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Custom GPU Backplate

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mixaBG

New Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2016
hi i want to make my own custom gpu backplate. but i have a problem what materials should i use. acrylic, aluminium,plexi i read that these 3 are mostly used for gpu backplates and are they safe? also i heard that if you use metal or aluminum backplates you need spacing because of circuit. Now what are these spacings and how do i make them or where to buy them. and can i use magnets for attaching gpu backplates and are they safe because i saw that V1tech uses them. and is aluminum and metal safe for gpu beacuse i dont want to my gpu die .

Thanks for help . :)
 

EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Location
Buckeyes!
Well, any material that is conductive you would not want to touch the PCB. As far as the spacers, you can buy them (look up nylon washers or acrylic) or make them yourself.

Not sure I would use magnets honestly. That is metal on metal and additional considerations would have to be taken into account I would assume.

What GPU do you have that you want to make a back plate for?
 
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JrClocker

AKA: JrMiyagi
Joined
Sep 25, 2015
I would avoid using magnets...if you get these too close to a hard drive...poof, there goes your data.

You have to decide on a material that you will use. If you place a material that is not thermally conductive on the back of the GPU PCB, you can actually cause MORE heat to generate as you limit the cooling on the back side of the board. (It's a small percentage, but the back side of the GPU PCB does get hot).

1. Metals: excellent thermal conductivity, also excellent electrical conductivity. The electrical is bad, as you can short out the components and leads on the back side of the PCB.

2. Others: look for materials that are electrical insulators, but good thermal conductors
- Diamond is the best...it's actually 5 times better than copper...just a bit pricey
- Ceramics: aluminum nitride is about the best ceramic out there that is an excellent electrical insulator, but also a good thermal conductor. However, this is a very brittle ceramic and tough to machine

Your best option would be to use aluminum and put down a thin electrical insulator on the side that touches the PCB. (Kapton tape is great for this.)

If you end up going metal, make sure that the metal is properly grounded to the GPU PCB ground. Otherwise, you can build up a large charge over time and end up zapping (via ESD) major parts in your PC.


Your best bet would be to purchase one from the manufacturer, and then make any cool modifications you want to it! :thup:
 

EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Location
Buckeyes!
Great info here ^^...

Quick question(s)...

1. Proper grounding... isn't that already accomplished assuming one uses the pre-existing mounting holes on the PCB? That is the only thing a back plate touches AFAIK. The back plate would need something to thread into of course, but that should be all that is needed. I haven't seen anything extra for back plates before.
2. You mention to apply a layer of something non conductive to one side. While that would be helpful, I don't recall a back plate having that, at least, not consistently. So its a good safety precaution indeed, but not a requirement? Back plates do not touch the PCB in most cases unless they have some thermal tape to help cool the back of the VRMs.
 
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Robert17

Premium Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2011
^^ As above. Whatever you use for a backplate, use some small o-rings or nylon washers as spacers between your backplate and the PCB, one on each screw. This should be sufficient to both mount the backplate without putting excessive pressure on the PCB and act as insulation against any contact between the hardware and PCB.
 
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mixaBG

New Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2016
hi thank you very much for your answer. i wnated to use acrylic or plexi for gpu backplate. now will it be safe to use these materials plus spacers and screws to mount backplate to the gpu. i think that both of these materials are non conductive. and i do this mostly because of the look and not for the temperatures because my gpu temp is around 60 degrees under load so no problem there. also if i use spacers for aluminum or metal backplate and backplate do not touch PCB will there be still some problem or not. and finaly i saw that V1TECH uses magnets for their gpu backplates and you said that magnets are not safe so why do they use it. thank you very much btw :)

- - - Updated - - -

also i saw that even metal and aluminum are safe just if you use spacers so they dont tuch the pcb just like you said. and if i use some of these two i would also put some thermal pads for the Vram so the backplate can use as a passive cooler. othervise if i use acrylic or plexi it would be just for look.
 

EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Location
Buckeyes!
also if i use spacers for aluminum or metal backplate and backplate do not touch PCB will there be still some problem or not.
As was said earlier, if it does not touch, you will be fine.

The magnets are likely not powerful enough to affect the HDD. Still, I wouldn't use them.

EDIT: IF there are memory chips on the back, you could use a thermal pad to help cool them. Otherwise, I wouldn't bother with it.
 
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mixaBG

New Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2016
thanks man i realy appreciate your help. last question for the spacers what material should i use or do you know where can i buy them. and because acrylic and plexi is not conductive do i need to put spacers or i dont have to. and for the decoration is vinyl good for that. beacuse i saw that people use it for PSU covers and case mods. :)
 

EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Location
Buckeyes!
You would want some space between the PCB and the backplate... ALL GPUs that have them have a small gap, maybe 1/4".

As far as the washers... I listed some materials already that are non conductive (nylon/acrylic/rubber) at your local hardware store... ebay... etc. You just need to get the right size(diameter) and height (to keep the back plate off the PCB. I would also cut holes in any back plate for cooling purposes.
 

EarthDog

Gulper Nozzle Co-Owner
Joined
Dec 15, 2008
Location
Buckeyes!
No problem!!!

Please post up some pictures when you are done.. I am sure the members here, and I, would like to see the finished product!
 
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mixaBG

New Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2016
ofc man no problem i will start making backplate during next week so when i finish i will post the finished product
 

caddi daddi

Godzilla to ant hills
Joined
Jan 10, 2012
I think I would go plexi or acrylic, easy to work with, nonconductive, a little tape, a little sand paper or even brillo pad and you can go as custom as you like.
 
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mixaBG

New Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2016
why you need the tape ? is it for mounting on the gpu or for something else. btw i will probably go with plexi and i will do some customisation with vinyl. btw thanks for the answer :)
 

JrClocker

AKA: JrMiyagi
Joined
Sep 25, 2015
You only need the Kapton tape if you are using a metal backplate (i.e. electrically conductive).

Make sure that you have a plan if you have to add vent holes to the plexi to let heat escape! :D
 

caddi daddi

Godzilla to ant hills
Joined
Jan 10, 2012
I meant that you could tape you off a design on it and make the design frosted by scrubbing it.
 

bob4933

Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2014
FWIW, there are typically quite a number of backplates you can order. I understand the appeal of the "DIY" Solution, but to get the proper materials, it would likely be even more expensive than just buying one. They typically run between 20-30$. A sheet of proper gauge aluminum will cost MORE than that, and plexiglass most certainly will be close as well.

FWIW, and for size gauging, my backplate is 0.100" exactly. An 8"x13" 6061 plate is gonna run you ~25$, give or take a few dollars. There are a few vendors that sell various gauge aluminum sheets, and can even get custom cuts done for you if youre still inclined.

You will also need to purchase longer versions of the screws you are replacing, might be able to get those anywhere.
 

orko9696

New Member
Joined
Aug 5, 2018
hi i want to make my own custom gpu backplate. but i have a problem what materials should i use. acrylic, aluminium,plexi i read that these 3 are mostly used for gpu backplates and are they safe? also i heard that if you use metal or aluminum backplates you need spacing because of circuit. Now what are these spacings and how do i make them or where to buy them. and can i use magnets for attaching gpu backplates and are they safe because i saw that V1tech uses them. and is aluminum and metal safe for gpu beacuse i dont want to my gpu die .

Thanks for help . :)

Hi, we made one with PVC boards. Let me add few image and here is the link to my guide to custom gpu backplate.

Custom-GPU-backplate.png
Custom-GPU-Backplate-Final-look.png
Custom-GPU-Backplate-DIY.png
 
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