GeForce Garage: Scratch Build Episode 5 – How to Mod Your Graphics Cards

July 31, 2019 posted by

[Dwight]: Welcome back, my name
is Dwight, and this is GeForce Garage. In our first four episodes
of our Scratch Build series, we designed the chassis and SketchUp,
then we picked up some basic metal fabrication techniques,
next we learned how to paint a complex design
using hydro dipping, and then we shined up
some of our components using brushed, polished,
and hammered finishes. Now we’re gonna be modding the centerpiece
of our Scratch Build, the GTX 1080 Ti. Today, we got Master Modder Ron Lee
Christianson of Blue Horse Studios to help us level up our video cards. Hey, Ron, how are you doing?
[Ron]: Great. It’s good to be back. [Dwight]: Yeah, glad to have you back.
[Ron]: Thank you. [Dwight]: Okay, so you’ve painted
a lot of video cards in the day. And we have four of them here.
Can you tell us a little bit about them? [Ron]: Yeah, this is one that we did,
kind of, in a blue rustic tone and this one here with the same effect
but a rust and kind of gray and white. And then these
two down here are Star Wars ones. We did this one for the BB-8 build,
did some fading and gradient battle damage to match BB-8’s armor. And the last one down
here is the Shoretrooper Build that we did for the release
of the recent Star Wars movie. And to kick it up a bit, you can also
go ahead and paint the backplate. And this pattern matches
the Shoretrooper’s armor. [Dwight]: Yeah, and all the new
ones come with backplate, so it just gives you another canvas
to kind of work on. [Ron]: Yes, it’s just a great way to
personalize and customize your PC. And, you know,
painting one of them is probably the simplest and easiest way to do that. [Dwight]: All right, well,
we have our GTX 1080 Ti here, and you’re gonna show us how to mod
our own for our Scratch Build today. [Ron]: Yeah, it’s gonna be
a fun, easy process. To do a simple paint job like this
it involves a couple of hours every day, so we’ll go through all that with you,
guys, today and how to do that. [Dwight]: All right, cool, well, let’s
crack this open, get to painting. [Ron]: All right, let’s do it. [Dwight]: All right, Ron, so I’ve taken
apart a lot of GPUs in my time. You know, done a lot of water cooling
and stuff like that. So I know how to
take them apart and stuff, but I know that you can’t just
take the video card, put it down and spray paint away.
So what’s your first step? [Ron]: First step is you wanna test
the card to make sure it works before you take it apart,
check with your warranty, see if it’s covered
if you do take the card apart because you could void the warranty. So there’s three steps
to taking the card apart. You wanna take the backplate,
the PCB off, the shroud, and then you have some interior pieces
like the fan and stuff and the LED. So all those pieces need
to come apart, be separated, all the screws organized,
so when you put it back together you just follow the reverse order. [Dwight]: Okay, and I noticed
you have three containers over here. Is that for the three steps
that we’re gonna be doing? [Ron]: Those are for the screws that
we’re gonna take the card apart. We’re gonna place the screws in an order so we don’t misplace the screws
and where they go. So the first container is gonna
be for the back plate and PCB, the second is gonna be
for the interior of the card. The shroud, the backplate. Number three is gonna be for the fan
and the LEDs and stuff like that. [Dwight]: So I know you need more than
just a screwdriver, so what other tools did you bring? [Ron]: Well we do have a Phillips
screwdriver, we have a four millimeter socket head screwdriver,
and two hex key t-wrenches, 330 seconds and a 564. [Dwight]: All right, cool, well, let’s get
to taking apart a video card. [Ron]: Let’s do it. The first thing we need to do is remove
all of these little tiny screws here and the four screws on top. So we’re gonna use our first container
as we have labeled number one. You wanna keep your screws
in the correct order so when you go put it back together
you know exactly where they go. I think there’s probably about 50 screws
in total on this entire card. So moving onto
the interior part of the card, I’m using my four millimeter
