Under the hood of a M2090

Psi*

Tech Monkey
I finally removed the heatsink from a Nvidia Tesla M2090.

This GPGPU has 512 processors versus the C2075 that has 448. Unfortunately the M2090 does not have active cooling as it is intended for server in a rack. Apparently Rack mounted servers for high performance computing have air flow that flows thru the heat sink fins of these cards.

The 3 pics below show the C2075, the bare M2090, & the M2090 /w heatsink.

The red outlines on the M2090 card are the addition parts that had thermal compound to the heatsink ... as well as the memory chips around the main chip. There are an equal number of memory chips on the back of the card in the same locations as those on the front. These parts are not coupled to the heatpipe heatsink tho but just on the heatspreader.

What I would like to find or workout is an active cooling solution preferably water. The C2070 that I have idles at ~80 deg C! Or, it did until I found the MSI Afterburner utility that allows a custom fan v temperature speed control curve.

I am pretty certain that even if I found the equivalent cooling h/w that the C2075 has, all the necessary electronics for temp control or even the fan electrical header is not on the board.
 

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Rob Williams

Editor-in-Chief
Staff member
Moderator
I admit I'm a little surprised that that card is passively-cooled, given that it's designed to be installed in huge workstations and servers (where noise usually isn't a concern). Either way, I'm a sufficient noob where this is concerned, so I sent out a feeler on Facebook for ideas, and NVIDIA's Sean Pelletier said:

"Your best bet is likley to try something like the Swiftech MCW82 and then use passive coolers for the vreg and mosfets. http://www.swiftech.com/mc800smccoolingkit.aspx"

The passive kit alone is kind of expensive, but it pales in comparison against the $2,000 GPU.

Also, 80C idle is ridiculous. A GTX 680 at 80C -load- would make me consider better cooling options.
 

Psi*

Tech Monkey
That hybird solution is great idea. It had crossed my mind but I have never looked at after market cooling for anything other than a CPU. In fact the heat pipe is only for the GPU in the OEM design. There is a cutout in the heat spreader for the GPU that covers all the other devices.

So, I think I will use the OEM heatspreader especially since it probably the only thing that will fit this board layout. Guess the new quest is to find replacement thermal pads + the MCW82 (looks like it is pretty easy to find).

I have a 2nd M2090:rolleyes:to do this if this works well ... then might get a couple more. For the problems that fit on these, this is an incredible amount of compute power versus POI (plain old Intel). I am about to start a new build thread on that tho.
 

Psi*

Tech Monkey
I have decided to go with the Swiftech MCW82. All of the after market fan solutions take up 3 slots over all, which cannot do much for the intended air flow.

I also decided to make it an independent loop. Therefore the added cost of the pump, Alphacool DC-LT Ceramic + reservoir, and a single 120 mm fan cooled radiator bumped the overall WC solution to $200. If the loop had been tied into the CPU WC loop, just the MCW82 would have been needed. The OEM heat spreaders will be re-used because the component layout is different than any other PCB Nvidia based layout.

The radiator will stay inside the case. The 2 exhaust fans for the WC-ed CPU will exhaust this heat adequately. Prior experience with a C2070 running my software shows that when the GPU is running, the CPU is ~17%. And the when the CPU is maxxed the GPU is at idle. Also the C2070 with a seemingly pitiful cooling solution but appears to be more than adequate. In comparison this inexpensive WC loop is several time more efficient AND there is more air space around the card. 1 slot might be all that is necessary, a plus if I decide to add a 2nd similarly modified M2090 ... which is in the queue! :cool:

Mounting the radiator on a side case fan, a front case fan, or a separate fan are possibilities. If the separate fan is used the WC loop would be very short and would make the whole install completely autonomous. Amazing how much room there is inside a case when the CPU is WC-ed.
 

Tharic-Nar

Senior Editor
Staff member
Moderator
And if you are feeling suitably masochistic, you can share the water loop between two computers next to each other. If you can't dissipate enough heat, can always get a bigger radiator.

Never done a water-cooled loop before, never needed to - hasn't stopped me thinking about making one though.
 
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atypicalguy

Obliviot
That sounds smart. Once the existing sink is removed, it is no more work to put a water cooled system in place, and it conserves space, uses existing fans well, and is quiet. I have been looking at the aftermarket air coolers again today and none will fit my motherboard along with the existing video card. So if mini crossflow fan solution is inadequate, I will follow your lead with water block.
 

Psi*

Tech Monkey
That sounds smart. Once the existing sink is removed, it is no more work to put a water cooled system in place, and it conserves space, uses existing fans well, and is quiet. I have been looking at the aftermarket air coolers again today and none will fit my motherboard along with the existing video card. So if mini crossflow fan solution is inadequate, I will follow your lead with water block.

The order is scheduled to arrive 8/14 from performance-pcs. Of course I am scheduled for a trip out of town on 8/15 for a few days.:mad: My bad scheduling, but I will take the time to mock it all up trying general fit & screw sizes & take pics before I leave. I am expecting that I may need to only scavenge the screws out of the OEM heatsink for the waterblock.
 

