Any inquisitive mind is tormented by the question – What if? And indeed, there are always doubts about whether it is worth touching and trying to refine what has been done by the manufacturer? So it is with the Montech AIR COOLER 210 cooler, everything is fine with its sole, and you can do nothing. But what if?
Earlier I did a review of Montech AIR COOLER 210 , and it really is doing well, and it would be possible not to modify anything further, especially since it has a nickel-plated base. And just the opposite of this can be called the Arctic Cooling Freezer 34 eSports DUO model that I came across , where I just had to correct the disgrace made by the manufacturer with its sole. But nevertheless, I decided to go ahead and process the base of the cooler from Montech and see what result it would lead to. This is what the base looked like originally.
Getting Started, Grinding
For those who have never done this, I will say right away that you need to stock up on a lot of time, but even more patience. The process itself is long and tedious, it takes several hours. And if you feel tired while working, then put everything aside and drink tea or coffee, but do not try to speed up the grinding process, because it is easy to spoil it, and it will be even more difficult to fix it. And of course, those who have previously done such work have their own knowledge base, and will not discover anything new in this article.
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To complete the work, I needed: sandpaper (120 and 2000), abrasive grinding sponges (120 and 320), GOI paste, and solvent 646.
The surface on which the sole will be sanded must be flat. For example, it can be plexiglass, but it is better not to use ordinary glass, it can burst. I don’t have anything like this, but there is a proven, flat table surface. A sheet of sandpaper (120) was fixed on it with the help of packing tape. You need to glue it with adhesive tape on all sides so that the skin does not crawl on the table.
And we begin the first pass with the sole on the sandpaper. I will say right away that efforts are not needed here, you should not press hard on the sole from above. Movements should be light and multidirectional, mostly circular. So I made a short video to make it clearer.
After a couple of first passes, some flaws were discovered. The nickel-plated coating comes off unevenly, but from the sides, which indicates that the sole is still not perfectly flat. But earlier, on the print of thermal paste , nothing critical was observed.
Further polishing only confirmed this flaw.
After drinking coffee, the painfully slow polishing process continued. Slowly but surely, the nickel-plating was coming off.
But do not forget that you need to check the surface of the site for uniformity of grinding, not only visually, but also objectively. A metal ruler works best, but if you don’t have one, a plastic card will do.
And now the first stage is coming to an end, and there is not much left. And here it is already worth changing the sandpaper to P2000. But before that, you can lightly go over the P320 sanding sponge.
And it is very important that you do not try to remove the remaining small areas with sandpaper dotted. Everything should be polished only in one piece, otherwise you can get recesses, and even if they are insignificant, it will no longer be a perfectly flat surface.
And at this point, everyone can decide for themselves whether to continue grinding with subsequent polishing, or to stop altogether.
It looks like the surface is heavily scratched, but these scratches are not felt at all, and the tactile area is completely smooth. But after additional polishing with P120 sponge, the appearance changes for the better.
And now it remains to do the final polishing, but not necessarily, and everyone decides for himself. The mirror surface after installation will still not be visible, and this will not affect the pressure density and performance.
If you think that I only drank coffee once during this time, then you are mistaken. Grinding is really tedious because of its slow process, but by the way, during this you can think about something for a long time. 🙂
Those who have not encountered GOI pasta may think that it will be just pasta. But it is in solid form, and it needs to be additionally prepared for use.
To do this, you need to crumble it, and I make it like a staple with an ordinary knife. Large quantities are not required. And to soften it, you need to add a little thinner 646. But it takes time to soften it and turn it into a gruel without solid particles, and therefore I recommend preparing it even before the grinding work begins. And there are no special requirements for the material for polishing, someone uses felt, someone uses an ordinary thick cloth. I took a simple cloth napkin, and after applying a small amount of ready-made GOI paste on it, I carried out the final polishing. And here is the end result. The first photo is “BEFORE”, the second is “AFTER”.
I looked at this base myself, and if anything, I can use it instead of a shaving mirror. But this is just an appearance, but how all this will affect the main thing, performance, remains to be seen.
I followed the test result with bated breath. Wasted time and effort, or not in vain? Testing was carried out in almost the same conditions as before, and this is the AMD AM4 platform, the R5 5600G processor, but in a different chassis. In the case, I turned off the two front fans and left only one at the back for blowing out, so that there was a similar atmosphere to the one in which the cooler was tested earlier. Thermal paste was also used complete with a cooler (Halnziye HY810). Below are two screenshots from the Cinebench 23 program. In the first screenshot, the last result, and in the second, a fresh one.
And to make it easier to compare, I made an additional diagram.
When I waited for the end of the test, I breathed a sigh of relief. It was not in vain that I did all this, almost 4 degrees were won back, which means that mine was not in vain – What if?
Summing up, of course, we can say that this is not such a significant result that everyone rushes to polish the soles of their coolers. But if there is a desire, and most importantly – patience and time, then you can try. After all, the question will still torment: What if? )