GPU backplate cooling gives questionable results
Der8auer tests the latest innovation from AliExpress: active cooling for GPU backplates.
The tech reviewer and overclocker, who is always at the forefront when it comes to the latest PC products, has a new video demonstrating the brand-new cooling solutions from AliExpress. The place that gives everyone access to cheap electronic devices and questionable GPU brands, supposedly now offers a new cooling for graphics cards.
Der8auer tested two cooling products for a GPU backplate. However, what should be noted is that GPU backplates are designed to be hot. Apart from being a cover for the back of the PCB, and structural support for heavy GPUs, they are also designed to actively dissipate heat from GPU and VRM components. In fact, many brands even have laser-engraved information that backplates should not be touched when the card is in use.
Therefore, just because the backplate is hot does not mean it is faulty or the card is overheating. However, given the proximity of other components, such as high-performance storage with passive cooling, some users may seek options on how to lower the temperature of their GPU backplates. This is where such innovative cooling products come in.
Two products were tested by Roman. One is a pure copper design with two fans (which are glued), very sharp edges and a questionable mounting kit (zip ties and adhesive tapes). There is also an unbraided fan cable that looks just as bad. Der8auer found the product hideous, as it turns out, it does almost nothing to improve the cooling efficiency of the backplate.
Stock vs AliExpress #1 backplate cooling
- GPU Temperature: 74°C → 73°C
- GPU Temperature (hot spot): 87°C → 87°C
- Backplate Temperature: 60°C → 55°C
- Fan Sped: 2110 RPM → 2148 RPM
Based on the testing with Gigabyte RX 6800 XT card with the first Ali cooler attached, Roman concluded that the temperature of the GPU has not visibly improved. This is based on a 30-minute comparison between the same closed system running all chassis fans at the same 1000 RPM. The backplate cooling has not affected the cooling efficiency of the graphics card. However, there is a 5°C difference in backplate temperature, and the GPU clock appeared to be higher.
Stock vs AliExpress #2 backplate cooling
- GPU Temperature: 74°C → 70°C
- GPU Temperature (hot spot): 87°C → 85°C
- Backplate Temperature: 60°C → 51°C
- Fan Sped: 2110 RPM → 2133 RPM
The second cooler, which is a huge heatsink attached either through thermal glue or, again, a large thermal pad and zip ties shipped with bent heatpipes. However, even in this state, the cooler had better efficiency than the first one. There is actually an improvement in GPU temperature by 4°C, and the backplate temperature has dropped by 9°C.
Der8auer concluded the video by saying that the backplate cooling looks hideous and the only thing it does is lowering the bank account balance. The solutions presented by Roman cost $40 or €50 for just slightly better temperature, but also a risk of damaging the card (due to questionable mounting kits) and just poor aesthetics. Gamers who see increased temperature should first consider improving the airflow in their chassis by adding or speeding up the fans or simply adjusting the fan curve on their GPU. That usually costs nothing.