Psi*

Tech Monkey
And if you are feeling suitably masochistic, you can share the water loop between two computers next to each other. If you can't dissipate enough heat, can always get a bigger radiator.

Never done a water-cooled loop before, never needed to - hasn't stopped me thinking about making one though.

hahaha ... I have thought way too much about doing that. At the end of the day, the ability to pick up the computer to move it around or even outside to blow the dust out says keep them separate. :)
 

atypicalguy

Obliviot
Took mine apart tonight.

I think you will need the 8-series mounting bracket with 58.4mm hole spacing. If you are keeping the spreader plate it gets a bit more complicated, as the block mounting screws first have to pass through the backing plate, the PCB, then that spreader plate (it is threaded) and finally the water block mounting bracket. But the holes run all the way through the spreader plate, so one could still use them as posts to mount the water block bracket upon, with nuts above the bracket.

I have no idea what the thread is on the original screws. Obviously longer ones are needed. If the ones in the kit match, you're in luck. I think they are 2-56 but I'm betting the spreader plate is a metric thread. I do not think the ones from the heat pipe will work, as they are retained with clips, but could be wrong.

If you are keeping the big spreader plate off then I think you are home free.

I have a query in to Stephen from swiftech; turns out they are not far from where I live. Perhaps he will chime in; I gave him a link to this thread.

Karl

The order is scheduled to arrive 8/14 from performance-pcs. Of course I am scheduled for a trip out of town on 8/15 for a few days.:mad: My bad scheduling, but I will take the time to mock it all up trying general fit & screw sizes & take pics before I leave. I am expecting that I may need to only scavenge the screws out of the OEM heatsink for the waterblock.
 

atypicalguy

Obliviot
Photo with spreader plate in place, sink removed. Sink mounts to four inner holes on 50mm centers. mcw82 8-series mounting bracket matches corners of outer bolt pattern on 58.4mm centers.

photo(13).JPG
 

Psi*

Tech Monkey
This is the modding section of the forum. It is probably my fault for posting in both threads for the M2090.

Anyway, I just received the Swiftech MCW82 water block. This one does not have the pedestal section in the middle of the copper plate. That must be the "MCW82-7900". I ordered just the MCW82. Not really a problem tho. Swiftech's web site is just a little confusing.

The issue is that the block does not fit inside the OEM heat spreader. That translates to needing the chip heatsinks for each memory chip and regulator. Or, open up the cutout in the OEM heat spreader which I don't like.

I will post some pictures later & tomorrow the air cooling solution arrives.

But I have a really fine Alphcool pump+top+reservoir tho. It is small but would be perfect for this application.
 

atypicalguy

Obliviot
Well, results with the 9cfm squirrel fan were predictable: quiet but hot. I turned it off at 90 degrees on the .nbody simulation. I have to say that test would make a hell of a screensaver - 225 watts be damned.

Tech support at Swiftech says the MCW82 is not compatible, which just means they cannot recommend using it on this card. It might be doable, just hard and too dependent upon the skill of the person doing it to recommend it.

I think what you (I) need is one (or more) of these water blocks (see below), and leave the heat plate in place. It should fit into the existing mounting holes, possibly even with the spring/screws from the original heat sink:

http://koolance.com/gpu-210-video-card-vga-chipset-water-block

I hope you can make the air cooler work, but I suspect many of the same issues may rear their ugly heads. I cannot get the hole spacing specs from the Zalman website. Look forward to hearing about it. Otherwise it's back to water again for me.

Karl

This is the modding section of the forum. It is probably my fault for posting in both threads for the M2090.

Anyway, I just received the Swiftech MCW82 water block. This one does not have the pedestal section in the middle of the copper plate. That must be the "MCW82-7900". I ordered just the MCW82. Not really a problem tho. Swiftech's web site is just a little confusing.

The issue is that the block does not fit inside the OEM heat spreader. That translates to needing the chip heatsinks for each memory chip and regulator. Or, open up the cutout in the OEM heat spreader which I don't like.

I will post some pictures later & tomorrow the air cooling solution arrives.

But I have a really fine Alphcool pump+top+reservoir tho. It is small but would be perfect for this application.
 

Psi*

Tech Monkey
Ahhh! Hole spacing specs! I was just working up a table with those. I may be done but need to sleep on it a bit.

Hole spacing is not the issue with the MCW82. In fact it may work directly with the OEM back plate. I just haven't had the chance to examine everything. (Have 2 customers breathing down my neck ... I so need this M2090!!)

The question now about the Zalman air cooler is how to cool RAM & VRs. I will not be able to figure that out until the part is in my hands & on the card. I am expecting needing chip heat sinks tho which is not such a bad thing.

