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NVIDIA Says No to Voltage Control

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It has come to our attention that NVIDIA is making sure that there will be no voltage control for their GK100 line up. In a forum post on EVGA forums, EVGA employee Jacob (EVGA_JacobF), responded to question about why a new GTX 680 Classified shipped without an EVBot port.

Picture Pulled from the Original Post

Picture Pulled from the Original Post Courtesy Sticky622 @ EVGA Forums

The initial assumption by members was that this was just a manufacturing defect that accidentally passed QA. However, here’s Jacob’s response to the initial question.

“Unfortunately newer 680 Classified cards will not come with the EVBot feature. If any questions or concerns please contact us directly so we can offer a solution.”

Of course, many members were wondering about why EVGA had decided to remove the signature feature of their flagship GTX 680, in which Jacob responded with…

“Unfortunately we are not permitted to include this feature any longer.”

So, they are not permitted by NVIDIA to include the feature. NVIDIA is the only entity that could “not permit” them from doing something on their own product. Then, members asked the “Why?” question once again to try to coax a less vague answer to this situation and they are supplied with…

“It was removed in order to 100% comply with NVIDIA guidelines for selling GeForce GTX products, no voltage control is allowed, even via external device.”

From this quote, it’s obvious that NVIDIA does not want their partners to supply any means of voltage control with the GK100 series of GPUs. This is a slap in the face to many of the enthusiasts and everyday overclockers who enjoy pushing hardware for that extra performance. That leaves the extreme, warranty-voiding modders that hardmod their GPUs with the ability to increase voltage for the Kepler cards and have a stress-free overclocking experience

The only fault of EVGA throughout this process of removing EVBot ports is that there wasn’t an official announcement before cards without EVBot ports were shipped or listed on their site. Also, an EVGA forums member pointed out that the picture of the GTX 680 Classified in their product section seems to have the EVBot port blacked out using something like MS Paint. So, from the outside looking in it looks like EVGA was trying to hide the fact that the GTX 680 Classified will no longer have EVBot support and hoping no one noticed.

From EVGA's Product Page

From EVGA’s Product Page

We sent an email out to EVGA for some more details about why this happened and some Classified specific questions. Jacob was able to answer the Classified specific questions.

Will you be reducing the price of the GTX 680 Classified?

“No plans at the moment.”

What makes your Classified worth the premium being charged if it is now limited to NVIDIA’s (low) Power Target limits with no additional voltage control?

“Higher power target, better cooling, higher out of box performance, binned GPU, superior voltage/power regulation, 4GB memory.”

Doesn’t that make all the records Vince keeps setting kind of worthless for anybody but him and EVGA? Not that they aren’t astounding and take a ton of skill, but if only he has access to cards that can do it, what’s the point?

“Anybody can do the same, just need to have the expertise like he does to modify the cards manually (this will VOID warranty though)”

Now, there may be ways of getting around even this if you can do it. Will EVGA be willing to supply a diagram / explanation for making your own EVBot port or directly soldering on the EVBot lead?

“Not from EVBot, but there are other documented ways to override voltage, again this will void warranty though.”

The questions that could not be answered were “Why is NVIDIA doing this?” and “Are they [NVIDIA] experiencing an increased level of RMAs? …as in, does real voltage control kill Kepler GPUs excessively fast?” and it would have been nice to to know the answer to these. Only NVIDIA knows exactly why they are holding back the potential of their GPUs by limiting the cards so much.

All this information makes it seem like it’s just a matter of time before NVIDIA snuffs out other voltage control features from other manufacturers. We know MSI and Galaxy have been having trouble getting NVIDIA to budge on allowing voltage control. ASUS has their GPU Hotwire feature, which can control GPU voltage when combined with their high-end motherboards (simliar to EVGA’s EVBot). I haven’t heard or read anything about ASUS removing hotwire for NVIDIA cards, but it looks to be inevitable. We’ve sent an email to our contacts at ASUS asking about this and we’ll update with any information we get from them.

So, the AIB partners are not to blame here, it’s all NVIDIA.

