EVGA 970 FTW TDP issues - requires BIOS mod to fix - Overclock.net - An Overclocking Community

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EVGA 970 FTW TDP issues - requires BIOS mod to fix

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post #1 of 112 (permalink) Old 10-31-2014, 07:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Edit: made a modded BIOS to fix the issue. Description of the two BIOS located in the folder:

I believe the FTW and SSC cards have the same voltage controllers, but the SC and base EVGA 970 card supposedly have different ones, so don't flash a SC or base card with this.

1) BIOS #1 - 220242.ROM - This is the original BIOS I made where the only thing changed was power limit increased from 170w default and 187w at max power slider to 220w default 242w max power slider. This BIOS will run default boost clocks of 1400 without throttling (which takes 196w on my card), but it still probably can't pull more than 198w total due to PCIE lane power not being increased.

2) BIOS #2 - 225250.ROM - This BIOS has the following changes from stock:

- PCIE motherboard slot power limit increased from 66w to 75w. Since the card most likely pulls power symmetrically, this means it can now pull 75x3 (225w) instead of 66x3 (198w) like the first BIOS.

- Power limits changed from 170w default/187w max slider to 225w default / 250w max slider. Since you can physically only pull 225w from the card, you should leave power slider at default.

- The card won't temperature throttle until 89c instead of 79c. The 91c shutoff feature is still there. You will not reach that temperature with 225w anyway unless you put the card in a case with no fans.


Link to BIOS and NVFLASH for Maxwell:

970FTWbiosflash 1001k .zip file

Steps to flash

1) Place the files in a folder on your C drive

2) Uninstall the Nvidia driver completely and reboot

3) Open a command prompt (to get to it, open a windows search box and type "cmd" and when it comes up, right click it and run as administrator.

4) Navigate to the folder with the files in it

5) Type "nvflash 220242.rom"

6) After it flashes, power off the PC (not reset), then turn it back on.


Original post

Ok, first off, I've used a Gigabyte 970 windforce before and the PCB on it was as thin as a sheet of paper and came basically pre-sagged/warped straight from the factory. The EVGA 970 FTW feels much more sturdy and looks like a piece of artwork in comparison while also having a thicker PCB. Having said that, the 970 FTW seems to have some issues.

edit: fan issue solved, secondary BIOS switch on back of the card doesn't use 0 rpm fan at idle.

Moving on to the next issue. Here's Cryengine 3 running on the card (Lichdom). It's hard to show using the picture, but even though it looks like a flat line, the card was CONSTANTLY pinging back and forth between 1379 to 1392 speed while GPU usage was constantly bouncing up and down as well. The card was running at 101%+ TDP on the meter, so the card running on stock clocks seems to throttle. It seems kind of unacceptable to have a card throttle at stock clocks without even reaching the 80c throttle temp (the card never broke 75c), so there needs to be a BIOS update to increase the TDP of this card without having to use a 3rd party utility.




Other 970's I've used are capable of holding a constant 99% GPU load in this game that I've tested, but this card could not with the current TDP limited BIOS. The card was not a complete stutter fest, but it definitely wasn't as smooth as some other 970's I've used due to this 98% to 99% GPU load constantly pinging up and down issue while the clockspeed was also doing the same thing.

There's really no reason for this FTW card to exist in current form until this issue is fixed. The EVGA 970 SSC edition is very likely a better card since it probably just barely escapes the TDP issue without having GPU load constantly pinging, although that card may have the same problem too.

As for coil whine, I think I only get it on game menus with 4000 FPS so far, and not while actually playing a game.

TLDR Version: FTW card needs BIOS update to increase TDP and most people would probably prefer the fans actually spin at idle as long as the sound level is the same as a reference card or lower.

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post #2 of 112 (permalink) Old 10-31-2014, 07:36 PM
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well the pcb on my Gigabyte G1 Gaming GTX 970 is not thin, it's quite sturdy.



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post #3 of 112 (permalink) Old 10-31-2014, 07:41 PM
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Can you not set the fans to spin in a custom fan profile? I doubt EVGA will take away a much-desired feature.

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post #4 of 112 (permalink) Old 10-31-2014, 07:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flopticalcube View Post

Can you not set the fans to spin in a custom fan profile? I doubt EVGA will take away a much-desired feature.

No serious game player uses any 3rd party apps like that because nearly all of them induce either lag or stutter. The fix has to be in the BIOS. Anything else is not an option.

