Tuesday, April 2nd 2019

Glued Die on ASUS ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Affects Some Aftermarket Cooling Solutions

Update April 4th: This post has been corrected based on new information provided by ASUS, EKWB, as well as other parties. The original story mentioned a silent change to the glue used on the PCB which, as we now believe, is no longer the case in that ASUS is not to blame.

Update April 5th: ASUS has confirmed to us that there has been no PCB change (in terms of components and their heights), it's only a problem of tolerances due to the glue being liquid during production.

ASUS has glued the GPU die to the PCB for many generations, which helps ensure contact and avoids microfractures in the solder balls from physical force or thermal expansion. The nature of this glue, typically an epoxy resin, means that aftermarket cooling solutions, such as full cover or die-only water blocks, have to accommodate for this around the holes around the die. Previous graphics cards had no issue here, because the mounting holes were far away from the GPU die. With RTX 2080 Ti and its super large GPU chip this has changed, and there's only a few millimeters of space left. If a waterblock uses wider standoffs than the design merits, or if the glue spreads out farther than intended, it can result in poor/inconsistent contact between waterblock and the GPU, which in turn can lead to worse thermal performance than ideal.

This time, EK Waterblocks alerted us that the ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2080 Ti had poor contact and fitting issues with their GPU water block for the same, as seen in images below provided by their customer T. Hilal, which interferes with the four standoffs surrounding the package. EK recommends removing these standoffs to ensure a good fit and thermal paste spread, and this does not affect water block performance much in their internal testing. In previous such occasions, EK and others have had to come up with a second version of the block for added compatibility, however it remains to be seen if the ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2080 Ti will merit a similar treatment this time round. As an external reference, Phanteks has separately confirmed to us that their water block remains compatible.
Source: EK Waterblocks
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12 Comments on Glued Die on ASUS ROG Strix GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Affects Some Aftermarket Cooling Solutions

#1
er557
That is acceptable from the manufacturer stand point, 3rd party cooler manufacturers will need to adapt or just allow for the change in a later revision of the coolers. As long as everything is documented somewhere in the spec sheet or revision info.
Posted on Reply
#2
notb
ASUS is selling a graphics card. They're entitled to any changes they see fit, as long as the card matches the official specification (dimensions, clocks, RAM, interfaces, features etc).

There are 2 reasons why ASUS may change a product already being sold: to somehow improve it (likely: fix a flaw) or to lower cost.
Since they added glue, it's likely the former. Glue costs.
So the news should in fact be: "ASUS silently upgrades RTX 2080Ti Strix. Hurray!".
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#3
Robcostyle
Just buy reference PCB cards and save some money and nerves - since there's 0 difference for current voltage/temperature/clock/power locked nvidia cards.
As an example, auqcomputer doesn't even bother making 3rd party waterblocks.

If 3rd party cards would give quality improvements aswell: I've bought Strix 1080 Ti and waterblock for it - and regret it 100 of times because of this awfull coil chatter. It's not coil whine, neverless it ruins the whole idea of ultra-silent custom loop.
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#4
DeathtoGnomes
notb, post: 4023757, member: 165619"
ASUS is selling a graphics card. They're entitled to any changes they see fit, as long as the card matches the official specification (dimensions, clocks, RAM, interfaces, features etc).

There are 2 reasons why ASUS may change a product already being sold: to somehow improve it (likely: fix a flaw) or to lower cost.
Since they added glue, it's likely the former. Glue costs.
So the news should in fact be: "ASUS silently upgrades RTX 2080Ti Strix. Hurray!".
I'd be more inclined to think the glue change as a cover-up for something else.
Posted on Reply
#5
biffzinker
DeathtoGnomes, post: 4023841, member: 151150"
I'd be more inclined to think the glue change as a cover-up for something else.
Space Invaders sudden death?

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#6
DeathtoGnomes
biffzinker, post: 4023852, member: 163731"
Space Invaders sudden death?


they make antivirus for that.
Posted on Reply
#7
Bones
You mean Space Invaders comes bundled with it for free?
I want one!!!
Posted on Reply
#8
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
Can this even be considered a "PCB" change? It doesn't seem like they changed the PCB at all to me. They changed the mounting method for the GPU by adding some supporting glue, but the didn't change the PCB in any way.
Posted on Reply
#9
Caring1
Or use a box cutter and trim the glue back.
Posted on Reply
#10
robal
It's quite (positively) striking to me, that EK made those standoffs removable in the first place.
As if they anticipated this. What a neat idea that made this unforseen change a non-issue.
Posted on Reply
#11
VSG
Editor, Reviews & News
The story has been updated based on new information made available by multiple parties, which drastically changes the nature of the information.
Posted on Reply
#12
OneMoar
There is Always Moar
This glue, typically an epoxy resin, helps clamp down high pin-count dies easily to PCBs that have been previously designed, with soldered dies used on engineering samples only. The nature of the glue means that aftermarket cooling solutions, such as full cover or die-only water blocks, have to accommodate for this around the holes around the die. If such a block uses wider standoffs than the design merits, it can result in poor/inconsistent contact with the die, which in turn can result in worse thermal performance than

that's not the die that's the package

No. the die is not 'glued down' its still soldered the Glue is called chip-loc the purpose of the glue is to hold the package from moving both during assembly and in use


chip-loc has been in use since the early 2000's and it is a royal pain to remove pretty much the only thing to take it off without destroying the pcb is sanding or heat (you need to get to like 150 to 180c before it even gets soft)

and this is ASUS's fault they should have done a better job with alining the application machine
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