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[workaround] Annoying design fault with expensive Zotac GTX 1080 AMP! Extreme cards

qubit

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#1
I've had this card for almost a month now and it's been great, with the fans starting, changing speed and stopping below 60C as they should and with fantastic performance all round. However, I just bought Rocket League and noticed an odd "breathing" sound from the card.



Turns out that the game caused the fans to constantly rev up, immediately stop and then rev up again in an endless cycle. Even quitting the game and with the card cooled down left them doing this.

Very annoying and will eventually put unnecessary wear on the fans. This would be a show stopping fault requiring RMA and purchase of a different model or brand if I hadn't been able to work around it with a new fan profile using the Zotac Firestorm utility. Should be able to do this with MSI AfterBurner too.

Anyway, some frantic Googling and Reddit posts later, it turns out that this is a design fault with this card which Zotac has failed to address or even acknowledge (so nice of them). There is no BIOS update on the Zotac website for any of their cards, either.

This is a card that used to sell for over £800 before the 1080 Ti came out, so this isn't acceptable. I bought it for a much more reasonable £550 off Amazon.

The problem seems to be that it can't maintain a fan speed below 1000rpm, therefore setting a fan speed below 30% results in this cycling.

This video I found demonstrates the problem and notice that only two fans are spinning up, just like my card.



Here's the default fan profile which you can see actually specifies a 10% fan speed even at 0C, which is kinda weird as the fans switch off below 60C.




Here's my custom fan profile. Notice how I've set the fans to switch off below 60C, as the card is supposed to do anyway. This has fixed the problem for me and I can now play Rocket League in peace. The card will actually run hotter with this profile, so I may adjust it in future, depending on how it goes. Any suggestions on improving this profile are welcome.



@eidairaman1 You'll be interested in this issue and might want to look out for it if you buy a Zotac AMP! Extreme card.

@W1zzard You might want to check for this problem when you review the Zotac GTX 1080 Ti AMP! Extreme. If you still have the 1080 version of this card, then you might want to check for this fault and update your review, or confirm the problem here.
 
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#2
There is also a way to add fan control to Nvidia Control Panel.
you need 6.08-nvidia-system-tools.exe
 

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#3
There is also a way to add fan control to Nvidia Control Panel.
you need 6.08-nvidia-system-tools.exe
that hasn't been a thing since XP

fan control on these cards is indeed a little flaky the fans used have a high spin up current draw and it confuses the fk out of the fan controller
 
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#4
that hasn't been a thing since XP

fan control on these cards is indeed a little flaky the fans used have a high spin up current draw and it confuses the fk out of the fan controller
surprisingly it gives fan control in the driver for me, I don't know if it will work in win 10 with latest driver though nvidia control fan.png
 

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#5
why the hassle of trusting a unreliable legacy tool that doesn't even support fan curves
just use msi ab and call it a day
if you wanna melt your card thats your business don't tell other people todo the same
 

qubit

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#6
I noticed it still revving when playing Rocket League just now. Adjusting the spin-up point to 40C leaves the fans spinning all the time in this game and a temperature of about 47-52C. I guess a certain amount of revving is inevitable for a card that stops its fans. What it really needs is a better hysteresis curve. The Palit GTX 1080 that I had before this one also stopped its fans and I didn't notice this problem, so the design is still iffy.

I'm gonna keep playing with the profile until I hopefully find a sweet spot for the majority of my games.
 
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#7
i asked what Zotac intends to do about this issue on their Facebook page....they have their comments set to approval to weed out any undesirable information hitting their customers sensitive eyes ;) lets see what they have to say, if anything @ all, i linked a video of it too
 

qubit

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#8
i asked what Zotac intends to do about this issue on their Facebook page....they have their comments set to approval to weed out any undesirable information hitting their customers sensitive eyes ;) lets see what they have to say, if anything @ all, i linked a video of it too
You troublemaker, asking awkward questions. :p
 

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#9
I don't think its something they can really address with a bios update
this smells like the fans having to high of a stall thresh hold
would be interesting to see the fans put on a bench psu and test what the minimum voltage/current needed is
 

qubit

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#10
I don't think its something they can really address with a bios update
this smells like the fans having to high of a stall thresh hold
would be interesting to see the fans put on a bench psu and test what the minimum voltage/current needed is
You could be right. Bit of a cockup really on a premium card. :rolleyes: I hope the 1080 Ti and future versions don't have this problem.

Anyway, this fan profile seems to work better:



Basically the fans spin all the time when a game runs and stop when I quit to the desktop, which is fine with me.
 
