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.
Subject: Graphics Cards | November 2, 2016 - 04:01 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: nvidia, graphics drivers
The release of NVIDIA's GeForce 375.57 graphics drivers wasn't the most smooth. It introduced a few bugs into the package, which was likely due to all of the games that were coming out at the time. One issue introduced artifacts in animated GIFs, which could introduce seconds worth of black blotches. This was supposed to be fixed in the next WHQL driver, but it slipped. Since the next WHQL driver is looking to be a couple of weeks out, NVIDIA released a hotfix.
The driver also fixes “occasional flicker on high refresh rate monitors”. I'm not sure how old this bug is. I've heard some people complain about it with recent drivers, but Allyn and I have noticed weird snowy flickers for several months now. (Allyn actually took slow motion video of one occurrence back in May.) I guess we'll see if this is the same issue.
You can pick up 375.76 Hotfix from NVIDIA's CustHelp.
Subject: General Tech, Graphics Cards, Motherboards | November 1, 2016 - 05:23 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: msi, giveaway, giveaways, pc gaming
To celebrate their 30th anniversary, MSI is having a massive giveaway. Each day, from today (November 1st) to November 30th, you are able to answer a trivia question to be entered in that day's drawing. Being that it's MSI, they are also requiring that you capitalize every letter of your answer. I'm not joking; that really is in their How to Enter process. You also need to follow MSI and HyperX on Twitter to enter but, although the form is through Facebook, it looks like you do not need a Facebook account. I could be wrong about that last part, though.
Also, winning a prize does not exclude you from winning future prizes. Don't bother trying to game the system, like waiting to enter until the “good prizes” but not the “great prizes” that will get too many entries, etc. Try every day if you can, even if you already won previously.
The prize for today is the GeForce GTX 1050 Ti GAMING 4G from MSI, but they vary wildly from day to day. Even though NVIDIA is a partner in this giveaway, along with HyperX and Intel, there are even some AMD cards scattered throughout the month. I mean, it makes sense: MSI sells AMD cards. Their contest page claims that the total prize pool is up to $14,000 USD.
Subject: Graphics Cards | November 1, 2016 - 11:57 AM | Ryan Shrout
Tagged: video, rx 480, readon, nvidia, multi-gpu, gtx 1060, geforce, dx12, deus ex: mankind divided, amd
Last week a new update was pushed out to Deus Ex: Mankind Divided that made DX12 a part of the main line build and also integrated early support for multi-GPU support under DX12. I wanted to quickly see what kind of scaling it provided as we still have very few proof points on the benefit of running more than one graphics card with games utilizing the DX12 API.
As it turns out, the current build and driver combination only shows scaling on the AMD side of things. NVIDIA still doesn't have DX12 multi-GPU support enabled at this point for this title.
- Test System
- Core i7-5960X
- X99 MB + 16GB DDR4
- AMD Radeon RX 480 8GB
- Driver: 16.10.2
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB
- Driver: 375.63
Not only do we see great scaling in terms of average frame rates, but using PresentMon for frame time measurment we also see that the frame pacing is consistent and provides the user with a smooth gaming experience.
Subject: Graphics Cards | October 31, 2016 - 01:21 PM | Jeremy Hellstrom
Tagged: powercolor, devil box, external gpu
Thunderbolt 3, when properly implemented, provides enough bandwidth to make external GPUs possible. The rather large Devil Box dock offers all the connectivity generally found in a docking station but can also handle even the most recently released GPUs. Overclockers Club tested out the effectiveness of the Devil Box with an RX 480, comparing the performance of the card when installed internally and externally. As you would reasonably expect the performance is slower over Thunderbolt, by a fair margin in most cases but not as much in the DX12 Ashes of the Singularity. Drop by to see the full review and ponder if adding an external desktop GPU to your laptop is interesting enough for to you invest in.
"If you are using a laptop, you get single connection to everything you need via Thunderbolt 3. External storage, connecting USB peripherals, Gigabit LAN connectivity, display output, and charging all through one cable. Pricing will come in at $375 US for just the Devil Box enclosure and included Thunderbolt 3 40Gbps cable. Add in the cost of a good, solid $200 GPU and you fast approach $600."
Here are some more Graphics Card articles from around the web:
- MSI GeForce GTX 1050 Ti GAMING X vs AMD Radeon RX 470 @ [H]ard|OCP
- $100-$150 Best Playable Roundup: AMD’s RX 460 & NVIDIA’s GTX 1050 / 1050 Ti @ Techgage
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Linux Benchmarks @ Phoronix
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 OpenGL/Vulkan/OpenCL Linux Performance @ Phoronix
- MSI GeForce GTX 1050 Ti GAMING X 4G @ [H]ard|OCP
- The GeForce GTX 1050 & 1050 Ti Performance Comparison @ Tech ARP
- AMD & NVIDIA GPU VR Performance - theBlu: Encounter @ [H]ard|OCP
Subject: Graphics Cards | October 30, 2016 - 03:09 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: fail, evga
About a week ago, EVGA acknowledged an issue with their brand of custom-cooled GTX 1070 and GTX 1080 FTW cards. This came after the German branch of Tom's Hardware measured, back on October 6th, very high temperatures on the voltage regulator modules (VRMs), which was caused by these components not being able to adequately remove heat. To remedy the situation, EVGA offers cooling pads for all affected customers, which these customers could install under backplate and under the heatsink fins.
