Guide: How to prepare a Graphics Card for Extreme Overclocking

About a month ago, I made this video on how to prepare a motherboard for extreme overclocking using my MSI Global Z170 Mini-ITX board. (link) Now after that video, I received quite a few messages from your guys asking me to make a similar guide for graphics cards. So here it is!
This time around – GOC 2016 dictates – I’m using the GALAX GTX 1060 HOF graphics card which has this superb white PCB. First doing a complete teardown of the card, and then insulating it step by step with Vaseline凡士林 🙂

Step #1: Ready, Go!

Ok, so the first step is to take the card and locate the few screws on it. I’m starting off with the back of the graphics card. Each graphics card being different, removing all the stock coolings from each card will be a little bit of a different experience. But once you’ve done it once – it’s fairly easy.

Step #2: Careful with the small fan cables and connectors!

Now once all the screws are removed … I insist here on ALL. Make sure to disconnect all the cables progressively as you are opening up the graphics card to separate the top coolers system from the backplate / PCB combo.
In my case I had two cables at the back of the card (here circled in red). So make sure to not pull the two parts apart like a Viking and go slowly. 😉

Step #3: Clean up everything

We must still separate the backplate form the main PCB. But before doing that, take a piece of tissue and gently clean up your GPU. Take your time and don’t stress. It’s not as sensible as people might think.
Also, while we are working on this side of the card. Look for any other screws. Most cards (at least the high-end ones) come with cooling pads and all sorts of stuff to help spread the heat from the memory surrounding the GPU and the VRMs. Sometimes these are not just glued, but mounted with screws.
These will be in the way of our insulation, so also do remove everything. If the job is complete, you will end up with a fully “naked” PCB on this one side.

Step #4: Backplate

The final step of the teardown consists of removing whats at the back of the PCB. All the graphics card that respect themselves nowadays come with backplates. These acts a beefy looking protections but also cooling for your graphics card.
Same as before, we will need to paint this back side fully with Vaseline as there are components everywhere – so remove everything.

Step #5: Vaseline

Finally, the controversial part. Well .. the part that is up to everyones preference. Yes, it will look disgusting, and yes, there are other ways. But from my experience, Vaseline still is one of the fastest and most effective solution to insulate any electronics from the condensation from extreme overclocking temperature variations.
Place the card on a flat surface and start spreading Vaseline everywhere. Make sure to not forget any part. Take your time to pass between all the components that are sticking out (round ones and square ones). Water gets everywhere … even under soldered memory modules that are seemingly flat on the PCB.
Front done? Okay, move to the back.
Personally I don’t cover everywhere since cold doesn’t necessarily go everywhere. Focus being the whole are around the GPU. But if you are not too sure – cover it all 🙂

Step #6: Hairdryer

I’m not showing this in the video, but the final step consists of simply heating things up gently with a hair dryer to help the Vaseline to soften and spread everywhere. You can check my previous video on the motherboard insulation. That’s pretty much the same thing. (link)
That’s it

Until next time, Happy Benching

Thanks for reading my overclocking guide, let me know what you think and of course please share if your want more or ask any questions if you have some! Also, here are the places where you can follow me:

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