In a sensational discovery, a mysterious problem afflicting Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 & GTX 1070 EVGA cards is causing them to burn out, with many of them ending up being useless afterwards. Reports about this devastating issue related to EVGA manufactured ACX cooling system based GTX 1080 and GTX 1070 cards started surfacing over the last few days, and it appears, with every new day more cases of Nvidia cards going up in flames are rearing their ugly head at an alarming frequency.
Just to give you a glimpse of the issue at hand, have a look at EVGA’s forums to understand the severity of the problem. Check out EVGA forum (link 1, link 2), the Nvidia forum (link 1, link 2), PC Mater Race and Build A PC subreddits to see what users have been saying about this exploding issue with Nvidia GeForce cards ending up in smokes.
Based on the account of one of the effected users, his PC suddenly died down after copious amount of orange colored flames started sneaking out of the graphics card. There is no shortage of unfortunate incidents being reported. Some users are reporting spotting sudden sparks ensued by an abrupt black screen during a gaming session, and with the whole thing ending up with their PC emitting an unpleasant burning stench. All the above mentioned incidents point towards a larger problem with GTX 1070 & GTX 1080 EVGA cards, one that needs immediate attention and fixing by Nvidia.
Based on latest reports, Nvidia GTX 1080 & GTX 1070 Graphics Cards Range with the ACX cooling system is manufactured by EVGA is Defective
Ever since the issue was first reported, efforts to find the catalyst behind the problem began in earnest. According to initial findings, the burning problem is emanating from the voltage regulation modules which when overheated cause MODFET to burn out with accompanied surrounding components getting damaged permanently. So far, it has been established that EVGA’s NVidia GeForce GTX 1080 and GTX 1070 graphics cards range with the embedded ACX cooler are prone to burning and flaring up. One thing to note is this range of EVGA graphics cards doesn’t have a direct VRM cooling system, which may be causing VRMs to burn due to overheating. Which means the GTX 1070 ACX, GTX 1080 ACX, FTW DT and FTW models are vulnerable to overheating, it is worth noting that all of graphics card types except the Classified model have dual fans system.
The issue is not new, several users in the past have voiced their concerns regarding EVGA GTX 1080 and GTX 1070 cards to no effect. Component failure, black screen and unstable performance are some of the problems that the users of the graphic card models under scrutiny have been constantly confronting, as you can see in this forum posts. Finally, the root of the problem has been identified, and it has turned out that the VRM overheating is the main culprit in this entire unfortunate saga.
Let’s Examine the Issue at Length To Get a Better Picture
One thing should be made abundantly clear before anything else that EVGA’s voltage regulation circuitry is not the reason for the burning incident. The voltage regulation system is designed to brave temperatures of up to 125C, and works fine to deliver almost 200 amps of current at 125C. This means GTX 1080’s 180 amp requirement is met with enough space for overclocking.
However, the area where the problem resides belongs to the insufficient cooling system. No VRM design can be qualified as acceptable in the absence of a sufficient cooling solution, the very basic factor which the EVGA astonishingly neglected, or overlooked. Baffling it may seem, but the VRMs have no dedicated heatsinks, they are not even linked to the GPU headsink with thermal pads to keep the VRMs temperature at a stable level. This results in hot air getting ensnared inside a hotspot which gradually cooks the circuit, eventually breaching the boundary of thermal control and burn down the graphics card.
“VRMs do not exhibit any signs of approaching a breaking point that can be measured without monitoring the temperature of said VRM. When the VRM hits the critical amount of stress, it will [enter a state of] thermal runaway and burn out with no warning.”
One look at the Tom’s hardware’s open bench testing is enough to indicate that the VRMs can reach the temperature of up to 114C at an ambient temperature of 22C whilst powered by Furmark. Testing results clearly confirm the theory that the graphics card when installed in an enclosed system having an ability to overclock and an ambient temperature above the normal standard level, chances of exceeding the 125C thermal limit are not out of the equation. Which in the end concludes in a calamity similar to the one that has befallen EVGA’s Nvidia graphics cards lately.
“Toms Hardware managed to take thermal images of the VRM reaching 106C and measure 114C with a thermal probe. This was in bench test scenario with 22C ambient. In a case where ambient temperatures range between 30 and 40C depending on airflow, that 114C can easily end up 125C+. A VRM trying to provide too much current at too high a temperature will quickly end up like the above from reddit.”
What Course of Action EVGA’s Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080 / GTX 1070 Graphics Cards Users Should Pursue
Luckily, EVGA has taken notice of the problem and has moved its resources to address the problem by initiating much needed adjustments to the production line to equip its future graphics cards with VRM thermal pads to regulate heating and keep the temperature at an optimum level. To EVGA’s credit, they did admit their negligence in the matter, accepted the fact that the paucity of VRAM and VRM cooling mechanism was a grave oversight on company’s behalf, and went on to assure the prompt replacement of damaged units as per the warranty agreement.
The GTX 1070 and GTX 1080 owners are being given free VRM thermal pad kit, claim yours here. Or users can simply return their damaged graphics cards in exchange for the ones with the thermal mod already embedded on them.
Meanwhile, those who are considering purchasing any GTX 1080 or GTX 1070 with dual fan from EVGA are advised to wait awhile until the company resolves the issue in the current line of graphics card by adding the thermal mod. All existing GTX 1080 and GTX 1070 by EVGA owners should go for the thermal mod at earliest to avoid any kind of harm to their machine’s hardware.
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