hex wrench here. [Dwight]: so we moved on from one to two
since we’re on the interior now. [Ron]: So these are pretty tight on here. [Dwight]: Yeah, it’s good
to not just lift it… But rather wiggle it. Yeah.
[Ron]: Exactly. So now that we’ve removed the PCB, there’s two power connections
on the card here. There’s one for the LED
that illuminates the GeForce logo on the front the card
and the other for the fan. So you want to remove
these very delicately because you don’t want
to destroy the connection so that one is there for the fan
and this is for the LED. And now you have your PCB removed.
Put this back in the anti-static bag. And we’ll move
to our little third container here, so this will be the interior
of the card and shroud. So there’s a couple of screws in here that are underneath the thermal pad
that we need to remove. So we’re just gonna remove
the thermal pad, set it aside, set it maybe on your anti-static bag. [Dwight]: And you want to be careful with
that because those can rip fairly easy. [Ron]: Yeah, they are.
[Dwight]: Yeah. So be gentle with them. [Ron]: Exactly,
and you want to keep track of those because they are important,
they do need to go on the heat spreaders. And there’s three screws here
that will remove the fan. And what we need to do next is go ahead
and start removing the shroud and there’s a couple of screws
on the back here. So now we can go ahead
and move on to our T-handle hex wrenches and start removing the shroud, and so I’ll be using the 330 seconds
for the larger ones. All right,
I think that’s all the screws here. All right, and then now
it’s back to the Philips because… [Dwight]: Oh, there’s actually screws
underneath this piece. [Ron]: Yeah, the whole, this parting,
and this back part of the shroud won’t come off until we remove this one. All right. Now piece comes out. And then we have the LED in there and now we’re just gonna remove
that as well, that’s just stuck in there
with a little bit of tape. It takes a little bit of force
to pull it out, but… And then that part of the shroud
is ready for paint once we get the body on that prepped
and then the fan comes out as well because we already
removed the screws there, and then we got two more Phillips heads
to hold this back part of the shroud. All right?
And a card is completely disassembled. [Dwight]: All right, cool. So we are just gonna be painting
the silver pieces, right, for this build? [Ron]: And the black piece as well
and the backplates. So we’re gonna start wet sanding here.
And I have some 600 grit sandpaper. I’ve been soaking in a little bit
of dish water for about 20 minutes and then we’re just gonna
start lightly sanding our pieces. We don’t need to take all the paint off, we just need to just give the piece,
just a little bit of a teeth. [Dwight]: So is that it?
That’s all you got to do? [Ron]: Yeah,
and then you just wanna rinse it off if you have an alcohol cloth too, like
wet naps, you can take that extra step, but I just usually just wipe it off,
just run it under some tap water and just set aside and just let it dry. And once it’s dry, you can go
and take it outside or, you know, if you have a ventilated area,
paint booth, you know, spray your adhesion promoter and let that adhesion promoter dry
for a few minutes and then you’re ready
for the first coats of paint. [Dwight]: Okay, well,
let’s sand the rest of the pieces in. [Ron]: All right. [Dwight]: All right, so we went outside
and used our adhesion promoter on all of our parts
and we let it dry outside, but now that we’re back indoors,
we can get to painting. [Ron]: Yeah, I use an
airbrush for my set up, but you can use rattle can paint and it’s probably the most economical
for most people. We already have
our two colors already premixed, a little bit of aluminum,
and I have a little bit of midnight blue and a little bit of a reducer
to thin the paint down so it will flow through my brush a little bit easier. So we’re gonna start
with the back piece here and we’re gonna start with the blue. I’m just gonna go on super light coats. First coat is basically your tack coat, that’s what all your other coats
are gonna lay on top of. If I had to go super wet
then it’s just gonna drip right off. [Dwight]: So start really fine.
[Ron]: Yeah. [Dwight]: And then you can go
