GeForce RTX 3060 8GB Modded To 12GB For A Huge Unigine Performance Boost
Some enterprising modders have successfully transformed an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 8GB into a model with 12GB of VRAM (review). Moreover, with the increased memory capacity, the memory bus width has been proportionately boosted. Thus, the modders have proven an upgrade with two beneficial effects, and in early benchmark testing the 'new' 12GB video card was an impressive 22% faster.
One of the newest of the numerous GeForce RTX 3060 variants is a model with 8GB of VRAM and a 128-bit bus. This is now intermingling with a 12GB 192-bit model, a 12GB LHR version, as well as Ti cards and laptop variants of this 'same' 3060 product. However, gamers' minds have recently become focused upon VRAM, as a number of factors converge. For example, we have seen several new VRAM demanding AAA games arrive, TechTubers have been drumming the VRAM beat, and AMD marketers have been highlighting the red team's 'VRAM advantage'.
Wouldn't it be great if you could slap on a couple of inexpensive VRAM ICs and boost an 8GB RTX 3060 card into a 12GB one? That is probably what Paulo Gomes and Harteck thought (YouTube video, Portuguese language). Being experts at modding, Gomes and friend had the equipment and skills to pull-off this kind of proof-of-concept - and it worked...
If you care to watch the linked video, you can see that the 8GB version of the RTX 3060 has four graphics memory ICs installed, with four pads vacant. Installed ICs provide 8GB of memory and a 128-bit bus, unmodified. However, the modders added two more identical memory ICs (copying the 12GB version IC layout) using a hot air soldering station, and that was nearly mission complete. As the PCB seems to be the same between 8GB and 12GB cards, the new memory ICs had the necessary traces to function.
A couple of other changes were necessary to get the mod fully up and running. Resistors on the PCB needed to be changed, and then the VBIOS from a 12GB version of this graphics card needed to be written to the card.
For measuring the results of their labor, the modders used the Unigine Superposition benchmark to do before and after testing - keeping all settings the same between hardware and firmware modifications. As you can see, the result was a 22% uplift in Superposition scores, which isn't to be dismissed. It would have been great to see more extensive testing, but there are already plenty of RTX 3060 8GB and 12GB reviews and comparisons around. This video simply shows that it is a possibility that it works the way it logically should.
Before we go, remember that the YouTube video is a recording of an experiment rather than a how-to instructional work. Professional tools and skills are required, and the modding as seen is probably outside the repertoire of most PC DIY enthusiasts.