RTX 3060Ti Aero alternative? Meet the DIY PALIT StormX 3060Ti ITX Edition

Runamok81

Runner of Moks
Jul 27, 2015
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Surgery in progress.




I did track down the MSI Afterburner 4.6.3 Beta 3 that supposedly unlocks voltage. But, I am noting here that the A4000 only had a 6 pin power plug. Interestingly, I see an unused 8-pin female header on the board. I might need it? I wonder ...

 
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SFFMunkee

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Jul 7, 2021
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Wow, does the PCIe power extension really only have 3 soldered wires? I mean, obviously it doesn't need more, but just wasn't expecting it!

Keen to see how the A4000 goes with this cooler, given it's a lower TDP (140W) than the 3060 (170W) or 3060Ti (200W) it should work pretty well!

::EDIT::
Looking at the GPU itself, it's the same functional units as the 3070Ti (!!) but much lower GPU clocks
Both of the GA104 variants have [ 6144 SUs / 192 TMUs / 96 ROPs / 48 SMs / 192 Tensor Cores / 48 RT Cores ]

By dropping the clocks and using GDDR6 instead of the GDDR6X of the 3070Ti, it can reach the power target of less than half (140 vs 290 watts)

RTX 3070 Ti -- GA104-401-A1 ( 1575 - 1770 MHz ) 16GB GDDR6X @ 18Gbps -> 290 Watts TBP
RTX 4000 -- GA104-875-A1 ( 735 - 1560 MHz ) 16GB GDDR6 @ 14Gbps -> 140 Watts TBP

Hopefully you can get Afterburner / drivers that'll let you open it up a bit, given the above you should be able to get a significant boost in performance.
The 6-pin only officially gives you another 75W (+PCIe slot, so 150W total), but if you can solder up the 8-pin and/or shunt-mod the card it might give you a bunch more to play with (with added risk of course).

::EDIT2:: @Runamok81 -- did you use the "M-VICTORY" thermal pads that came with the cooler, or did you source your own?
I reckon the VRAM would benefit from some better performing pads, but not sure what height they are (I'm sure it's probably earlier in the thread)
 
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Runamok81

Runner of Moks
Jul 27, 2015
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@SFFMunkee - Yes - as we see in the image - only three power wires soldered to board. On the opposite end, I will check which pins of the 6-pin have those three wires connected. With regard to thermal pads, yes, just used the pre-applied victory pads. I had some better ones on hand and WILL switch them out later. I re-pasted with Noctua NT-H1 For now, I just wanted to start with naive test first. To see if anyone wants to follow this path. Official 3DMark results here. TimeSpy score = 11213 with operating temp of 52 C (open bench). Score is the same as the average 3060 Ti, but cooler, smaller, and less power.

And it's also the first and last time I'll ever see myself on the leaderboard in 3DMark because only two people out there with a 5800X3D and A4000 reporting in!

This weekend, I plan to tinkering some more and maybe modding some. I'll spend more time with Afterburner. I'm not sure if I should expect power limit or voltage to unlock? It looks like Core clock and memory clock are editable? Am I all set? Might try to keep unlocking that power limit. Maybe downgrading my nVidia drivers to 466.11 ... the same one used by Igor in his unlocking article? If Afterburner doesn't unlock for me, then some alternative things that come to mind are

1. Wiring up that 8-pin header on the board connecting that.
2. Flashing a 3070 Ti BIOS.

Looking at a shunt mod seems a bit above my comfort zone. But, I'll happily mail this card out if someone want to tinker with it. Happy to try things for things for science and this community, even if it means sacrificing the card. For the community!
 
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SFFMunkee

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Looking at a shunt mod seems a bit above my comfort zone. But, I'll happily mail this card out if someone want to tinker with it. Happy to try things for things for science and this community, even if it means sacrificing the card. For the community!
I'd be willing to give this a go a bit later, lets see how you go without, first. May not even be needed!
 

mikefize

Caliper Novice
Feb 11, 2022
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Damn you @Runamok81 ! Before your posts I was happy with choosing the 3060Ti over the A4000. Now I want one too 🤣

I wouldn't tinker with the VBios. Nvidia has historically been really restrictive with such mods on their workstation cards and I suspect it got even more complicated in the wake of the mining boom. The risk to permanently brick the card (especially as it doesn't have Dual Bios) is really high.

I'd start with Afterburner. Push your clockspeeds and see how much you can get out of it with the given voltage limits. After that I'd try to get the voltage control unlocked. If it works with the Afterburner Beta, you should be able to get a significant boost by adjusting your voltage curve until you hit the power limit.

