Introduction: RGB GPU Back Plate

For this project I created an RGB back plate for a graphics card. Some cards don't come with back plates so the PCB is completely visible. To spice up and give your PC some more lights and flare, you can make one if these! If your card does come with a back plate, I do not recommend replacing your back plate with one like this.


For this project you will need an arduino, wire, neo pixels, acrylic, hot glue, vinyl, something to cut acrylic, paint, and soldering tools.

Step 2: Cuting Out Your Acrylic

For the first step of this project we need to cut out 2 pieces of acrylic. Piece 1 should be the size of your PCB. The height of the 2nd piece should be about the width of you finger nail LESS than the 1st piece. There are multiple ways to do this like using a scroll saw or a hand held acrylic cutter but I chose to laser cut it. Laser cutting acrylic will give you a much more crisp and clean edge. Other method will scratch the side of the acrylic. This allows for the light to diffuse much more cleanly as you can see here. When laser cut you can see through acrylic, rather than having it cut. Also the scroll saw has a chance to melt the acrylic due to friction.

Step 3: Make It Unique

Since my PC has a lot of NZXT brand logos inside, I decided to put on the NZXT logo.To make that part light up I used a vinyl cutter and cut out the logo through a computer program called sure cuts a lot. This cut out the logo and then I put the vinyl cut out right ontop of my acrylic. Next I spray painted it white. Now the section that I don't want lit up is white and when i remove the vinyl, theres no paint on the logo! this part is entirely up to you. You can cut out viynl and make your own designs and paint it anyway you want! try and match a theme or just go crazy!

Step 4: Wiring

Now we can begin the light show. I would suggest getting your own wire that needs to be stripped at the ends.Its more work but regular bread board wires will be too short and hard to match color for an aesthetic appeal. Take your wire and solder it to the three copper spots on your neo pixels. One is power, one is data, and one is ground, wire them into your arduino accordingly. I layered mine with hot glue just so the soldering would stick better and that the open wires wouldn't touch.

Step 5: Assembly

we have everything set up no so we can begin to put it all together! Start by taking your 2 pieces of acrylic and gluing them together. the smaller piece should go on bottom with space open in the back, this is where the neo pixels will go. Face the neo pixels in a angled up direction while they face outwards. This will help the diffusion of light through the acrylic. Glue down everything (Hot temp glue gun recommended). The glue may fall off if you use a low temp glue gun. after this I took a big piece of vinyl and stuck it on the back. This help light diffusion as well, without some coverage on the back a lot of light could escape through the bottom where you're not looking. This also blocks the image of your PCB through the logo.

Step 6: Coding

For the code I simply used a rainbow strand test from offline. I modified it for the amount of neo pixels I had and the port for the data wire. here is the code


// constants won't change. They're used here to // set pin numbers: const int ledPin = 0; // the number of the neopixel strip const int numLeds = 8;

//Adafruit_NeoPixel pixels = Adafruit_NeoPixel(8, ledPin); Adafruit_NeoPixel strip = Adafruit_NeoPixel(numLeds, ledPin, NEO_GRB + NEO_KHZ800);

void setup() { strip.begin(); strip.setBrightness(80); // 1/3 brightness


void loop() {

rainbow(30); delay(10);


void rainbow(uint8_t wait) { uint16_t i, j;

for(j=0; j<256; j++) { for(i=0; i

// Input a value 0 to 255 to get a color value. // The colours are a transition r - g - b - back to r. uint32_t Wheel(byte WheelPos) { if(WheelPos < 85) { return strip.Color(WheelPos * 3, 255 - WheelPos * 3, 0); } else if(WheelPos < 170) { WheelPos -= 85; return strip.Color(255 - WheelPos * 3, 0, WheelPos * 3); } else { WheelPos -= 170; return strip.Color(0, WheelPos * 3, 255 - WheelPos * 3); } }


If your graphics card does come with a back pate I would not suggest taking off your back plate for this project, just put it on top. When I took apart mine I took off the back plate and separated the PCB from the cooler. Once I finished the project and hooked everything back up. My GPU kept spiking and having games crash. I realized that the screws that went into the initial back plate had springs in them to compress the PCB for a firm connection onto the cooler. Without that connection you can experience GPU overheating. I found that out the hard way but after reassembly, It worked like brand new.