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You've probably heard about GPU backplates as one of the main features in the latest graphics cards, but is it really worth it or not?
GPU Backplates are valuable spaces for adding personalized designs that will surely catch anyone’s attention. While these components are included now as a functional and stylish feature in graphics cards, backplates have only started to become back covers for video cards lately.
If you want to know more about GPU Backplates, then you’ve come to the right place! This article will share with you the pros and cons of having a GPU backplate installed on your latest NVIDIA graphics cards.
What is a GPU Backplate?
A GPU Backplate is a back cover for video cards usually made of metal, acrylic, or another lightweight yet sturdy material. Its primary function is to protect the graphics card circuit board from bending. It is only in recent years that backplates have been utilized for cooling and aesthetics.
Backplates were originally non-existent in the GPUs. The circuit boards at the back of graphics cards were once bare, and the protruding solders that connect capacitors, resistors, and alike were practically exposed. Since there were no backside coverings, the card cooling happens as the heat was being generated.
As the video cards increase their capacities, so do their overall dimensions. GPU spans have become longer and are getting more prone to bending, sagging, and twisting through time. Due to these changes, backplates were initially added to serve as card support and protective cover.
Is a GPU Backplate Worth it?
GPU Backplates have proven their significance to graphics cards for years. At first, it was mainly applied to secure the video card from damage and keep the PC builder hands injury-free when the card is picked up and assembled for a custom computer rig.
Today, it is considered a cooling accessory for GPUs. The component also comes in various materials and styles. Users can personalize their design and show their funny or artistic side by drawing illustrations on the backplate surface and accentuating them using tiny LED lights.
Benefits of a GPU Backplate
A GPU backplate is a thin sheet plate typically made of acrylic or metal that covers the backside of the graphics card printed circuit board (PCB). Currently, it is regarded as a staple for newly manufactured video cards because it has several uses and makes computer builds look great.
If you're aiming for increased stability and longevity for your graphics cards, it’s good to consider getting an all-new GPU with a backplate. Installation of a backplate for earlier video card models without a backside cover is an ideal solution.
Aside from the general functionalities and benefits mentioned above, here is the list of the specific advantages a GPU Backplate can offer:
- Card Support
- Protective Cover
- Thermal Control
- Safer Handling
- Design Customization
For minimalism enthusiasts, the default metal backplates that come in gray, black, or white color schemes will surely suit their taste. These cards are equipped with simple single-color or RGB lighting that elegantly highlights the manufacturer’s logo or a GPU’s attractive features.
While acrylic GPU backplates dominate the market now because of the unlimited possibilities for artistic designs, these sheets commonly sit on top of the graphics card, offering no support from sagging and other further movements that could damage the card in the long run.We hope you enjoyed our article on the benefits of having a GPU backplate installed. If you’re interested in learning more about other topics related to gaming, we recommend checking out our best NVIDIA GeForce review!
With a sleek, low-profile design, GPU backplates are perfect for users who want to add an extra layer of protection to their graphics card. These plates are mostly made from metal that supports the bulky video cards and prevents them from bending, sagging, and twisting.
Furthermore, these lightweight and durable backplates effectively add rigidity to the card, especially those covers that are securely screwed to the device.
Having a backplate as a physical barrier for your GPUs could prevent potential costly damages. This easy-to-install component protects the card from dust, scratch, and other unwanted dirt that may potentially be harmful to your graphics card’s mechanism.
So if you want to give your graphics card investment an extra layer of protection for a longer lifespan, getting a GPU backplate is one of the best and easiest solutions to have.
The graphics card’s core speeds can be boosted further when the temperatures are kept low. Remarkable thermal regulation plays a vital role in a GPU’s overclocking performance as higher clock speeds can be carefully reached without worrying about overheating or shutting down.
A backplate’s heat dissipation capability is still being debated, as some users argue that thIs part does not offer any significant cooling improvement. However, metal backplates attached to video cards with thermal pads are described as effective when replaced regularly.
