GPU Fan Mod


What's an ITX?
Original poster
Jul 23, 2019
I'm in the process of replacing the fans / shroud of my GPU with 120mm fans at the bottom of my ncase:

One minor snag is the GPU heatsink has some small clips that stick out and get in the way on one of support arms on a fan, so it doesn't quite fit in fully:

My thoughts are either bending the metal part of the heatsink away or cutting though the support arm on the fan to get it to fit.

I don't think the fans can be repositioned here and the clip isn't big enough to interfere with the fan blades so bending isn't essential.

I would rather make any change to the fan rather than the GPU but wondered this might fundamentally compromise it?

Any advice welcome.


Average Stuffer
Oct 28, 2018
I couple of thoughts:
1. If I understand this properly would cut the tabs off the sink. Cutting a support out of the fan isn't a good course of action. The supports hold the center hub in place properly and contribute to the overall fan frame rigidity.
2. If you really would rather not hack either, mount the fans through the case. It may leave a small gap between the fan and the sink, but that could easily be closed with a strip of acrylic. Fans with shrouds on heatsinks and radiators have proven better performance anyway. That is providing the gap isn't more like a gape. It appears 15 to 25mm gap is a winner based on my reading over the years. No hacking and better performance.

Martin's Liquid Lab did testing on this. I think Extreme Rigs site did also. There is other information searchable at as well. At least there used to be with the old site. I find too often stuff I know should be there isn't since migrating to new platform.
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King of Cable Management
Jan 20, 2018
If I were you I'd grab some pliers and bend the tabs slightly. Not the cleanest solution, but the quickest, easiest and least destructive. Should be possible to bend them back if the stock fan shroud ever needs remounting. Cutting the fan supports is a downright terrible idea as you'd likely introduce vibration to the fan and either cause it to wear out sooner or even make the blades hit the frame. Cutting into the fan frame itself is usually not an issue, and cutting a single support might be okay, but I'd avoid it if possible.