Some GTX 1070s Could Use a VBIOS Update

Subject: Graphics Cards | October 29, 2016 - 11:45 PM |
Tagged: nvidia, gtx 1070, vbios

So apparently I completely missed this news for over a week. It's probably something that our readers would like to know, though, because it affects the stability of GTX 1070 cards. Video RAM chips are purchased from a variety of vendors, and they should ideally be interchangeable. It turns out that, while NVIDIA seems to ship their cards with Samsung memory, some partners have switched to Micron GDDR5 modules.

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According to DigitalTrends, the original VBIOS installed in graphics cards cannot provide enough voltage for Micron quick enough, so it would improperly store data. This reminds me when I had a 7900 GT, which apparently had issues with the voltage regulators feeding the VRAM, leading to interesting failures when the card got hot, like random red, green, and blue dots scattered across the screen, even during POST.

Anywho, AIB vendors have been releasing updated VBIOSes through their websites. DigitalTrends listed EVGA, Gainward, and Palit, but progress has been made since then. I've found updates at ASUS that were released a couple of days ago, which claim to fix Micron memory stability, but it looks like Gigabyte and MSI are still MIA. The best idea is to run GPU-Z and, if Micron produces your GDDR5 memory, check your vendor's website for a new VBIOS.

It's a pain, but this sort of issue goes beyond driver updates.

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October 30, 2016 | 02:22 AM - Posted by Tateman

Looks like my Gigabyte 1070 is using Samsung chips, whew

October 30, 2016 | 01:36 PM - Posted by SpookyRonnie (not verified)

Honestly, I have a +650 OC on my 1070FTW with Micron VRAM. That's faster than I've seen any Samsung hit.

October 30, 2016 | 03:17 PM - Posted by Scott Michaud

Yeah. Apart from the hassle of updating your VBIOS, having Micron RAM isn't a downside. It's equivalent product.

October 30, 2016 | 06:49 PM - Posted by SpookyRonnie (not verified)

Not really much of a hassle, takes about a minute, quick restart and better PC results.

October 30, 2016 | 02:53 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Got my EVGA 1070 SC up from +100 on the memory to +300 stable. Not great, but actually boosted my average FPS's by a few. Good and simple update on the EVGA side.

June 25, 2018 | 05:17 PM - Posted by IgorGL (not verified)

geforce 1070 rev2.0 GV-N1070WF2OC micron, core +129 memory +756 , 10 days all nice

October 30, 2016 | 08:54 AM - Posted by GODCYPH (not verified)

Looks like my Zotac AMP! EE 1080 is using Micron memory, I'll be keeping an eye out for an update as there isn't one at the moment. I haven't run into any issues yet but better safe than sorry.

October 30, 2016 | 03:08 PM - Posted by Scott Michaud

Well... "safe". It shouldn't be anything more than an annoyance. As I understand it, there's not enough voltage (quickly enough) to go from idle to overclock (which allegedly includes some factory-supported levels).

The worst you should get is a one-off bluescreen. Likely just artifacting if anything.

October 30, 2016 | 10:58 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

WTF nvidia? Crap driver releases, now crap bios releases too?!

October 30, 2016 | 01:42 PM - Posted by SpookyRonnie (not verified)

It's not really NVIDIA's fault. It's more of the GPU manufacturer. Each manufacturer uses custom bios' it's up to the manufacturer to choose which VRAM, and other components they'd like. You can hardly blame NVIDIA for this. Remember, it's not even NVIDIA providing the updated BIOS it's the manufacturer.

October 31, 2016 | 02:26 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

It's an nvidia card, it's am nvidia problem.

It's nvidia that needs to get their AIBS in line.

October 30, 2016 | 04:04 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

China
China
China

October 30, 2016 | 04:43 PM - Posted by Scott Michaud

This makes absolutely no sense. First, this is a default settings issue, not a hardware issue. Second, Micron is an American company. Third, the hardware not only doesn't have an issue... it's great hardware.

October 30, 2016 | 05:41 PM - Posted by D1RTYD1Z619

I have a Nvidia branded GTX 1080 and it has Micron vram

October 30, 2016 | 07:42 PM - Posted by Scott Michaud

GTX 1080s are apparently unaffected. It's a different memory standard anyway, GDDR5 vs GDDR5X. The standards are very similar, mostly coming down to prefetch size and pin count, but it might affect binning (which could affect default voltage settings) or something. Not sure.

October 31, 2016 | 08:07 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

NVIDIA - the way you're meant to be screwed

#VBIOSgate

October 31, 2016 | 08:18 AM - Posted by Penteract (not verified)

This problem stems from AIB manufacturers not doing their homework - you don't just substitute parts without thorough testing. But even the companies that advertise themselves as the best (EVGA I'm talking to you) often don't do what should be done to provide the reliability their customers deserve.

October 31, 2016 | 01:24 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I cant believe Nvidia has memory issues again.
Please wait for Zen with Vega

November 3, 2016 | 02:23 PM - Posted by Fastclass

OK so I have 2 Asus GTX 970 Strix in SLI, GPU-Z shows one is Samsung and the other is Micron. I purchased them 2 weeks apart and had no problem using GPU tweak II with "gaming" boost button but each have problems trying "overclock" mode (total green specks all over screen, don't remember the increased numbers) Also now GPU tweak doesn't even load. I don't even use it anymore, I'm just a sad 4k casual gamer!
Coming from a GTX 970 I thought I was all clear!

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