Aftermarket GPU cooler - use backplate or individual heatsinks?

Discussion in 'Video Cards' started by viivo, Sep 9, 2019.

  1. viivo

    viivo [H]ard|Gawd

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    In my case I'm installing an Accelero Xtreme III on a 5700 XT, but the question applies to any GPU.

    Would placing heatsinks on the various hot spots on the back of the PCB be more beneficial than using the stock backplate?

    Would these be the only components that require cooling?
    back.jpg


    Also, does the area marked in this image need heatsinks?
    front.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2019
  2. KATEKATEKATE

    KATEKATEKATE Limp Gawd

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    fwiw, GPU card backplates rarely actually provide cooling, rather physical support and cleaner aesthetics. I don't think they usually even touch any of the components on the board.

    the marked components on the back are capacitors, they dont need heatsinking. the marked components on the front however are switching MOSFETS Power Stages (the heart of the voltage regulator) and definitely need heatsinked. just throw the original backplate back on if it fits with the Accelero but you will need to figure something out for the MOSFETS on the front.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2019
  3. viivo

    viivo [H]ard|Gawd

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    So for the front, the marked area and the components to the left are the only things that need heatsinks? The rectangular pieces with the + marking are just capacitors?
     
  4. KATEKATEKATE

    KATEKATEKATE Limp Gawd

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    correct. the ones marked with the + are caps and the ones marked "R15" are inductors. neither should get that hot. the little square mosfets/power stages get fiery hot and while they can handle the heat better than processors they definitely need at least a bit of metal over them with decent airflow.
     
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  5. kasakka

    kasakka [H]ard|Gawd

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    This depends on the card. Some have thermal pads for some heat transfer capability, others are mostly rigidity and cosmetics. If you can keep the backplate as is I would do that, it should work well enough.
     
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  6. 123Lanoix

    123Lanoix 2[H]4U

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    Don't do it ! Get the Accelero Xtreme IV or don't do it all I would probably recommend the Morpheus II that might fit better. The problem is the mounting bracket interferes with the Vram heat sinks and you get really bad Vram cooling like temps in the 90s. Not worth it
     
  7. HockeyJon

    HockeyJon [H]ard|Gawd

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    Some have made that claim, but I haven’t seen it supported by any numbers. LTT did a test on the Aorus which made that claim and found zero temperature difference between the supposed “cooling” backplate and a bare PCB.

    Bottom line is that backplates exist for one reason: they look better in a windowed case than a bare PCB. People have invented all kinds of justifications for why they’re superior, functionally, than a bare PCB, but I’ve yet to see any actual data supporting that idea. They look better in a windowed case, and that’s why customers want them.

    If you can show any numbers saying otherwise, I’d love to see them. When I looked it up though, that was basically the conclusion.
     
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  8. kasakka

    kasakka [H]ard|Gawd

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    Weren't backplates originally made to prevent PCBs from sagging due to increasingly heavy coolers? That's what I remember them being advertised for, the visuals and cooling aspect came later.
     
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  9. sirmonkey1985

    sirmonkey1985 [H]ard|DCer of the Month - July 2010

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    99% of it as being aesthetically pleasing, 1% is actually supporting the card.. 0% of it is to help cool the card even if they put thermal pads on it.. they've tried advertising them as helping support the card but realistically they don't do squat, the cards still bend with heavy heatsinks on them.
     
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  10. viivo

    viivo [H]ard|Gawd

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    Thanks for the responses.

    I finally had time to get the Accelero installed. The biggest problem was the heatsink's baseplate slightly overlaps the memory, so I had to come up with the ridiculous compromise of using copper shims and mounting the heatsinks towards the edge. I'm about to load a game and see how bad memory temps are.
     
  11. 123Lanoix

    123Lanoix 2[H]4U

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    did you glue the heatsinks or use adhesive tape? Let us know what your vram temps are mine peaked around 90c
     
  12. viivo

    viivo [H]ard|Gawd

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    I used adhesive to join the copper heatsinks and shims and taped those to the memory chips. I've had too many bad experiences to use thermal adhesive directly on a GPU ever again. After 20 minutes ingame, HWINFO says max mem is 64, which is the highest of the 6 probes/sensors. Not the most demanding game, but even with the stock blower memory rarely went over 70.

    Untitled.png

    The shims seem to be fine, though not ideal. Now that I'm putting a second X3 on my other 5700 XT I can experiment a little and try to find a better solution.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2019 at 9:00 PM
  13. HockeyJon

    HockeyJon [H]ard|Gawd

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    I’m not sure. I’ve seen a lot of functional justifications for their existence over the years, but I think it really boils down to a marketing idea based on aesthetics. That’s fine, there’s nothing wrong with that, but if the concern is based on whether or not a backplate is essential to provide some kind of functionality, my understanding its primary value add is aesthetics (which does have value for those among us who like making our rigs look cool in the same way RGB lighting has value).

    Regarding sag, no doubt it helps correct this problem, but again, it’s an aesthetics thing. I’ve never heard of a video card failing because of sag. I’ve had an R9 280x in my old rig since 2013. Sure, there’s some sag, but it still works, and without the window in my case, I’d never notice it.

    My best guess for why they were created was that someone decided the back of a PCB looked ugly and wanted to cover it up, then the marketing group had to figure out ways to take advantage of it by convincing you to buy their card over “the other guys” who don’t have a backplate, because you need it for XYZ reason. Bottom line is that, from a purely functional standpoint, I wouldn’t rely on it at all if your objective is to enhance cooling, since even the ones marketed to help with cooling don’t seem to actually help with cooling.
     
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  14. Dayaks

    Dayaks [H]ardness Supreme

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    Why do I see a lot of threads on adding coolers to a mid range card? Why not just buy an AIB model? Or a 2070 super. It’s strange to me...
     
  15. horrorshow

    horrorshow [H]ardness Supreme

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    This is [H].

    People here tinker with components like a meth-head would an erector set.
     
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  16. viivo

    viivo [H]ard|Gawd

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    And why do people ask unrelated rhetorical questions in a help thread? The answer to both, of course, is because dogs lick their balls.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2019 at 8:32 PM
  17. Dayaks

    Dayaks [H]ardness Supreme

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    Just curious. What better place to ask than the people doing it? I custom cool, bios flash, and hard mod my cards but I do it to the top card.

    Most of these guys can use the cash to get a better performing card. ~ 1/4 to 1/3 of the cost is just fixing the cooling...
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2019 at 8:39 PM
  18. jbc029

    jbc029 Limp Gawd

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    ?? Top end card is $1100. 1/3 of $400 is not $700.

    If you're just starting out modding hardware, it is, in fact, a bad idea to start in top end hardware. Practice on the cheap stuff first.
     
  19. Dayaks

    Dayaks [H]ardness Supreme

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    I meant I am seeing threads where they are adding AIOs to $300-400 cards. The cost of the bracket and AIO is a significant portion of the cost.

    The cooler in this thread is a bit more cost effective but still not sure why you wouldn’t want a AIB with zero fan speed, easier RMA, ect. I am sure adhering heatsinks to mosfets voids warranty.
     
  20. viivo

    viivo [H]ard|Gawd

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    Small update on the second one and modding it for better RAM cooling.

    I had to sacrifice the poor blower's baseplate, but its horrible death by vivisection will not have been in vain for half of its body shall sort of live on!

    A little more slicing and some sanding and very slightly lower memory temperatures shall be mine.

    20190916_072942.jpg 20190916_073035.jpg
     
  21. 123Lanoix

    123Lanoix 2[H]4U

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    that's a really good idea i wish i thought of that.