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.