Using Liquid Metal Thermal Paste on an RTX 3090: Death and Resurrection of a GPU

Using Liquid Metal Thermal Paste on an RTX 3090: Death and Resurrection of a GPU

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Usan pasta térmica de metal líquido en una RTX 3090, la matan y logran resucitarla

Despite the excellent results that thermal paste offers, professional overclockers and enthusiasts often use liquid metal. Though it once belonged to a small niche, its use in consoles like the PS5 has led more people to adopt it. Using liquid metal carries significant risk if not applied correctly, as evidenced by an RTX 3090 that died due to its use. Fortunately, a repair expert managed to bring the graphics card back to life.

Thermal paste has always been used as a TIM (Thermal Interface Material), allowing adequate thermal exchange between the processor’s IHS and the heat sink. Without thermal paste, temperatures would rise instantly, and the computer would shut down due to overheating. Nobody wants to see their processor or GPU reach over 100 degrees in a matter of seconds unless their goal is to make memes and cook with the excess heat.

A damaged RTX 3090 is repaired after suffering a liquid metal spill

Using liquid metal instead of thermal paste provides better temperatures, but the difference of a few degrees may not always be worth the risk. It’s essential to consider that if the liquid metal spills onto the GPU’s PCB, damaging components, the results can be disastrous. The use of liquid metal in consoles like the PS5 has attracted attention and curiosity from many enthusiasts.

Northwestrepair demonstrated the dangers of liquid metal application when they showed how a user failed to correctly apply it to their RTX 3090, causing it to stop working. This YouTuber has gained a reputation for repairing various hardware types, proving that damage from liquid metal is not always irreversible.

Two memory chips were affected; after a lengthy cleaning process, the GPU was functional again

The affected GPU, an RTX 3090 Founders Edition, ceased functioning but was not considered entirely dead. A voltmeter was used to measure voltage and resistances, showing positive results. However, the card failed to display an image on the screen or be recognized when connected. This is where the repair process began, first testing the memory, which revealed the culprit: the memory failed to pass the test.

Two chips in the upper-left zone were identified as the faulty components due to the liquid metal spill. Before attempting any repairs, it was crucial to clean and remove a layer that covered the GPU, which resulted from the liquid metal spill. Heating the graphics chip area to 200 degrees allowed the technician to separate the core and affected memory modules. Next, the remaining chips and components affected by the spill were cleaned. As demonstrated, the cleaning process is extensive and requires tools and materials not usually available to consumers, meaning anyone who encounters this issue should seek professional help.

The article “Liquid Metal Thermal Paste Kills an RTX 3090 but is Ultimately Revived” first appeared on El Chapuzas Informático.

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