When designing a graphics card, not only the chip specifications are taken into account, but all the passive elements that will go into the graphics card PCB. This includes the cooling systems for different elements of the chart. Not only in the case of the main GPU, but also in the VRAM and VRM phases which are distributed throughout the graphics card.
Are the NVIDIA RTX 30’s thermal pads not cooling?
One of the problems with VRAM memory interfaces today is that they require the transmission of a large amount of data. This results in very high levels of power consumption and therefore heat released during the two-way transfer that occurs between the transmit and receive channels between the GPU and its VRAM. These data transmissions not only involve much higher power consumption, but also high heat output, so it is necessary for newer types of VRAM to have adequate cooling systems.
One of the problems that is not only shared by the NVIDIA reference models of their RTX 3080 and RTX 3090, as well as by the custom models of these graphics cards. Are the thermal pads used to cool the GDDR6 VRAM not of the expected quality and while this does not involve massive failure, replacing the thermal pads with better quality ones reduces the temperature emitted by up to at about 25 degrees.
This problem was discovered by the HardwareBBQ website, which contacted NVIDIA and received from Santa Clara that it did not have an official response to this “problem”. Let’s not forget that GDDR6 and GDDR6X are designed to work in temperatures below 95 ° and exceeding them involves serious errors in their operation.
Shall we see a review of the RTX 3000?
NVIDIA typically releases a new architecture every two years, but within a year it is expected to bring new products to market that build momentum for the GeForce brand. Over the past year, we have seen the launch of the GeForce RTX 2000 Super series. Right now this year we know of the existence of the RTX 3050 (Ti), RTX 3070 Ti and RTX 3080 Ti. But, unlike what the Super range was, we are not talking about replacements for graphics cards already launched on the market, but models that fill the gaps between existing graphics cards.
As with processors, it is more difficult to have RAM or VRAM at the highest possible speed because there are fewer good chips at high speed than at low speed. A GDDR6X chip operating at 21 Gbps is rarer than a 19 Gbps chip. To all of that, you have to add the thermal and power characteristics of the entire graphics card to see how viable it would be to be able to run VRAM at a higher speed or not.
At the moment the RTX 3090 supports memory at 19.5 Gbps, but we have indications of an RTX 3090 Ti, the first is that it does not use the GA102 chip in its full configuration, the second we have it with this news and the use of inferior thermal pads and worse refrigeration But the same could be said of the whole RTX 3000 range. Are we going to see a possible upgrade to a faster VRAM with a simple change of its thermal pads? It is possible, in any case, to cool the VRAM further with the appropriate thermal pads, giving the possibility to models with faster VRAM and therefore with more performance.