Youtuber mods GeForce RTX 3070 to use 16GB GDDR6 VRAM

A Russian-based Youtuber VIK-On modded his Palit GeForce RTX 3070 GamingPro OC, showcased the whole process of upgrading its upgrade 8GB to 16GB. This was done on two-part videos and I  recommend watching these.

Even if you’re a hardware enthusiast who may not know the finer details, you can’t help but appreciate the fact that an end-user figured it out and experience the whole trial and process error. Even though I am sure the videos don’t necessarily show the entire process and time used for this process, but the two-part videos show the process while VIK-on patiently explains the process.

The hardware mod

VIK-On managed to pull this off by replacing its 1GB Samsung K4Z803256C-HC14 module with 2GB based K4ZAF3258M-HC14 chips. But it wasn’t as easy as hard swapping the memory modules from 1 to 2GB per chip via soldering. The first part covers the hardware mod while the second fine-tuning required to make the card stable using a graphics card utility.

After swapping 8 of these memory chips, this involved a very tricky process since Nvidia BIOS modification isn’t easy. In layman’s terms, he needed to trick the GPU to accept the 16GB VRAM as a buffer. After a lengthy process, this wasn’t a stable 16GB RTX 3070. The modded card had had its output switched off randomly while running the 3DMark benchmark. Display issues aside, he was able to run the benchmark with Furmark.

Eventually, he managed to fix the instability issue.

Power Delivery Stabilization

He perfected the card into a stable version by using EVGA Precision X1. This graphics utility has clock speed locking technology which addresses the GPU’s instability. Interestingly enough, this implies the modded GeForce RTX 3070 16GB was not getting enough power.

The Palit RTX 3070 GamingPro OC’s clock speed is 1500/ 1770MHz and takes power via 2x 8 pin PCIe. The GPU takes in 220watts power, so it comes with a recommendation of 650 watts. It might not necessarily mean it needs more source of power, rather how the card takes in and redistributes the power through its subcomponents for powering up 16GB. In the end, it completes 3DMark Time Spy and Unigine Superposition 8K Optimized test with flying colours!

Why the mod?

While the lack of stocks overshadowed many technical points on the RTX 30 series GPUs, one of them was the choice for providing 8GB on the RTX 3070. In a time when we need more VRAM chips to keep up with game requirements and larger resolutions comfortably. 1440p is usually the sweet spot resolution for the graphics card now. AMD has its VRAM game much higher on the RX 6800 and RX 6900 series graphics cards.

We know Nvidia will release a GeForce RTX 3080 Ti. But there’s also the GeForce RTX 3070 Ti since it was listed in an AIDA64 update. The community is hopeful that this would have a much needed increased GDDR6 VRAM and chips fabricated from TSMC’s 7nm process. This way, users will get a future-ready graphics card. That said, this all depends on the stocks and pricing. We’ll just have to see when NVIDIA will release these GPUs. Regardless, you need to know what you’re doing and take risks while doing this mod. At the time of writing, I cannot find any RTX 3070 listed for sale.

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