Der8auer Investigates: Are Fancy Backplate Coolers Worth It?

E-commerce platforms often feature an array of peculiar PC components, typically originating from obscure manufacturers, boasting unique designs and specialized purposes. As for their efficacy, some may prove exceptional, while others merely present a facade of grandeur. Citing Tom’s Hardware, renowned hardware blogger Der8auer recently tested the performance of several graphics card backplate coolers, discovering that these devices appear to fall into the latter category.

Image credit: YouTube – der8auer EN

Der8auer purchased two coolers from AliExpress. Both models exhibited rather ostentatious designs: one was constructed with layers of pure copper fins, and fans mounted on both sides; the other resembled a CPU cooler, featuring three L-shaped heat pipes in contact with the backplate, extending to finned ends with an additional fan. The installation process was straightforward, involving the placement of thermal pads on the backplate, then securing the cooler with cable ties.

Judging by their appearance, these two coolers seemed capable of significantly improving graphics card temperatures. However, according to Der8auer’s tests, they only managed to reduce the temperature of the backplate, without affecting the GPU temperature.

It is worth noting that the test results may be influenced by the graphics card used – Der8auer’s test platform was built around a Gigabyte RX 6900 XT, which does not house high-temperature components on its backside. Most graphics card designs follow this approach, with the exception of the RTX 3090, which features memory on the back. Consequently, these coolers appear to offer little practical benefit.

In conclusion, Der8auer believes these coolers are all show and have no substance. If gamers are determined to seek an effective backplate cooling solution, he recommends opting for a custom water-cooling kit.