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Old driver blows up GeForce GTX 590 cards

Old driver blows up GeForce GTX 590 cards

Warning: update your driver to at least GeForce 267.71 if you're overvolting your card.

Nvidia’s recently released GeForce GTX 590 3GB - a card that costs around £580 inc VAT - can overheat and even blow up if overclocked with an old driver.

The problem was captured on video by the guys at SweClockers, and is apparently a result of the card drawing more power when overclocked or overvolted than its power circuitry can handle.

However, the problem can only occur if you overclock or overvolt the card, and only if you use an older driver. The GeForce 267.52 driver that was originally given out to the press, and which might be available from some websites, does not activate a safety mechanism that prevents damage to the card’s power components. However, Nvidia's latest driver does feature overcurrent protection.

In a statement, Nvidia explained that ‘in the web release driver of GeForce GTX 590, we have added some important enhancements to our overcurrent protection for overclocking. We recommend anyone doing overclocking or running stress apps to always use the latest web driver to get the fullest protection for your hardware.

The company also stressed that the card is completely safe, saying that customers could 'rest assured that the GTX 590 operates reliably at default voltages.' You can see a video of the GTX 590 3GB failing below, although Nvidia claims that the damage was caused by a user overvolting the card's GPUs by as much as 1.2V; a huge increase over the default voltage of 0.91 to 0.96V.

However, Nvidia still recommends that overclockers play it safe with the voltage, even if they're using water-cooling. ‘Nvidia has worked with several water-cooling companies to develop waterblocks for GTX 590,' says the company, 'and these solutions will help provide additional margin for overclocking, but even in this case we recommend enthusiasts stay within 12.5-25mV of the default voltage in order to minimise risk.

The company also reminded us that any overclocking or overvolting can void a manufacturer's product warranty.


Let us know your thoughts on this in the forums.

71 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
Flibblebot 25th March 2011, 15:49 Quote
Which version will be included on the driver CD that comes with the card - because that will be the version that many people use...?
DbD 25th March 2011, 15:55 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flibblebot
Which version will be included on the driver CD that comes with the card - because that will be the version that many people use...?

It's that one that blows up. Many people I'm not so sure - who buys a £600 card that has only just come out and then doesn't update the drivers to the latest .... particularly if they plan to overvolt and overclock the card.
wuyanxu 25th March 2011, 16:17 Quote
cramming two 300w GPU with power connectors only rated to deliver 450w is pretty much asking for sparks and smoke.
Snips 25th March 2011, 16:31 Quote
"The company also reminded us that any overclocking or overvolting can void a manufacturer's product warranty."

Commonsense seems to have gone missing then.
Pete J 25th March 2011, 16:39 Quote
Gotta say, the 590 really isn't impressing me and stuff like this doesn't help.
Baz 25th March 2011, 16:47 Quote
Not already got an order for two PeteJ? Really? :p
Mattmc91 25th March 2011, 17:04 Quote
Is it bad that I chuckled while watching that vid? :P
NethLyn 25th March 2011, 17:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flibblebot
Which version will be included on the driver CD that comes with the card - because that will be the version that many people use...?
Quote:
Originally Posted by DbD
It's that one that blows up.

Not at all Matt, I Lol'd when reading these two posts, it's the joke of the day :D AMD must be happy it's not their stuff blowing up for once after that infamous Athlon-on-fire vid.
faceplant 25th March 2011, 17:42 Quote
Seriously. Is there any need to overclock it, the chips have already been hand picked. Looks like the Asus Motherboard was mullered as well. Suckers.

On the upside, don't ya love the smell of burning electronics when it's not yours.
Snips 25th March 2011, 17:43 Quote
Technically, you could do the same thing with any component and with the power of fanbois and youtube it ends up on tech forums.

