Any gaming aficionado would admit that as much as they admire the performance of Nvidia's latest RTX series, they're certainly not fans of the gigantic size of the cards. If you're part of the concerned gaming community that has been yearning for a slimmed-down version of these beasts, you're not alone.
Enterprising Reddit user TechTaxi recognized this dilemma and decided to take matters into his own hands. Unhappy with the massive heatsink feature of the Ada Lovelace graphics card, particularly for models such as the RTX 4070 Ti and RTX 4080, he set out to modify the RTX 4080 card with a vision of making it more compact, dual slot-just like the RTX 4070 Ti. Unlike its sibling, the RTX 4080 does not use as much power, thus rendering the large heatsink unnecessary.
It wasn't all smooth sailing for TechTaxi, though. The smaller cooler from the RTX 4070 card didn't fit the larger PCB of the RTX 4080 directly. However, this minor setback was quickly overcome by the creative use of a small CNC unit for milling, making room for some components beneath the heatsink. To improve heat transfer, TechTaxi innovatively used a PTM7950 thermal pad on the GPU die and Upsiren UX Pro thermal putty on the VRMs and VRAM.
The result? An exquisite, compact RTX 4080 with an RTX 4070-sized cooling system reaching acceptable temperature levels. Although it required setting the fans at a constant 100% rpm for consistency across testing, with minor adjustments in power and configuration, similar temperatures could be maintained. What's more, while the smaller size may result in a minor decrease in peak performance, the improved temperature control and reduced fan noise offer a more comfortable, quieter gaming experience.
In a world where ever-larger graphics cards are the norm, TechTaxi's inventiveness challenges the status quo. His work exemplifies how, while larger coolers became necessary as power levels rose, the size of the graphic card doesn't necessarily need to follow suit. It's an essential reminder for AIB vendors to consider more efficient use of space and cheaper manufacturing costs while warming the hearts of PC gamers who wish to see top-end, compact graphic cards as they used to be. TechTaxi's remodeled RTX 4080 most certainly, marks the start of a new chapter in the era of graphics cards.