Removing GEForce 2MX Heatsink from GPU

bunnspecial

macrumors 604
Original poster
May 3, 2014
6,716
3,263
Kentucky
I have two of these cards in service in Cubes, and as is well known they get very hot in these applications. I'd like to replace the heatsink with some sort of heatsink and fan arrangement to help keep things cool(I haven't been able to figure out how to add a supplemental fan to the existing heatsink within the confines of the Cube). The only problem is that-at least on the desktop version of the card-I don't see any obvious way to remove the heatsink. They appear to be glued on.

Is there a trick to getting these off without removing or otherwise damaging the GPU underneath it?
 

bigeasy_uk

macrumors 6502
Sep 8, 2005
272
5
Leamington Spa, England
It's been a while since I've actually done it, but they are easier to remove when heated as the manufacturers used a thermal paste/glue combo. So run a graphic intensive benchmark for awhile so it gets toasty then disassemble quickly and try to twist the heatsink off with a pair of pliers.

I'm sure this is what I did back in my overclocking/modding days.
 

poiihy

macrumors 68020
Aug 22, 2014
2,273
40
As the for cooling I recommend using a slim laptop fan to cool it; it would fit in there well. If a typical laptop fan doesn't fit well, an iBook fan may be better.

You probably don't need to replace the heatsink.
 

Attachments

Last edited:

bunnspecial

macrumors 604
Original poster
May 3, 2014
6,716
3,263
Kentucky
I have a couple of laptop fans scavenged from Windows PC, including one from an old Netbook-all of them are too thick to fit on top of the heatsink when installed on the Cube.

The GEForce 2MX was a factory option for the Cube, but came with a huge heatsink in that application. I've heard that it even still tends to run hot with that heatsink. I have a base fan in the computer, but it doesn't really circulate any air past the video card. I really don't know that there's any way around keeping it cool short of either finding one with the oversize heatsink or completely replacing the heatsink.
 

Altemose

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
9,089
444
Elkton, Maryland
I have a couple of laptop fans scavenged from Windows PC, including one from an old Netbook-all of them are too thick to fit on top of the heatsink when installed on the Cube.

The GEForce 2MX was a factory option for the Cube, but came with a huge heatsink in that application. I've heard that it even still tends to run hot with that heatsink. I have a base fan in the computer, but it doesn't really circulate any air past the video card. I really don't know that there's any way around keeping it cool short of either finding one with the oversize heatsink or completely replacing the heatsink.
How much clearance do you have on top of the existing heatsink for a fan to go?
 

bunnspecial

macrumors 604
Original poster
May 3, 2014
6,716
3,263
Kentucky
How much clearance do you have on top of the existing heatsink for a fan to go?
I don't have an exact answer other than "not much." I do know that a 10mm fan is too thick to mount on top of the heatsink and still fit inside the case.

I found a guide online for where someone had built a custom heatsink that was about the same dimensions(or maybe a little bit larger) than the factory Cube 2MX heatsink.

I'm thinking about installing one of these

http://www.sidewindercomputers.com/evvctwvgaco.html

Even though the hole placement isn't correct for the 2MX, I should be able to use a thermal adhesive to mount it

http://www.sidewindercomputers.com/araltherad.html

(the guide I found suggested using the above mixed 50-50 with regular thermal paste to attach the heatsink but still allow it to be removed if necessary)

Without measuring, the stock heatsink is probably 12-13mm thick. With it removed, I should have plenty of room to mount the above.
 

Altemose

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
9,089
444
Elkton, Maryland
I have never worked on a Cube but I do know they are hot machines. That heatsink should work but I would be concerned about the efficiency of the thermal paste when mixed with the adhesive.
 

bunnspecial

macrumors 604
Original poster
May 3, 2014
6,716
3,263
Kentucky
The cube WAS designed to be fanless, I wonder why they have heat issues when they were built to be fanless.
All Cubes were built with a mounting bracket for a base fan, even though(as far as I'm aware) none left the factory with it. The bracket was designed for an 80mmx80mmx15mm fan. I modified the bracket in both of mine to take a 25mm fan, which can move as much air as a 15mm at slower rotational speeds, keeping the thing quieter. You have to listen for the fan in mine.

Steve Jobs hated fans, and at times I think he got rid of them at a detriment to the product. I think that the fan bracket in the Cube is a testament to the fact that the engineers recognized that they were pushing the limits even at 450/500mhz. I'm sure if the Cube line had survived and ever been bumped beyond 500mhz, they would have had at least one fan.

Truth be told, a stock 450mhz Cube doesn't run that hot without a fan, although it can get a bit toasty in intense use. I installed a fan mostly for peace of mind. With the fan I installed in both of mine, the air coming out the top vent barely even gets warm even under intense use. The CPU heatsink does have a LOT of thermal inertia, which is part of why they were able to get away with no fan. Unfortunately, the video card is a different story.

I'd really like to find a Mac edition GEForce 3, which I understand will fit a Cube without any trouble and comes with a fan on the GPU. Plus, they're a much better card than the GEForce 2. Unfortunately, they seem quite difficult to find.
 
