I like my video card and don't have any problems with it. EVGA Nvidia GTX650ti.
I had to do a total tear down of my system after an 8 month absence. My AC got swapped out for a POS and there was mold and mildew every where. And worst of all in the case.
I wound up having to completely take apart the video card to clean it. It was awful.
But while I was working on it I got to thinking why are video cards hung upside down? Heat rises so it would make better sense to have the heat sink and cooling fan facing up. But since it is what it is I'm thinking of replacing just the fan. The current fan is mounted on a bracket that is an integral part of the shroud.
Being this way if I wanted to replace the fan it would have to screw directly to the heat sink. So the mounting bracket made in to the shroud either would have to be cut out or simply the shroud would have to go.
As you can see in this picture the heat sink has 4 arms that end in a claw like structure. I would venture based on their appearance, they are for mounting screws. These are not the mounts for the heat sink to this board so they are free to use.
The predrilled holes where the shroud screws down are in the same location as the screws to hold the heat sink to the chip. This simplifies the manufacturing process. But take note of the fins being trimmed on the top, bottom, and more so on the left side. So it is keyed to how it goes on.
Also take note of the "tuning fork" fins. This is the same concept as Intel uses on their OEM CPU cooler. The forks give more surface area exposed so more heat can get dumped off. The down side to that concept is the more air you force through the forks, the more they vibrate. They actually hum as the fan ramps up. They vibrate and in turn vibrate the core and the core being screwed to the board, the board acts like a loud speaker.
So having said all that my only question really at this point is 2 fold.
1> What is the spacing on the claw end screw mounts?
2> What is the spacing on the screw holes for the shroud where it screws down the heat sink?
I don't have a metric ruler is why I'm asking. If I find out the spacing I can then order an aftermarket fan for it. (There isn't enough clearance for an aftermarket cooler.)