ASUS TUF Gaming GeForce RTX 3080 Ti OC Edition Owner Discovers Missing Thermal Pads in $1,899 Graphics Card

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Image: ASUS

Imagine paying nearly $2,000 for a graphics card and later realizing that it’s missing something as critical as thermal pads. One enthusiast didn’t have to, because that’s exactly what happened to them.

As explained by kamaloo92 over on r/NVIDIA, their ASUS TUF Gaming GeForce RTX 3080 Ti OC Edition graphics card was discovered to have been missing thermal pads after high temperatures compelled the user to open it up for inspection. One side of the plate covering the VRAM was found to be severely lacking.

This is a sad thing to see, as ASUS’ TUF Gaming GeForce RTX 3080 Ti OC graphics card costs at least $1,899, according to listings at major retailers such as B&H Photo.

My RTX 3080 Ti had very high VRAM temperature – Tj almost always 110°C no matter what i [tried]. So i finally opened it up to find missing thermal pad on four VRAM chips.

There are some markings on heat spreader like pad was here for a few seconds, but the VRAM chips are clean. So I assume thermal pad somehow fall before putting heat spreader on PCB.

It was working normally. No reboots whatsoever, just constant thermal throttling.

Kamaloo92 went on to confirm that they had to go out of their way and add replacement thermal pads. Not surprisingly, the ASUS GeForce RTX 3080 Ti TUF OC graphics card demonstrated much lower VRAM temperatures after the fix.

I’ve added missing pad and changed existing ones – just to be safe. I have also added additional pad as recommended for 3080 TUF (non Ti) and VRAM temps dropped to max 80°C. So I hope it will be good.

Just in case, I’ve used Gelid GP-Extreme. 1.5mm for VRAM to heat spreader 1.5mm for VRM on the video connectors end 3mm for heat spreader to main heatsink 3mm for VRM on the power connector end I haven’t removed backplate so I don’t know what’s there. On GPU I’ve used Kryonaut. All measurements were done with calipers.

I have heated my card for few minutes in game – this should allow pads to give easier.

Kamaloo92’s experience follows a series of other weird factory defects that have been reported, such as obamaprism3’s discovery of thermal pads smeared off of the VRAM and into the GPU die in their GeForce RTX 3080 Founders Edition. There have even been reports of finger cots being discovered in some graphics cards.

Sources: kamaloo92, obamaprism3

Tsing Mui
News poster at The FPS Review.

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