For all of those looking to install this beast of a GPU cooler to their reference 290X, I have written this step-by-step guide for you follow, along with 30 pictures! The install went fairly smoothly however did come across a couple of minor issues which I will detail below. **IMPORTANT UPDATE** BEFORE going ahead with this PLEASE read the guide IN FULL and ALL the comments between me and Uncle Petey. I had issues with this after install and it looks like we narrowed it down to either shorting fans or the mounting screws were too tight. I 'think' I am stable now and my temps are excellent so would still recommend doing this if you are very careful! Sorry for shouting but I don't want anyone to go through the pain I had with this! Kit Required: 1x Prolimatech MK-26 Multi-VGA Cooler 1x Akasa AK-TC TIM Clean CPU & Heatsink Cleaner 1x Alpenföhn Passive VRAM Chip Coolers (optional, however they are better than the Prolimatech supplied ones) 1x Akasa AK-TT12-80 Thermal Adhesive Tape (Only needed if using the Alpenfohn sinks above) 2x 120mm or 140mm fans. I used 2x NZXT 120mm case fans that I had sitting around spare, these are 3-pin so I had to plug them into my fan controller rather than into the 290X header. If you want fan control through the 290X you will need to use 4-pin PWM fans. Everything you see in the picture below helped, although the essentials are a medium size Phillips screwdriver and a small jewellers type (I only used the large red and smallest black screwdriver in the pic). Also a rubber eraser to clean vram chips, a blade, an old credit card (to spread paste), some plastic scrapers and gripping tweezers helped (saved these from an iPhone screen replacement set). An adjustable spotlight or torch is very useful, even in a brightly lit room. Also some cotton buds and kitchen towel to apply and remove TIM cleaner were used. Spoiler Step 1 – Removal of stock cooler: Firstly need to remove the 16 screws from the reverse, circled in red. I used the medium size red screwdriver for the 12 large ones and smallest scredriver for the 4 securing the backplate: Spoiler Then need to remove the 2 screws securing the cooler to the back plate, I used the tiny phillips screwdriver for these: Spoiler I used a gentle twisting/prising along all the edges of the board whilst holding the blower assembly in my other hand. After no more than a few twists it came away easily. Beware of the fan cable attached at one corner of the board, I used a flathead screwdriver to gently prise the fan connector out of it’s socket: Spoiler Board detached from stock blower assembly, note the half-ton of thermal paste on the die!: Spoiler Step 2 – Cleaning up VRAM, VRM & GPU surfaces: I used a rubber eraser on the surfaces of the 16 vram chips and the vrm surface, this cleans off the layer of reside left by the stock thermal pads. I found I didn’t need to press much harder than just the weight of gravity, when I pushed hard it left more rubber reside on the chip. You can clearly see the difference in the below picture, circled green is after cleaning with the rubber, in red are those chips that have not yet been cleaned (glossy shine and cannot read the writing easily). The eraser left tiny bits of rubber on the chips which I simply brushed away with a cotton bud. Spoiler To clean the old paste off the gpu die I applied some TIM cleaner to a cotton bud and wiped it all over the surface. I used a plastic scraper to scrape the large deposits from the sides of the die: Spoiler I used a cotton bud and kitchen towel to clean up all the remaining thermal paste from the die, resulting in a mirror finish after 15 minutes or so careful work: Spoiler I was wondering whether I would need to use a ‘shim’ on the bottom of the Prolimatech in order for it to come into contact with the die. I can confirm this is definitely not needed, when placing a flat surface across the die and supporting surround you can see it is all level (I think the die is actually a fraction of a mm higher than the support bracket: Spoiler Step 3 – Attaching VRAM & VRM heatsinks: After much deliberation and discussion with Uncle Petey & rjkoneill I decided to use the 4 small vrm sinks supplied in the Alpenfohn kit. I wanted to use the very large Aplenfohn sink however doing a test fit I found it fouled the Prolimatech heatsink so that was out of the picture. The reason I didn’t use the Prolimatech vrm sink is that it being a single piece and heavier I was concerned it might fall off, plus the small Alpenfohn sinks had thinner metal so therefore thought they would perform better, but I could be wrong on that. I cut a strip of Akasa tape to match the length of the vrm: Spoiler I didn’t use any insulating tape between the vrm sinks and the other components as I was happy that there was sufficient clearance: Spoiler I then cut 16 squares of Akasa thermal pad to size for each of the vram sinks. FYI the size needed is 16mm x 13mm. This took a bit of time, get the girlfriend to do this if she is up to the job The picture below shows them ready to go, in this pic you will notice 12 full-height sinks & 4 half height, in the end I needed to use 10 full-height and 6 half-height as the Prolimatech mounting bracket pushed 2 of them off when fitting the cooler. See next pic for details on this. Spoiler This is probably the single most useful image in the whole guide, detailing what size sinks to use where. This is the result of a few hours of frustration on my part Marked in yellow are the 3 small oblong heat spreaders from the Prolimatech