Do you need a backplate for CPU cooler?

Do you need a backplate for CPU cooler?

Do you need a backplate for CPU cooler?

The backplate for the CPU cooler plays an essential role. It is crucial for excellent airflow, weight stabilization, and many more functions. Some people think backplates for CPU are not vital. It is somehow true but not completely, as your computer will work flawlessly without a backplate but not for an extended period. As time passes by, several problems will arise. This article will discuss if you need a backplate for your CPU or not.

What is a CPU Backplate?

It’s just a thin stainless steel “X” shaped plate with rubber on one side that goes over the four mounting holes to give the motherboard some rigidity where the weight of an external CPU cooler may bend it.

Is the Backplate Necessary?

Yes, it is required to distribute the weight of the cooler. Because it screws into the backplate’s holes, otherwise, you won’t be able to keep a firm grip on your cooler, which is not good at all.

Regardless, many CPU coolers won’t fit without the backplate. So, if you forget it, you need to disassemble it and do it correctly, or else the cooler will be loose, and its performance will be affected.

Functions of CPU cooler Backplate

Initially, the backplate had a dual role in many models: on the one hand, an aesthetic function that is still evident today and offers the entire motherboard better stiffness, which is especially essential in very lengthy motherboards like ATX (Advanced Technology eXtended) to avoid bending. The backplate on the current versions of motherboards with powerful processors mounted in the center has acquired a third role, which is to assist cool these components on the rear of the board, although passively.

As a result, when we unscrew the processor cover of the motherboard processor, we can see that it has thermal paste. This solid and rubbery compound promotes precise heat transfer from the chips to the backplate, which, being metallic and with a large surface, significantly improves the temperature. The manufacturer has extended the heatsink length so that it protrudes from behind. A fan does not “collide” with the chip and directly cool the chip, thus decreasing its temperature and boosting more excellent heat dissipation will improve the performance.

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Thus, while the role of the backplate was initially purely ornamental and to give the board more stability, in newer generations of backplates, the function of operating as a passive heatsink has been added. Aluminum is used for backplates because of its high heat conductivity. Backplates and passive heatsinks now share more than just metal. 

Passive heatsinks have a vast surface area for distributing heat and are positioned directly over the item to be cooled. In other situations, the backplate serves to screw in the CPU cooler heatsink or, if too large, to make it sit better and equally divide the weight.

Do motherboards come with a Backplate?

Because motherboards do not come with backplates, this is a relatively regular occurrence. Because the cooler comes with the rear plate, this is the case. However, in the case of Intel motherboards, it just plugs in and doesn’t need a backplate for most of the intel motherboards.

Installing Motherboard Backplate

Install the motherboard standoff screws will be included with your CPU cooler. Please place them in position, then cover them with the backplate tower standing up, both case sides off. To secure the backplate, tighten the bolts. Install the CPU cooler with a screw into your now-secured and tightened standoffs/backplate, with the backplate pointing down.

Installing GPU Backplate

Installing a GPU backplate is as simple as fastening a few screws or using double-sided tape to place the bespoke piece directly on top of your graphics card, depending on the model you choose. If you like, you may also remove the current backplate from your GPU. Custom backplate installation techniques are non-conductive and will not affect your warranty.


If you buy an RGB GPU backplate, you’ll also need to connect a few connections to your motherboard, power supply, and a hub for lighting control if required. Vendors of GPU backplates will supply all of the necessary hardware and instructions to get your lights connected.

What equipment do you need for installation?

A screwdriver and the components included with your GPU backplate are all you’ll need to install it. For more precise information and instructions, double-check the instruction manual that came with your backplate. Backplates are shipped with an installation guide and parts. This instruction is for screw-in backplates. However, magnet-in backplates are also available. Check the backplate’s instructions to see what type of installation is required.

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CPU Backplate in Depth

The backplate, for starters, assists in support of the graphics card’s cooler, preventing the PCB from bending, which is especially visible on bigger models with bulkier, heavier heatsinks. Furthermore, certain backplates make it easy to clean the dust off the back of the card, which is helpful while cleaning your computer. On the other hand, backplates are primarily valued for their aesthetic value, as they may make a graphics card appear cleaner, sleeker, and more consistent. Furthermore, some backplates have RGB lighting built-in, which adds to the aesthetic appeal if you’re an RGB fan.

A backplate, on the other hand, a CPU backplate, does not usually assist with cooling. While some backplates have a more excellent contact surface and thermal pads that allow them to operate as heat spreaders, most don’t make a significant impact in the end. In actuality, a backplate can lower or raise the temperature of the card or the temperature within the computer case. However, the variations are usually minor, ranging from a fraction to a few degrees on average.

In essence, the main benefit of a backplate is that it improves aesthetics and can potentially prevent the card from sagging in the PCIe slot if we’re talking about a large card with a heavy cooler and making the back of the card easier to clean. However, this is not always the case and depends on the design. However, if you’re looking in the market for a new graphics card, the backplate shouldn’t be your priority; there are many more crucial considerations to make, but it’s not a must-have feature, especially if you can’t afford to spend a lot of money and are seeking for more cost-effective options.

Does my graphic card also need a CPU backplate?

Backplates are beneficial but not essential products; they are branded as an accessory. They primarily “improve” the graphics card’s look. Backplates provide a lovely and durable cover for the graphics card. Still, they also provide other functions such as heat dispersion and stability. The robust surface of the backplates provides weight stability and sturdiness to the GPU frame.

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Furthermore, as the backplates are constructed of aluminum, they are helpful for heat dispersion since their lengthy surface absorbs and resists high temperatures. Suppose a fan is positioned directly in front of them. In that case, the backplates will aid in heat dissipation, effectively acting as a cooling device.

Furthermore, the backplate has a cover that protects the graphics card’s back from external components such as liquids that might harm the GPU. 

Making your Custom Backplate

If someone does not want to spend money on a backplate, they can make one themselves. They’re not difficult to make, and anyone who tries can find some creative and unusual patterns for the backplate surface.

The benefit of building the backplate myself is that you can tweak it as much as you want. They are also simple to make and much affordable than purchasing a new one. Though they may not appear professional the first time, this is a fun experience and a new skill to acquire for anybody who likes DIY.

Only the following items are required to build an acrylic backplate:

  • An acrylic sheet with a width of 6-8 mm
  • Sandpaper for vinyl wrapping with a ruler and a marker
  • Knife for scoring acrylic

Follow the instructions below to construct an acrylic backplate once you’ve determined what you’ll need:

Step 1: Using a ruler, measure the graphics card and duplicate the proportions onto the acrylic sheet.

Step 2: Using an acrylic scoring knife, cut the acrylic sheet. Use a ruler to produce straighter lines.

Step 3: Using 100-grit sandpaper, sand the acrylic’s edges.

Step 4: Cover the acrylic sheet’s surface with the vinyl wrap. This will provide a more professional appearance, but it will take some time to apply correctly. To avoid wrinkles or creases on the surface, I use a towel.


In conclusion, a backplate can change the temperature of the card or the temperature within the computer case, although the variations are usually minor. Ranging from a fraction of one to a few degrees on average, and if you want to know whether having a backplate for CPU is necessary or not?.

Although a backplate is good to have, it isn’t a must-have feature, especially if you can’t afford to spend a lot of money and seek more cost-effective options.