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.
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.
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)