If you still want to go further after that, your safest bet might be a shunt mod. However, you should be aware that you will run your PCIe Connector out of spec. It should be fine (depending on your PSU), but it can cause issues. I wouldn't get my hopes up concerning the second power connector on the board. I doubt they're properly connected to the VRMs on the board.
 
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Runamok81

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Jul 27, 2015
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@mikefize - What a great idea to use an A4000! Thank you. Who else knew an undervolted 3070Ti was on the market with an ITX pcb. Amazing. Curse me all you want, this idea is great for the SFF community.

@SFFMunkee - As I think through it - shunting or flashing vbios is probably a bit much. Let's see how far we can take the card on air.

Completed a moderate OC and comparison of the A4000 and 3060Ti Zotac Twin Edge. That 3dMark comparison data is here. YMMV, but for me ... when both cards are moderately OC'd the A4000 is 3% faster. So unless that power-limit is unlocked, it doesn't look like the A4000 can ever reach 3070Ti levels of performance. But, that's okay. It'd be pretty toasty at that speed. What's interesting here is that the DIY A4000 beats the 3060Ti while drawing ⚡ 60W less (kill-a-watt total system draw 220W vs 280W) and staying ❄️14C cooler (54C vs 68C). *All testing on an open bench.

The DIY A4000 aero is a great little card for ITX! It's just too expensive right now! Let's hope miners move away from it and flood ebay, so the price comes down and the DIY SFF builders can have some fun!

The next thing to benchmark and mod is noise. Took some readings ... the PNY aftermarket heatsink fan idles at 1400 rpms and 42db of noise. It's the loudest part of the system. When running maxed, the gpu fan hits 2900 rpms, and is making an obnoxious 50db of noise! But it is also moving a ton of air!

Up next, going to try and lower noise with a noctua mod.




Will report back with temps and noise.
 
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SFFMunkee

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Up to you, from what I've seen this usually is the same item but might have some scratches/bumps etc.

@mikefize - What a great idea to use an A4000! Thank you. Who else knew an undervolted 3070Ti was on the market with an ITX pcb. Amazing. Curse me all you want, this idea is great for the SFF community.

@SFFMunkee - As I think through it - shunting or flashing vbios is probably a bit much. Let's see how far we can take the card on air.
Agreed, probably better to avoid it and get as far as possible without. Just letting you know I'm open to assisting if you decide to go that way :)

the DIY A4000 beats the 3060Ti while drawing ⚡ 60W less (kill-a-watt total system draw 220W vs 280W) and staying ❄️14C cooler (54C vs 68C). *All testing on an open bench.

The DIY A4000 aero is a great little card for ITX! It's just too expensive right now! Let's hope miners move away from it and flood ebay, so the price comes down and the DIY SFF builders can have some fun!
This is my sentiment, exactly. Hoping for more A4000 units to start hitting the used markets. Expensive for a small card, and if you're spending workstation money might be better looking for more powerful short-PCB GeForce cards (though as we've seen, that could mean more watts/worse thermals)!
 
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Runamok81

Runner of Moks
Jul 27, 2015
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@SFFMunkee - Appreciate the offer! With regard to gpus, my concern is that - if the nvidia ada rumors are true - and the next generation of nvidia gpus might not produce an sff-friendly card due to their crazy power requirements. If the amd RX 7000 rumors are true, then team red might have the better option. So for team green the A4000 might be as good as it gets for sff fans for a loooong time.

As promised, reporting on noctua mod temps.

Fan speed maximum rpm dropped from 2900 to 2400.
At max fan, decibels dropped from 50db down to 39db. It's quiet now.
Temps increased. A single run went up by 2C. On a stress test run, temps plateaued at 69C. Still better than stock Zotac 3060 Ti.

Looking good! Now, all this testing was on an open bench. Next, we'll see what happens when we cram it all into @Densium.net's 4L Densium case with a toasty 5800X3D. Will it cool?
Will start a new thread for that build! Thanks everyone!

 
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Moncavo

Caliper Novice
Mar 11, 2020
28
5
My friend found one in this shop:
I asked a question if it comes with the heatsink.
Update: Doesn't come with heatsink😞
 
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SFFMunkee

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They'll come back into stock, been coming & going a fair bit. Not much better on TB either
 

Moncavo

Caliper Novice
Mar 11, 2020
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I asked the shop about the single fan restock and they say ''Has been discontinued, will not be produced, sorry, contact you to buy a double fan''
 

msystems

Master of Cramming
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Apr 28, 2017
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Not sure how long it will stay in stock but I find an ideal PNY donor card in stock right now. 549


Funny don't find the cooler on Ali though 🤣🤣🤣