a little bit heavier on the next one. [Ron]: Yeah, exactly. Just slowly wanna just keep building up
your layers until it’s fully covered. You can start to see the pearl in the
paint as the layers start to develop. [Dwight]: It’s crazy, that just slightly
gets darker every single time. [Ron]: Yeah, I mean,
you could just like blast it, but then it’s not gonna adhere, it’s just
gonna roll off the surface for you. So, you know, just light coats,
very light coats. It can tend to be tedious,
but just one of those things that you can’t rush, you know,
paint dries in its own time, and that’s one of the great things
about using water-based paint for me
is the paint dries quickly. You know,
versus using like an aerosol can, then you’re dealing
with mostly enamel paints, and they have a cure time on them,
sometimes it’s 24 hours. Here, I can add layers upon, layers
upon layers within minutes. So that piece is probably
about 95% complete. When this fully dries and I’ll come back and kind of see any areas
that I didn’t hit and do like the back side
and underneath side, now we’ll set that aside,
go to the next piece which is a little side skirt here
for the GPU. The further away that you hold
your airbrush the wider pattern that’s gonna give for you
and the less paint that’s gonna actually attach to the surface. See, if you can see on the paper towel,
you can see how light that goes on. And if I get down here,
you can see how heavy. If I were to do that pattern
right onto this, the paint wouldn’t stick. It would just roll right off. So that’s why I’m holding it
so far away from the surface. Just want little coats at a time. All right, and now that
one is about 95% done. And when that dries, I can build a handle and I can turn it over
and see any areas that I missed. And then we can move on to the next piece
which is gonna be the backplate. We just have to change
the paint in our gun. Just remove the needle from the gun. Blow out any excess paint. Now there’s gonna be a little bit
paint left in the nozzle head. You can, what I like to do
is just take a little bit of reducer put it in my gun and just black blow it. You can see the paint
that’s left in there. Blows it right back into the cup
and since that’s good paint and good reduce, save it,
put it right back in my paint mix, so the next color is our silver. All right, so now it’s time
to paint the backplate. So as I’m painting here
you can kind of notice that I’m going off the surface. I’m not just stopping right
at the edge of the backplate, kind of, just overlapping
a good a couple of inches. What this does is prevents
from having a harsh line on your edge. All right, and that one
is pretty much done as well, we’ll allow that to dry a little bit.
All right, so our final piece here. I went ahead and taped off this area because underneath
that is a nice brush aluminum that I don’t want this color to come
in contact with it. And it’s gonna make a nice contrast
between aluminum and silver, so I just taped it off to protect that. All right, so that one
is pretty much done as well. We’ll come back
and touch up the edges underneath. once it has dried a few minutes. All right,
so we just finished the final coat. We’ll allow these to sit
for a couple of minutes, go outside, add our top coat clear,
allow that to rest for a couple of hours and then we can go ahead
and put this back together. [Dwight]: All right, I’m excited
to see it all together as one piece again. [Ron]: Me too.
[Dwight]: Yeah. Well, here’s our completed GPU.
It looks awesome. You did a great job, Ron.
Was there any extra steps? [Ron]: Yeah, we just wanna finish it up
by adding a couple of coats a clear coat. It does two things for you. It beautifies the paint
and also protects the finish. So just spraying a couple
of light coats over the top, allow to dry 15 minutes
between each coat, and then the final coat you probably want
it to rest a couple of hours before you assemble it all back together. [Dwight]: Okay. Well, looks great, Ron.
Thanks again for coming by. [Ron]: It’s great being here.
[Dwight]: Yeah. If you enjoyed seeing these techniques,
be sure to subscribe to the channel because on our next episode we’re gonna be
getting into acrylic tube bending with Lee Carrington of Thanks for watching GeForce Garage.


