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Noctua fan mod turns an unusable RX 5700 XT GPU into a beast

It turns out that a whole lot more of you were into the Asus X Noctua RTX 3070 than I had expected. Good on you, it's a beauty. So with that in mind, let me turn your attention to this creation by serial overclocker der8auer: their very own AMD RX 5700 XT Noctua Edition.

Modded, of course.

It all starts with an AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT, and one that has seen better days after being left in, well, dirt, apparently. Don't worry, though, this card will get a major glow up by the end of the der8auer video, which you can check out above.

The original shroud is removed and replaced with a custom machined model made out of aluminium. It's wonderfully satisfying to watch a GPU shroud carved out of a solid block of aluminium, too. This new shroud is in keeping to the original specifications, though, to preserve some of the card's DNA. 

The squeamish among you may want to look away after that because der8auer runs the card under some tap water for cleaning. Don't worry, that's not actually an issue if there's no power stored in the device and it's cleaned extensively with isopropyl alcohol afterwards. It looks wrong, but der8auer knows what they're doing.

Then it's time to mount the Noctua fans, which are lauded for their operational efficiency and acoustic performance. Der8auer has chosen NF-A9x14 HS-PWM fans for this mod, which are notably smaller than the NF-A12x25 fans found on the Asus X Noctua RTX 3070.

They're also notably less brown.

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The Nvidia RTX 3070 and AMD RX 6700 XT side by side on a colourful background

(Image credit: Future)

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Onto performance, then, and der8auer notes that it's actually not the quietest card ever, nor the coolest. The graphics card hits an average temperature of around 81°C, and the memory sits at around 70°C. 

But that's not the last word in temperatures. Through some additional washers, der8auer was able to place additional pressure on the heatsink and compress the thermal pads further, which made better contact and resulted in GPU temperature dropping to 69°C.

I genuinely love this mod, though, if only because it's a totally different take on a Noctua-cooled graphics card to the Asus X Noctua RTX 3070 recently announced. As to which one looks best? I'll let you be the judge.

Jacob Ridley

Jacob earned his first byline writing for his own tech blog from his hometown in Wales in 2017. From there, he graduated to professionally breaking things at PCGamesN, where he would later win command of the kit cupboard as hardware editor. Nowadays, as senior hardware editor at PC Gamer, he spends his days reporting on the latest developments in the technology and gaming industry. When he's not writing about GPUs and CPUs, you'll find him trying to get as far away from the modern world as possible by wild camping.