Common RTX 3080 crashes due to poor design. The producers knew about the problem before the premiere

Nvidia has recently launched its new flagship GPU RTX 3080 from the Ampere family. Unfortunately, the premiere did not go smoothly and there were a lot of problems, starting with selling off the entire initial circulation almost immediately. Some stores were not prepared for such a large interest and the servers were overloaded. Although some managed to buy the new RTX 3080, unfortunately, a large part was bought by miners’ bots and dishonest traders. Those more, there have been reports in the past few days about crashes and black screen problems while playing, with factory overclocked non-reference NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 graphics cards. Issues have been reported in several technical forums as well as on social media platforms. Users experienced major crashes mostly during gaming sessions.

Users report frequent RTX 3080 card failures, the most common being desktop throws or a black screen. Apparently the cause is wrong types of capacitors. Producers know the problem, but they use a small amount of time for testing before the premiere.

Types of capacitors in cards
Manufacturer product RTX 3080 RTX 3090
NVIDIA Founders Edition Mixed Mixed
Asus TUF MLCC MLCC
Asus Strix MLCC MLCC
EVGA XC3 Mixed Mixed
EVGA FTW3 Mixed Mixed
Galax Black Mixed Unknown
Gainward Phoenix Mixed Unknown
Gigabyte Eagle POSCAP Unknown
Gigabyte Gaming POSCAP POSCAP
Inno3D iChill X3 Mixed Unknown
Inno3D iChill X4 Mixed Unknown
MSI Gaming X Trio Mixed Mixed
MSI Ventus Mixed Mixed
Palit Gaming Pro Mixed Mixed
Zotac Trinity POSCAP POSCAP
Zotac X-Gaming Unknown POSCAP

According to posts posted on various forums, the user is kicked from the game to the desktop, which is commonly referred to as CTD (crash to the desktop). Some users have also reported black screen issues related to GPU driver failure. Many users have argued that a crash occurs when the GPU tries to exceed a boost value of 2.0 GHz. The problem is common and has affected some reviewers as well. Igor’s Lab analyzed the problem and suggests that the capacitors used on the PCBs are the main culprit. The capacitors can be seen on the back of the GPU as most of these cards do not have a backplate. The PG132 reference board design was used as a base design by AIB partners to design their custom cards. The problem is that apparently NVIDIA has left open the choice of the type of capacitors mounted. The design includes six mandatory high-frequency filtering capacitors on the GPU, NVVDD and MSVDD voltage rails.

There are many possibilities to install capacitors with different parameters at this point. The better the filtering, the less likely there is a failure or stability problems at high clock rates, including after factory overclocking. POSCAP (Conductive Polymer Tantal Solid Capacitors) are generally inferior to SP-CAP (Conductive Polymer-Aluminum-Electrolytic-Capacitors), which are then below the MLCC (multilayer ceramic capacitor). AIB partners must follow certain guidelines outlined by NVIDIA to either use POSCAP (Conductive Polymer Tantalum Solid Capacitors), which are marked in red in the image, or MLCC (Multilayer Ceramic Chip Capacitor), which are marked in green. You can also use a combination of both types, however, reportedly Nvidia’s guidelines were not very clear and it was difficult to do the proper testing before the GPU’s release date. Manufacturers that have selected more MLCC over POSCAP offer better stability and fewer crash reports.

Colorful:

The producer was the first to unofficially reported the issue to the press. The test samples that were already sent to the reviewers were later replaced with new ones.

EVGA:

During our mass production quality control tests, we discovered that a full 6 POSCAP solutions cannot pass the tests. It took almost a week of R&D to find the root cause and reduce the number of POSCAP points to 4 and add 20 MLCCs before shipment, so the EVGA GeForce RTX 3080 FTW3 series was delayed at launch. EVGA GeForce RTX 3080 FTW3 cards with 6 POSCAP capacitors were not shipped. However, due to the time crisis, some reviewers were sent a pre-production version with 6 POSCAPs, we are working with them directly to replace their cards with production versions.

The EVGA GeForce RTX 3080 XC3 series with 5 POSCAP + 10 MLCC solutions is matched to the XC3 specification and has no problems.

ASUS:

ASUS changed the design in pre-production. No official statement was made.

MSI:

MSI admitted this issue when broadcasting MSI Insider Livestream, suggesting it might be a driver issue.

ZOTAC:

Igor’s LAB reports that PC Partner, Zotac’s parent company, seems to recognize the problem and of course changes its cards.

GIGABYTE, GALAX in the field:

No official statement.





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