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Nvidia's GTX590 fried by an old software driver

Smoke 'em if you got 'em
Fri Mar 25 2011, 13:24

SWEDISH OVERCLOCKERS have blown up two Nvidia GTX590 cards by using an old 267.52 software driver that lacks overcurrent protection.

Only one day after its release, Nvdia's flagship Geforce GTX590 high end graphics card, which is staggeringly expensive at £569, has been tried and fried. Not once, but twice.

Respected Swedish overclockers Sweclockers reported the incident after receiving sample cards from a local vendor to test. The team raised the voltage to the GPUs on card one, which died smoking and popped some components. But, in name of science, though more probably in the name of blowing up expensive stuff, the team got another reference board and tried again, only to see it also shuffle off its mortal coil.

After discussions with Nvidia, it seems that the problem isn't the GTX590 card itself but with an older 267.52 software driver that lacks the overcurrent protection found on later drivers. The Swiss team tried again using the 267.71 drivers, which has the overcurrent protection built in and the GTX590 didn't fry itself.

The problem for the Green Goblin is that punters who have shelled out a small fortune to buy its brand new high performance GTX590 card are engaging in software driver roulette. Those older 267.52 drivers are shipped with the card and anyone willing to pay top whack for a high end niche graphics card will likely be an overclocker and prone to tinkering.

We haven't found any UK forum updates from GTX590 users affected by the same problem but Nvidia has already responded to the issue.

"A few press reports on GTX 590 boards dying were caused by unsafe overvoltaging (as high as 1.2V vs. default voltage of 0.91 to 0.96V), & using older drivers that have less overcurrent protection," an Nvidia spokesperson told the INQUIRER in an email.

"Rest assured that GTX 590 operates reliably at default voltages, and our 267.84 launch drivers provide additional levels of protection," they added. µ


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