This GeForce RTX Copper Shim Mod Drastically Drops GDDR6X Temps By 46C
Have you heard of DandyWorks? Neither have we. That's a shame, because this up-and-coming tech YouTuber knows his stuff, and has pretty decent comedic timing, too. He's into crypto-currency and PC gaming, and was concerned about sky-high temperatures up to 110°C on the GDDR6X
memory of his ASUS GeForce RTX 3070 Ti
The GDDR6X memory used on high-end Ampere
graphics cards runs at ludicrous clock rates, and as with any IC clocked to the ceiling, it gets super-hot. Well, DandyWorks was so concerned, in fact, that he decided to do something about it. Taking the card apart, he went through a painstaking process of modifying its cooling, first carefully applying insulating Kapton tape around the memory chips to protect them in the case that one of his extremely-conductive copper shims came loose.
Insulating Kapton tape protects the card's components from copper conductivity.
Indeed, he cleaned off the remains of the shoddy thermal pads included on the GDDR6X memory and replaced them with solid copper shims purchased off the internet. This was quite a task; besides the effort of applying the insulating Kapton tape, he also had to sand down the shims a bit as they were too thick, and the edges were too sharp for safety. Sanding them down produced conductive copper dust, so he had to wash that off, too.
After applying the tape, thermal paste, the shims, and then more thermal paste between the shims and the TUF GAMING card's special memory heatsink, he screwed it all back together and loaded up a stress test: Ethereum
mining. Mining Ethereum is one of the most memory-specific workloads one can run on a GPU, so it makes a perfect stress test for his cooling mod.
As DandyWorks hopes, the results speak for themselves: while the card's memory hit 110°C almost immediately with the stock thermal pads, his modded card was still sitting pretty at 64°C even after nearly three hours of attempting to mint digital currency. That's an incredible drop in temperatures, so hats off to DandyWorks for a skillfully-executed GPU mod.
As for the practical benefits of the mod, well, they mostly have to do with extending the lifespan of the card. It's possible that DandyWorks could overclock the memory even further, but GDDR6X memory is not known to overclock particularly well—likely because NVIDIA has already pushed it to the ragged edge in the stock configuration.