Since Nvidia announced the RTX 30 series GPUs, many people have been scrambling to get the latest hardware which promised an astonishing jump in performance over the last generation. However, since users got their hands on the RTX 3080, numerous reports of crashes and black screens have been reported, and EVGA has confirmed that the issue has to do with the type of capacitor solutions used in the graphics card.
Recent reports have cropped up online detailing potential problems with the new lineup of Ampere-based GPUs, and weirdly only seems to be affecting certain models. Multiple investigations by third parties online have looked into the matter, but EVGA has now officially confirmed it.
“During our mass production QC testing we discovered a full 6 POSCAPs solution cannot pass the real world applications testing,” said a post on the official EVGA forums. “It took almost a week of R&D effort to find the cause and reduce the POSCAPs to 4 and add 20 MLCC caps prior to shipping production boards.”
There’s a lot of information to talk about here, and you can look up the information yourselves if you want a more thorough explanation, but for now I’ll explain it in Layman's terms:
In electronic circuits, capacitors are used to filter out voltages (stopping direct current whilst also allowing alternating current to pass). The RTX 3080 cards currently use 2 different types of capacitors: POSCAPS and MLCC. GPU manufacturers have been using a mix of both types in the RTX 30 series.
(Above: the EVGA GeForce RTX 3080 PCB displayed underneath the GPU die)
Underneath the GPU die on a graphics card lies the PCB (Printed Circuit Board), which contains the GPU’s capacitors (little black squares), and according to EVGA and many other sources, the amount of MLCC capacitors present affect the card’s performance at higher frequencies (which is why manually underclocking the GPU by 50-100MHz has been a temporary fix).
Full 6 POSCAP design:
4 POSCAP + 2 MLCC design:
GPUs which have used a full 6 POSCAP solution have seen the most issues with performance, whilst the more MLCC capacitors that are present seem to increase stability. Though this doesn’t mean a 6-capacitor design is flawed, but instead means there is a higher chance of experiencing performance issues like crashes or black screens.
Additionally, EVGA added that multiple reviewers were sent a pre-production version of the EVGA GeForce RTX 3080 FTW3 card, which had the full 6 POSCAPs arrangement of capacitors. Because of this, EVGA has been working with the reviewers to replace their boards with current production versions. This was also why the GeForce RTX 3080 FTW3 series was delayed at the launch.
What do you think? How will card manufacturers fix this issue? Have you recently bought an RTX 3080? If so, have you experienced any performance issues like crashes or black screens? Let us know!
Igors Lab: Source