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Eimaj

Reviving Old Hardware (Graphics Cards) with Liquid Metal

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Posted · Original PosterOP

I wanted to experiment with an old PC I got for free and breathe new life into it.

Specs:

  1. AMD Phenom x6 1055T – Ocd to 3.4GHz Cooled with Hyper 212X

  2. 8GB DDR3 1066MHz

  3. 250GB SSD

  4. 1TB SSHD for Games

  5. Sapphire HD7970 3GB (Has a direct copper contact Heatsink)

 

My question specifically relates to the HD7970 3GB – whilst gaming it gets like a jet turbine, even after being cleaned to the point of looking factory fresh, and new Kyronaught thermal paste. In the past I have delided both my personal rigs and used Liquid Metal TIM to revive 2 old and severely overheating laptops, all absolute huge success stories.

Here’s where some unusual stuff happened when it comes to applying liquid metal to the HD7970.

My usual process involves Isopropyl 99% to get rid of the old thermal goo and then a toothpick and electrical contact cleaner to get it absolutely pristine [see photo]. Then use nail polish to insulate the SMDs around the die, wait for it to cure, and then gingerly apply liquid metal to both the die and heatsink and re-assemble.

Success it would seem the machine booted immediately into Windows, but then gremlins:

When loading Unigen Heaven or Furr Mark or any GPU specific stress test it runs… for about maybe 10 – 30 seconds and then rage quits and screen goes black… fan stops PC completely crashes.

As for games (to see of it was the load type affecting the crash) it runs for maybe a couple of rounds of CS:GO.

My immediate thoughts I’ve either nocked off an SMD but they all look OK and I’d imagine the PC would not even boot or give a display output. Under very light loads or YouTube 4K  auto-play some random videos for about an hour did not result in the hard crash.

Have I killed it? Would going back to Kryonaught thermal paste fix this? I’ve speculated that it might be that under load the VRMS aren’t getting the same airflow from the fans as they would when the GPU had normal thermal paste as they spine WAY slower but even maxing the fan speed manually did not help much perhaps a few more seconds in game / stress test. I would also like to hear if any of you have had similar things happen or have had success with old hardware revivial that is discontinued /  end of life and been resurrected and given a new lease of life by Liquid Metal or exotic cooling experiments.

 

Pre-lm.jpg

post-np.jpg

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