Reddit users @kamaloo92 and @obamaprism3 have recently posted about their Ampere-based graphics cards overheating. After cracking open both the RTX 3080 and RTX 3080 Ti (some of the best GPUs on the market), it was clear that misplaced thermal pads, and even thermal pads completely missing from parts of the GPU, were the primary problem. These users were lucky to find the problem early, before their GPUs died from overheating.
It’s unclear how widespread this problem is, but similar quality control issues have popped up on AMD’s RX 6000 series (RDNA2) cards as well. So if you want to ensure your expensive card won’t die from a silly, simple mistake during manufacturing, here’s how to make sure your graphics card won’t die from improperly installed thermal pads.