Ryzen build: Prepare Hardware

This part is all about preparing the hardware for the loop. Except my issues with disassembling the wrong graphics card it went pretty well.

Heatsink for the NVMe


NVMe's (M2 slot) can get a lot hotter than their 2.5" counterparts, but you also get a huge speed bump on the PCI-E lane.
I bought the M.2 heatsink from EKWB so I would win a few degrees (haha, yes, we are not sure about that yet) and have a good looking cover.
The installation is super easy: You put the (included) thermal pads on the NVMe and clip it together with the heatsink and a solid backplate.
The heatsink acts as a passive cooler, but to be honest, it's more for the looks. What no one told me is that I would never see the NVMe again, as it's hidden behind the graphics card on this motherboard ;-)


RAM modifications


Dismantling the RAM was the first destructive task I made for this PC. I removed the heatspreader so I could install the RAM water-blocks from EKWB. I never planned to add it to the loop, but solely made it for aesthetics.

In order to remove the original heatspreaders you need to warm up the RAM sticks with a heat gun so the thermal pads get loose:

The next step was to remove any leftovers, clean the surface (I've used a special cleaning kit from Arctic Silver) and apply new thermal pads so I could finally hide the sticks in the shiny EKWB blocks.


In the final build you we will see the RAM sticks in a shiny white - unfortunately I've missed to take pictures where I've applied white foil.

CPU water block

Nothing to see here. Installing the CPU water block from EKWB is as easy as changing the bracket, adding thermal paste (ok, that's a topic of its own) and tighten the screws.

Graphics Card

As mentioned in the first part I had to switch the graphics card as it was incompatible with the water block.

To be honest, dismantling a 700 € GPU is not funniest thing to start with. Especially not when you do it twice. However, the process was quite uncomplicated. I removed all screws to get access to the PCB. The EVGA GTX 1080 SUPERCLOCKED does not only have a backplate but also a very nice plate on the front - which I had to remove too.


The installation process wasn't too hard. I cleaned the DIE, applied a new thermal paste and attached the block as well as the backplate.


Perparing the hardware is just a small part of assembling this build. If you know how to correctly apply thermal paste, there won't be much left to get into your way.
Last but not least, here is a picture of the current state with some white fittings attached already: