Most of the time, which OEM you choose to buy a GPU from isn’t seen as having a huge impact on the performance of the card, though added value and included goodies often vary between manufacturers. Every now and then, however, design differences between companies do play out in a more significant way, and that may be what has happened to EVGA and its GTX 1080 and 1070 lineups. Reports from Reddit and the EVGA forums suggest that a number of cards have failed catastrophically and in high-profile fashion.
Hot Hardware reported on one Reddit user, Mydst, who saw his card flame out while he was using it, and he’s not alone. Sharp-eyed readers on the EVGA forums have pointed to a Tom’s Hardware Guide review, which picked up VRM (voltage regulator modules) temperatures exceeding 106C during stress loading. That’s significantly hotter than the GPU itself.
Photographs of the damaged cards also points to the VRMs, as shown in this image from Crazy6a3er on Reddit.
EVGA has responded to the controversy by making a series of VRM pads available for free to any consumer that requests them. As shipped, the VRMs apparently aren’t covered or cooled by the primary exhaust fan. EVGA is sticking to their claims that the VRMs are fully capable of tolerating these increased loads. The company’s statement is reprinted below:
No retest details have been published yet, but EVGA has published an updated Furmark test result with the pads installed:
EVGA appears to be honoring card warranties, but time will tell if the problem is actually VRM-related or not. If it is, then we’ll see replacement GPUs failing over time as well. If the pads solve the VRM issue, EVGA is likely to adopt them in future iterations of the card (and users who install them won’t see repeat failures). We’ve reached out to EVGA to see if the company had any additional response on this issue and will update if we hear back.