kit. In red are the 10 full-height sinks from the Alpenfohn kit. In green are the 6 half-height sinks from the Alpenfohn kit (note that 2 of these in the pic are full-height however I found these fell off when I fit the main heatsink to the board, so I replaced them with half-height later). In blue are the 4 small vrm sinks, again from the Aplenfohn kit. Spoiler Pic detailing the 3 oblong heat spreaders attached to the 3 chips on the top-left of the board: Spoiler Step 4 – Preparing the main heatsink base: This step isn’t necessary however I have always done this with new CPU heatsinks with good results. I dabbed some of the Prolimatech PK-3 compound on the base of the heatsink, spread it around with a credit card and used a blade to scrape the excess off: Spoiler This process in theory fills all the micro grooves and such on the base of the heatsink, resulting in a flatter surface, better prepared to take the new thermal paste. Note there was no visible paste left on the surface, just a change in visual appearance (much more dull). This Image clearly shows before and after results of this process: Spoiler Step 5 – Fitting the rubber bracket spacer & heatsink mount: You need to use the smaller rubber spacer for the 290X, I found that it clipped in around 6 resistors so is nice and easy to fit: Spoiler For the 290X you need to use the mounting brackets with the 3 holes. When fitting the heatsink to the card you are aiming for the 54mm spaced holes as per this picture: Spoiler Step 6 – Prepping the die & fitting the heatsink: Nearly there! You now need to prep the die for mounting the heatsink. There are many methods for applying thermal compound, I decided to use the spread method along with a half-pea sized amount in the middle, which will spread itself when screwing in the heatsink. This pic shows the die with PK-3 compound spread out (a little more than I would normally use, however I wanted to be sure there was enough, I can always re-mount it if need be). For mounting the heatsink itself I flipped it over and then used the silver screws from the kit, lowered the board down onto the heatsink and after a bit of fiddling I managed to get one of the screws to find the correct hole, I just turned it one revolution to get it to grip. I then did the same with the diagonally opposite screw and then the last 2. The last screw feels like it is not going to line up with the last hole but it does self-correct once all 4 are in place. I then tightened each screw a couple of turns each, alternating between diagonally opposite ones to get the compound to spread evenly on the die. Once I couldn’t turn by hand anymore I used a screwdriver to turn the last half turn, being careful not to go too tight. This picture shows it mounted, the vram sinks circled in red are the ones that popped off shortly after this (due to the metal bracket pushing them off), I replaced these with half-height sinks afterwards. Spoiler Step 7 – Fitting the fans: Very nearly there! I followed the Prolimatech guide on which fan clips to use where, this will depend on what size fans you go for. I fitted them with the power cables towards the pci slot so as to keep them tidy once installed into my PC. One of my fans was not perfectly flat so I found it brushed against the clip, the pic below shows how I bent the clip slightly to get round this problem (circled green). Circled in red is the other fan clip that was incorrectly placed, I ended up moving it so it was in the middle of the fan as per the other side (otherwise the blades clipped on it). Spoiler Step 8 – Install the card & test!: Now is finally time to mount the card! In my PC you can see I have about 1.5cm room between the Prolimatech and my side panel: Spoiler The whole assembly is quote heavy however I didn’t notice much board flex and the gpu power cables take a bit of the pressure if needed. Got it successfully fired up and with all my case lights on, does fit nicely with the Phantom white theme - not that you will ever see it from this angle! Spoiler So the temps I hear you ask? Well upon windows loading I checked GPU Tweak which read 27c, nice! This is at idle and stock clocks/voltage. With the stock cooler I was getting around 41c. These temps were read this morning, without central heating on – not sure of ambient temps but I should think around 20c. I have the fans set to max on the fan controller, although unfortunately I don't know the RPM, all I can say is that you can barely hear them. I ran heaven 4.0 at extreme preset 1080p and after the bench had finished it was reading 77c, the GPU Tweak logs showed no throttling too =D With the stock cooler on auto fan speed it would always hit 85-95c and throttle the clocks down to 950/850. At 60% fan speed the stock cooler would actually do pretty well and only hit 66c in the same test, however the noise was unbearable. I haven’t had time to do any more testing but will do tonight, and any test you guys want me to run I will be happy to do so. I wasn’t able to read the VRM temps with any software so cannot comment on those unfortunately. So there we go – hope this helps everyone who is considering this mod – I say go for it! Many thanks to all the forum members, especially Uncle Petey who answered many questions for me! Also rjkoneill & gibbo for doing this mod initially and letting us know it was compatible with the 290X. One side effect of this is that my H100 fans spin faster now, due to the 290X heat being dumped into the case. Not an issue for me however and was expected.