Follow the guidelines and you don't end up with a paperweight.
maverik-sg1 25th March 2011, 17:52 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baz
Not already got an order for two PeteJ? Really? :p

lol

Back to subject at hand - Well you know the card should be fast enough without overclocking out the box so most people with be uneffected - although it's a bit of a daft situation and I feel for anyone who found this out first hand prior to knowing the issue.
PabloFunky 25th March 2011, 18:07 Quote
Cool video, (Or should i say hot?)
oooops!!!.
Now i think id better find the reviews for the 6990 instead
l3v1ck 25th March 2011, 18:47 Quote
Someone in quality control is going to get a reaming for that.
Pot Of Jam 25th March 2011, 19:19 Quote
Oh that is the funniest thing I have seen all day, and I saw a man get kicked in the nuts and futuramma!
Stewb 25th March 2011, 19:28 Quote
At lest now we know what to link nvidia fanboys to when they say ati drivers are rubbish...

Oh and,
faugusztin 25th March 2011, 19:37 Quote
I stil don't get it and no one explained it - the computer restart before the blow up. So how can be driver responsible ? Look at GPU fan, look at CPU fan, look at CPU fan light... This computer turned off, then on. There is no driver durring the POST.
tommythetim 25th March 2011, 19:37 Quote
boom boom shaka laka boom boom!
frontline 25th March 2011, 19:38 Quote
'Next Gen' card without the next gen drivers
thetrashcanman 25th March 2011, 19:47 Quote
LOL is all i can say about that
jimmyjj 25th March 2011, 20:35 Quote
Take a piece of electrical equipment and run more electricity through it then it was designed to take, and it will probably blow up. This is pretty self evident.
xaser04 25th March 2011, 20:37 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snips
Technically, you could do the same thing with any component and with the power of fanbois and youtube it ends up on tech forums.

Follow the guidelines and you don't end up with a paperweight.

That's funny, I don't recall any review sites mentioning their HD6990's "blowing up" despite testing the over clocking mode....

That would be because it has working OCP which seems to be lacking / not working properly on the GTX590.

My GT335m and GTX460 awaits your typical "AMD Fanboi" reply.....
Xyllian 25th March 2011, 20:45 Quote
The card was running at 1.025V and GTX580 stock clocks when it went kaput. Nvidia is lying to try and hide that they have a poorly designed power delivery which simply cant keep up with the GF110s.

All i can say is stay the fudge away from this card, it just doesen't work.
TWeaK 25th March 2011, 21:08 Quote
Oh noes! They let the magic blue smoke out!!
PingCrosby 25th March 2011, 21:09 Quote
Well....thats what happens when you've got one of Guy Fawkes' relations working on the design team.
balatro2005 25th March 2011, 23:25 Quote
Gutting. At least they got it on film. Wish I had a spare £600 to put up in smoke but it did make me laugh.
2bdetermine 25th March 2011, 23:57 Quote
Now who would be in their right mind OC new/unreleased card with an old/uncertified driver?
faugusztin 26th March 2011, 00:24 Quote
Old/uncertified ? That was the driver delivered on the CD.
Pete J 26th March 2011, 00:44 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baz
Not already got an order for two PeteJ? Really? :p
I'd be lying if I said I didn't think about it before the reviews :D . But,as I'm sure most of us would agree, Quad SLI/Crossfire just seems to be a bad idea in general.

On another note, it has to be said that the 590 is SO much more quiet than a 6990 - look around on youtube for the comparison. I can see why BT rate it compared to a 6990.
Waynio 26th March 2011, 01:16 Quote
From the article.

"Nvidia claims that the damage was caused by a user overvolting the card's GPUs by as much as 1.2V; a huge increase over the default voltage of 0.91 to 0.96V."

From me.
So I'm guessing this is not a driver issue & just a bad move of loading too many volts into it or was this result tested over many 590's & on different drivers?.
thehippoz 26th March 2011, 06:32 Quote
the video says 1.025v they probably typo
Goty 26th March 2011, 07:17 Quote
W1zzard over at Techpowerup evidently blew his up using the newer drivers, sooooo... yeah. Doesn't sound like a driver issue to me, just a weak VRM.
faugusztin 26th March 2011, 08:49 Quote
And Goty, still no one explained me how could a driver affect the card durring the POST, because as you can see on the video the computer stopped, then turned on and the VRM blew up at that point.
adidan 26th March 2011, 08:54 Quote
I was hoping for a huge explosion, I was left somewhat disappointed. :)
Djayness 26th March 2011, 14:45 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by faugusztin
And Goty, still no one explained me how could a driver affect the card durring the POST, because as you can see on the video the computer stopped, then turned on and the VRM blew up at that point.

