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Alienware M17x R4 GPU VRM cooling solution!


Johndill
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Well... after the resent death of my GTX675M, I now have a GTX770M in my system but found the VRM's still feel too hot for my comfort (unfortunatly this card has no VRM sensor), I have made sure all thermal pads are seated correctly this time but I still smell the slight odor of the GTX675M's passing lingering in my system even after cleaning, so I decided to try a solution to help cool the VRM's more to prevent another puff of smoke out the back of my system.

I'm not sure if this has been done before or not but here it is, the sata power GPU VRM cooler.

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Video of the fan running:

 


How does it work?
As you can see, it gets its power from the 3.3V provided by the sata power connector, the sata connector I am using has been cut off a dead 2.5 HDD PCB and I have removed all unused pins in the connector to prevent any shorts, the remaining pins are 3.3V, Ground & 5V for if I ever want to put the fan to full speed later on I could work something out to switch to the 5V.

Noise?
It is absolutely quiet, running at 3.3V, it is barely audible but does blow a good about of air directly over the GPU VRM's and VRM end of the heatsink making it much cooler to the touch than without the fan.

But does it actually work?
As far as I can tell, yes. 🙂
Unfortunately, this GTX770M does not have a GPU VRM sensor for VRM temp monitoring like the GTX675M did, or at least HWinfo doesn't show GPU VRM temp at all like it did with the GTX 675M, I have to go by touch.

While testing with a level in Battlefield: Bad Company 2 at 1920x1080 on high settings, without the fan, the GPU is around 64-65°C, but with the fan, the GPU is around 61-63°C, both temps are with the bottom cover on and 2cm elevation at the back of the laptop from my custom wood laptop stand.

But this isn't about improving GPU temps, it's about GPU VRM temps, without the fan, the VRM end of the heatsink is hot to the point you cannot hold your finger on it for more than half a second, but with the fan on you can hold your finger on it for about 2 seconds before having to remove it.

What about intake and exhaust?
I would say it intakes mostly from the battery bay opening and other gaps in the bottom cover around the battery release area. It seems to exhaust out the small grill next to the name plate.

So my final conclusion is...
Yes it works, the card is working fine without the fan and is now cooler with the fan so it obviously works enough.  🙂

Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts on this. 🙂
This thread is dedicated to a little GTX675M, from "what ever date Dell last replaced it - 2019", RIP.  🙂

*EDIT*
It's finally here, the Alienware 17 R1 Ranger version can be seen here.  🙂

Alienware M18x R2: i7-3740QM | RX 480 4GB
Alienware M17x R4: i7-3720QM | GTX 1060 6GB | 120Hz
Alienware Aurora R5: i7-6700K | GTX 1080 SLI | 64GB RAM
Alienware X51 R2: i7-4790 | ASUS GTX 1070 Turbo

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