Several sources have claimed that the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 tends to fail when overclocked to 2.0 GHz or more. The culprit may be the low quality components used in RTX 3080 boards made by AIB partners (add-on board).
The news leaked when they discovered that some versions of the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 use low quality capacitors on the board’s PCB, resulting in low quality power supply.
In addition, some AIB RTX 3080 cards (in particular the Zotac Trinity) have been discovered using POSCAPS (Conductive Polymer Tantalum Solid Capacitors) instead of the more expensive and generally better MLCCs (Multilayer Ceramic Chip Capacitors).
The RTX 3080 reference plate design allows for any type of capacitor, but POSCAPs cannot deliver clean power to the GPU as well as MLCCs can.
Comparing the design of the Zotac board with Nvidia’s Founder’s Edition (FE) variant, the Zotac board uses six POSCAPs while the FE board uses four POSCAPs and two MLCC clusters. As a result, the Zotac card locks when overclocked to 2.01 GHz, while the FE can overclock “clearly beyond 2 GHz”.
Other affected devices
Other AIB RTX 3080s appeared in the report, including MSI’s Gaming X Trio, which uses five POSCAPs and one MLCC, and the Asus TUF Gaming GeForce RTX 3080, which uses only MLCCs in all six points.
While OEMs and Nvidia have remained silent on the matter, EVGA has notified forum users that it has encountered problems using six POSCAPs in its design. Some of these six POSCAP cards ended up with reviewers, but EVGA revamped the card layout to use four POSCAPs and two MLCC clusters, which caused a delay in retail.
While this should still be considered a rumor until Nvidia or another OEM confirms that the quality of the capacitor is the reason behind the overclocking failures, it is something to keep an eye on. If you are considering buying an RTX 3080, it is worth taking a quick look to see what type of capacitors it uses before finalizing the purchase.
Zotac GAMING GeForce RTX 3080 Trinity — seis POSCAPs
NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Founder’s Edition — quatro POSCAPs, dois MLCC clusters
Asus TUF Gaming GeForce RTX 3080 — seis MLCC clusters