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Second hand video card

I've just recently purchased a second hand geforce 3 for a friend, but unfortunately on arrival I discovered that one of the two heatsinks has actually fallen off the card. It used to be held on by some sort of yellowish glue which is still evident on the heatsink and a little bit on the memory modules.
Fortunately, I still have a full tube of Arctic Silver 5 which I have from when I built my computer. I looked around on the net and I found discussions and information regarding CPU and GPU applications but nothing really about the ram modules on a video card.

Is it still safe to use on the memory modules or should I be using something else? I guess I have to remove all the original glue, any recommendations on how?

Well it's a shame I'm not getting any replies... it's okay though, I've basically solved this problem myself.

First of all I had to clean out as much of the dust from the card as possible because the thing was absolutely grotty! (for this I used a toothpick to loosen the dust and then blow on it to get it all out - and make sure you're outside for this, it can get rather messy)
Next I tried to remove the original gunk from the ram modules. I read that you shouldn't use anything sharp as you could damage the flat surface, so after a while I tried just using the tip of my nail to pressure the stuff off (at an upwards angle so that I wasn't pushing on the ram at all) and that seemed to work. Eventually I managed to get it all off and that left only the actual heatsink to clean. Since the heatsink is just a piece of metal without any electronics I enlisted the help of some hot water which made the stuff rather loose and made it much easier to pull off.
Then, finally, after preparing both surfaces completely smooth and clean, I discovered that you can't simply use standard Arctic Silver on the darn thing because Arctic Silver isn't adhesive, only heat conductive, so it would not actually hold the two pieces together. Unfortunately the stuff that you need to use is called "Arctic Silver Thermal Adhesive" and is another $20AUD !!!

Oh well nothing is ever easy.
Good luck to anyone who has a similar problem, hope this helps.

Yes, you need thermal adhesive on those heatsinks.

You should never blow on electronic components; your breath contains moisture which could damage sensitive electronic circuits.

Try to avoid touching contacts with your bare skin, there are all sorts of oils and residues on your skin, use latex gloves or hold IC’s or other components on areas that will not be receiving an electric current.

Use compressed air, $5 at your local hardware or computer store to clear out dust instead.

To remove old thermal paste or adhesive I like to use a sturdy piece of cardboard for scraping.

You can also freeze the glue off heatsinks and other non electrical components by using the compressed air upside down (careful) or by putting them in the freezer for a short period; the glue becomes brittle and will break off more easily.
A tube of thermal adhesive shouldn't be more tha $5-6. You can also use the double sided thermal tape that comes with RAM heatspreader kits which sell for under $10.

Note do not use the tape on GPUs or CPUs. It has too much thermal resistance.


Debiant by way of Ubuntu
for cleaning you cannot beat Isopropyl Alcohol - although Akasa nake a cleaner which also smells nice :p

for holding on RAM heatsinks I would use thermal tape - they do not really get too hot so it will be OK and the Arctic would IMHO be overkill. For GPU you would be best using the Arctic though.

welcome to OSNN - we try to answer things fast, but you can't always expect replies within the hour (although you'll be surprised how often you actually DO get them too!)

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