Circuit boards in the past have sharp solder ends that can cause minor injuries such as scratches and cuts to a PC builder’s hands. With sturdy backplates which can either be made up of metal or plastic, the PCBs nowadays are prevented from accidental contact or alterations.
Lastly, GPU backplates keep the cards safe from untoward accidents such as sudden drops or crashes during transport, transfer, adjustment, or modification.
Transparent acrylic backplates make customized computer builds more fun and interesting to look at. The various designs applied on the plate surface can also be accentuated with animated RGB lights, setting the right mood and ambiance for gaming and entertainment.
If you love to show your uniqueness and personality with the use of your computer rig, a simple modification like assembling your very own backplate is the perfect way to put on an extra flair to your PC build.
Personalized GPU Backplates
GPU backplates come in all shapes, sizes, designs, and colors. Customized and made-to-order metal and acrylic backplates are available in the market right now and you can purchase them online.
These are some types of personalized and decorative GPU backplate design style categories you can order online or purchase in-store:
- Blank and Solid Color
- Infinity Mirror
- Anime, Gaming, and Movie Themes
- Brand and Logo
- Famous Paintings and Posters
Making a DIY GPU Backplate
While it seems such an awesome and fun activity when you look at the several samples online, making a DIY GPU backplate is only advisable for users who know their way around video card assembly.
The initial dismantling of the backplate requires a mindful method of removing the cover while safely unplugging the small pin connections and intricate wiring inside. The tiny screws that are attached tightly should be collected and numbered for later assembly after the modification is done.
Suppose you are not used to tweaking any of your computer components and don’t have the tools to execute the DIY procedures. In that case, it is highly recommended to have the experts do it instead of taking the risk of ruining your expensive graphics card investment.
Choosing a GPU Backplate Material
If you decide that you’re going to beautify or create a backplate yourself because you have enough knowledge and tools to do it, the following sections might help you out.
You must first select a suitable GPU backplate material in any DIY project. The sheet plate should have the following essential characteristics -- lightweight, durable, and has enough rigidity to hold and lock screws in place tightly.
The list below enumerates the most common sheet materials utilized in creating personalized backplates:
Custom-painting Your Backplate Materials
Looking to protect your expensive graphics card with a custom-painted backplate? You may want to give a do-it-yourself GPU backplate a try.
We have garnered here some of the typical sheet materials used for making this component along with their basic preparation techniques, just in case you have decided to take on the challenge of adorning your video card’s backplate on your own by painting.
To prepare a plastic backplate material, use any compatible alcohol-based cleaning solution and generously apply it to the sheet plate that is being customized. This is to remove any dirt and unwanted particles before scrubbing the entire surface.
The plastic plate should then be scuffed with sandpaper. This step should be done until no more gloss is left and the finish is textured and looks hazy. You can consider doing these first two steps repeatedly as desired. Cleanse the plate with the same cleaning solution.
A coat of primer for plastic should be brushed on the plate lightly, and once dried, it has to be wet sanded again to be smooth. Finally, the plastic backplate should be wiped down before painting using your preferred color, coating it for two to three times as needed.
Like the primary steps done in getting the plastic sheet plate ready, the prepping should begin by scouring the material with sandpaper and wiping it with the suitable cleansing solution as required. You know you have done a great job if the plate becomes opaque and gray.
Unlike the plastic plate’s methods, the acrylic plate has to be washed with soapy water then rinsed. When dried, apply the primer to the surfaces that will be painted and wet sand the surface. Repeat these procedures as needed. Finally, the result should be an evened-out finish.
After drying, alternate the brushing of paint and waiting for it to tack in between coats.
In dealing with acrylic, primer coating is of utmost importance. Without this essential coat, the selected paint color would still be see-through, and a spider-webbed type of cracks will easily propagate. Also, the primer should serve as a final covering layer as well.
Handling aluminum as a backplate material for painting customization requires careful attention as it is prone to galvanic corrosion when exposed to steel and an electrolyte.
