Aug 29, 2021
I own a Gigabyte Gaming OC RX 5700XT, and over the past year the junction temperature (which I believe is the die) has been steadily increasing with okay edge temps.

About a week ago it got to the point where the card was thermal throttling with the fans at 100%, even when running at 1900 MHz and 1160 mV. There is some sort of issue with how the die is interacting with the cooler, not sure what.

On the first day of my attempts to fix this thing I opened it up and sure enough the thermal paste was flaky and sparse. I cleaned it off with some isopropyl alcohol and replaced it with Arctic MX-5, along with the thermal pads since they were torn. I am reasonably confident the thermal pads are the right thickness since I asked Gigabyte support for the thickness and they matched up when I compared the new and old ones.

For some reason, this made my temperatures worse. Now it immediately shot up to max temperature under load and makes games even more noticeably unplayable. Apex Legends is full of stuttering from the card downclocking from heat.

As far as I know no one else has had this problem that I could find on the internet with ONE exception being this guy on reddit, who seems to have the exact same problem with the exact same card: View:

I posted my own reddit thread and one nice person helped me but I still haven't solved the issue. There are some pictures there as well: View:

Since then I have been trying all sorts of solutions for the problem and the results have ranged from being terrible to not being able to POST my computer.

  • Using a washer mod (most of the following I tried with/without):
  • Running the card without the backplate (spacer pads are on it so they might effect pressure)
  • Running the card with the backplate with an additional spacer bad behind the die (this made the backplate very hot)
  • Upping the thermal pad thickness (I essentially added 0.5mm thicker pads)
  • Running the card with the backplate for rigidity, but with all the spacer pads removed
  • DDUing the drivers and reinstalling them
  • Pressing the layers together with hand while under load (bit hard to do with the fan design)
  • Checking the cold plate and heatsink for flex (none that I could notice)
  • Very little thermal paste, and excessive thermal paste
  • Putting a piece of paper in between the die and cooler, then tightening it down to check the tightness (without washers it easily came out, with it was firmly in space)
  • Barely tightening the screws past when they bit. Tightening the screws as nonexcessively as I could.
  • Trying different PCI slots when it wouldn't POST
  • Comparing temps of the backplate and air from the fans. Under load the air from the fans is cool and the backplate is very warm.
  • Watching temps: When the computer starts up it is actually quite good and around 50 degrees celsius but after being put under load it stays at around 60 and the fans have to constantly run at about 40 percent to keep it there.
I have no idea why the cooler does not want to cool the die. With or without washers after I take the cooler back off, the thermal paste seems fine and evenly spread. I am at a total loss. Someone please help me so I don't have to spend 5 million dollars on a new GPU!