Modded RTX 3070 gets new lease of life with 16GB VRAM for memory-intensive games

Remember when cards had socketed memory?

Modded RTX 3070 with 16GB

A Brazilian repair shop has swapped the memory of an RTX 3070 8GB doubling its capacity and allowing the card to run games smoother in memory-heavy scenarios.

With recent games asking for more than 8GB of VRAM to run at 4k or even 1440p, 8GB graphics cards often struggle to deliver a playable experience, suffering from stuttering and occasional crashing whenever that amount is exceeded. The situation becomes more infuriating when you own a powerful card such as the RTX 3070, which is able to drive many of these games at comfortable frame rates, until more VRAM is needed.

To fix this, a Brazilian modder unsoldered the card’s 1GB chips, replacing them with 2GB chips totalling 16GB. He also had to make some modifications to the board and in Nvidia’s control panel to get stable operation without artefacts.

After applying the mod and retesting Resident Evil 4, memory consumption moved from about 7.8GB (originally) to 11.3GB, indicating the game was clearly starving for VRAM, and that was just during a short test run, with longer sessions potentially consuming more memory. This becomes especially visible on poorly optimised games that have memory leaks wasting precious VRAM for nothing.

With that said, while we know for sure that many new games require more than 8GB to run comfortably, modifying a card like this could have some unexpected aftereffects and is not for the faint-hearted. Nevertheless, when these kinds of modifications work, they push up the competitiveness of many cards – especially from Nvidia’s mid-range – to the high-resolution ring.

Obviously, a single test run is far from ideal to prove any performance uplifts, but knowing how games react when memory-starved, VRAM is becoming key to the overall conversation. It is no coincidence AMD officially recommends graphics cards with at least 16GB of memory.

While adding more memory did change the average frame rate a bit, it’s the 1 per cent lows that are most impressive, jumping from a comical 7FPS to a very comfortable 40FPS, proving that the game at its maximum settings was facing a VRAM bottleneck.

This isn’t the first time someone has attempted to double the amount of VRAM on a graphics card. Older cards such as the RX 470 came in a choice of 4GB and 8GB variants, making the modification less problematic when it came to potential hardware or driver compatibility.

This shows once again that if products leave potential performance on the table, the modding community is ready to go the extra yard in order to extract maximum value. Keep up the good work.