Hello everybody! I’m writting this article to those international beginners who came here every week, see the amazing overclocking stuff, but can´t buy them because they are in a distant country – many times in the “Third World”.
I´m in Brazil, and here the hardware is very expensive, especially a good motherboard and processor. Decent coolers are not available and it´s difficult to find simple stuff like: Fan guards, 120mm fans, good slotkets, good cases and PSUs in the mid/small cities. Many overclockers are in situations like mine, so I decided to write a bit about the difficulties I´ve been having and what kind of solutions I´ve tried and found, as well as general tips.
Talking about cooling, how to find a good heatsink-fan combo? Here there aren´t dozens of online stores selling pretty things (one here!). If you want an Alpha or a GlobalWin heatsink, you will pay a lot for it, or import and will be raped by taxes and dollar conversion.
So what was my first attempt? I bought the biggest heatsink I could find at local stores, lapped it, lapped the cpu, put thermal compound (ordinary one) and changed the small fan for an 60x25x25mm unit. That allowed me to overclock my processor about 30% without overheating but I couldn´t go further (idle cooling software like Rain may help).
I bought several industrial heatsinks and cut them, but never fixed them reliably. When I was about to import a cheap Golden Orb (US$ 12 at that time) that would be a better attempt to overclock, a USA friend gently sent me, as a gift, an Alpha PAL6035! Then I was happy and could clock my celeron 400 @ 573 MHz.
Conclusions: Build or buy the biggest heatsink and fan you can, use the better thermal compound you have at your local stores, or; save some cash and be prepared to import a decent cooler.
Remember: with poor CPU cooling, you won’t be able to overclock very well. Another approach is to build your own water cooling system. That may not be easy, but any scrap crashed car has a radiator to be ripped…he he! (read more about it HERE).
Case cooling: Well, it´s difficult to buy a decent case here, like a full tower with good space and cooling. They are available but only in the bigger cities, or you may order one. But try getting at least a large mid-tower case with a minimum 300 watt PSU.
Case fans will need to be added. Buy 80mm fans or bigger and put them in the front bottom of the case or any other place your case may support. I recently decided to mod my case and put a fluorescent lamp inside. Result: Overheating! The lamp was too big :- 0 And I had just the PSU fan sucking plus 2 80mm fans.
After a long search, I found 120mm fans in “São Paulo” and did not need to import them! But how will I use it? Oh, of course, make some holes and stick them in! How? Well, just cut it yourself! (And you may destroy the case painting if you don´t know how to).
I decided to contact a local acrylics worker and he will make a new lateral side for my case in acrylic with the holes etc for a small price – good! Other things I´ve done: I bought a slot cooler that I miraculously found and mounted an 80mm fan in a bay cover, making an exhaust tunnel plus a small on/off small button (less horrible I found here, argh ;-? ). I´ll finally replace the 80mm fan with a 120mm fan (see below):
Other Cooling: If you have a 7200rpm IDE HD or a SCSI HD, you probably want to keep this expensive piece healthy, oh yeah. So, why don’t you buy a HD cooler? It´s not too expensive. I think recycling your garbage may help. I´ve used one of my trash heatsinks with a small quiet fan attached to the HD bottom with thermal paste and black tape (this tape always help! It is good to shut up your sister´s mouth too!) (see below):
And if you you want to overclock your videocard, or is it simply overheating? And if you have any hot chip on your motherboard? You may use other fans attached anywhere to cool hot spots and use those garbage heatsinks again to achieve what you need! You may fix them on the chips with thermal compound and a bit of silicone on the corners or again, buy some Arctic Silver “epoxy”. (See next pictures):
OK! I already have 27 fans in my case but can´t stand the noise, what shall I do now, man? That´s something very discussed in the Forums.
Always try to buy low rpm thick fans, they are more silent, or you still may use 7 volts instead of 12 with them, they will spin at a lower speed and are much more silent (Read HERE about case fan sizing).
Take a look HERE to learn how. Another thing you can do is to use foam inside the case to cut some noise. It may be difficult to find, but you can use the same foam that is used for automotive acoustic insulation. Some guys in the Forum spoke about those egg shaped foam stuff… Do you know that dictate which says: “Who don´t have a dog, hunt with a cat”?
What about those grommets? Hmmm…they avoid the fans to transfer vibration to the case. Let’s make some! You may cut rubber pieces and drill them, but something more soft may be that old mouse pad that´s stinking on your side! Just pick a new good one or another free one from your ISP – he he, they may be cut in any shape for bolts and fans (See Below).
Of course, I had lots of stupid ideas that failed, like using silver based eye medication to create a silver thermal compound! And some other ones, but my message is:
Be creative and you´ll surpass most of the difficulties created by the distance and money issues with original ideas.
Always come to the Forum and someone who walked the same way you´re walking now, will give you some tips, and keep on clocking!!!
Humberto Hepp “Senior Forum Member”