[Updated] Nvidia RTX 3080 Cards Are Having Crashing Issues

Published: September 24, 2020 12:00 PM /


An Nvidia Geforce RTX 3080 graphics card

Update Sept 28 8AM: EVGA has issued a response to reports of its cards crashing. According to EVGA, some cards were made with 6 POSCAPs (a type of capacitor), a solution which the company says "cannot pass the real world applications testing". As a result, EVGA reduced the POSCAPs on its RTX 3080 FTW3 to 4, added 20 MLCC caps, and shipped this version. However, some reviewers were erroneously sent the 6 POSCAPs version due to "time crunch". Here's the statement in full:

Hi all,
Recently there has been some discussion about the EVGA GeForce RTX 3080 series.
During our mass production QC testing we discovered a full 6 POSCAPs solution cannot pass the real world applications testing. It took almost a week of R&D effort to find the cause and reduce the POSCAPs to 4 and add 20 MLCC caps prior to shipping production boards, this is why the EVGA GeForce RTX 3080 FTW3 series was delayed at launch. There were no 6 POSCAP production EVGA GeForce RTX 3080 FTW3 boards shipped.
But, due to the time crunch, some of the reviewers were sent a pre-production version with 6 POSCAP’s, we are working with those reviewers directly to replace their boards with production versions.
EVGA GeForce RTX 3080 XC3 series with 5 POSCAPs + 10 MLCC solution is matched with the XC3 spec without issues.
Also note that we have updated the product pictures at EVGA.com to reflect the production components that shipped to gamers and enthusiasts since day 1 of product launch.
Once you receive the card you can compare for yourself, EVGA stands behind its products!

It's worth noting that this is only one potential issue with the RTX 3080, and it's not the only partner card that could be experiencing issues due to POSCAP construction. Check out this handy Reddit link if you're looking for the reason that your particular card is acting up; it collates all major RTX 3080 partner cards and lists reasons as to why they might be causing game crashes.

Update Sept 25 10:53AM:  MSI has told us that Nvidia is "aware of [the] issue" around RTX 3080 cards crashing games. The company says it believes a new driver update, which it expects "very soon", will help to rectify these issues. Original story follows below.

 Some users are apparently experiencing issues with their Nvidia Geforce RTX 3080 graphics cards. A number of variants - including both Nvidia Founders' Edition cards and partner cards - are causing games to crash and throwing players back to desktop.

What's happening with the RTX 3080?

According to a number of user reports, systems with RTX 3080 cards in them are crashing after a short time in-game and throwing users back to the desktop, sometimes with error messages. The time users are able to play seems to vary from a few seconds to a few minutes, but it's always a very short amount of time. These issues have been reported in partner cards by MSI, EVGA, and Zotac, among others, but they also seem to be popping up in Nvidia's own Founders' Edition range (please note: link is in German and we've used machine translation).

A major common factor in these reports is the RTX 3080 overclocking itself to 2GHz when gaming, which appears to be an unsafe speed for the card. This aspect of the issue has been reported across Nvidia cards and partner cards. When the clock speed reaches 2GHz, that's when the game crashes and returns to desktop. Some users are experiencing display driver error messages to accompany the crash, but for others, whatever game they were playing simply stops running. The users reporting this problem are running diverse systems with various different components, so it's unlikely that these components are causing the issue.

What to do if your RTX 3080 is causing crashes

Since Nvidia hasn't issued an official statement about this problem yet, no single solution has been empirically proven to work in fixing RTX 3080 crashes. However, users have reported three main fixes that seem to alleviate the problem, although none of them has worked every time for every user. Here are the three things you can try if your RTX 3080 is giving you grief:

Underclock the card manually

The Core Clock setting in MSI Afterburner, which may help with RTX 3080 crashes

You can underclock your graphics card using a tool such as MSI Afterburner. Simply download the program and run the installation process. After it's complete, make sure Afterburner has detected your graphics card. You should see your clock speed as one of the central sliders. Users have suggested that reducing clock speed by around 100MHz remedies the issue, so try this and see if it helps your situation.

Turn off G-Sync

The G-Sync option in Nvidia Control Panel, which may help with RTX 3080 crashes

Some displays feature Nvidia's proprietary G-Sync technology, which works with your graphics card to smooth out framerate and latency. Turning this off may fix your RTX 3080 crashing issues. Open the Nvidia Control Panel (you should be able to do this by right-clicking your desktop). There, you'll find a "Set up G-Sync" menu. Simply uncheck the "Enable G-Sync" option in this menu.

Undervolt your GPU

The Core Voltage setting in MSI Afterburner, which may help with RTX 3080 crashes

Again, you'll need a tool like MSI Afterburner to do this. Just like the core clock speed, your GPU's voltage will be visible as one of the sliders on the main MSI Afterburner window. Simply lower the voltage and your RTX 3080 will consume less power, which may be part of the issue. It's worth trying this in conjunction with underclocking the card, as this will cause the RTX 3080 to run less intensively.

We've reached out to Nvidia as well as several of its RTX 3080 partners including Zotac, MSI, and EVGA about this issue. None of the companies involved have yet issued an official statement. We'll bring you more information on this problem as we get it.

Have you been experiencing RTX 3080 crashing issues? What's worked for you? Let us know in the comments below!

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Joe has been writing for TechRaptor for five years, and in those five years has learned a lot about the gaming industry and its foibles. He’s originally an… More about Joseph