The use of various grades of abrasive sheets and cleaning solutions are performed repeatedly as needed. It is important to note that this sheet plate can’t be sanded by any abrasives that are coarser than P80 since it will eventually embed dirt and particles into the metal.
For aluminum, a pre-treatment like conversion coating should be sprayed on the material surfaces before any painting works are done. It is dried then rinsed off with water.
The next step is to smoothen the sheet by applying the regular primer and wet sanding. Once done, wipe down the surface using the cleaning solution.
Right after that, you can now begin laying down your preferred paint color.
One of the easiest materials to work with, metals are generally hard and sturdy so scruffing them with a coarser abrasive sheet is fine to remove the existing gloss and finish if there are any.
Similar to the earlier pre-treatment procedure for plastic, acrylic, and aluminum materials mentioned, cleanse the dull or milky surface with an alcohol-based solution. Lay down the primer and perform wet sanding as needed to get a smooth and even finish.
When the surface is duly prepared, painting your chosen color can start. Don’t forget to allow the paint layer to tack in between the layers of paint coating. If you find that the conventional two to three coats are insufficient to cover the entire surface, additional coats can be applied.
Another material that is praised for its workability is steel. Use the same cleaning solution mentioned and sanding methods above along with several types of abrasive sheets from coarse to fine in order to attain an evened-out finish.
Subsequently, lay down a single coat etch primer that should only cover the steel sheet surface barely. Once dried, apply two to three coats of the regular primer. When the material is completely dry, wet sanding can begin. Do these steps as required to attain a smooth finish.
After wiping down with the cleaning solution, painting with your chosen color may start. You can lay down two to three layers of paint letting them tack in between coats.
Built-in Backplates in GPUs Today
Most of NVIDIA’s RTX 30 series Founder’s Edition and its Partner AIB version graphics cards are sold complete with metal or plastic backplates that are embossed with original textures, formed with curved surfaces, and sometimes lit with simple yet elegant designs.
Manufacturers of GPUs add backplates as one of the selling point features that enhance the thermal control of the video card. The strategically placed cut-outs of the backplate help the cooling fans and heatsink direct the dissipated heat outwards.
Recent tests and reviews show that metal backplates such as aluminum and steel passively cool the airflow within the system by about a degree. This result may sound little for some but if you want to maximize the performance of every bit of your PC component, it counts.
Active Liquid Cooling Backplates
Modern GPUs have evolved multiple times through the years. Earlier desktop computer video cards models do not have any covering. Lately, the graphics cards are sold with backplates that were eventually added not only for aesthetics but also to support the functionalities of the card.
In mid-2021, the GPU backplates have been rebranded as an ultimate feature for the newest cutting-edge technology for thermal control in graphics cards.
The backplates are now equipped with active liquid cooling and water blocking systems that can handle even the graphics-intensive processes that generate the most heat. With this technology, it is possible that it won’t be long before overheating becomes only a thing of the past.
With the recent introduction of EK's new enterprise-grade water blocks for video cards, anyone can now enjoy a powerful cooling solution for their NVIDIA GeForce RTX graphics card.
These devices are CNC-built with nickel plate and copper base, and laser-cut with stainless steel top will offer users the durable and reliable cooling capacity to get that unparalleled performance out of whatever gaming or software title may be playing on-screen!
Liquid Cooling for NVIDIA RTX 3090
Popular due to its impeccable cooling mechanism and irresistible aesthetics for gamers, the liquid cooling feature is making waves all over the world today.
Apart from the traditional airflow cooling using fans and copper heatsinks, this innovation uses liquid or water to reach all the critical areas that require immediate heat dissipation.
The incredible active liquid cooling system also eliminates the coil whine, which is a common drawback of conventional cooling.
EK recommends NVIDIA’s RTX 3090 graphics card as the perfect fit for their new active cooler that can even control the heat generated by the card’s robust 24 GB GDDR6X memory.
