The GeForce RTX 4070 was initially planned to launch with an MSRP of $749, which was later cut down to $599 to make it an exciting option to buy. But cutting the price at the last moment does have its problems.
The price cut to $599 might have created many manufacturing problems for Nvidia partners. This might have led Nvidia partners to launch cards under MSRP that is poorly designed but still functional.
That does not mean that poorly designed cards will not cause problems in the future.
Looking at the PCB on the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4070 Founders Edition already points to many manufacturing problems for cost-cutting. The PCB of the GeForce RTX 4070 Founders Edition offers a risky design that has 6 power phases with 6 voltage converters that are scattered on the PCB.
Being a 200W TDP card, these 6 power phases with 6 voltage converters on the GeForce RTX 4070 Founders Edition get hot and need active cooling. The only solution to this problem would be a higher-cost heatsink design. Nvidia developed a heatsink with 10 anchor points with screws near the 6 power phases with 6 voltage converters.
As a result, the temperatures on the VRM are within spec on the Founders Edition. The Hotspot temperature on the Founders Edition GeForce RTX 4070 is up to 83.68 ºC, while the PCB and VRM temperatures stay under 70 ºC and 75 ºC, respectively. The same cannot be said about Nvidia partners, who must also stick to the $599 price point.
Unlike Nvidia, custom board partners have to source both the chip and VRM from Nvidia. This leaves little profit margin, which varies between 2% and 5%. This has caused some manufacturers to develop custom GeForce RTX 4070 models that offer subpar cooling for the risky power delivery design.
With a simpler heatsink design and fewer anchor points on the MSRP custom models, the VRM is at the mercy of the weight of the heatsink without pressure, rather than the 10 anchor points used on the Funders Edition. This issue will somewhat be resolved by installing the card vertically though most users will install it horizontally.
In a horizontal position without the 10 anchor points, the card’s heatsink will pull down on the thermal pads and lift them off by a millimeter, resulting in poor contact. This has resulted in alarming temperatures on some of the MSRP custom models of the GeForce RTX 4070.
The hottest point on these custom variants has been recorded at 106 ºC, while the VRM temperature is also above the Founders Edition, around 90 ºC to 100 ºC. These kinds of temperatures for components are still within specs but are dangerously close. The max safe rated temperature for VRM is 120 ºC.
Higher temperatures like these will operate fine and will continue to do so over the years, but it is certainly not good for the longevity of the components. Manufacturers would also not change the heatsink design if the components running at high temps are still within specified safe temperatures.
For now, it might be better to avoid custom GeForce RTX 4070 models that offer the Nvidia suggested price of $599, aside from the Founders Edition.
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Sajjad Hussain is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Tech4Gamers.com. Apart from the Tech and Gaming scene, Sajjad is a Seasonal banker who has delivered multi-million dollar projects as an IT Project Manager and works as a freelancer to provide professional services to corporate giants and emerging startups in the IT space.
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