So here is a quick post on how to modify the Alphacool NexXxoS GPX – Nvidia Geforce GTX 970 M01 heat sink so that it will fit newer versions of the 4GB Zotac GTX 970 Gaming Ed (ZT-90101-10P). The problem is that while this water block does support the older version of the ZT-90101-10P, the newer models have had a PCB redesign as mentioned on the Alphacool website:
Now there is no way for you to tell which version you will get unless you already own the card, in my case i was buying the card and the water block at the same time so i decided to take a chance. Lucky me i got the newer version :D. But as a person who likes to come up with solutions to problems i decided to enhance the water block compatibility by trimming “some of the fat”. Apologies for not taking pictures of the cards PCB and the modifications but i was too excited and forgot.
So in order for us to make the heat sink fit we need to carve out some metal from the heat sink. The new PCB version has 3 extra components which hit the red spots show in the above picture. I used a rotary tool (you could use a drill might be more difficult) and after 2 hours i had made enough space and clearance for the heat sink to fit as intended. Please note that you may need to file the hole circled in yellow above towards the red circles, the component on the board was a little offset and it needed a bit of filing. There are also two extra VRMs below the red rectangle and since the heat sink for the VRMs is raise they will not make contact, while not necessary it’s nice to have them cooled so i could recommend that you place a thin heat sink (as i did) so that it levels out and makes contact. Keep in mind that VRMs can withstand 125 C no problem and while people do say that if you run them above 90 C it shortens the life time (cooler components last longer which is true) my GTX 260 which was heavily overclocked, was running the VRMs at 110 C on full load and after 7 years it is still working (but now replaced because it outlived it’s usefulness).
The back and everything else fits perfectly and i get a cool 28 C at idle and 38 C at full load.
Bellow i have taken a photo of the components which have changed, we can see that there are extra capacitors on the above row (4 in total in the red rectangle) and the addition of one more squire component (not sure what it is maybe a resistor).