Image: NVIDIA

We previously shared a story regarding reports of third-party GeForce RTX 3080 owners encountering crashes (game to desktop) whenever their cards exceeded clocks of 2.0 GHz or greater. NVIDIA’s AIC partners haven’t confirmed the exact cause yet or how widespread the issue actually is, but Igor Wallossek has shared insight on why this might be happening.

One supposed reason is that NVIDIA sent out proper drivers very late, which meant that AICs could not test their cards thoroughly and confirm their stability under tougher conditions (e.g., higher thermals). Wallossek suggests that some of the OC cards on the market may never have been labeled or configured as such if green team communicated better and provided better drivers ahead of time.

“You probably remember when I wrote that the board partners couldn’t use working drivers yet and only work with a very limited driver and NVPunish,” he pointed out. “Since the driver problem lasted until shortly before the launch, but the first wave of cards had to be produced already, the functional testing of the first models was obviously limited to power-on and thermal stability. Running, not running. However, this does not say much about the chip quality and the possible maximum frequencies that the respective chip can safely handle.”

“Thus, it would at least be plausible that cards could have been sold as OC cards, which wouldn’t have passed a real quality test at the manufacturer with the delivered settings,” Wallossek continued. “Real binning? Nothing. Subsequent selection of particularly overclocked cards? Impossible, in fact. And so it is by no means impossible that one or the other ‘Potato’ chip could also have gotten lost on such an OC card. We know the consequences from the posts of the buyers in the relevant forums.”

The other alleged reason lies with component layout and quality. Apparently, NVIDIA was lax on what type of capacitors AICs could use on their custom cards and how they were configured, which may have led to reduced stability.

“In terms of quality, however, good MLCCs are better able to filter the very high frequency components in particular,” Wallossek explained. “In the end, this is simple practical knowledge, which only often enough collides with the world view of a financial controller. If one searches the forums, it seems that the Zotac Trinity is particularly affected when it comes to instabilities starting at certain boost clock rates from around 2010 MHz. A feat, because Zotac is relying on a total of six cheaper POSCAPs.”

According to Wallossek, NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 3080 Founders Editions do not exhibit the same problems thanks to its reference design, which comprises higher-quality parts such as MLCCs (Multilayer Ceramic Chip Capacitors).

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17 Comments

  1. I trust that the official reference design is the XC3 Black which is mixed.
    I believe this issue is likely a case of AIBs cheaping out on components/design.

    Hopefully a new vbios can fix it.

  2. Just watched Jaystwocents latest video. It’s really sad that manufacturers would do this, but it goes to show you that being first to get something isn’t always in everyone’s best interest. I do have a step up through EVGA waiting down the line, so hopefully this gets sorted out.
  3. Just watched Jaystwocents latest video. It’s really sad that manufacturers would do this, but it goes to show you that being first to get something isn’t always in everyone’s best interest. I do have a step up through EVGA waiting down the line, so hopefully this gets sorted out.

    Watched Jay too and agree.

    I guess ASUS learned from their last TUF debacle, it would seem the TUF 3080 is a really good buy.

  4. Lisa Su is a genius .. letting Nvidia going ahead so they can shoot themselves in the foot and then AMD can ..hopefully.. learn from their (Nvidia’s) mistakes.

    … or just a happy co-inky dink in AMD’s favor

  5. Some info on the different type of caps used, for those who dig the details.

    http://[URL]https://www.newark.com/…ic/PAN_18072_whitepaper_MLCCvsPolymer_web.pdf

    [/URL]

    That’s a good read, I had no idea the difference between the two. So if I’m reading and understanding it right, it’s not that the MLCC are necessarily "better" than poscaps but rather they are better for this application where small size and tight spaces are involved?

  6. That’s a good read, I had no idea the difference between the two. So if I’m reading and understanding it right, it’s not that the MLCC are necessarily "better" than poscaps but rather they are better for this application where small size and tight spaces are involved?

    Yes, but most importantly MLCCs handle higher voltages better. And cost…

    "The comparison of the characteristics outlined above is
    only partial in nature. Each type of capacitor is well suited
    to some fields and poorly suited to others. When actually
    designing circuits it is necessary to consider a number
    of factors on addition to the characteristics described
    above, such as cost and size, on order to select the
    best capacitor for the job if space is limited, all-purpose
    MLCCs are the best. MLCCs are also suitable for applications
    where the ability to deal with very high voltages
    is needed because of their high withstand voltage performance
    and ability to withstand reverse voltage.
    Typical
    polymer capacitors are a good choice when both, higher
    capacitance and low ESR are important. Especially the
    potential cost and space saving when comparing single
    polymer capacitors to an equivalent of multiple MLCCs
    can make a big different in designing PCBs
    ."

  7. I’ve been trying like crazy to find the ASUS TUF 3080 in stock and snag one, but I’m thinking this new information is going to make it even harder, now.

    I just hope ASUS doesn’t cheap out and reduce the number of MLCC arrays going forward since they now have confirmation that their Ampere offerings are, essentially, over-built.

  8. That is why EVGA is about my favorite brand these days. It seems like they’re about the only ones that give a crap about their customers anymore.

    I just hope ASUS doesn’t cheap out and reduce the number of MLCC arrays going forward since they now have confirmation that their Ampere offerings are, essentially, over-built.

    I don’t think they will. That’s always been TUF’s calling card, they may not have all the frills and features others have but they have near bulletproof build quality.

  9. It would seem now that it’s less about the CAPS and more about cards simply boosting too high.

    Expect a incoming BIOS/Drivers fix.
    Good quality cards will still boost high and have a decent OC.

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