For me it would matter little if it was a driver or not, thats a really expensive gfx card to be burning out like that.
Waynio 26th March 2011, 15:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Djayness
For me it would matter little if it was a driver or not, thats a really expensive gfx card to be burning out like that.

I think the lesson to be learnt here is don't be silly with volts unless you can easily afford replacing expensive parts ;).
Ending Credits 26th March 2011, 17:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Waynio
I think the lesson to be learnt here is don't be silly with volts unless you can easily afford replacing expensive parts ;).

Or you really really really REALLY really like blue smoke and the smell of burning silicon.
Snips 26th March 2011, 20:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by xaser04
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snips
Technically, you could do the same thing with any component and with the power of fanbois and youtube it ends up on tech forums.

Follow the guidelines and you don't end up with a paperweight.

That's funny, I don't recall any review sites mentioning their HD6990's "blowing up" despite testing the over clocking mode....

That would be because it has working OCP which seems to be lacking / not working properly on the GTX590.

My GT335m and GTX460 awaits your typical "AMD Fanboi" reply.....

Follow the guidelines and you don't end up with a paperweight
bobwya 27th March 2011, 00:21 Quote
I think 'blows up' is a bit of a euphemism. I was expecting a proper explosion/lab fire - not a little phht noise!
Marvin-HHGTTG 27th March 2011, 00:33 Quote
I like how calm the guys in the video were...

*sparks*

"Oh."

*Walks over*

I'd have thought there would be a little more verbal...

I don't really know why either AMD or Nvidia bothered with multi GPU cards this gen, they can both be beaten comprehensively by cheaper crossfire or SLI set-ups, and both have quite frankly embarrassing features (warrenty voiding OC switch - although some vendors have said they'll honour the warrenty, high power consumption, much downclocking, loud, hot, break...)
phuzz 27th March 2011, 00:36 Quote
Soooooo, and engineering sample goes phut when it's overvolted and using old drivers. I guess that's why overvolting voids your warranty then.

The way the computer seems to reset just before it burns looks to me like it just takes a second or so for the power circuitry to burn through the chip pakage.

Unless you're a green/red fanboi in which case the video clearly shows a stitch up from a pro AMD site or that nVidia can't build a graphics card. Take your pick fanbois :)
Waynio 27th March 2011, 00:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobwya
I think 'blows up' is a bit of a euphemism. I was expecting a proper explosion/lab fire - not a little phht noise!

Very true , I've had a psu blow up on me & it scared the sheet out of me with a massive flash bang, I wouldn't have even noticed anything happen from the gpu explosion other than it being knackered & maybe a whiff of the smoke lol :D.
jadawgis732 27th March 2011, 05:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by NethLyn
Not at all Matt, I Lol'd when reading these two posts, it's the joke of the day :D AMD must be happy it's not their stuff blowing up for once after that infamous Athlon-on-fire vid.

k I've been googling and youtubing my a$$ off for the last 15 minutes. Are you talking about the Toms Hardware vid where they remove the heatsink while running quake 3? more info please.

EDIT:
Quote:
Originally Posted by maverik-sg1
lol

Back to subject at hand - Well you know the card should be fast enough without overclocking out the box so most people with be uneffected - although it's a bit of a daft situation and I feel for anyone who found this out first hand prior to knowing the issue.

did anyone besides catch themselves staring at the word "daft" for 20 seconds and then realize they had no idea who or what a daft is?

//test if this is then what is :rofl: "Hey guyyys, you missed a spot"
Goty 27th March 2011, 06:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by faugusztin
And Goty, still no one explained me how could a driver affect the card durring the POST, because as you can see on the video the computer stopped, then turned on and the VRM blew up at that point.

