuts (already had these)



Tools

7/64" hex wrench
Thermal paste
Small round file
Razor blade or Exacto knife
Small head Phillips screwdriver



Step 1:

Remove the chrome mounting bracket and back plate from the waterblock. Put these in a safe place. You will need them again when ATI goes back to the old mounting holes on your next card.



Step 2:

Using a razor blade carefully cut the corners of the plastic cover where the mounting screws go in. If you don't do this, the extra plastic on that corner will cause the longer screws you will be using later to come out crooked.



Step 3:

Install the two 3/4" hex head screw into the two holes near the inlet / outlet ports first. Put the screws all the way through the plastic cover first before attempting to start them in the copper base. The inlet / outlet ports get in the way of these two holes. Make sure the screws will hang straight and are not stuck at an angle. If so remove them and trim more of the plastic corner off.

Step 4:

Start the two screws into the copper base. Alternate back and forth between the two screws until the copper base is tightened all the way down to the plastic top. After these two screws are tightened down then you can put the back two screws in with no problem.



Step 5:

Flip the waterblock over and add 1 fiber washer and 1 nylon washer as shown in the following photo. Put the waterblock aside, for now we go onto the video card.



Step 6:

Remove the stock heatsink and clean the factory thermal past off of the chip. The 4 holes that we will be enlarging are the stock heatsink mounting holes.



Step 7:

Using the small round file begin enlarging the 4 holes. Work slowly, blowing away debri as you go so you can see where you are at. When you are done a small metal ring will be left around the hole. I would not file the hole any larger than this because on the back there are some traces and components very close to these holes.



Step 8:

Try fitting the waterbock onto the video card. It should slide easily into place. If it does not go back and file the holes a little bit more. You may have to do this a few times until it goes together smoothly.

Step 9:

With the waterblock in place hold the card up to a light source and look at the space between the card and the waterblock. You should see the waterblock and the gpu making good contact. If they are not then you might have gotten too thick of spacers. If I had to do mine over I would have probably used rubber washers in place of the nylon. It would give you a little more play in how snug you can get the waterblock and gpu together. I have a little bit of light showing but that could mean that I need to lap my waterblock.



Step 10:

If all looks good then remove the heatink and apply your prefered thermal paste.

Step 11:

With thermal past applied and the waterblock in place, carefully turn the video card back over and put a fiber washer and nut over the exposed screws. Put the fiber washer under the nut so you don't short your board. Finger tighten these only. I would not suggest using a wrench to tighten them as this may crack something.



Step 12:

Apply some memory heatsinks while you have the card out of the case.

Step 13:

Install your card. Hookup the watercooling. Cross your fingers. Enjoy


Post Mod:

I have done this on both of my cards and they are both currently working great. I have not had a chance to do much overclocking yet but they are staying nice and cool at idle. I have the Sapphire 4770s. The next step is to flash them with the Asus bios so I can mess with voltages. I also want to remove the Sapphire name plate cover the voltage regulator chips and put some better cooling on them. The plate is only held on with thermal tape so it pops right off. You can feel some heat coming off it when you touch it. The memory heatsinks are also slightly warm so without a fan blowing on them they probably need something on them.

I will post pics later. I ran out of images for this post.

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Last edited by Das kobold; 06-13-09 at 08:21 PM.
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Old 06-13-09, 08:09 PM Thread Starter   #2
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A couple of photos. I will post more later this week. I just put everything into an Antec 1200 and didn't realize how much tubing I would need so I had to order more.






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Old 06-13-09, 08:20 PM   #3
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Awesome man

What is your whole hardware setup? Can't wait to see what overclocks and temps you get!

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Old 06-13-09, 08:33 PM   #4
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very nice man!! you know i was never able to get my hose not to kink even with zipties thats why im going with full cover blocks

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Old 06-13-09, 08:43 PM   #5
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Filing the holes in the PCB larger, that's pretty different. My question is, why can't you just use slightly smaller diameter screws that fit in the holes without enlarging them?

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Old 06-13-09, 08:57 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MadMan007 View Post
Filing the holes in the PCB larger, that's pretty different. My question is, why can't you just use slightly smaller diameter screws that fit in the holes without enlarging them?
i think he used those screws because thats the only size that fits the copper part of the block?

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Old 06-13-09, 09:54 PM Thread Starter   #7
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That is correct. The waterblock is threaded for 6-32 screws. Using anything smaller would prevent the block from sealing correctly.

Enlarging the holes was a lot easier than my original plan, filing down the longer screws and trying to re-thread them with a smaller thread that would fit through the hole.

@Firestrider

This is my current setup. It wasn't a whole new system just new video cards and a new case.

CPU: Xeon E3110
Mobo: Asus Maximus Formula
RAM: 8gb (4x2) G.skill DDR2 800
Vid: x2 Sapphire 4770
Sound: X-Fi Titanium
PSU: Corsair TX750w
HD: 2 Raptor 36gb in Raid 0, 500gb Maxtor
Cooling: Swiftech Storm, x2 MCW60, MCP655 Pump, Swiftech MC320, Micro-Res
Case: Antec 1200

I need to RMA my Xeon though. The temp is stuck at 100' celcius even at a cold boot. Until I get it back I am going to hold off on any heavy benchmarking. I'm gonna mess with get the video cards overclocked and stable until then.

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Old 06-16-09, 10:53 AM Thread Starter   #8
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I flashed both cards with the Asus TOP bios. I have been messing with the voltages using the Asus Smartdoctor. At 1.22 volts Catalyst CC set the core at 990mhz (maxes out at 1000mhz). I was able to set the RAM at 1200 (max in CCC) I have been using Furmark to test for stability so far and a with a couple of passes through the benchmark it seems stable but the memory heatsinks are getting crazy hot and the cheapo Sapphire plate heatsink on the voltage regulators is pretty warm to the touch. The GPU is running about 31c on one core and 34c idle on the other. I think I need to reset that one block. At full speed the gpus reach about 47c tops.

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Last edited by Das kobold; 06-16-09 at 01:25 PM.
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Old 06-17-09, 12:32 AM   #9
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the ram and vregs on my 4890's get really hot too thats why im going to get some full cover blocks for them ram sinks dont do these new cards justice anymore

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Old 12-30-09, 08:38 AM   #10
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does anyone still have the pictures for the modding?

sorry to dig this thread.
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Old 01-06-10, 12:08 PM   #11
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My CCC is very limiting on how high I can OC, how did you manage to get yours to go up over 850 on the ram and cpu?

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Old 01-06-10, 04:06 PM Thread Starter   #12
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Reactivated my photobucket account so the pics are back up. Its been a while since I messed with my 4770s, I got a 5850 recently and been loving Eyefinity. I am pretty sure there are articles online on how to overcome the CCC limit. I flashed my card to the Asus bios, not sure if that was what did it or if it was some cfg tweaking with CCC. You might have to dig around the forums a bit. The cards ran great under watercooling but I could never get them both to overclock well in Crossfire, the Asus Smartdoctor utility for adjusting voltages does not work on the second card in Crossfire so I could only overclock the first card. I took the waterblocks off my 4770 so I can put one of them on my 5850. Now I just gotta put the cards up on Fleebay.

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Old 01-06-10, 04:57 PM   #13
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You should try the classies
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