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News Hardware RTX 3080 Crash to Desktop Problems "Likely Connected to AIB-Designed Capacitor Choice"


Feb 1, 2017
Igor's Lab has posted an interesting investigative article where he advances a possible reason for the recent crash to desktop problems for RTX 3080 owners. For one, Igor mentions how the launch timings were much tighter than usual, with NVIDIA AIB partners having much less time than would be adequate to prepare and thoroughly test their designs. One of the reasons this apparently happened was that NVIDIA released the compatible driver stack much later than usual for AIB partners; this meant that their actual testing and QA for produced RTX 3080 graphics cards was mostly limited to power on and voltage stability testing, other than actual gaming/graphics workload testing, which might have allowed for some less-than-stellar chip samples to be employed on some of the companies' OC products (which, with higher operating frequencies and consequent broadband frequency mixtures, hit the apparent 2 GHz frequency wall that produces the crash to desktop).

Another reason for this, according to Igor, is the actual "reference board" PG132 design, which is used as a reference, "Base Design" for partners to architecture their custom cards around. The thing here is that apparently NVIDIA's BOM left open choices in terms of power cleanup and regulation in the mounted capacitors. The Base Design features six mandatory capacitors for filtering high frequencies on the voltage rails (NVVDD and MSVDD). There are a number of choices for capacitors to be installed here, with varying levels of capability. POSCAPs (Conductive Polymer Tantalum Solid Capacitors) are generally worse than SP-CAPs (Conductive Polymer-Aluminium-Electrolytic-Capacitors) which are superseded in quality by MLCCs (Multilayer Ceramic Chip Capacitor, which have to be deployed in groups). Below is the circuitry arrangement employed below the BGA array where NVIDIA's GA-102 chip is seated, which corresponds to the central area on the back of the PCB.

In the images below, you can see how NVIDIA and it's AIBs designed this regulator circuitry (NVIDIA Founders' Edition, MSI Gaming X, ZOTAC Trinity, and ASUS TUF Gaming OC in order, from our reviews' high resolution teardowns). NVIDIA in their Founders' Edition designs uses a hybrid capacitor deployment, with four SP-CAPs and two MLCC groups of 10 individual capacitors each in the center. MSI uses a single MLCC group in the central arrangement, with five SP-CAPs guaranteeing the rest of the cleanup duties. ZOTAC went the cheapest way (which may be one of the reasons their cards are also among the cheapest), with a six POSCAP design (which are worse than MLCCs, remember). ASUS, however, designed their TUF with six MLCC arrangements - there were no savings done in this power circuitry area.

It's likely that the crash to desktop problems are related to both these issues - and this would also justify why some cards cease crashing when underclocked by 50-100 MHz, since at lower frequencies (and this will generally lead boost frequencies to stay below the 2 GHz mark) there is lesser broadband frequency mixture happening, which means POSCAP solutions can do their job - even if just barely.

In short, it is, of course, AIB's fault.
Surprisingly AMD drivers are not to blame.

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Aug 26, 2019
Glad I kept my 2080Ti.........too soon? What is the fix? Throttle it down or change it out. I think they gonna throttle it down to save money. Asus is one of the boards that didn’t cheapen out supposedly. Was waiting on a 3090 Strix. Benchmarks tell me to wait for a Ti

beena crazy two weeks MS sniper move and now this vs all those 2080Ti memes. This month will forever be remembered SAVAGE. Actually The Walking dead sounds more fitting.
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May 18, 2020
I'm lucky I missed launch lol. It sold out so fast. I guess I'll wait for the "Super" version. I'm in no rush I guess, my 1060 is holding up like a damn champ.


Sep 13, 2019
It's just a theory. Gigabyte oc 3080 have better 470 caps and also can crash. It's probably drivers


May 18, 2020
So if ASUS used the highest quality parts, does this mean they crash less? I mean this theory should be easy to validate then, if you have one company using the cheapest possible (ZOTAC) and another using the best possible (ASUS)?


Jan 7, 2008
It's just a theory. Gigabyte oc 3080 have better 470 caps and also can crash. It's probably drivers

AIBs have confirmed it's the capacitors, 100%. EVGA changed them on the FTW prior to launch cause they discovered it during in house QC testing. The only thing driver or firmware updates will do is gimp the cards to lower frequencies or power targets. Enjoy your $800 downgrades.
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Jul 13, 2017
AIBs have confirmed it's the capacitors, 100%. EVGA changed them on the FTW prior to launch cause they discovered it during in house QC testing. The only thing driver or firmware updates will do is gimp the cards to lower frequencies or power targets. Enjoy your $800 downgrades.

Hi all, Recently there has been some discussion about the EVGA GeForce RTX 3080 series.

During our mass production QC testing we discovered a full 6 POSCAPs solution cannot pass the real world applications testing. 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, this is why the EVGA GeForce RTX 3080 FTW3 series was delayed at launch. There were no 6 POSCAP production EVGA GeForce RTX 3080 FTW3 boards shipped.

But, due to the time crunch, some of the reviewers were sent a pre-production version with 6 POSCAP’s, we are working with those reviewers directly to replace their boards with production versions. EVGA GeForce RTX 3080 XC3 series with 5 POSCAPs + 10 MLCC solution is matched with the XC3 spec without issues.

Also note that we have updated the product pictures at EVGA.com to reflect the production components that shipped to gamers and enthusiasts since day 1 of product launch.

Once you receive the card you can compare for yourself, EVGA stands behind its products!
Thanks EVGA
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Suffers from extreme PDS
Oct 24, 2017
I'm good with my 2080 Super until they iron all these kinks out. I definitely wasn't up for another round of bot fights after the PS5/XSX pre-orders that I barely made it out of.
Feb 15, 2013
Launch is a disaster. Even JayNoSense, massive Nvidia fanboy is piling in on Ampere, video has over 1m views:

I told you guys not to get suckered in to this disaster, unicorn priced '$700' 3080s with gimped 10GB memory and underwhelming performance in rasterization AND RT compared to what they tried to sell us.

Pathetic 3090 just 10% faster than 3080. No OC headroom across the board. Ludicrous power draw.

Now one nugget for you: there is an RDNA2 card that will 'compete' with the 3080 and it's rated at 250W...


One of the green rats
Oct 10, 2017
Ehh you could also say the clocks are too high for the hardware. 🤷‍♂️