Defective RTX 3070 gaming GPU gets 12GB memory upgrade — mod boosts performance by 66% in RE4

RTX 3070 modded to use 12GB GDDR6 under testing
(Image credit: Paulo Gomes via Youtube)

Professional repair technician Paulo Gomes and his team modded an EVGA GeForce RTX 3070, increasing its memory capacity from 8GB to a one-of-a-kind 12GB GDDR6 VRAM configuration. Upgrading VRAMs on GPUs may seem as easy as simply swapping the memory modules, but much work is involved. Depending on the GPU, it will need the proper hardware and VBIOS modding, which would sometimes be a trial-and-error process. 

This is where the skills of such skilled and knowledgeable technicians come in to give a new life to this GPU, as they will know what to look for and what needs to be changed. 

The YouTuber originally modded this RTX 3070 with 16GB, but many of his viewers said that's too much VRAM, claiming it would be underutilized. It should also be noted that the RTX 3070 has a limited 192-bit memory bus. Hence, he found a middle ground by modding it into an RTX 3070 12GB. He also believes this is ideal for these graphic cards as this memory configuration is as close as possible to an RTX 4070 with 12GB GDDR6X VRAM. 

Paulo also made it clear that he's modding an EVGA RTX 3070, which initially had 8GB with a defective memory channel that had to be disabled for the GPU to work properly. As a result, two VRAMs were disabled in the firmware, making it a 6GB GDDR6 card. They proceeded with the mod by using six Samsung 2GB GDDR6 chips but first benchmarked it with its earlier VRAM configuration to show its performance.

The team ran the Resident Evil 4 benchmark on this RTX 3070 high image quality setting and a 546.17 WHQL driver to demonstrate its performance. This graphics setting demands more RAM, showing it needs at least 13.81 GB. During this testing, it used the required memory from the system's RAM. Ultimately, the RTX 3070 with a 6GB GDDR6 VRAM yielded 40 to 50 FPS.

Desoldering 8GB Samsung GDDR6 modules on RTX 3070

(Image credit: Paulo Gomes via Youtube)

Since this GPU's firmware was modded earlier not to use VRAMs on the defective channel, the process shown in the video involved desoldering all eight Samsung 1Gb VRAMs and replacing them with six Samsung 2GB modules from another GPU. After the swap was completed, the card was tested to ensure there was a defect in the VRAMs during the memory strap test. Even after getting a pass, it needed further modding by changing the location of a couple of resistors on the PCB. 

Once all the necessary work was done, the modders booted the GPU, showing 12GB of memory. The Resident Evil benchmark showed encouraging results as it shows the GPU could provide 70 to 80 FPS.

Despite encouraging results, the modder says this GPU is a paradox as it loses and wins depending on what this modded RTX 3070 will be used for. However, the lesson here is that if a qualified person has compatible VRAM and the right tools, GPUs with a defect can be rescued and modded to have more VRAM. Many such repair professionals have employed similar techniques to expand the memory on devices like the ROG Ally.

VRAM Upgrade: Worth the Investment?

While giving a new lease of life on such hardware is nice, one would ask if it is even worth swapping memory modules to get that increased performance on a perfectly working GPU. One can easily recognize that such mods require a lot of work, knowledge, tools, and sourcing compatible VRAM, making it not a worthwhile investment for an average enthusiast. 

In some unique cases, it becomes a necessity, like the situation created by the sanctions imposed on China, resulting in modified GPUs. As one would say- Necessity is the mother of invention. 

Freelance News Writer
  • edzieba
    66%... vs. a GPU with one memory die disabled to leave it with 6GB accessible, rather than against a stock 3070 with the full bus width and 8GB available.
    Reply
  • Metal Messiah.
    It should also be noted that the RTX 3070 has a limited 192-bit memory bus. Hence, he found a middle ground by modding it into an RTX 3070 12GB.

    No. The original RTX 3070 sports a 256-bit memory bus width. After modding, it reduced to 192-bit.

    https://www.techpowerup.com/gpu-specs/geforce-rtx-3070.c3674
    https://www.nvidia.com/en-us/geforce/graphics-cards/30-series/rtx-3070-3070ti/
    Reply
  • Metal Messiah.
    The team ran the Resident Evil 4 benchmark on this RTX 3070 high image quality setting and a 546.17 WHQL driver to demonstrate its performance. This graphics setting demands more RAM, showing it needs at least 13.81 GB. During this testing, it used the required memory from the system's RAM. Ultimately, the RTX 3070 with a 6GB GDDR6 VRAM yielded 40 to 50 FPS.

    Excuse me, what ? That setting is VRAM, and not system RAM. The game is requiring 14GB graphics memory/VRAM as a minimum as shown in the game's settings, 13.81GB to be precise.

    Earlier with 6GB VRAM frame buffer the game had to resort to the system memory, since 6GB was insufficient. But after modding, there was 11GB of VRAM available on the card for this game to utilize, since RE4 is a very VRAM-hungry game.

    RE4 title requires more VRAM, not system RAM. Please make the necessary correction.
    Reply
  • TechyIT223
    So you get more vram but with less bus width and bandwidth after modding, lol 😂 still crippled
    Reply
  • thekingofALLmonkz
    Metal Messiah. said:
    Excuse me, what ? That setting is VRAM, and not system RAM. The game is requiring 14GB graphics memory/VRAM as a minimum as shown in the game's settings, 13.81GB to be precise.

    Earlier with 6GB VRAM frame buffer the game had to resort to the system memory, since 6GB was insufficient. But after modding, there was 11GB of VRAM available on the card for this game to utilize, since RE4 is a very VRAM-hungry game.

    RE4 title requires more VRAM, not system RAM. Please make the necessary correction.
    The 192 bit mistake should be corrected but there's nothing wrong with referring to VRAM as RAM...
    Reply
  • DSzymborski
    thekingofALLmonkz said:
    The 192 bit mistake should be corrected but there's nothing wrong with referring to VRAM as RAM...

    Sure there is. Precise descriptions are better than ambiguous ones.
    Reply