Guide to Nvidia 3080 FE Thermal Pad Mod

Will Norris
13 min readJul 20, 2021

The Nvidia 3080 FE and other partner cards have memory junction heat problems, but the fix is simple

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The Nvidia 3080 and 3090 are fantastic graphics cards that have managed to genuinely impress the PC community with their performance. The success of these cards can be seen in how incredibly difficult they are to buy at retail price. However, despite the incredible performance, many of the 3080 and 3090 models suffer from thermal throttling due to the GDDR6X VRAM overheating. Luckily this problem can be solved at home with new thermal pads if done properly. This post will discuss the overheating issue and provide a walkthrough on modifying the Founder’s Edition 3080 including diagrams for the thermal pads.

The Problem

If you were lucky enough to actually purchase one of these graphics cards, you may or may not have noticed that the new GDDR6X memory is overheating and throttling performance. Not every card is affected by this issue, but I have seen reports of the Founders Edition, Dell pre-built, MSI trio, Asus Tuf, Gigabyte Vision, and Gigabyte Gaming all overheating. Long story short is it seems that a substantial number of cards are experiencing memory junction temperatures above the rated operating temperature that leads to thermal throttling. My card was so bad that even with the fans at 100% I would experience throttling due to the memory junction reaching 110 degrees, despite relatively cool core temps.

Many people haven’t noticed this because most temperature applications read out the core temperature of the GPU, which is not the issue on the RTX 3080/3090. The memory junction temperature wasn’t exposed on Nvidia GPUs before the 30 series, and only one app — that I know of — has been updated to show it to the user: HWiNFO4. HWiNFO4 is a free app designed to provide you with information about the hardware in your system; my primary use case for it is finding the temperatures of various pieces in my system like SSDs and my GPU. Here is a screenshot of what some of the GPU information looks like:

My personal Founders Edition (FE) card had this problem. When mining at stock settings the memory junction temperature would immediately hit 110 degrees Celsius and then the card would throttle to avoid going above 110 degrees.

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Will Norris

Software Dev and Earth Scientist. Background involves the use of python and machine learning to study snowpack and full-stack web development.