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post #5 of 112 (permalink) Old 10-31-2014, 08:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by r0ach View Post

No serious game player uses any 3rd party apps like that because nearly all of them induce either lag or stutter. The fix has to be in the BIOS. Anything else is not an option.
Don't hold your breath. They provide custom fan profiles in Precision X and that will be their answer to your problem. You might get a quicker answer from Jacob if you ask in the EVGA Forums.

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post #6 of 112 (permalink) Old 10-31-2014, 08:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flopticalcube View Post

Don't hold your breath. They provide custom fan profiles in Precision X and that will be their answer to your problem. You might get a quicker answer from Jacob if you ask in the EVGA Forums.

The fan is the least of issues with the card. The TDP part of my post is the real issue if you didn't notice. Cryengine 3 - Lichdom has been my testbed for testing 970 cards and the 970 FTW isn't capable of playing it as smooth as others due to the TDP issue which causes GPU usage to ping up and down while others cards hold a solid 99%.

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post #7 of 112 (permalink) Old 11-01-2014, 03:14 PM
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I can't get my two FTWs to hold a stable voltage or core clock. My core bounces between 1493 and 1519 every second or two. I tried tweaking the voltages in the BIOS, but it didn't seem to help anything. Even seemed to set me back, as my voltage was stuck at 1.05v so I went back to the stock BIOS.
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post #8 of 112 (permalink) Old 11-01-2014, 05:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaeflash View Post

I can't get my two FTWs to hold a stable voltage or core clock. My core bounces between 1493 and 1519 every second or two. I tried tweaking the voltages in the BIOS, but it didn't seem to help anything. Even seemed to set me back, as my voltage was stuck at 1.05v so I went back to the stock BIOS.

Can your card hold 99% gpu usage and not have the clock speed constantly bouncing up and down in Cryengine 3 at stock speeds? I've used a Gigabyte 970 and the card would hold a solid 1342 speed without fluctuation at stock but this Evga 970 FTW won't hold a constant speed.

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post #9 of 112 (permalink) Old 11-01-2014, 06:32 PM
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I don't really have anything using Cryengine 3 right now. I could try patching up Mechwarrior Online, and I think I have a copy of Nexuiz on Steam that I never got to work right and see how they do. I'm pretty sure I was bouncing between 97-99% usage though when I was running Furmark and Valley. Nothing out of the ordinary from what my 760s did before so it never caught my eye.
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post #10 of 112 (permalink) Old 11-01-2014, 08:28 PM
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Ok, lets clear up a few things here.

First, the GTX 970 is an extremely power efficient card. That means that the VRMs may only need to be cooled by the air produced by the fans. Even though the GTX 970 is a very fast card, it simply does not use a whole lot of power. If I had to guess, I would say that the reference GTX 970 card from eVGA is quite well tested, and there will be no RMA issue in regards to the VRMs. And why are you so concerned about the fans not spinning when playing League of Legends? League of Legends uses like 20% of the power of that card to when playing maxed @ 1080P. It's not a very taxing game at all.

Next, the reason that your clocks are constantly changing is because of Maxwell's GPU Boost 2.0. It takes into account power usage, TDP, temperature, and GPU usage. If any of these items meet a certain limit, the GPU will automatically back down the clock slightly to normalize itself. I have NEVER noticed the The difference between 1110mhz and 1097mhz on my GTX 780, even though it hits those levels in virtually all games. Your clock speed is even higher than that, so I highly doubt that you notice it either. I understand that it's an annoyance, but really, it doesn't affect performance in any significant way... and in regards to the VRM cooling issue, it will make the card last longer by making sure it doesn't overheat or over-saturate the power delivery circuitry.

That brings me to my next point: 3rd party software. If you have a modern system (you do), there is enough overhead left over in the CPU and GPU that you will never notice a program such as EVGA Precision or MSI Afterburner. All you have to do is fire up either of those programs and set the power target and temperature target to higher values. Once you do that, it should get rid of the clock bouncing issue you describe.

As for this,
Quote:
Originally Posted by r0ach View Post

No serious game player uses any 3rd party apps like that because nearly all of them induce either lag or stutter. The fix has to be in the BIOS. Anything else is not an option.

No offense, but this is a load of crap. I get no lag and no stutter on ANY of my games with my current setup, and I always have EVGA precision running in the background. Hell, I even have a second monitor where I can monitor my computer's load and temperatures at all times... I still don't get any lag or stutter.

The reason EVGA, MSI and other companies released GPU monitoring and tweaking programs is so that you could have better control over your GPU, not worse.

Just try it. You may be surprised at how well it works. wink.gif



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