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Now, this guide will apply to just about any kind of RAM chip you would ever want to permanently mount a heat sink to, but we will focus on attaching the Tweakmonster BGA RAMsinks to an ATI Radeon 9700 PRO video card for the example.
"Tweakmonster.com is not responsible for any damage to any hardware caused by the installation of these RAMsinks. If this is a problem for you, please return them to where you got them from."
With that out of the way, let's install these bad boys! First, gather what you will need:
1) Video card (or other victim) that is soon to be modded.
2) Non-conductive thermal adhesive, or thermal pads. I highly recommend Arctic Alumina Adhesive.
3) A few cotton swabs. (very handy tools)
4) Tweakmonster RAMsinks (of course)
5) Isopropyl alcohol, or equivalent, for cleaning purposes.
Also, be sure to work in a spot that won't get harmed if it gets filthy. Thermal adhesive is VERY messy! It would also be good if it was a place that your work would not get harmed for a few hours while drying.
The first step to ensuring a quality job is to be sure your mounting surfaces are clean and prepared to make the most of thermal conductivity.
Although in my experience RAMsinks tend to work just as good with or without lapping, some people just have to have their mounting surfaces 100% flat and shiney. Lapping the RAM chip itself is not necessary, as we want a somewhat textured surface for the adhesive to stick to.
Take a cotton swab dipped in alcohol, or equivilent cleaning solution, and clean both the RAMsink mounting surface and the top of the RAM chip surface well.
Time to mix the adhesive.
The Radeon 9700 PRO video card we are doing today has 128MB of RAM onboard.....4 RAM chips on the front side of the card and 4 on the back side. Mix the adhesive in a 1:1 ratio, only mixing enough to attach about 4 RAMsinks at a time so the adhesive doesn't start to 'set-up' on you before you are finished attaching everything. You will also need to let each side 'set-up' before flipping the card over, so only do one side at a time. The RAMsinks packaging makes an excellent surface for mixing the adhesive.
Many people like to use thermal compound to weaken the bond between the RAM chip and RAMsinks so that they might remove the RAMsinks at a later time. I asked Arctic Silver about this method, and they told me that they do NOT recommend doing this as a general rule. On the flip side however, you must also consider the possibility that your card may need warrantying sometime in the future, and so weakening the adhesive mixture slightly will allow them to be easily removed in that case. To do this, after mixing the 2 parts of the adhesive, immediately mix in the thermal compound in a 1:1 ratio, then install the RAMsinks.
On the front side of the card, we want to make the most of the airflow provided by the GPU cooling solution, so it will be to our advantage to apply the RAMsinks with their fins pointing towards the core on both sides (the below left picture illustrates this). Applying them in this formation will allow maximum airflow from the GPU cooler to remove the most amount of heat from the front side RAMsinks with little restriction. The back side is not as important, as there is no direct source of airflow there, but if you have a blowhole or a card cooler installed, it would be best to mount the back side RAMsinks with their fins pointing towards the top of the card. (the below left picture illustrates this)
Speaking from a technical standpoint, you could install them any way you like as it should make little to no difference whatsoever in their ability to cool your card properly, but we highly recommend installing them this way to get the best possible performance you can, especially if you plan on pushing your card to its' maximum capability.
When applying the adhesive, I have found it easiest to apply the adhesive to the RAMsink first, and then place the RAMsink on top of the RAM chip. This tends to yield the best quality job and least amount of mess.
Try not to glue the sinks on with more than is absolutely necessary. Even though Arctic Alumina Adhesive does not conduct electricity, you want to do a quality job of gluing the RAMsinks on so your project comes out looking as good as it performs. After you have all 4 RAMsinks in place, be sure they are pressed down firmly on the surface they are being attached to and lined up straight. Let the card sit untouched for about 15-30 minutes before moving on. Follow the same instructions for the RAM chips on the other side of the card, and then let the card sit for an hour or two to dry thoroughly. Reinstall the card, and let the MHZ fly!
If you find you need more help, have any questions not answered here, or any other input on this matter, please contact us. We will be happy to assist you in any way we can.
To get the absolute most from this product, we highly recommend you consider our Dual 80mm Fan Brackets or our 120mm Fan Brackets which are specially designed to work together with these RAMsinks for a complete video cooling solution that is unparalleled in performance.