What is a GPU Backplate and do you need it?

You get yourself a shiny new graphics card, plug it in and totally lose yourself in the world of video games. That’s the basics covered. Admittedly, the card might look a bit stale out of the box. If it doesn’t have a backplate it probably looks like nearly every other card out there at first glance. Also, if it’s a larger card, you might notice that it could be sagging a bit. What’s the point of spending so much money on a new GPU and it doesn’t even look decent?

That’s where GPU Backplates come in. A backplate sits on top of your graphics card PCB and you’ll typically find one with higher-end GPUS.  However, they actually serve more purpose than just simply looking good. Let’s quickly go over these benefits and find out if you need one.

Image: savantpcs.com

It helps with Sturdiness

A backplate isn’t exactly what comes to mind when you think of “sturdiness”. But in some cases, GPU backplates can actually be pretty useful. How so? Well, depending on the model and manufacturer, some graphics cards can obviously be quite bigger than others. All of these triple slot and triple fan cards are quite heavy and solid. The issue is that all that weight makes the card sag a bit inside the case. This obviously doesn’t look good. A backplate adds a bit more support on top of the PCB and reduces this sag.

GPU Backplates Protect The PCB

One clear benefit backplates provide is that they protect the PCB. Now, this doesn’t mean if you spill water on the card it’s gonna live to see another day. What we mean here is that it actually helps to keep dust and gunk off from the PCB, which obviously houses the most important parts of the card. Also, when handling a card with a backplate installed, you’re less prone to damage the PCB.

Aesthetics

Image: Computer Orbit

We think this one goes without saying. Sure the above two aspects can be helpful but they are really more of an added bonus aren’t they? The main reason everyone gets a GPU backplate is that it looks much better than staring at a boring old PCB all the time. You can get a custom backplate for yourself as well tailored to your liking. Adding a backplate is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to add some flair to your rig. Also, all high-end graphics cards ship with Pre-installed backplate these days like these RTX 2070s, and these backplates are definitely worth it.

Bill Wilson


Bill is a certified Microsoft Professional providing assistance to over 500 remotely connected employees and managing Windows 2008 to 2016 servers.