– Matt T. Green (MattNo5ss)

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Discussion
  1. Here's a link to NV's and AIB's version of events, good read:

    http://vr-zone.com/articles/nvidia-s-green-light-program-overclocking-limitations--origins-and-implications/17318.html
    It looks like nvidia was having a problem with warranties so they needed to save some money from what i've been reading. Sounds like it was a problem that needed to be solved.

    +1 How can they blame the customer if they don't tell that they overclocked the card.
    txus.palacios
    AIBs can add overvolt support, if they drop nV's warranty. That means, that if one of the cores dies, it's all the AIB fault. AIBs don't want that.


    most warrantys prohibit overclocking

    so whats to lose. the owner broke the card, not the aib
    buys gpus form NV

    starts temp comp

    adds over volting support

    NV tells me to stop

    tell then to kiss my butt I bought the gpus, they don't stop comps from making non reff cards
    Jacob is PR, he can't say it because that's the company saying it. If TiN says it, he's an engineer helping out fellow enthusiasts who happens to work for EVGA. :p
    I really want to learn electronic soldering...

    Jacob says you can't just solder an EVBot connector in the empty spot, then TiN does it and it works :facepalm:

    Also, the GPU Flasher is awesome! No more EVGA EVBot supported mobo required for flashing :clap:
    TiN has outdone himself this time, with a great guide to manually taking your Classified to the max: http://kingpincooling.com/forum/showpost.php?p=23414&postcount=3

    Warning: it is not for the faint of heart.
    Sounds like that...Mid range Kepler card rushed in, overvolted and overclocked from factory to keep up with AMD big dogs at the moment, till they could tweak and launch their leaky big kepler.
    I don't think Nvidia saw the EVBot coming on the fermi, they just locked the BIOS and left it at that. Assuming people wouldn't go over it I guess.

    It could be said that there is software on the EVBot that interfaces with software on the GPU :D

    I think that Nvidia forcing the removal of the EVBot is rather rude, I also think that EVGA leaving the price high is rather rude as well.

    If we're believing Nvidia to an extent and believing that they really do warranty the cores they sell (lease?) to manufacturers this move makes sense to me. At least it makes sense if the Kepler core is very weak to sustained voltage.

    It looks to me like Nvidia knows that the core will die if over-volted for any meaningful length of time and is trying to prevent that from happening. Ideally while hiding it.
    Bobnova
    This isn't a new thing. It's a return to the old stuff.

    I continue to remind everybody that there was no software voltage for Fermis over 1.21v if you didn't have the (very) special, restricted use, software.

    Many generations didn't have any software voltage control at all!


    Yes, absolutely.

    However, (you knew that was coming, didn't you?) the scope of this discussion has gone beyond the reason this article was written in the first place - the removal of EVBot. EVBot != software voltage control. IIRC, you could exceed 1.21V with EVBot on a Fermi GPU, no?

    Yes, software was mentioned but the reason this is upsetting (to me, anyway) is that they've forced removal of EVBot as an option. Well, that and EVGA is keeping the price the same.
    Bobnova
    This isn't a new thing. It's a return to the old stuff.

    I continue to remind everybody that there was no software voltage for Fermis over 1.21v if you didn't have the (very) special, restricted use, software.

    Many generations didn't have any software voltage control at all!


    THIS.

    And...

    The fact of the matter is... This affects NOBODY but us Extreme Benchers... Or approximately .0000000002% of nVidia's market.

    Otherwise there is PLENTY of voltage available for normal people to blow up their GPU's on air... Or even water.

    It's just that us Extreme Benchers have to go to the old school methods of volt modding the hard way.
    This isn't a new thing. It's a return to the old stuff.

    I continue to remind everybody that there was no software voltage for Fermis over 1.21v if you didn't have the (very) special, restricted use, software.

    Many generations didn't have any software voltage control at all!
    wagex
    :forecast:

    :D i know, idk i mean if they cant put out pretymuch anything but reference all amd will have to do is be like ha ours is cocked higher and can oc furter.


    Thats if their drivers dont crap all over youre system first :D