Breaking Badly: when blue substance is found in cracked GeForce RTX 3080 vapor chamber

Published: Oct 15th 2023, 14:23 GMT   Comments

NVIDIA RTX 3080 vapor chamber with a hole develops blue substance inside

South Korean media report on an unusual problem observed on certain GPUs. 

As per the QuasarZone report, certain RTX 3080 Founders Edition and RTX A6000 graphics cards may be susceptible to problems related to vapor chamber cracking. The initial thread on this issue was initiated by a member, likely a technician, who was assigned the task of investigating the root cause behind the excessively high hot spot temperatures exhibited by these cards.

Importantly, these graphics cards had not been previously opened or subjected to repasting, as confirmed by the original author of the thread. However, it was swiftly determined that there was a breach in the vapor chamber. This breach resulted from a chemical reaction that gradually created a hole within the vapor chamber. Because of this, fluid leaked out of the chamber and oxygen got into the void.

Punctured RTX A6000 vapor chamber, Source: Mega Kim Industry/QuasarZone

Upon opening the chamber, one can observe the presence of a blue substance. This substance is likely copper sulfate or oxide, a product of copper’s reaction with water and oxygen under humid conditions. Although it is a slower process compared to creating sulfate with sulfuric acid, it eventually results in the formation of a blue-green substance.

A similar issue has been reported with the RTX A6000 graphics card, which exhibited a high hotspot temperature. However, subsequent investigations have revealed that issues related to vapor chamber cracking are relatively uncommon, and the formation of copper sulfate is a gradual process that may require a significant amount of time.

Punctured RTX A6000 vapor chamber, Source: Mega Kim Industry/QuasarZone

For users whose graphics cards are displaying higher temperatures and are no longer under warranty, it is advisable to consider replacing the thermal paste at a certain point. Additionally, they should be prepared to replace thermal pads, as these are susceptible to tearing when coolers are disassembled. While instances like these have been observed in some cases, it’s important to note that such occurrences remain relatively uncommon at this time.

Source: QuasarZone via Tom’s Hardware

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