Nvidia’s newest Pascal architecture has been quite popular since its release, offering significant performance gains at relatively reasonable prices. The GTX 1080, 1070, and 1060 GPUs, in particular, have become the choice of gamers at all price points.
All of the major GPU OEMs have adopted the Pascal line with a slew of different options, including highly overclocked versions meant to squeeze out the most performance. As it happens, not every OEM design has been without its issues, as manufacturer EVGA’s GTX 1080 and 1070 cards have been suffering from some serious overheating, Wccftech reports.
The issue has been showing up in a variety of venues, including EVGA’s forum and a number of PC subreddits, where users are reporting literal flameouts in their EVGA cards. Although the number of reports of actual flames shooting out of their GPUs is limited, there has also been reports of smoke, sparks, and generally unusual high temperatures.
Apparently, the issue is related to the voltage regulation module (VRM) that EVGA is using in the cards, specifically that the VRM has no direct cooling to keep temperatures at the proper level. All EVGA GTX 1080 and 1070 cards with the dual-fan ATX cooler use the same design and thus suffer from the issue. VRM overheating is also being linked to a history of instability with EVGA cards in the range, including black screens and component failure.
Simply put, EVGA may have missed a step in designing the cards and left out sufficient cooling. Without an individual heatsink or a method to connect to the GPU’s heatsink, the VRM simply heats up and creates a hotspot that affects nearby circuitry. That can create a feedback loop leading to thermal runaway and eventually failure and, apparently in some cases, actual flames.
EVGA acknowledged the issue in an email to Digital Trends on Tuesday afternoon, reporting that in a few days it will provide a new VBIOS for cards installed in the wild. This update will adjust the fan speed to make sure the components are cooled “across all operating temperatures.” EVGA said this VBIOS update will resolve the potential thermal issues and keep customers and their hardware investments safe.
However, for better piece of mind, EVGA customers can also request an optional thermal pad kit to manually install on the affected area. If for some reason customers aren’t comfortable with installing this kit and/or flashing the VBIOS with the update, they can request a warranty cross-shipment to exchange the card with an updated model of the same type. Note that all graphics cards shipped after November 1 will already have the VBIOS update intact.
Here is a list of cards supported by the update:
|GTX 1080 Part Numbers||GTX 1070 Part Numbers||GTX 1060 6G Part Numbers||GTX 1060 3G Part Numbers|
Now here is a Q&A provided by EVGA:
Q: If my Graphics Card is not an ACX 3.0 design is it affected?
A: No, all other GPUs sold by EVGA including Founders Edition, Blower type, Hybrid, and Hydro Copper editions are unaffected.
Q: Does the VBIOS fix the temperature issues?
A: Yes, the VBIOS update will fix the temperature issues.
Q: Is my card damaged from running at a higher temperature?
A: No, but should any future warranty service be needed, EVGA stands behind its products.
Q: What happens if my card is accidentally damaged during the optional thermal pad installation?
A: EVGA will stand behind its customers with full warranty and cross-shipment.
Q: What if I am not comfortable updating my VBIOS?
A: While EVGA has very user friendly ways to update VBIOS’s, if you still do not feel comfortable, we will support you with and advanced RMA and ship you a replacement card with the latest VBIOS.
Finally, EVGA said its Advanced RMA Program and Cross-Shipping options are available only in the Continental United States, Hawaii, Alaska, Canada, EU, U.K., Norway, and Switzerland. Standard RMA replacement options are provided in the Middle East, Africa, India, and all other territories outside the areas supported by the Advanced RMA Program.
Updated on 11-02-2016 by Kevin Parrish: Added EVGA’s response to Digital Trends.