RTX A2000 Full Copper Low Profile Single Slot Edition - aka A2000 SpongeBob Copperpants Mod

REVOCCASES

Shrink Ray Wielder
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I had hoped that NVIDIA or AMD would come up with a next gen 75W GPU that could beat the performance of the GTX1650 and that we would see some new low profile and single slot cards at some point but it seems that the A2000 is as close as it gets. Unfortunately NVIDIA decided to make the A2000 a dual slot card and therefore it does not fit in many SFF workstations that are limited to single slot and low profile.

soooo I came up with an idea...



I wasn't quite sure if it would actually work to make a single slot cooler for the A2000 but as we say in Germany "probieren geht über studieren" and so I just started the project to see how it goes...



just to be safe, I went all-in with copper for this cooler and while browsing for ideas how to design the cooling fins I came across something called "copper sponge / foam"



for best heat transfer, the cold plate, heatpipes and the copper sponge are soldered together like a sandwich using a low temp solder paste at 200C for a few minutes



next up, assembling the copper backplate to the A2000







assembling the SpongeBob Copper cooler with a 5010 DELTA PWM fan



installing the shroud and hoping that it works 🤞









running some benchmarks / stress tests...

1) idle with Full Copper Low Profile Single Slot Cooler



2) Valley Bench with Full Copper Low Profile Single Slot Cooler



3) TIME SPY Benchmark with Full Copper Low Profile Single Slot Cooler



4) TIME SPY Stress Test with Full Copper Low Profile Single Slot Cooler



for reference/ comparison, results with the original dual slot A2000 cooler...





my thoughts / summery...

I was very skeptical if my cooler design (especially with the copper foam) would actually work at all but to my pleasant surprise it does quite well. The original cooler clearly performs better but to be fair it's a dual slot cooler and the turbo/blower fan certainly moves more air than the one I am using here. Anyways, I already have some ideas for improvement so stay tuned if you like this project... :)
 

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REVOCCASES

Shrink Ray Wielder
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Nice work! That fan RPM, though.. That has to be so loud.

Thanks!

Actually it isn't that loud (for a single slot card), it's roughly comparable with the stock fan. But that's something I'd like to improve further if I do a second revision of the cooler mod. Maybe a dual Noctua or something.
 

robbee

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This is super impressive! That copper sponge sure is cool stuff... How did you set up the contact between the base plate and die/memory? Thermal paste for die and pads for memory?

I was actually considering doing a custom heatsink for the A2000 myself but making it a little bit bigger than the original, hoping to make it inaudible under load. Designing a conventional heatsink with heat pipes and aluminium fins that is around 1.25 slots high should keep it within 2 slots with 2x 60x15mm fans or a little over 2 slots with 2x 60x25 fans. Cases like your SMALL1 have some room to go a little over 2 slots so that should work out nice.

If i may be so rude to ask, what did you end up paying for all the material to make this?
 
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REVOCCASES

Shrink Ray Wielder
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This is super impressive! That copper sponge sure is cool stuff... How did you set up the contact between the base plate and die/memory? Thermal paste for die and pads for memory?

I was actually considering doing a custom heatsink for the A2000 myself but making it a little bit bigger than the original, hoping to make it inaudible under load. Designing a conventional heatsink with heat pipes and aluminium fins that is around 1.25 slots high should keep it within 2 slots with 2x 60x15mm fans or a little over 2 slots with 2x 60x25 fans. Cases like your SMALL1 have some room to go a little over 2 slots so that should work out nice.

If i may be so rude to ask, what did you end up paying for all the material to make this?

I used 2mm thermal pads for memory and VRMs and TFX thermal paste on the die. However, I think the thermal pads barely making contact, 2.5mm would have worked better. Unfortunately I didn't measure memory temps with the original cooler... maybe you could check yours so we have some comparison?

Very looking forward what you come up with. If it helps for your project I can share the roughly accurate PCB drawings here.

Material cost was about EUR 100,- and the copper sponge was the most expensive part of it. With a more traditional approach I could probably get it down to EUR 65,- to 85,-
 

GuilleAcoustic

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That's some great mod there, as always ! Did you consider something like Enzotech's forged copper heatsinks ? Their southbridge line is available in 30x30mm, 37x37mm, 40x40mm, 50x50mm and 60x60. All models are ~7mm thick without the fan and ~14mm with the fan for 3#/40mm versions or ~17mm for the 50/60mm ones.



Only issue ... being able to buy an A2000 for a reasonable price 😂. Been looking for month, but the 6GB retails for 720€ (when in stock) and the 12GB has just been added (and is in stock) for a whooping 980€ 😨.

GPU is the only thing missing to finish my L5 build .... might end-up with an 8GB T1000 if A2000 price doesn't shrink.
 
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robbee

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Very looking forward what you come up with. If it helps for your project I can share the roughly accurate PCB drawings here.

Not entirely sure if I will go through with it, but PCB drawings should certainly be very welcome! Haven't been able to dismantle my original cooler yet as I don't have the required T1 or T2 drill bits, but they are on their way.

I'll have a look at memory temps this weekend with the original cooler.

Only issue ... being able to buy an A2000 for a reasonable price 😂. Been looking for month, but the 6GB retails for 720€ (when in stock) and the 12GB has just been added (and is in stock) for a whooping 980€ 😨.

What helped me was to also search for versions by Dell, HP and Lenovo, they also sell them. They are harder to find but usually a lot cheaper. I found my HP A2000 for 570 euros and it's just the same GPU with a rebranded box.
 
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BaK

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I had a closer look at this, very inspiring!

