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9500 Softmod

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Well, as some of you may or may not be aware, I got a 9500 and did the 9500>9700 softmod. It worked beautifully, until I tried to OC my card. Once I clocked my memory past 303 MHz, I would start to get checkerboarding, very faint at first but after a couple MHz more it would get very very pronounced. It also got progressively worse the more gaming I did.


My solution?


As well as getting a new case with bigger, better, and faster fans, one of which blows on the video card from the front of the case (quite a ways, but you can still feel the airflow if you hold your hand near the card), I also went ahead with my penny heatsink idea.


Basically, all I did was take 12 pennies (1982 and earlier, otherwise they aren't really copper), and cut four of them in half down the middle. I used heavy duty wire cutters to do this, so they were kinda bent and stuff, but 2 pairs of pliers working together flattened them out again.


Next, I got out the dremel, and using two different grinding heads, I lapped the other eight pennies to about as nice of a shine as you can possibly get with something as rough as a dremel, which actually looks nicer than your average heatsink. I also flattened out the edges of the pennies that were in halves.


I then got out the Ceramique, and put some on the edge of each of the pennies I cut in half, and placed them firmy onto the sides of the eight lapped pennies (forming a T shape from the side). After letting them sit for a little bit, I clamped it together to insure the thermal bond was good and then ran superglue down the corner of where the pennies come together (for strength), let it sit for a while, and took it out. I now had a pretty good thermal bond.


To attach it to the memory of my 9500, you have to remember that one side of the card is sitting flat in a tower case, right? So, on the top of the video card memory, I spread a very thin layer of ceramique and pushed the sinks down on top of that. I figured this would be a lot better than the thermal tape I used on the sinks on the bottom.


My results? Well, I'm currently running at 312 MHz memory, without any checkerboarding at all. I will push it up again soon, not entirely sure how much higher these things will allow me to go.


BTW, my Sapphire card has 3.3ns memory.


I just thought this might be helpful to any of you out there who bought a 9500 hoping to get a 9700 out of it, and it failed. Perhaps these things could at least allow it to run at stock speeds :).


PICTURES! Webcam quality, I apolgoize in advance, but you can get the idea from them.





These two give a decent showing of what I made, if my description wasn't enough.





Pretty easy to see that my lapping job is far from perfect, but its shiny and MUCH better than Abe's head.




Here's what they look like right now, in my system. Obviously, these are the ones that are stuck on with the Ceramique. You can even see the stuff in the crack between the corners of the T on the nearest sink.


Well? What do you all think? My total costs were 12 cents + 1 hour lapping, another hour setting and gluing. Perhaps it would have been easier to go out and buy some RAM sinks, but then I wouldn't get to write this nice ltitle how-to, and plus this is just a whole lot MORE FUN!



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