Capacitors blamed for graphics card failures: Page 2 of 3

November 05, 2020 // By Nick Flaherty
Capacitors blamed for graphics card failures
Panasonic has challenged accusation that electrolytic capacitors are responsible for recent failures in the latest graphics cards

that POSCAP capacitors independently could cause a hardware crash. Whether a graphics card is stable or not requires a comprehensive evaluation of the overall circuit and power delivery design, not just the difference in capacitor types. POSCAPs and MLCCs have different characteristics and uses, thus it is not true to assert that one capacitor type is better than the other.”

Nvidia of course took this seriously.

"Nvidia posted a driver that improves stability. Regarding partner board designs, our partners regularly customize their designs and we work closely with them in the process. The appropriate number of POSCAP vs. MLCC groupings can vary depending on the design and is not necessarily indicative of quality," said Nvidia

Various card makers also made statements to highlight their design skills.

“The Gigabyte GeForce RTX 30 graphics cards are designed in accordance with NVIDIA specifications, and have passed all required testing, thus the product quality is guaranteed. The GeForce RTX 3080/3090 GAMING OC and EAGLE OC series graphics cards use high-quality, low-ESR 470uF SP-CAP capacitors, which meet the specifications set by NVIDIA and provide a total capacity of 2820u in terms of GPU core power, higher than the industry’s average. The cost of SP-CAP capacitors is not lower than that of MLCCs. GIGABYTE values product integrity highly and definitely does not reduce costs by using cheap materials,” said Gigabyte.

“NVIDIA has released a driver (version 456.55) on September 29, 2020 that improves stability. Users are advised to update to the latest driver for optimized performance. For users who encounter power-related issues with GeForce RTX 30 series graphics cards, Gigabyte will provide product replacement, free of charge.”

While the GPU technology is always under scrutiny, it’s not often that the underlying electronics of high performance systems comes in for examination. This has highlighted a gulf of understanding on the difference between poly capacitors and MLCCs. No wonder Panasonic has felt aggrieved.

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