You do realize that I said I DIDN'T think it was a driver issue, right?
adidan 27th March 2011, 09:55 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ending Credits
Or you really really really REALLY really like blue smoke and the smell of burning silicon.
I love the smell of burning silicon in the morning. ;)
[WP@]WOLVERINE 27th March 2011, 11:18 Quote
Nvidias claim that the card was running at 1.2 volts is an absolute lie. The Card was running at 1.025 volts and nothing else.
dyzophoria 27th March 2011, 11:35 Quote
this is really bad rep for nvidia, seeing the cards has only been released too early then this.lol
ObeyTheCreed 27th March 2011, 12:02 Quote
lol fail
frontline 27th March 2011, 12:08 Quote
Websites selling the 590 clearly state not to use the supplied driver, this would indicate it is not solely related to 'pebcak'. I certainly wouldn't try running furmark on any of these cards if i'd just spent £600 on one.
Evildead666 27th March 2011, 15:39 Quote
From what i've understood, the newer driver has OCP on all executables, its always on.
The older driver only had OCP enabled for Furmark and maybe another couple of EXEs.

Basically, the 590 is not a very stable card, and another 'driver mishap' like the one with fan problems, would kill the card. You're relying on the driver to save the card from thermal/electric death.
Watercooled cards should be pretty safe from any of this, and I think highly recommended for any purchasers of this card.
EvoDOOM 27th March 2011, 15:43 Quote
lol
Whindog 28th March 2011, 01:32 Quote
Wow all the AMD fanboys jump all over this. LMAO. Old driver + Huge overclock.....asking for trouble.

But ppl wana see what they wana see.......Oh look an Nvidia card blowing up...herpdurp....

GO AMD!!!!!!!

LMAO.

If you havnt seen enough proof that Nvidia cards are just flat out faster......then your a closed minded fool.
faugusztin 28th March 2011, 01:37 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Goty
You do realize that I said I DIDN'T think it was a driver issue, right?

You realize i didn't contradict you, but supported your statement ? I meant exactly that this cannot be a driver issue. The VRM did blow up at subsequent restart, and still no one explained it to me how can any driver play role before Windows is loaded.
slothy89 28th March 2011, 01:55 Quote
Quote:
Nvidia claims that the damage was caused by a user overvolting the card's GPUs by as much as 1.2V
The video clearly states it was at 1.025v... not 1.2..

but still, this is what happens when cards are over spec for PCIe2. I'm sure you could get the same result with the 6990 if you raised the voltage a similar amount.
thehippoz 28th March 2011, 08:34 Quote
that could be true.. they are pulling way over spec

the 6990 doesn't have the same stories though- nvidia probably needs a revision
Harlequin_uk 28th March 2011, 12:51 Quote
http://www.neoseeker.com/Articles/Ha...tilles/18.html

http://forums.overclockersclub.com/i...c=183386&st=36

At least 4 6990's have also blown up, not looking good for both companies first foray passed 300w limit is it...
Snips 28th March 2011, 18:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harlequin_uk
http://www.neoseeker.com/Articles/Ha...tilles/18.html

http://forums.overclockersclub.com/i...c=183386&st=36

At least 4 6990's have also blown up, not looking good for both companies first foray passed 300w limit is it...

Both of those links have been pulled dude!

AMD conspiracy? hahaha, just kidding before you fanbois start to light up again.
Harlequin_uk 28th March 2011, 18:59 Quote
'tis my fail ability to copy/paste.

http://www.neoseeker.com/Articles/Hardware/Reviews/AMD_HD_6990_Antilles/18.html

http://forums.overclockersclub.com/index.php?showtopic=183386&st=36

Interesting conversation elsewhere - seems that *AMD* might well have put pressure on some review sites not to announce there cards failed during testing - along the lines of 'say anything and you'll never get another card again'... apparently.

