How to Paint Your Graphics Card (GTX 480)




Posted in TechnologyComputers

Introduction: How to Paint Your Graphics Card (GTX 480)

About: Good enough aint good enough, if i look at something long enough i end up trying to figure out how to make it better. I am also a big fan of having custom made things there are 1 of a kind. and if not then i...

You can follow these steps for most graphics cards and some other parts on your computer. but since i have a 480 that is what this is geared toward. Good luck! if you have any questions you can email me at

Step 1: Finding the Right Paint

To start off, were gonna need some paint that looks good on metal and wont melt when you start to play a game. this is the part were you head to your auto parts store and pick up a 6$ can of car engine paint. DONT USE NORMAL SPRAY PAINT, NORMAL SPRAY PAINT CANT HANDLE TEMPS ABOVE 90F! YOUR GPU WILL RUN AROUND 190F! The paint i used can handle 500F.

Step 2: Find a Anti Static Surface to Work on and Pull Your GPU Out

My self i was working on the anti static bag my motherboard came in. you alternatively could ground your to discharge your static. you don't have to do this, but i really recommend it, you risk shocking your card if you don't.

Step 3: Stripping Down Your Card

This will vary from card to card, if you are forgetful or just can never figure out were that last screw is supposed to go, take pics of your card and were all the screws are before removing them. THIS PART IS DELICATE, BE DONT FORCE ANYTHING APART!

Step 4: Removeing the Heatsink

The thermal putty stuff nvidea puts on your card will hold the heat sink on fairly well. Slowly wiggle and pry your heat sink off, you don't want to bed or break anything.

OPTIONAL RECOMMENDED:(MAKE SHIRE YOU ALREADY HAVE EXTRA THERMAL PASTE IF YOU DOT HIS STEP) Get a Clorox wipe, paper towel or cotton swap with rubbing alcohol. and clean your prepossessing chip up and heat sink. make shire non of the thermal compound is on the tiny little resistors on it if they are exposed(they wont be on the 480, will be on something like the 650). i will talk about adding the paste after the card is painted.

Step 5: Painting Your Heatsink

Get some tape, like duck tape or masking tape. tape off all the vents on your heat sink, you don't want to clog them with paint. You should also tape over the copper plate/pipes that touches your graphics possessor. Also you tape off any parts of the heat sink you want to remain there original color(i taped over the EVGA logo) READ YOU PAINT CAN FOR INSTRUCTIONS ON APPLYING AND DRYING THE PAINT.

Step 6: Re Attaching the Heat Sink.

Remove all you tape, i had a hard time with this in tight spaces, i had to use a number 0 Flathead screwdriver to get the tape of from between the pipes and vents. i also used the screw driver to scrape a few specs of paint of the EVGA logo that got on the sides of the tape.

If you removed you old thermal paste its time to apply your new thermal paste. Now take some good Thermal-paste, I personally use Arctic Silver 5(its like 7$ at radio shack). For the 480 i would use a pea sized ball on the center of the graphics possessor, something smaller like the 650 i would use about half that. you do not need to spread the paste, it will spread out evenly when you screw the heat sink together.

Step 7: Getting There

The card is looking good, but that fan is bugging me, so lets take it back apart and paint the fan.

Step 8: Painting the Fan!

I don't want the whole fan red, i want the evga logo to still be black, and after a little bit of thinking i had a idea. This next part i did with a graphics card that is broken, so i don't have to scratch up my good card.

Step 9: Tapping Off the Fan

So i took the fan from my 650, and rigged it up to a 12v power supply (i have another tutorial on how to do that)

Then I took a large piece of electric tape and covered the center of the fan with it.

I powered the fan up and took a small flat head screwdriver and scraped the edge of the fan until the all the unwanted tape flung off.

Then i peeled off the tape and put it on my 480's fan

I also taped the wires to the bottom of the fan and taped off all the non moving parts.

Step 10: Matching Colors

while wating for my 480's fan to dry, i took my CPU heatsinks part and pulled my covers off, i gave my covers 3 coats of paint so my computer is all red and black

Step 11: Final Reassembley

After all your paint is good and dry and you scrapped off any stray pieces of paint., pop that bad boi and your good to go. You now have a unique 1 of a kind gaming rig on the inside that looks as fly as it is fast! I hope this was helpfull and i would love to see what you guys do to your rigs. If you have any questions you can email me at



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    You are aware that you reduced the efficiency of the heat sink? And in two ways nevertheless.

    a) the extra layer of paint adds an extra layer of thermal resistance

    b) red does not radiate the heat as good as a black surface does (black is best at this - that's the reason most heat sinks are black)

    Both effects are not really dramatic, but if your system was working on the (thermal) edge before the modification...

    7 replies

    no, i improved it. the higher quality thermal compound did more than make up for the slight reduction of cooling. and 99% of the cooling is done by the fan pushing air threw the vents, witch are not painted. since i have done this i went from being able to run @ 850hmz max 80c to 870hmz max 80c. i overclock hard so i keep track of my temps.

    Okay. As I said, the effect is not dramatic.

    Good thing, you did a 'before' measurement. Is the 2.3% higher maximum speed really noticeable?

    thoes are my personal clocks and frame rate test.

    I didn't doubt your numbers, what I meant was: Does the computer feel faster than before?

    My 480 is getting to the point im not able to max out some of my games, that little boost can be the diffrence between choppy and smooth in games like "next car game: wreckfest", and some of my demos like the unreal 4 elemental demo. when you staying arround 30fps a little boost can make a big diffrence.

    oh, and overclocked with precision x 3.0.2 and tested with oc scanner x 2.2.2



    GPU 870

    MEM 2217

    FPS 346

    GPU 870

    MEM 1848

    FPS 342

    GPU 850

    MEM 2000

    FPS 337

    GPU 700

    MEM 1848

    FPS 281

    GPU 700

    MEM 2217

    FPS 283




    GPU 870

    MEM 2217

    FPS 346

    GPU 870

    MEM 1848

    FPS 342

    GPU 850

    MEM 2000

    FPS 335

    GPU 700

    MEM 1848

    FPS 280

    GPU 700

    MEM 2217

    FPS 282



    GPU 870

    MEM 2100

    FPS 344




    'ible.? is this some kind of lingo used on this sight?

    Oops, typo. Should have been I'ble and short for Instructable.