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Monday | November 23, 2020
RTX 3080: the point with the marks

RTX 3080: the point with the marks

We have clearly experienced a chaotic launch for this RTX 3080. From availability issues to possible bugs, there is a lot of information going around and it’s hard to see clearly for anyone who wants to buy a board at the moment.

RTX 3080 V2

On our discordant server, the subject is being debated and elsewhere, we can even feel a certain polemic insinuating that there is no problem and that the last jolts would have been simply artificially “inflated” to generate a bad-buzz or “putaclic” articles as we say now 😉

We will therefore come back to the facts and share with you the official reactions of the brands on the latest problems.

The Facts:

  • September 15th : Colorful is the first manufacturer to report instability problems (unofficially by email) :
  • September 17 and more: First customers who bought RTX 30 series cards start reporting problems. As far as we know, no tests or items have reported problems.
  • September 23rd: ComputerBase does the first article on the crash problem. On the same day, VideoCardz.com does the first full article in English.
  • September 24th: we echo these problems.
  • September 25: Igor Wallosek (igor’sLAB) publishes the first analysis of the problem, suggesting that capacitors could be the culprits.
  • September 26th: Some brands decide to react officially. EVGA in particular states that they have postponed the release of their cards because indeed “a complete solution of 6 POSCAPs could not pass the tests of real applications”.
  • September 28th: Nvidia releases a driver officially to optimize the experience in some games. Many card owners react by affirming that this driver solves the problem by modifying certain parameters of operation of the card.
  • September 28th: Videocardz is alerted by several of its readers about the circulation of RTX 3080 ” v2 “ where the capacitors’ layout had been changed. Some users confirm that they are in possession of ” v1 “.
  • September 29th: we receive some messages telling us that the choice of capacitors by the brands is not the cause of the problem. MSI on its side publishes a press release to explain that there has never been a “v1” in circulation.

The finding :

  • The problem was first reported when customs cards reached frequencies above 2.0 GHz during a game. A sudden crash was reported, causing the game to crash back to the desktop without any warning.
  • The problem would be mainly related (although it is not known if this is the only reason) to the choice of capacitors.
  • Brands that have switched to more MLCC capacitors instead of POSCAP capacitors clearly see fewer problem reports from their owners. A complete list of all cards, including their capacitor layouts, was collected by Nestledrink (NVIDIA Subreddit moderator) in this article .
  • However, it is not because the board uses MLCC or POSCAP capacitors that the design is bad, in all cases the brands followed Nvidia’s recommendations. At this point, we don’t know if the problem is only caused by the capacitors themselves, or if other components are involved here.
  • Nobody can deny today that instabilities problems (X or Y capacitors or not) affect part of the RTX 3080 customs.
  • The 456.55 driver seems to solve a large part of the crash problems by modifying some characteristics of the card (frequency, consumption…) but without altering the performances.

Brand Reactions :

  • MSI France sent us a press release which is the same as the one used by the other antennas of the brand in the world. The brand insists on the fact that all the cards in circulation on the market have the so-called “v2” PCB and that the photos that have been circulated come from pre-samples photographed for marketing purposes.

MSI has received reports from customers, reviewers, and system integrators that there may be instability when the core clocks of GeForce RTX 30 Series graphics cards exceed a certain number. The latest GeForce driver (456.55) includes fixes for the problem. As such, MSI recommends that owners of GeForce RTX 30 Series graphics cards update to the latest driver version which can be downloaded from the NVIDIA GeForce website.

MSI supports its design decisions for its GeForce RTX 30 Series graphics card catalog, which consists of GAMING and VENTUS models. MSI uses a mixed capacitor array in its designs to take advantage of the benefits of SP-Caps and MLCC. All MSI GeForce RTX 30 Series boards that have been shipped since the beginning of production, which include media review samples, feature PCB configurations as shown in the updated images below. MSI would like to express its gratitude to the customers, reviewers, and system integrators who have raised awareness of the issue, as well as NVIDIA for its cooperation in quickly resolving the issue.

  • Gigabyte (we have no particular reaction from the French office at this time, the press release here is a translation of the “global” press release in English)

In response to recent reports speculating that the use of POSCAP capacitors on GeForce RTX 3080/3090 graphics cards could lead to stability issues and crashes, we would like to clarify the issue with the following statement:

1. It is not true that POSCAP capacitors can independently cause a hardware crash. Whether a graphics card is stable or not requires a complete evaluation of the overall circuit and power supply design, not just the difference between capacitor types. POSCAPs and MLCCs have different characteristics and uses, so it is not true to say that one type of capacitor is better than the other.

2. GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 30 graphics cards are designed according to NVIDIA specifications and have passed all required tests, so the quality of the product is guaranteed. The GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 3080/3090 GAMING OC and EAGLE OC series graphics cards use high quality SP-CAP low-ESR 470uF capacitors, which meet the specifications set by NVIDIA and provide a total capacity of 2820u in terms of GPU power, more than the industry average. The cost of SP-CAP capacitors is no less than that of MLCCs. GIGABYTE attaches great importance to product integrity and certainly does not reduce costs by using cheap materials.

NVIDIA released a driver (version 456.55) on September 29, 2020 that improves stability. Users are advised to update to the latest driver for optimized performance. For users experiencing power-related issues with GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 30 series graphics cards, GIGABYTE will provide a replacement product, free of charge.

GIGABYTE has continuously improved and optimized product quality, especially in terms of thermal designs, to deliver the best gaming experience to consumers for decades. For the latest series of AORUS GeForce RTX 30 graphics cards, we have also paid special attention to cooling performance and introduced advanced solutions such as MAX-Covered Cooling to ensure stable operation of each component.

Hello everyone,

Recently, there has been some discussion about the EVGA GeForce RTX 3080 series.

During our serial quality control testing, we discovered that a complete solution of 6 POSCAPs could not pass real-world application testing. It took almost a week of R&D effort to find the cause and reduce the POSCAPs to 4 and add 20 MLCCs before shipping the production boards, so the EVGA GeForce RTX 3080 FTW3 series was delayed at launch. No production GeForce RTX 3080 FTW3 EVGA GeForce RTX 3080 FTW3 EVGA cards have been shipped.

But due to lack of time, some testers received a pre-production version with 6 POSCAPs, we are working directly with these testers to replace their cards with production versions.
The EVGA GeForce RTX 3080 XC3 series with 5 POSCAPs + 10 MLCC is compatible with the XC3 specifications without any problems.

Also note that we have updated the product photos on EVGA.com to reflect the production components that have been delivered to gamers and enthusiasts since day one of the product launch.
Once you receive the card you can compare for yourself, EVGA stands behind its products!

Thank you

  • ASUS (we have no particular reaction from the French antenna at this moment, the press release here is a translation of the “global” press release in English)

All retail ROG Strix and TUF Gaming GeForce RTX 3080 and 3090 graphics cards use only MLCC capacitors for decoupling.
During development, we discovered the improvement this brings to the overclocking margin of the RTX 3090 and 3080, so we made changes to the specifications before we began shipping the cards to evaluators and customers. Please note that some of the product images used on the email sites and our product pages were taken from early development samples, so they are not definitive. All images will be updated soon.
Please be patient with us!

We will continue to echo brand reactions on the subject.

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Edited by Calliers

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