View Full Version : nForce4 Ultra passive cooling?

02-22-2005, 06:29 PM
I have a Gigabyte K8NXP-9 based system which I am trying to civilize and
one candidate for attention is the heatsink/fan on the nForce4 Ultra.

The following article contains a good description of the K8NXP-9
including a picture of the nForce4 Ultra package and a couple of
pictures of the heatsink/fan:


The heatsink is 40mm x 40mm x 10mm and appears to be aluminium. The fan
is an Everflow S124010DM which is entirely embedded in the heatsink.
One side of the heatsink/fan is under the PCI Express graphics card (I
have a Gigabyte 6600GT VIVO) which limits the height available.

I haven't managed to find a specification for the existing heatsink/fan
or any information on the heat output of the nForce4 ultra. How could I
establish that a passive heatsink would be adequate for the job?

One possibility might be one of the Cool Innovations UltraCool IV Pin
Fin Heat Sinks:


The closest match appears to be one of the 4-1515XXU range:


As the through-board mounting holes are neither are neither inline with
the middle row of pins nor at diagonal corners a suitable mechanical
attachment would need to be fabricated. A tall version of this heatsink
could be used with the pins in one corner trimmed to avoid contact with
the graphics card.

Has anyone tried anything similar?

I see that the instructions for the Swiftech MCX159 range (way too tall
for my system!):


advises the use of neoprene pad stabilizers with FCBGA packages like the
nForce4 Ultra. Where can pads like this be obtained?

Thanks in anticipation

09-17-2005, 07:48 AM
Hi John,

I've been considering the same kind of modification to my Giga-Byte GA-K8NXP-SLI MB. I've got enough fans in my system (including 2 high speed fans on my dual GPU GV-3D1 graphics card which make a hell of a row..) already and the active chipset cooler is an additional annoyance I'd like to get rid of.

The GA-K8NXP-SLI MB has the further problem that the nForce 4 chipset is mounted directly behind the PCI-e slot that's in use and the graphics card actually touches the top of the active cooler as a result! So not really much space to work with!

I looked at the Cool Innovations 4-1515XXU heatsink that you describe here and it looks like a good match but as you state, mounting it could be something of an issue. They suggest on their website that there are SMDL Clips available, do you think they would match with the diagonally set mounting holes in the MB?

There are three other options that I've come across:

Radian Heatsinks have a product called the INE45001-10 Series (http://www.radianheatsinks.com/standard/ine45001.html) which can be mounted using their EZ Snap system. This seems to offer good contact with the chip and the ability to remove the heatsink if necessary but depends on you knowing the height of the chip package (either 0.9mm or 1.7mm available) and I can't find the specs on the nForce4 anywhere! I'm also not sure to what degree the EZ Snap cip would affect air flow around the heatsink and there is a minimum order quantity of 5 but the cost is not too great..

I've also been looking at products from Alphanovatech (http://www.alphanovatech.com/), but am unsure as to whether a low Low Pressure Drop design (LPD) or a Low Thermal Resistance (Z series) design would be more appropriate. They also offer customisation of their heatsinks and make fully custom spec designs to order, although I suspect the latter might prove costly! I was thinking that maybe a LPD 60X60X10, drilled to match the MB mounting holes might do the trick.

This would obviously involve a bit of work! An easier option might be to just buy a 45X45X10 Z Series from FrozenCPU (http://www.frozencpu.com/vid-08.html?mv_pc=667) and then use thermal tape to mount and test it and then, if successful, Arctic Silver Epoxy (http://www.frozencpu.com/thr-06.html) to permenently mount it.

Which ever option, it seems that completely passive cooling of the nForce4 chipset, with a low profile heatsink might be a bit ambitious and that some kind of increased air flow around the heatsink will probably be required. Fortunately my case a Coolermaster CM Stacker (http://www.coolermaster-europe.com/index.php?LT=english&Language_s=2&url_place=product_list&p_class=614) has space for a 80mm fan in just about the pright place to provide this but you might want to consider something similar yourself?

Also looking around at some of the stories concerning replacement of these chipset coolers, some people have suggested that some kind of shim to protect the chip might be in order. It seems some cooling solutions have a habit of chipping the chip packaging but like you, I've found no details of pads or shims for the nForce4 anywhere...

Any road up, if you were willing, I'd be happy to purchase the minimum of one kind of heatsink and if you did the same with another, we could swap them around and experiment a little.

What do you think?


09-17-2005, 02:56 PM
A temp probe on my vnf4 ulrtra reads 45- 49 ( 48 currently, cpu ambiant 25.8) all T= C. Software reads the temp as 34 (not on die). The stock (lapped) Chaintech hsf is at 5000 rpm. Any passive solution will need enough air blown on it to make the term passive inaccurate.
the CM stacker fan placement on left door is not correct to cool my chip, but I have the hard drive cage fan up on the same level so the air will cool the chipset area.
I will be moving to water cooling soon and will water cool the chipset, that sucker is hot.

09-19-2005, 05:03 PM
Thanks for the feedback GlassMan.

I was wondering to what degree the fact that the HSF is embedded into the chipset heatsink effects the performance of that heatsink. The fan in my chipset cooler occupies the majority of the heatsink volume, which presumably means that if it were removed and replaced with a larger, passive heatsink, the heat disapation via just the heatsink alone would be far great and thus require a much lower airflow in order to cool it.

Anyone out there have a working, passive solution?


09-30-2005, 08:40 AM
For a while i used a DFI NF2 passive HS with a row clipped off and it ran about 5deg cooler with just the system airflow.


09-30-2005, 02:23 PM
Thanks for the feedback.

Interesting... 5 degrees cooler than what please Duke?


10-01-2005, 04:54 AM
note that there are a couple of boards on the market that already passively cool the nf4 chipset. here's one:


as for cooling your chipset, you certainly can use the swiftech unit, but you would have to dremel a few rows of pins off. you would also need good airflow to get that to work, these chipsets are hot! you could get one of those PCI fan bracket deals, or maybe one of these (http://www.bytesector.com/data/bs-article.asp?id=548).

another option - you could mod a cpu heatsink. here are a few threads that should point you in the right direction:


02-08-2007, 08:15 PM
Wondering if anyone found a solution to this.

My Giga-Byte GA-K8NXP-SLI motherboard is working fine, but the piece of shit Everflow S124010DM fan is dying and rattling inside the case. The one fan is making more noise than the other 6 combined.

Anyone have a suggestion for another 40 x 40 x 10 fan or another passive cooling solution?

02-08-2007, 09:39 PM
Wondering if anyone found a solution to this.

My Giga-Byte GA-K8NXP-SLI motherboard is working fine, but the piece of shit Everflow S124010DM fan is dying and rattling inside the case. The one fan is making more noise than the other 6 combined.

Anyone have a suggestion for another 40 x 40 x 10 fan or another passive cooling solution?

That mobo appears to be on the compatibility list.