Last edited:

MatthewLTL

macrumors 68000
Jan 22, 2015
1,684
18
Rochester, MN
All Cubes were built with a mounting bracket for a base fan, even though(as far as I'm aware) none left the factory with it. The bracket was designed for an 80mmx80mmx15mm fan. I modified the bracket in both of mine to take a 25mm fan, which can move as much air as a 15mm at slower rotational speeds, keeping the thing quieter. You have to listen for the fan in mine.

Steve Jobs hated fans, and at times I think he got rid of them at a detriment to the product. I think that the fan bracket in the Cube is a testament to the fact that the engineers recognized that they were pushing the limits even at 450/500mhz. I'm sure if the Cube line had survived and ever been bumped beyond 500mhz, they would have had at least one fan.

Truth be told, a stock 450mhz Cube doesn't run that hot without a fan, although it can get a bit toasty in intense use. I installed a fan mostly for peace of mind. With the fan I installed in both of mine, the air coming out the top vent barely even gets warm even under intense use. The CPU heatsink does have a LOT of thermal inertia, which is part of why they were able to get away with no fan. Unfortunately, the video card is a different story.

I'd really like to find a Mac edition GEForce 3, which I understand will fit a Cube without any trouble and comes with a fan on the GPU. Plus, they're a much better card than the GEForce 2. Unfortunately, they seem quite difficult to find.
what a bout a 4MX? or a Radeon?
 

bunnspecial

macrumors 604
Original poster
May 3, 2014
6,716
3,263
Kentucky
what a bout a 4MX? or a Radeon?
The 4MX is too long, and honestly is not as good of a card as the GEForce 3.

The only Radeon I know that will fit is a 7500, and it's at best equal to the 2MX. It also doesn't fit the special Cube faceplate(the 2MX does), so I don't see any compelling reason to change out a 2MX for one.
 

MatthewLTL

macrumors 68000
Jan 22, 2015
1,684
18
Rochester, MN
The 4MX is too long, and honestly is not as good of a card as the GEForce 3.

The only Radeon I know that will fit is a 7500, and it's at best equal to the 2MX. It also doesn't fit the special Cube faceplate(the 2MX does), so I don't see any compelling reason to change out a 2MX for one.
why not get one of those custom Cube cases that are built to allow bigger GPUs or perhaps modify it yourself?
 

poiihy

macrumors 68020
Aug 22, 2014
2,273
40
I have a couple of laptop fans scavenged from Windows PC, including one from an old Netbook-all of them are too thick to fit on top of the heatsink when installed on the Cube.

The GEForce 2MX was a factory option for the Cube, but came with a huge heatsink in that application. I've heard that it even still tends to run hot with that heatsink. I have a base fan in the computer, but it doesn't really circulate any air past the video card. I really don't know that there's any way around keeping it cool short of either finding one with the oversize heatsink or completely replacing the heatsink.
No you don't put the fan on top of the heat sink, youi put the fan on the side of the heat sink!!

----------

All Cubes were built with a mounting bracket for a base fan, even though(as far as I'm aware) none left the factory with it. The bracket was designed for an 80mmx80mmx15mm fan. I modified the bracket in both of mine to take a 25mm fan, which can move as much air as a 15mm at slower rotational speeds, keeping the thing quieter. You have to listen for the fan in mine.

Steve Jobs hated fans, and at times I think he got rid of them at a detriment to the product. I think that the fan bracket in the Cube is a testament to the fact that the engineers recognized that they were pushing the limits even at 450/500mhz. I'm sure if the Cube line had survived and ever been bumped beyond 500mhz, they would have had at least one fan.

Truth be told, a stock 450mhz Cube doesn't run that hot without a fan, although it can get a bit toasty in intense use. I installed a fan mostly for peace of mind. With the fan I installed in both of mine, the air coming out the top vent barely even gets warm even under intense use. The CPU heatsink does have a LOT of thermal inertia, which is part of why they were able to get away with no fan. Unfortunately, the video card is a different story.

I'd really like to find a Mac edition GEForce 3, which I understand will fit a Cube without any trouble and comes with a fan on the GPU. Plus, they're a much better card than the GEForce 2. Unfortunately, they seem quite difficult to find.
So the Powermac G4 Cube doesn't have any fans?! :eek: I didn't know that!
 

bunnspecial

macrumors 604
Original poster
May 3, 2014
6,716
3,263
Kentucky
No you don't put the fan on top of the heat sink, youi put the fan on the side of the heat sink!!
I don't like having fans "dangling", and there really isn't a good place put it with all the other "stuff" on the card in the way.

So the Powermac G4 Cube doesn't have any fans?! :eek: I didn't know that!
As designed and shipped, no. The only source of noise in it is the hard drive. When I briefly had a solid state drive in one of mine, I unplugged the base fan I'd added for a little while to see what a truly silent computer is like.

