What purpose does a graphics card backplate serve?

What purpose does a graphics card backplate serve?Why I ask is on a few years ago you would see back plates on alot of high-end video cards now it seems like all high end video cards don't come with one, why is that?
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  1. I think it was mostly aesthetics. Only thing I can think of is that the high end cards are so damn heavy already, putting a backplate on just puts more stress on the components. I really don't know though.
  2. I guess that's what I was trying to get at. I had heard some argument that they put backplates on cards for extra support. The argument was that the back plate act's like a skeleton support system. These high-end cards cooling shrouds puts so much stress on the PCB that between the heat generated and the weight of the cooler it could warp the PCB. The backplate was suppose to add rigidty to the board to help warping. I'm asking because like you it I agree that it seems like it would add more weight and the metal backplate would only hold heat in by absorbing and holding the heat.
  3. maybe it doesn't hold the heat so much as spread it? but yeah it's an aesthetics thing and I usually only see people who put a WC block on the card add the back plate as well
  4. Yea that's what I was thinking.
  5. I believe the primary function is as a heat sink. A very good idea IMHO. The back sides of GPU cards get very hot. Also, there are probably some threaded holes for the screws attaching the fan to the front.
  6. My 5970's came stock with Back plates, and i believe it is due to the weight of the cooling unit, that it's designed to stop PCB warp.

    I fitted a back plate to my Water cooled 7970, this was done due to the fact if there was a slight leak and anything dripped it would end up on the back plate and not on the PCB.
  7. I was just looking to see if the GTX 680 came in stock at New Egg and was surprised to see they sell aftermarket back plates for this card. I want to get a 680 and water cool it. Wonder if it would be worth it to get one to help support the water block from the back.
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