100 Replies to “GeForce Garage: Scratch Build Episode 5 – How to Mod Your Graphics Cards”

  1. Yash mulik says:

    Looks really sexy what a finish look really cool love u nvidia.

  2. Jacob Rebo says:

    NVIDIA please make the led logo RGB already please. Not all of us want a green theme. And yes I did shut my led off thank god there is a tool to do so. Its 2018 rgb cost nothing and it would look so cool to show off.

  3. Jonas G. says:

    Will be cool if i can win the pc because im playing on an old 1.5 ghz laptop

  4. Joeseph Wang says:

    When will you contribute your new graphics cards?🙏😂😂

  5. Catlike Diva says:

    So cool !

  6. //Solaray// says:

    11 series?

  7. Knighthood says:

    Where do all these Garage builds go? I need to find out how to get one! #NVIDIA

  8. hed420 says:

    I love this series .

  9. Stanly Joseph says:

    Love the rustic grey one.

  10. Brandon Hart says:

    I dont have the confidence to do this I'd find somehow to break it 😂

  11. Marek Horak says:

    Nice cool awesome splendid. …..but need to win it first….

  12. Lucas Gamer says:

    Cool process to watch.

  13. Smit Surve says:

    U got 5 1080 ti there can i have one??

  14. Marmor2 says:

    That blue looks beautiful! 😍

  15. PC Gaming and Build Guides says:

    It looks like a 1060 with the silver on the side

  16. Sic Creations says:

    ….How to "paint" your graphics card lol

  17. kian lun allen tiew says:

    Will this void warranty for new gtx 1080ti..?

  18. Aditya Pandey says:

    Recycle or reuse, the ideas that benefit everyone on this planet.

  19. Brandon Eppenger says:

    So, since this is on Nvidia's YouTube channel, does this mean this doesn't void my warranty?

  20. Kennechi Sy says:


  21. Ghozer says:

    Someone put the screws back in wrong on the re-build, the ones near the head of the card (near the display connectors) are UNDER the backplate, and they should be over/through it 😉

  22. mashed potatoes says:

    Aw I thought you were going to do something cool like a shunt mod or someshit

  23. shane parker says:

    i was very disappointed with the final look of this paint job !!!!!! take a bit more time next time..

  24. Abbas Haider says:

    I love the original design of nvidia gpu because it looks awesome

  25. Pravin Yerwal says:

    Thats design seems amazing

  26. 11696Ron says:

    Alright, all I need now is a GTX 1080 Ti… oh and some paint. Can't forget that.

  27. endgameaddiction says:

    I'll pass. Because If I turn around and sell it, I don't want the card to be even more devalued than it already is from being used.

  28. shaggyego says:

    Hmmm… my ocd would be going crazy over the black in the GeForce led logo

  29. Derek Zhu says:

    What I great waste of everyone s time. When you say mod I didn't expect just painting color on the shell

  30. Mr Reeves says:

    One of the MOST important episodes in the series!

  31. David d says:

    How to paint graphics card heat sink shroud* should be the title, thought you were actually modding the graphics card. Pretty misleading

  32. Kang2112 says:

    What was that cool music playing while they were taking the card apart? Loved it so cool.

  33. DirtyDaen says:

    Nnvidia is the best1!

  34. Tech Pappee says:

    Rite to repair…

  35. Slenderman says:

    I should try this !

  36. Alessandro Lupo says:

    so powerful

  37. To Wu says:

    i hope i win the new 2080ti …

  38. Elyas kamal says:


  39. Pokimo3 says:

    Jensen Huang, my friend said that AMD Radeon is better, should i dump him?

  40. Mirmohammad Saadati says:


  41. Eefreeth says:


  42. Ali Efe Dereli says:

    been waiting for this episode

  43. Shimozukachi says:

    that gpu is screwed tight ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

  44. Bubby Senpai says:

    Future streamer!

  45. Serryscar says:

    I need that Rtx 2080 because I cant buy a good and I have one REALLY BAD from Intel so I REALLY need that it would be GREAT if I would win this .Even if I won't win you guys are awesome that you are doing this giveaway.

  46. imagine wagons says:

    Stay gaming!!🤗

  47. Cj says:

    Cool card. Please be mineeeeee 😻

  48. titanium s8n666 says:

    I want the 2080ti

  49. Zexidos says:


  50. GeorgeQS says:

    UR MY HERO!!!!

  51. Mr ‌Zgnilec says:

    Do you even nvidia?