GPU Water Blocks for NVIDIA A100 and A6000
The Water Block cooling system targets the essential components of the GPU that require direct, fast, and lasting thermal control. These graphics card parts include the VRAM, PCB, and VRM. The Open Split-Flow mechanism channel the water coolant to these crucial areas.
The Open Split-Flow cooling engine design utilizes smaller water pumps that run on low-speed settings. Each jet plate has been optimized for even flow distribution without any losses in efficiency even when reversing the water direction.
EK’s latest water block backplates are engineered for the professional-grade GPUs of NVIDIA, the A100 and A6000 video cards.
People Also Ask
Because of their proven advantages in recent years, GPUs for gaming and professional computers in the market are manufactured with built-in backplates.
Here, we'll answer some of the most common questions about GPU backplates.
Is a GPU backplate worth it?
Yes. After all the benefits listed and discussed above, including the latest innovation active liquid cooling, no wonder custom-made GPU backplates are all the rage for gamers and professionals alike nowadays.
As we have observed, the unlimited aesthetic possibilities of the backplates make it a very attractive find or creation since it gives a whole new personality and overall mood to the computer build.
Should I remove the GPU backplate?
Whether to remove the GPU backplate or not depends on the current GPU’s purpose, design, and requirement.
Some earlier graphics cards are originally made without backplates, so the plates are just temporary covers for this case. For the recent bulky and heavy video cards, the GPU backplates have become necessary as they protect the card from damages such as warping and sagging.
Does GPU backplate help with cooling?
Yes. Although the earlier GPU backplates had little to no cooling effect, the recently manufactured video cards now have a liquid cooling system or water block mechanism. This mechanism accurately targets the critical parts that require immediate thermal control.
The essential components of a graphics card include VRMs, VRAMs, and PCBs. A liquid coolant such as water is channeled to these parts to dissipate the card’s continuous heat generation directly.
Does a GPU backplate prevent sag?
Yes. In fact, some of the new GPUs launched in the market right now come with backplates, anti-sag supports, and anti-bending brackets that prevent the card from experiencing untoward damages because of its own weight.
These said brackets could also support the entire card structurally, offering a stable installation and attachment with its CPU case.
Can you put a backplate on a GPU?
Yes. If your GPU does not have a backplate, or you just want to upgrade its current look and style, you can get yourself a backplate that is sold online or in-store. Several themes, illustrations, and programmable lighting modes work well with any design you can think of.
On the other hand, if you know how to tweak your own PC, you might consider creating your very own backplate that would surely fit your unique style and personality.
Does removing the GPU backplate void the warranty?
Yes. Any modification done with a graphics card voids the warranty. If you are planning to open up your GPU, be informed that by doing so, you are canceling the product warranty.
If you want to keep your warranty and still decide to remove and re-style your GPU backplate, it’s alright. You just have to ensure that the warranty period is over before starting any customization on your backplate.
Why is my GPU backplate hot?
Typically, a GPU backplate gets hotter while you are using it.
The graphics card’s components such as the VRAMs, VRMs, and PCBs produce heat as they reach peak data transfer speeds and rendering. These members, in turn, radiate the generated heat. That’s why your GPU backplate heats up.
As long as the core temperatures are within the acceptable range for your video card system, your computer build will not overheat and experience sudden crashes or shutdown.
What is a GPU shroud?
A GPU shroud is the graphics card’s front covering on which the cooling fans are attached. Shrouds are significant since this member encloses and directs the airflow within the video card, driving the hot air to the heatsink fins then exiting to the vent slots at the device’s backside.
If you're in the market for a new graphics card, it might be worth your while to consider one with a backplate. GPU backplate keeps the video card cool, well-supported, and protected, allowing the component to look great and run at optimum levels without overheating for the long haul.We hope you enjoyed our article on the benefits of having a GPU backplate installed. If you’re interested in learning more about other topics related to gaming, we recommend checking out our best NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 series review!