AliExpress Sellers Painting Over Micron Memory on RTX 20-Series GPUs: Report

GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Founders Edition
(Image credit: Nvidia)

Nvidia's GeForce RTX 20-series (Turing) graphics cards may no longer be on the list of best graphics cards, but they're continuing to make headlines. Sellers are reportedly repainting memory modules on graphics cards again. This time, however, the goal isn't to make mining graphics cards look new but to hide that some Turing graphics cards are using older Micron GDDR6 memory modules that could be problematic.

Shortly after the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti launch, many early adopters reported that their new toys presented artifacts, and some even suffered premature death. The Turing flagship debuted with Micron GDDR6 memory modules; however, Nvidia later swapped them out for Samsung GDDR6 ones. The replacement units that affected GeForce RTX 2080 Ti owners received were using Samsung GDDR6 memory, leading affected users to believe that the initial Micron GDDR6 memory modules were faulty. While Nvidia did acknowledge that some early GeForce RTX 2080 Ti Founders Edition models were defective, the chipmaker never confirmed that the issue was caused by the GDDR6 chips.

"Limited test escapes from early boards caused the issues some customers have experienced with RTX 2080 Ti Founders Edition. We stand ready to help any customers who are experiencing problems. Please visit to chat live with the Nvidia tech support team (or to send us an email) and we'll take care of it," wrote an Nvidia representative in a forum post titled "RTX 2080 Ti Founders Edition: Contact Us."

Nonetheless, the problem wasn't exclusive to GeForce RTX 2080 Ti graphics cards with Micron memory. There were a few reports of the same issue occurring on samples with Samsung memory. Sadly, it's a closed case, and we never got confirmation on it.

Brazilian YouTuber Paulo Gomes had uncovered that GeForce RTX 20-series graphics cards being sold on AliExpress had repainted memory modules. The recent discovery once again sparked interest in the case of the Micron chips. The graphics card was seemingly using 9XB77 D9WCW chips. After scraping off the thermoadhesive, Gomes noticed that the memory modules are the 8RA77 D9WCW revision pertaining to the alleged batch that caused problems for the GeForce RTX 2080 Ti. Some samples were using the 8PA77 variant.

The fact that the seller is disguising the original memory modules is a good cause for suspicion. Who knows where the memory modules came from, or their condition? For all we know, it's a local workshop that's soldering these dubious memory modules onto Turing boards and selling them for a profit. It's possible that the graphics cards will work for some time (or at least long enough before AliExpress' buyer protection policy expires).

Unfortunately, AliExpress' reputation has been tarnished over the last couple of years because of shady merchants that sell bogus products, such 30TB portable SSDs or 16TB SSDs. It's a shame, because you can find some legit deals on processors or graphics cards on there if you can spot the real deal from the phony stuff.

Zhiye Liu
RAM Reviewer and News Editor

Zhiye Liu is a Freelance News Writer at Tom’s Hardware US. Although he loves everything that’s hardware, he has a soft spot for CPUs, GPUs, and RAM.

  • thisisaname
    Welcome to two weeks ago.
  • peachpuff
    People buy gpus from AliExpress? Lol
  • kjfatl
    Stolen high quality memory chips?
    Illegally imported or exported?
    Remanufactured chips that failed on high end boards?
  • thisisaname
    Just a continuation of miners painting chip on the cards to sell them as new.
  • Sluggotg
    Aliexpress... Several Years ago I attempted to buy from their site. I had never heard of it and it was the only place I could find that item. I had to create an account enter all the info and at the end when I tried to complete the purchase it would not let me saying they don't ship to the USA.
    That day the spam started. It took months to get them to stop. Every time you block and/or report their emails, they just spam you from a slightly different address.
    Lesson Learned. (I am sure there will be lots of people telling me it's a great site and there is nothing flakey about it. If they won't stop spamming you, they are not legit.)