Modder drastically cools a blazing hot RTX 3070 Ti using cheap copper shims

Youtuber Dandyworks found a way to bring down the temperature of his extremely hot RTX 3070 Ti. The graphics card's memory temp was running at a very concerning 110°C (230°F), which is on the high side of where you want to be for a workstation. Reaching this kind of heat on some graphics card memory means you'll most likely see some thermal throttling, which brings down performance, and it can't be good for longevity, either. 

Dandyworks replaced the thermal pads that came with his Asus RTX 3070 Ti TUF with cheap, custom-fitted copper shims you can buy for less than $20. The 0.2mm shims used in this project were roughly the same size as the original thermal pads. If you're thinking of doing this yourself, obviously proceed with caution. But also note that some sanding might be required to fit just right and get rid of pointy edges. Just make sure to wash them well because copper dust is conductive, and getting that on your GPU would be counterintuitive.

To prevent any potential shorts, a lot of Kapton tape was used to fill the gaps around the memory chips after the thermal pads and thermal paste were removed and cleaned with rubbing alcohol. Once that's done, the copper shims were placed on top of the memory chip (along with a generous lathering of thermal paste). Once the sub-heatsink is put back on, the GPU is reassembled and ready for testing. 

The result? Now the memory temperature runs at a ridiculous 64°C (147°F) after three hours of mining cryptocurrency, one of the most memory-intensive workloads you can put on a GPU aside from rendering. 

The beauty of copper modding is that it could be done to just about any modern GPU, not just RTX 30-series cards. So, if your graphics card's memory temperature is running too hot for comfort, give copper modding a shot. Oh, and it should go without saying, but it's safe to say that your card's warranty will most definitely be voided after any modding attempt.


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Jorge Jimenez
Hardware writer, Human Pop-Tart

Jorge is a hardware writer from the enchanted lands of New Jersey. When he's not filling the office with the smell of Pop-Tarts, he's reviewing all sorts of gaming hardware, from laptops with the latest mobile GPUs to gaming chairs with built-in back massagers. He's been covering games and tech for over ten years and has written for Dualshockers, WCCFtech, Tom's Guide, and a bunch of other places on the world wide web.