So I guess the two screws attaching the copper plate to the stock backplate have their length adjusted so that they don't interfere with the heatpipes.
And for the same reason, the thickness of the copper plate is big enough so that the capacitors and other taller elements you had to cut holes for don't protrude.
Brilliant!

@REVOCCASES
How is the fan held into place? Glued on the heatpipes?

I won't mind a link for the copper foam :p
I've found some kind of expensive ones and others that are cheaper but not labelled for heat dissipation, but could maybe still work.
 

REVOCCASES

Shrink Ray Wielder
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So I guess the two screws attaching the copper plate to the stock backplate have their length adjusted so that they don't interfere with the heatpipes.
And for the same reason, the thickness of the copper plate is big enough so that the capacitors and other taller elements you had to cut holes for don't protrude.

Exactly. Luckily Nvidia uses very short caps and inductors so that a 3mm copper plate fits perfectly once you made the cutouts.

I won't mind a link for the copper foam :p
I've found some kind of expensive ones and others that are cheaper but not labelled for heat dissipation, but could maybe still work.

The first offer you found looks about right. I actually paid a little bit more for the small piece I ordered.

I ordered directly from Taobao. Note that you first have to contact the seller and tell them the exact specs/size you need, then they'll give you a quotation. Most important is the copper density in PPI (parts per inch). It was just a wild guess but I went for 30 PPI, perhaps a little bit denser and using a turbo blower would work better.

How is the fan held into place? Glued on the heatpipes?

"3M double coated tissue tape" on the heatpipes - same stuff used in Notebooks to fix the battery, screen, etc...
 
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Digipark

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Would you be offering a kit for people to do this on their A2000's? I've got one in a server case and wonder how well this would work with the airflow within the case. Probably would require occasional blowing out the dust but this could be very helpful. I'd probably want to remove the fan, and copper shroud unless I put a lot of holes in for the server fans to push air through. Thanks!
 

robbee

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@robbee - I've attached the drawings (STEP assembly) to the first post. The PCB is not 100% accurate but close enough (about +/-0.2mm) if you want to design your own cooler.

Thank you!! I just ran some benchmarks and here are the results:

- Unigine Heaven gets the core temp up to 74C and the memory peaks at 90C with the fan running at about 3700 RPM
- Mining ethereum without any tuning (30 mh/s) gets the memory up to 98C with the fan running at around 3800 RPM

Note that all this testing was done with stock fancurve and the GPU in a vertical position with the IO on top, but that should't make a big difference because the cooler has no heat pipes.

I would say this puts your cooling solution in a very good spot. I'm mainly worried about the fan noise though, which is bad on the original cooler. The minimum fan RPM is locked at 30%, which imo is very audible at 3000 RPM. I think I will go on with the idea to design a custom radiator and put aftermarkte 60x25 fans on it. Due to the design of the PCB, it will be hard to use conventional heat pipes and keep the height limited though so I may just go with a single block of skived copper fins. Not sure how this will actually perform though but it's a good experiment, for science!
 
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REVOCCASES

Shrink Ray Wielder
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I've got one in a server case and wonder how well this would work with the airflow within the case. Probably would require occasional blowing out the dust but this could be very helpful. I'd probably want to remove the fan, and copper shroud unless I put a lot of holes in for the server fans to push air through. Thanks!

So you'd like to cool it "semi-passive" only with your server case fans - like e.g. the Tesla T4? Not sure how well that would work with the copper sponge but we could try. I still have one piece of the sponge if your interested to check it out...

- Unigine Heaven gets the core temp up to 74C and the memory peaks at 90C with the fan running at about 3700 RPM
- Mining ethereum without any tuning (30 mh/s) gets the memory up to 98C with the fan running at around 3800 RPM

Note that all this testing was done with stock fancurve and the GPU in a vertical position with the IO on top, but that should't make a big difference because the cooler has no heat pipes.

great, thank you for testing! I was a bit concerned about memory temps but seems its just fine. now just need to get the GPU temps down a bit.

I'm mainly worried about the fan noise though, which is bad on the original cooler. The minimum fan RPM is locked at 30%, which imo is very audible at 3000 RPM.

agreed, I also find the the stock fan curve rather sub-optimal, at least for a living room PC. I've already ordered some other fans with lower max RPM to see if that helps. At least in idle I'd like it to be a bit more quiet. Another idea to achieve a 0-RPM mode would be to use a simple thermal switch that cuts off fan power below 40~50C heatsink temperature.

Bild_2022-03-01_095154.png

I think I will go on with the idea to design a custom radiator and put aftermarkte 60x25 fans on it. Due to the design of the PCB, it will be hard to use conventional heat pipes and keep the height limited though so I may just go with a single block of skived copper fins. Not sure how this will actually perform though but it's a good experiment, for science!

dual 6025 fans would work very well I guess. In that case maybe a rather simple extruded aluminum heat sink profile would already be sufficient. Assuming that you'll use it in your TALOS you are not limited to a single slot cooler, right?
 

GuilleAcoustic

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What helped me was to also search for versions by Dell, HP and Lenovo, they also sell them. They are harder to find but usually a lot cheaper. I found my HP A2000 for 570 euros and it's just the same GPU with a rebranded box.

The cheapest I can get here is an HP one, 6GB version .... for 670€ .... sorry it was 2 days ago .... it's now listed at 924€ 🤬
 
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GuilleAcoustic

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Are the sellers watching our conversations on here?? 😟

Very unlikely, but they had very little stock. From what I've observed, the last 5 have been sold yesterday and they listed 7 more today with today's price. People are selling them on the "grey market" for about 1500€ each.

Each time I look for a review I end up on a video about mining with people showing farms with dozens of them.

The T1000 8GB looks interesting too, but not at today's retail price of 566€. It's way too much for a 50W 1650.