It's actually deigned as a fanless computer should be, too. There's a HUGE heatsink in the middle of the case(I'd venture to guess it contributes most of the weight) that both the hard drive and the smaller CPU "heat spreader"(itself a big block of metal) sit next to. The center of the computer is essentially unobstructed except for a couple of fins of the heatsink that stick out into it. The bottom is mesh, and the top has a large vent over the heatsink. Much of the reason why the core is "suspended" in acrylic is to promote convection currents through the heatsink. In use, it actually works pretty well as long as you don't have too much of a mess of cables to block airflow into the bottom.

With that said, a good quality 25mm height fan really isn't that noisy-I have to really listen for mine, and they really overall make less noise than the hard drive.
 

poiihy

macrumors 68020
Aug 22, 2014
2,273
40
I don't like having fans "dangling", and there really isn't a good place put it with all the other "stuff" on the card in the way.
The fan wouldn't be dangling there. You would attach it to the card. But yeah there is a lot of components sticking out.

Is your card the same as the card in the image I attached above?
If so then you may be able to fit an iBook fan to the left or on top of the heatsink (in orientation as card in image). But it looks like you won't be able to fit any conventional laptop fan there, only an iBook fan (the square one like in the image). They are rather cheap on ebay (~$4), or you can salvage one from a Radeongate iBook. Or you could use a really small PC fan like this.
 
Last edited:

MatthewLTL

macrumors 68000
Jan 22, 2015
1,684
18
Rochester, MN
No you don't put the fan on top of the heat sink, youi put the fan on the side of the heat sink!!

----------



So the Powermac G4 Cube doesn't have any fans?! :eek: I didn't know that!
nor do the 2nd Gen (Slot Load) iMac G3s

I put fans atop MANY heatsinks before. Most of the time just for the hell of it but more often than not It needed one at some point. (Got hot) a 40mm fan on PC Northbridges worked well. I find that in most cases the screws you used to put the stike plate on house door frames for door knobs are just the right length and thread pitch to "screw" into most heatsinks. Some, such as the heatsink on the MDD Factory GeForce 4MX, require a pliers to "squeeze" a couple spots on the heatsink closer together to allow installation of a fan.
 
Last edited:

MatthewLTL

macrumors 68000
Jan 22, 2015
1,684
18
Rochester, MN
The fan wouldn't be dangling there. You would attach it to the card. But yeah there is a lot of components sticking out.

Is your card the same as the card in the image I attached above?
If so then you may be able to fit an iBook fan to the left or on top of the heatsink (in orientation as card in image). But it looks like you won't be able to fit any conventional laptop fan there, only an iBook fan (the square one like in the image). They are rather cheap on ebay (~$4), or you can salvage one from a Radeongate iBook. Or you could use a really small PC fan like this.
Don't think a tiny fan like that would have much airflow to amount to anything (in a cube anyway).

"Radeongate"?
 

poiihy

macrumors 68020
Aug 22, 2014
2,273
40
Don't think a tiny fan like that would have much airflow to amount to anything (in a cube anyway).

"Radeongate"?
Some models of iBook G3 had widespread GPU failures, and those GPUs were ATI Mobility Radeons, so I thought it fit to call it "Radeongate".
I don't know of any widespread GPU failure of Nvidia GPUs; all these failures are ATI as I see it. I've also noticed that ATI GPUs tend to be cheaper than Nvidia, so it seems that Nvidia makes better quality and ATI makes cheaper ones.

----------

nor do the 2nd Gen (Slot Load) iMac G3s
I knew that

----------

Correct, and the original iBook dosen't have a fan either. With an SSD these machines would be dead silent.
I didn't know that :eek:
 

bunnspecial

macrumors 604
Original poster
May 3, 2014
6,716
3,263
Kentucky
Some models of iBook G3 had widespread GPU failures, and those GPUs were ATI Mobility Radeons, so I thought it fit to call it "Radeongate".
I don't know of any widespread GPU failure of Nvidia GPUs; all these failures are ATI as I see it. I've also noticed that ATI GPUs tend to be cheaper than Nvidia, so it seems that Nvidia makes better quality and ATI makes cheaper ones.
It's not just ATI...the early '08 Macbook Pros have NVidia GPUs and have known issues with failures.

BTW, go over to Newegg and price current production graphics cards. The most expensive NVidia card is $699. The most expensive ATI is over twice that.
 

MatthewLTL

macrumors 68000
Jan 22, 2015
1,684
18
Rochester, MN
Some models of iBook G3 had widespread GPU failures, and those GPUs were ATI Mobility Radeons, so I thought it fit to call it "Radeongate".
I don't know of any widespread GPU failure of Nvidia GPUs; all these failures are ATI as I see it. I've also noticed that ATI GPUs tend to be cheaper than Nvidia, so it seems that Nvidia makes better quality and ATI makes cheaper ones.

----------



I knew that

----------



I didn't know that :eek:
I have always prefered ATI over nVIDIA. Gotta say, ATI seems to better as far as compatibility goes. the vary 1st GPU i bought was back in 2005 and it was a ATI Radeon 9550, that i bought a nVIDIA GeForce FX 5500 for a PCI-only computer than 2 more 9550s