I have not given up on the water cooler. My cases are full size. While working today I was toying with the idea of mounting the pump & radiator/fan on the side (inside) of the case with velcro. The Alphacool pump is much lighter than the Eheims in the CPU loops in my machines and they have been in place for several years (thru a few upgrades) with velco. The other benefit is that the radiator fan could blow across the M2090 thru the radiator.

Yes, the air out of radiators is somewhat above ambient. I am certain this WC combo is over kill for this card so the air out of this radiator shouldn't be too warm so should be good enough + the air already moving thru the case. Also, getting the top side OEM heat spreader milled out a bit is a possibility. But I will find a machine shop & not use a dremel ... it can't cost much. This might be all that is needed for the air cooler if needed.

Waiting for Zalman air cooler ... .. .
 

Psi*

Tech Monkey
The Zalman VF1000 arrived. It looks like it will be a fit with minimal modification to the OEM top side heat spreader. Yes, I think things fit well with the OEM heat spreader.:D But don't pull out that CC yet.

Holding it all together will be interesting to figure out. There are plenty of holes that line up, but the outer threaded ones will probably get drilled out ... these are the ones that the screws that go thru the back plate screw into.

I will try to get some pics up this eve for argument :rolleyes:

@ atypicalguy ... "I turned it off at 90 degrees on the .nbody simulation." How are you measuring the temperature?
 

atypicalguy

Obliviot
Good news on that aircooler! Part of me didn't want to drill that plate out because I figured they used eight screws for a reason (to hold it to the pcb). But I'm sure it will be fine.

For temp readout I jammed a thermocouple from the Coolerguys $50 fan controller down beneath the heatsink plate, into the thermal grease around where it mounts to the gpu. A bit of electrical tape to stick the wires to the black plate, then ran it along the edge out the end of the card. I stuck the temp readout on top of the power supply box. It runs on a 4-pin Molex connector. My case has a clear plastic side, so I can just glance down there and see what the temp is at the gpu. I may hook some fans up to it eventually; right now it is just a nice digital thermometer.

Ordered the little koolance waterblock and a Swiftech CPU water kit today. Should be here Friday. I will probably leave the CPU alone and just run lines to the GPU instead.

The only missing piece is figuring out what size the original heatsink mounting screws are, so I can get some the proper length for mounting the water block. I will try the original ones first of course.

Thanks for the update.

The Zalman VF1000 arrived. It looks like it will be a fit with minimal modification to the OEM top side heat spreader. Yes, I think things fit well with the OEM heat spreader.:D But don't pull out that CC yet.

@ atypicalguy ... "I turned it off at 90 degrees on the .nbody simulation." How are you measuring the temperature?
 

atypicalguy

Obliviot
PS on my card looking at the heatsink side far up near the left upper corner there is a two-pronged jack that is very similar to the jack for my thermocouple attachment on the fan controller. It does not look like a fan power jack; no 3rd or 4th pin or space for same. Any ideas what the jack is for? If one plugs in a thermocouple might one be able to read temp from the card? Puzzling.

The Zalman VF1000 arrived. It looks like it will be a fit with minimal modification to the OEM top side heat spreader. Yes, I think things fit well with the OEM heat spreader.:D But don't pull out that CC yet.

Holding it all together will be interesting to figure out. There are plenty of holes that line up, but the outer threaded ones will probably get drilled out ... these are the ones that the screws that go thru the back plate screw into.

I will try to get some pics up this eve for argument :rolleyes:

@ atypicalguy ... "I turned it off at 90 degrees on the .nbody simulation." How are you measuring the temperature?
 

Psi*

Tech Monkey
Good news on that aircooler! Part of me didn't want to drill that plate out because I figured they used eight screws for a reason (to hold it to the pcb). But I'm sure it will be fine.
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The only missing piece is figuring out what size the original heatsink mounting screws are, so I can get some the proper length for mounting the water block. I will try the original ones first of course.
Checking it over a little more, the alternative is to drill out the 4 inside hole on the back plate. This will allow the thumb screws they provide to capture the "nipples" as they call them that screw into the the air cooler's heat plate. The thumb screws will hold the pressure plate of the heatsink & back plate together. This would also allow to backup to the original by just adding washers under the original screws on the back plate. Latest thought ... Counter sinking the holes just enough will do the same!

All screws are the same thread ... of course nothing I have says what that is.
 
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Psi*

Tech Monkey
PS on my card looking at the heatsink side far up near the left upper corner there is a two-pronged jack that is very similar to the jack for my thermocouple attachment on the fan controller. It does not look like a fan power jack; no 3rd or 4th pin or space for same. Any ideas what the jack is for? If one plugs in a thermocouple might one be able to read temp from the card? Puzzling.

No clue about that jack. Wild guessing, if Nvidia monitors temp like Intel, then the sensing is on chip but still requires a device nearby as the interface. I think that may be missing on this board. But, I have never plugged one of my M2090s in as I just have not had the time. I have had a i7-990X for several months to upgrade from a i7-920. I am hoping to be able to do the upgrades in 1 weekend.

I think the jack for the fan is in the opposite corner ... where there is no jack but a place for one.
 
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