Apple ATI Radeon HD 5870 Fan Upgrade

Sunday 28 April 2013

The factory fan on my 2 year old Apple ATI Radeon HD 5870 1Gb Graphics Card finally failed last week after over 8 months of rattles and worsening noises before finally stopping and the graphics card getting a bit warm!

As my Mac Pro tower is a 2008 model there is very little choice of replacement cards and I can’t replace the computer with a new model as Apple are not selling the tower Macs in the UK any more, I decided to try to replace the heatsink with a quieter solution.

I found a Gelid Solutions Icy Vision Rev.2 VGA Cooler for High-end ATI and Nvidia from Quietpc.com http://www.quietpc.com/gel-icy-vision and a Zalman FANMATE 2 to control the speed of the new fans.

Apple ATI Radeon HD 5870 1Gb Graphics Card

The Gelid Solutions Icy Vision kit was very compressive and had everything apart from a screwdriver to fit the kit. The fan unit is 52mm high and when installed had very little space below the other 2 expansion boards (USB and HDMI video capture cards).

Apple ATI Radeon HD 5870 1Gb Graphics Card with fans installed

The power for the fan had to be routed from a spare power connector behind the DVD drive and the cable routed out between the DVD area and the other casing.

Overall the entire install of the cooler kit and fan took about an hour and after letting the glue on the self-adhesive smaller heatsinks dry for a few hours I reinstalled it in the Mac Pro and powered it all up. The fan speed controller allowed me to vary the speed between the noise of a vacuum cleaner running to almost completely silent and it seems to be working OK and cooling the graphics card even when on the slowest setting.

Completed fan install