  52. Ben_dmayer says:

    rtx 2080

  53. cosmic mutant says:

    This is a comment to win the nvidea rtx series please choose me xox love u

  54. Anuj Wani says:

    Built from "scratch"…. Great

  55. perkyzombie says:

    Wonder, there no mention of paint temperature rating. My GPU spends hours in the mid 60°C range but I've seen post claiming mid 80°C during extended play sessions.

  56. Buster_DK says:

    Looks cool and a nice video!

  57. Amr Khaled says:


  58. Lopenable says:

    OMG that RTX 2080 Ti is so good i want it! what

  59. Iron FiFi says:

    I want to win soo bad and build my first pc

  60. Sad EinMeister says:

    give me the rtx

  61. kenneth acevedo says:

    Wawa 0w0

  62. ABHINAV KUNDRA says:

    I won

  63. Cunfuze _ says:

    Hope i win

  64. Karthikeyan M says:

    I hope that i will win the RTX 2080 ti Graphics Card

  65. Lawrence says:

    i just commented #3

  66. Krathsar says:

    This is my comment for the RTX 2080 Ti giveaway.

  67. Frost X says:

    Hello, i am desperately in need of a graphics card, because my pc is a very low end pc and i only use an intergrated graphics. I cant even run pubg. Please can you make me a winner i am 15 and be coming 16 in nov 28. I hope you will find this comment

  68. HamHammyHam HamHammyHam says:

    gimme one of the cards plz

  69. MateoHorvat says:

    Rtx now eat it

  70. יהב נאקש says:


  71. dheeraj s says:

    Looks cool but I don't have any

  72. Abhijit Sharma says:


  73. Rojson says:

    Good luck everyone on the giveaway! 😀 RTX 2080Ti <3

  74. Marwan Allaam says:

    I hope to win and get a new Geforce RTX Card and thank you very much for this giveaway 😀❤️👍

  75. LoadedSandwich says:

    I want to do this eventually. Kinda scary at times though

  76. Thomas Jansen says:

    I hope I winn

  77. Sonny Löfstedt says:

    A lot of work to get it to look like this

  78. animesh tiwari says:

    But here I India its too too too expensive its twice thrice the price

  79. Sven Jansen says:

    Yeah, I'd like a brand new GPU! 🙂

  80. AndrosForever says:

    I just reapplied the thermal paste on my 1080ti. There was so little before and unevenly applied. After I reapplied some mx4 my temps never go above 80° at a stable 2050 core OC.

  81. Javier Álvarez says:

    Let’s made and IronMan theme mod!

  82. Sir Spencer says:


  83. EPICMrDucky says:

    Amazing work just I don't know if I would be willing to take the risk after working up enough money to even afford a card. But very cool and makes it easeir to stand out for sure. Worked on cars and imagine its much like that. Great work guys.

  84. Jeremy Thompson says:

    Gtx 1080-ti has like future design
    2080 ti giveway

  85. ** says:

    YeY for winning…

  86. Juntaek Lim says:

    Will I void my warranty tho? 😂😢

  87. Austin Bett says:

    My mind is telling me no, But MY BODY….

  88. PshychoKnight Gaming says:


  89. marco brunello says:

    eccoci qua a commentare

  90. RH Pranto says:

    guys please stop commeting let me win that rtx

  91. Remthebanana says:

    im just here for the rtx giveaway lol

  92. Jim R says:

    I really need to get myself an air brush for modding!

  93. Darshan Naik says:

    Those modifications look so good I wish I could own those

  94. A MG says:

    Nvidia you are the best

  95. INDシ TRASHER says:

    2080 ti is just for kids of rich bitches..

  96. John Neville says:

    Thanks for helping the noobs like me

  97. Julius Albuera says:

    thats awesome

  98. Mark Mitra says:

    I want to customize my GPU, but if I mess it up? That's it.

  99. 14104 x1 says:

    Welp, I'm definitely not going to mod my graphics card now

  100. Si Yu Chen says:

    Now we can have a Geforadeonce Card

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *