GPU factory tour shows PowerColor’s new thermal compound application process

Published: Jun 2nd 2023, 14:59 GMT   Comments

PowerColor has a new method of thermal paste application.

Der8auer was given the opportunity to visit the PowerColor factory and observe the graphics card assembly process up close.

How PowerColor applies thermal paste, Source: der8auer

Such tours are normally not allowed for any visitors, but it looks like the company had nothing to hide and Roman was knowledgeable enough not to break anything. Furthermore, part of the tour shows how PowerColor has improved the process of thermal compound application. The company clearly wanted to present what changes were implemented some after the recent reports.

As we know, the company had some questionable methods of thermal compound application on Radeon RX 7900 series, which could lead to increase GPU temperature. A process that was made manually has now been replaced with more sophisticated methods. The company is now using stencils and the process appears to give a uniform layer of the compound. This process is still done manually, but Roman also has shown a new machine currently being tested that would perform this task automatically.

AMD GPUs and PowerColor PCBs sealed, Source: der8auer

The whole tour aside, this is a very intriguing video for GPU fans. Companies like PowerColor rarely give full access to all areas, either to protect the expensive high-tech hardware, prevent possible leak of confidential information or simply because they use processes other companies have not yet implemented. Either way, it is a must-see video for those who never seen how GPUs are made.

Of course, in this case the actual GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) is not made by PowerColor. In fact, we get to see how such GPUs are delivered to the assembly line and how strict are the temperature and humidity requirements for such components.

PowerColor GPU testing before shipping, Source: der8auer

Our readers may find one part of the tour interesting. It shows how graphics cards are tested before being packed for shipping. The cards that are selected from each batch are tested for a full 24 hours. However, individual cards are still tested for at least an hour.

From what we have seen in this video, PowerColor is using four apps for stress test: Unigine Heaven, Furmark, 3DMark 13 and 3DMark 06. Presumably because each software offers a different type of workload that PowerColor determined to be most likely to show problems. While those tests are performed, PowerColor is collecting data on GPU temperature (including hotspot), fan speed, GPU, and memory clocks as well as voltages. It is unclear how the company missed the clear data showing anomalies in GPU hotspots during those tests before shipping graphics cards with poorly applied thermal paste.


[der8auer EN] How Graphics Cards are made - Insane PowerColor Factory Tour (557,348 views)

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