Image Credit: EVGA
Over the last day or so, users have been reporting that their cards are breaking, and even allegedly catching fire. According to GamersNexus and their source, Buildzoid of Actually Hardcore Overclocking, VRMs, if they fail, will just burn out without warning. The user in question claims that they were just playing Shadow Warrior 2 when their computer just shut down, with a sparkle and magic smoke. Taking the card out, they noticed a scorch mark on the PCB, right in the middle of the VRMs.
Regardless of how gloriously pyrotechnic this issue became, the consensus is that the thermal pads will still fix the issue. If you're not comfortable adding them yourself, then you should contact EVGA support.
Subject: Graphics Cards | October 30, 2016 - 12:08 AM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: titanfall 2, graphics drivers, amd
If you are experiencing crashes in Titanfall 2, and you are using an AMD graphics card, then you will probably be interested in AMD's Radeon Software Crimson Edition 16.10.3. According to its release notes, that is the only issue this hotfix driver addresses.
Also, being a hotfix driver, you might have issues with clean installs of Windows 10 Anniversary Update, because I'm not sure if it's signed by Microsoft. It might be, but that's obviously a fairly narrow subset of hardware and software that I cannot test on a single machine. If that's the case, though, then you can temporarily disable Secure Boot... or just wait until AMD releases a signed driver.
I should note that, while we're posting this a couple of days late, like our news about NVIDIA's driver, AMD was able to release this the day before Titanfall 2 launched. Our readers, at least I hope, found out about the update before now, rather than suffering through some crashes when a fix was already available. Sorry that I didn't get a post up sooner, though; AMD did their part.
Subject: Graphics Cards | October 29, 2016 - 11:45 PM | Scott Michaud
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.
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.
Subject: Graphics Cards | October 29, 2016 - 08:08 PM | Scott Michaud
Tagged: nvidia, graphics drivers
Yesterday, which was a Friday, NVIDIA released updated graphics drivers for Titanfall 2, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered, Skyrim Special Edition, Obduction, and Dishonored 2. While it kind-of missed Skyrim Special Edition by a day-and-a-bit, the GeForce 375.70 drivers seem stable enough in my testing, although a couple of issues that were introduced in 375.57 are still ongoing. I've been using them with a GeForce GTX 1080 (and a secondary GTX 670) for a little over a day, and I haven't yet seen an issue.
As for the known bugs, while neither of which affect me, they could be a bother to some. First, Folding@Home is allegedly reporting incorrect results, which NVIDIA is currently investigating. Second, and probably more severe, is that certain animated GIFs have quite severe artifacting. It's almost like, for the first handful of seconds, instead of seeing the frame difference over the first frame, you see it over a black frame. This can be worked around by disabling hardware acceleration (or using a different browser -- Firefox seems okay) until NVIDIA can release another driver. The good news is that it's already been fixed internally, they just couldn't ship it with 375.70.
Feel free to download 375.70 at NVIDIA's website (or GeForce Experience)... or wait for a later release if GIFV support in certain applications (like Google Chrome) or donating resources to Folding@Home are important to you. One of the “Game Ready” titles for this driver (Dishonored 2) won't be released until mid-November, though, so it might be a little while.
Subject: Graphics Cards | October 28, 2016 - 12:01 AM | Tim Verry
Tagged: water cooling, GTX 1080, gtx 1070, gpu cooler, Alphacool, AIO
Alphacool recently launched an interesting liquid GPU cooling product under its Eiswolf branding. Coming in an AIO kit or as a standalone GPU cooler, the Eiswolf GPX Pro is currently compatible with the GTX 1070 and GTX 1080 graphics cards.
The Eiswolf GPX is a GPU water block that pairs a removable copper water block with a large aluminum fin stack that passively cools the memory chips and VRM hardware while also feeding some of the heat into the copper block (and then the water loop). Alphacool has custom milled the aluminum to exactly fit the GTX 1070 or GTX 1080 such that users do not need thermal pads for the memory (just a small amount of thermal paste) and only tiny and thin thermal pads for the VRM chips. The GPU block is all copper and houses the pump. A backplate is included and when installed the block hides the card’s PCB behind the aluminum plate with ocool logo. When it comes time to upgrade the graphics card, you can remove the block and only replace the aluminum block that is custom to a specific card, which is nice to see.
The Eiswolf GPX AIO is the kit version and gives users a fully functioning loop. In addition to the Eiswolf GPX GPU cooler, the AIO kit includes a 120mm radiator with two fans in push-pull configuration and tubing with quick disconnects on both tubes. The fan cables are sleeved and the 11/8mm tubing is resistant to kinking. The loop is all copper save for brass fittings. The quick disconnects make it easy to remove the GPU from the system or to expand the loop. Users can add a second GPU (which also gets them a second pump) and/or connect it to the company’s AIO CPU coolers. Of course, it would also be possible to connect it to your custom loop if you wanted.
Reportedly, when running two GPX coolers in a SLI (dual GPU) setup, it is possible to undervolt both pumps to reduce pump noise such that they are near silent.
The ability to expand the AIO loop and to upgrade to newer graphics cards easily makes this an interesting product though I would have liked to see a larger radiator option especially for those wanting to go the dual GPU / dual pump route!
The Alphacool GPX Pro 120 AIO kit is available for 150 Euros (~$164 USD) and the GPX Pro (the cooler Itself) is available for 120 Euros (~$131 USD). Pricing is a bit high, but it has the potentially to have a much longer useable life than other GPU AIOs. I am looking forward to the reviews of this new cooler. I would like to see support for other graphics cards though.
If you are interested in this cooler, Alphacool has a video on YouTube with more information.