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Corsair HG N980 Cooling Bracket Installation for GTX 980 Thoughts



I recently installed a Corsair HG N980 and I wanted to share my experience in case other people were thinking about going down a similar road to liquid cool their GPU.  Overall the experience went well and I'm pleased with the results.  Parts I used for this upgrade were the HG N980 cooling bracket paired with a H110i GT liquid cooler and wound up buying a H80i GT liquid cooler for the CPU.


Installation had a few hiccups but nothing I couldn't overcome.  My biggest issue was removing all the small screws coated with blue Loctite from the stock cooler.  I wound up stripping a few of them out, despite my best intentions not to.  Eventually I just broke and ripped off the metal protective back plate covering the PCB and used a pair of pliers to remove the screws.  The other issue was my Noctua NH-D14.  It was way too big for me to maneuver cooling hoses around so I had to finally let her go, which is why I had to run back down to Microcenter to get a H80i.


After finally getting the stock cooler off, the rest of the installation was rather straight forward and didn't have any any other problems.  The pictures below show the general flow of the upgrade and the problems I faced.  Naturally your mileage may vary.




I ran a simple set of benchmarks to see any before and after changes.  Mind you I don't do this normally, so I just kind of winged it; but it did show some interesting results.



Intel 4670K overclocked to 4.4 GHz


GTX 980

Samsung 850 Pro 256 GB SSD

Acer XB270HU G-Sync 144HZ IPS 2560x1440 monitor


Heaven - Direct3D11 2560x1440 4xAA fullscreen, Quality High, Tessellation Normal

Score: 1329 to 1400

Average FPS: 52.8 to 55.6

GPU Temp: 80C to 36C


Firestrike - Normal default settings

Graphics Score: 13182 to 13647

Graphics Test #1 FPS: 63.1 to 65.19

GPU Temp: 80C to 37C


There's clearly a small bump in graphics performance but the big winner was dropping the GPU temps by nearly half, that's a huge improvement. 




I feel the whole endeavor was worth doing.  Not only did I get a small performance increase, I get much better GPU temperatures which I think is important.  I only have two small complaints regarding the Corsair HG N980.  First the instructions were kind of vague, with generic pictures often with little written followup with what's supposed to be done.  I've removed GPU coolers before so I knew what to expect, but I imagine someone who didn't have prior experience might stumble a bit.  Second, I think Corsair is going to have to do a better job getting the bracket into the hands of the consumers.  I've had my GTX 980 for nearly a year and a half now and I was only just now able to get a hold of the product and that was after waiting for three weeks for Amazon to get one in stock.  At the pace their going I imagine by the time the HG N980 bracket becomes easily available the GTX 1080 will be close to being released.  I'm sure Corsair has their reasons, but it would be nice to be able to use this product near the time the card is released.


Hope you found this useful and thanks for reading!









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it took corsair so long to get it on the market(again) because they had it already on the market in 2015 but they had to recall all products because it did bend the card.





Fire Strike Score

5820K @ 4.8GHZ - 1.25v / Uncore @ 4.5GHZ - 1.2v / 3000MHZ G.skill 32GB Quad Channel / Asus Rampage V Extreme / 950 Pro Nvme / Sound Blaster ZxR  / 980 TI / Windows 7


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