The down and dirty on the hot and bothered ACX 3.0 cards
Subject: Graphics Cards | November 2, 2016 - 07:10 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: pascal, nvidia, GTX1070, GTX1060, GTX 1080, fail, evga, ACX 3.0
Checklist time readers, do you have the following:
- A GTX 1060/1070/1080
- Which is from EVGA
- With an ACX 3.0 cooler
- With one of the model numbers above
If not, make like Bobby McFerrin.
If so, you have a reason to be concerned and EVGA offers their apologies and more importantly, a fix. EVGA's tests, which emulate the ones performed at Tom's show that the thermal temperature of the PWM and memory was just marginally within spec. That is a fancy way of saying that in certain circumstances the PWM was running just short of causing a critical thermal incident, also know as catching on fire and letting out the magic smoke. They claim that this was because the testing focused on GPU temperature and the lowest acoustic levels possible and did not involve measuring the heat produced on memory or the VRM which is, as they say, a problem.
You have several choices of remedy from EVGA, please remember that you should reach out directly to their support, not NVIDIA's. You can try requesting a refund from the store you purchased it at but your best bet is EVGA.
The first option is a cross-ship RMA. Contact EVGA as a guest or with your account to set up an RMA and they will ship you a replacement card with a new VBIOS which will not have this issue and you won't need to send yours back until the replacement arrives.
You can flash to the new VBIOS which will adjust the fan-speed curve to ensure that your fans are running higher than 30% and will provide sufficient cooling to additional portions of the GPU. Your card will be louder but it will also be less likely to commit suicide in a dramatic fashion.
Lastly you can request a thermal pad kit, which EVGA suggests is unnecessary but certainly sounds like a good idea especially as it is free although requires you sign up for an EVGA account. Hopefully in the spare seconds currently available to the team we can get our hands on an ACX 3.0 cooled Pascal card with the VBIOS update and thermal pads so we can verify this for you.
This issue should not have happened and does reflect badly on certain factors of EVGA's testing. Their response has been very appropriate on the other hand, if you are affected then you can get a replacement card with no issues or you can fix the issue yourself. Any cards shipped, though not necessarily purchased, after Nov. 1st will have the new VBIOS so be careful if you are sticking with a new EVGA Pascal card.