So, now we're going to install the Accelero XTREME Plus II on an ATI Radeon HD 6970 2GB. This is the stock card with no bios switch. After reading quite a few comments online about the confusing manual included with the Accelero XP2, I'm not entirely sure why the procedure is so confusing. However, I will admit, the comments of allowing the thermal paste to settle for 5 hours, is to be taken seriously. Why? The high temperatures emitted by these types of cards cannot have an application done in haste. Period. In fact, I'd let the card set for over 8 hours if possible, because you want a truly well-seated bond with the GPU and its new cooling attachment, as well as the new heatsinks.
|Accelero XTREME Plus II|
by Arctic Cooling
Features: A multi-compatible video card cooler, 300-Watt cooling capacity, 83-fin heatsink, 5 heatpipes, and three 92mm PWM fans.
Company: Arctic Cooling
Announced: May 25, 2011
MSRP: $84.99 / €64.90
Current Price: Check Price / Purchase
The ATI Radeon HD 6970 2GB Cooling System
The cooling section for the Radeon HD 6970 has a weight of 1.6 lbs (25.6 oz). Which is roughly 72% of the overall weight. The card itself weighs only .6 lbs (9.6 oz).
Radeon HD 6970 Cooler (Top)
Radeon HD 6970 Cooler (Bottom)
A Naked HD 6970 2GB
And just in case you've ever wondered what your video card looks like without all the cooling accessories, here you go.
ATI Radeon HD 6970 2GB (cooling section removed)
Compared to previous video cards, the Graphics Card Plain is rather flat. Years prior, we'd have a lot more resistors and capacitors hanging around areas which were not welcomed. So, in spite of my ranting in this review, the designs of video cards are slowly getting better — just not as quickly as I would like.
ATI Radeon HD 6970 2GB (cooling section removed)
Accelero XTREME Plus II: Completing Installation
So, now we're at the point where the G-1 compound is to be used. There are two packets which will need to be mixed. Each packet is about 2g, which makes about 4g of thermal paste. Below, I highlighted the areas in where you will need to apply the thermal paste.
At this point, you're only going to need to use HALF OF THE CONTENTS OF BOTH PACKETS, so only empty half of the contents of each packet into a small mixing container, and seal up the two packets. You'll find out below why you're not using all the G-1 compound at once.
Apply G-1 thermal paste to highlighted areas above
Now, the required time for the heatsinks to cure and set on the HD 6970, is at least 5 hours. Since the G-1 compound is barely sticky when it is applied to the electronic components, this does not permit you to try and try again, eventually ending in success. The heatsinks just slide around way too much on the VRAM and the card must be on a level surface, free from movement. You have to do it right the first time, so this is where I diverted from applying G-1 to the GPU itself at the same time as the other components.
First, I let all the other heatsinks cure overnight. I used about half of the contents of both packets. The next morning, I had a solid board with no heatsinks moving around, and they were stuck to the card. Second, I then applied the rest of the G-1 paste to the GPU and then let it cure for 5 another hours.
Another important observation, is the G-1 goo is rather fluid, and not as "pasty" as other compounds, so you could wait 5-10mins after you combine the two packets to let it thicken. In any case, be aware you can easily get extra compound in areas where you might not want it.
Accelero XTREME Plus II: Use The 3mm Spacers
Below is an cropped image which centers on the VRAM heatsinks. These heatsinks are going to get in the way of installing the cooling fan, so you'll need to slightly jack up the cooling fan's GPU heatsink so it clears the VRAM heatsinks. How do you do this? Well, Arctic Cooling has provided 3mm and 4.5mm spacers. Only use the 3mm spacers as the 4.5mm spacers on the HD 6970 will jack it up too much, leaving a nice gap between the GPU and the GPU heatsink. Which is not good. So, use the 3mm spacers along with the supplied adhesive washers, so that you just clear the VRAM heatsinks as shown below.
Close-up of HD 6970 GPU heatsink over VRAM heatsinks
And here's an even closer look. We're not too concerned with the heatsinks touching the GPU heatsink, as we are making sure we don't have too much spacing between the GPU and its heatsink. The 3mm spacers are good compromise as we have just enough clearance on the VRAM heatsinks, but yet have good solid contact for the thermal compound to bond the GPU and the Artic Cooling GPU heatsink together.
Magnified view of HD 6970 GPU heatsink over VRAM heatsinks
Ok, let's just recap what you should be aware of, and what I recommend, when installing your Accelero XTREME Plus II on your Radeon HD 6970:
- Use half of the supplied G-1 compound, and save the other half for the GPU application later.
- Install the VRAM and Voltage Regulator heatsinks first, let them set for 5 hours or more, and then apply the rest of the G-1 thermal goo to the GPU, and let it sit for over 5 hours.
- Do not use your stock 4 screws from the stock mounting plate — you're gonna be using the supplied longer length screws.
- Heatsinks on the south side of the card will get in the way of main cooler, so don't try to force the 4 screws into the stock mounting plate, thinking it's just "stuck". Becaue it's not. You will need to use 4 3mm spacers, as advised in the Arctic Cooling manual.