And fanboy? You're having a giraffe - I have a 6850.
Evildead666 29th March 2011, 12:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harlequin_uk
http://www.neoseeker.com/Articles/Ha...tilles/18.html

http://forums.overclockersclub.com/i...c=183386&st=36

At least 4 6990's have also blown up, not looking good for both companies first foray passed 300w limit is it...

Bad links with "..." in them.
Cyberpower-UK 30th March 2011, 17:08 Quote
I just had one blow running Crysis 2, no overvolt or overclock on the card, driver 267.91 (WHQL) with SLi Profiles v6 and the Crysis 2 EXE renamed as Crysis to get the SLi to kick in properly.

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5135/5573788233_7113fcf29f_b.jpg

That happened with the card running on an open bench so no other damage, but imagine this happening in a plastic case. The card is a hazard, at least the 6990 had the good grace to shut down the PC when it overheated.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKz86yupV44
Cyberpower-UK 30th March 2011, 17:09 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by adidan
I was hoping for a huge explosion, I was left somewhat disappointed. :)

My explosion was pretty big, flames and smoke, no time to video it though.
zulu9812 30th March 2011, 22:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by wuyanxu
cramming two 300w GPU with power connectors only rated to deliver 450w is pretty much asking for sparks and smoke.

Yes, that is quite worrying. I suspect that's the reason for the low clock speed, i.e. power has been throttled back. I'd be very concerned about overclocking this card.
zulu9812 30th March 2011, 22:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyberpower-UK
I just had one blow running Crysis 2, no overvolt or overclock on the card, driver 267.91 (WHQL) with SLi Profiles v6 and the Crysis 2 EXE renamed as Crysis to get the SLi to kick in properly.

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5135/5573788233_7113fcf29f_b.jpg

That happened with the card running on an open bench so no other damage, but imagine this happening in a plastic case. The card is a hazard, at least the 6990 had the good grace to shut down the PC when it overheated.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKz86yupV44

I take it you RMA'd it? I'd be curious to see how many of these cards do get RMA'd...
EvoDOOM 30th March 2011, 23:10 Quote
It would be interesting to find out how many of these cards where RMA'd
Initialised 31st March 2011, 00:40 Quote
Hitlers take on the situation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QFqxn804Vmk
zulu9812 31st March 2011, 12:07 Quote
I've heard that the new drivers actually underclock the card during gaming and that's why it no longer blows up. Can anyone confirm this?
frontline 31st March 2011, 14:02 Quote
Looks like a bios update is on the cards to rectify the issue http://www.kitguru.net/components/graphic-cards/jules/updated-gtx590-bios-rushed-out-to-repair-reputation/

Wonder if it will drop the clock speeds.
faugusztin 31st March 2011, 14:27 Quote
Clock speeds alone will not help. They need to drop voltage as well. Somehow i see rev.B cards apearing soon, with better VRM. NVIDIA was thinking it will be enough, but it isn't enough it seems.
Cyberpower-UK 31st March 2011, 15:23 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harlequin_uk
Interesting conversation elsewhere - seems that *AMD* might well have put pressure on some review sites not to announce there cards failed during testing - along the lines of 'say anything and you'll never get another card again'... apparently.
I'm not a reviewer, I test what we sell. So far I've done 4 6990s with no failures and one GTX590 which went pop on Crysis 2 (so it is still capable of punishing extreme hardware). A pair of CFX 6990s did overheat but it just reset the system, no cloud of black smoke. No pressure from either company, just the usual press releases stating how each card is better than the other.
enciem 1st April 2011, 00:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by zulu9812
I've heard that the new drivers actually underclock the card during gaming and that's why it no longer blows up. Can anyone confirm this?

New drivers don't underclock 590's. I tried all three revisions of drivers since launch and it still popped a GPU on the latest drivers. The other one still worked on the card but I'm currently trying to RMA the 2 I bought because I've no faith in the other one now.

No overclock or overvolting, just a fan whirr and then I noticed a low frame rate, pretty odd, and not very dramatic, just totally gutting.
DieselPower 11th April 2011, 15:13 Quote
Not the sort of thing you'd want to see on a £500+ Card...
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