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#11
why the hassle of trusting a unreliable legacy tool that doesn't even support fan curves
just use msi ab and call it a day
if you wanna melt your card thats your business don't tell other people todo the same
Well its equally or less likely to damage your card than afterburner because if the profile fails to load it just runs at default speeds, and it doesn't require any additional software, it runs inside software you are running anyway (nvidia control panel). It adds a performance option in the control panel. You can set the fan curve to adjust based on the temperature, load %, or the CPU, among other variables. You can set the profile policy to control when it selects the profile, such as with certain applications or boot up. You can set fan curves with it, however it has 3 adjustment points so its kind of a crude curve. I run a 140mm 140 cfm fan (yate loon d14bh12) that draws power from the 12v and runs on the pwm from the card, so if for some unknown reason the software didn't do any pwm, it would still pull from the 12v line and run full out. Also the card has a minimum fan level that is hardcoded in the card's bios that is 33% for me, so it can't turn it off no matter what. I lock my fan to 33% most of the time, which is still monstrous cooling because this is a very powerful fan, but I also use a fan curve for some games.
nvidia control2.png
controlledelement.png
Just an alternative. Don't like it, then don't use it.
 
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#12
I have exactly the same issue with 1070 amp extreme, the fans couldn't keep steady rpm below 32%.
I made a profile in afterburner and when I'm playing any games I activate it.
Great card apart from that. Hopefully they will fix it with a BIOS update in the future.
 
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#13
You could be right. Bit of a cockup really on a premium card. :rolleyes: I hope the 1080 Ti and future versions don't have this problem.

Anyway, this fan profile seems to work better:


Basically the fans spin all the time when a game runs and stop when I quit to the desktop, which is fine with me.
Hi,

I've recently purchased a zotac 1080 amp extreme. That's a great gpu, but the problem with the fans constantly starting/stopping below 30% is really annoying. So i would like to try the workaround, but can't figure out how to set 0% in the fan curve editor.
Sorry for the stupid question, but how do you set the curve at 0% on the editor?

Thanks
 

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#14
No, that's not a stupid question at all, there's quite a nasty design fault with this card. Click the link below and scroll down to Sound Results for a full explanation of this issue.

Basically, they say there's nothing that can be done about it, no workaround, but that's not quite true, as I've done it. It will still tend to do this, but less obviously. I'll take a screenshot of my current FireStorm profile when I have a chance to later.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-nvidia-geforce-gtx-1080-graphics-cards,4725-12.html

While it's still a great card, built very well and really fast, I have mixed feelings about it now and perhaps should have gone for a different model without this problem when I had the chance. :ohwell:
 

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#15
No, that's not a stupid question at all, there's quite a nasty design fault with this card. Click the link below and scroll down to Sound Results for a full explanation of this issue.

Basically, they say there's nothing that can be done about it, no workaround, but that's not quite true, as I've done it. It will still tend to do this, but less obviously. I'll take a screenshot of my current FireStorm profile when I have a chance to later.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-nvidia-geforce-gtx-1080-graphics-cards,4725-12.html

While it's still a great card, built very well and really fast, I have mixed feelings about it now and perhaps should have gone for a different model without this problem when I had the chance. :ohwell:
Thanks for the link to the explanation. I would have chosen another card too if i'd knew about this problem before!

But my stupid question was not on the problem itself. I'm trying to edit the Firestorm profile, but fail at graphically edit the curve below 10%. I'd love to copy the curve you show on picture. The fans are set to 10% below 40°, they must be at 0%, but it's impossible for me to set 0 on the "user defined settings" curve.
 

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#16
That app is fiddly as hell, so it's not you - another thing that's not designed well. You have to try and click exactly on that horizontal line, which can take several clicks for it to register. POS software, basically. Between the fans and this, Zotac have got a right cheek to charge so much for this card.

I recommend the profile on post 10, but I think I may have a slightly better one now that I haven't posted on here, but I can't check right now.
 

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#17
That app is fiddly as hell, so it's not you - another thing that's not designed well. You have to try and click exactly on that horizontal line, which can take several clicks for it to register. POS software, basically. Between the fans and this, Zotac have got a right cheek to charge so much for this card.

I recommend the profile on post 10, but I think I may have a slightly better one now that I haven't posted on here, but I can't check right now.
Thanks, i'll try later.
 

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#18
That worked. The click must be made on the 1px wide bottom line. Pretty hard. Thanks again.

I Hope that this 30% speed fan problem could be fixed by a bios update....
 
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#19
Another workaround may be to set the fans so they never spin down. Instead of idling set speeds to the lowest possible when temps are low. This will probably be inaudible (IDK for sure unless I heard the card in your rig).
 

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#20
Another workaround may be to set the fans so they never spin down. Instead of idling set speeds to the lowest possible when temps are low. This will probably be inaudible (IDK for sure unless I heard the card in your rig).
I agree with this. IMO, the idle off feature is kind of gimmicky, and usually leads to more perceived noise than just leaving the fans running with a steady gentle fan curve.

The human ear is very sensitive to changes in noise. It is best to not have a stair step curve. The bumps up are going to cause a frequency change, and you are going to notice it.

This is the fan curve that I use for my cards. In this case, it is for a ASUS GTX 1070 Strix. The fans still stay spinning at 25%, but are inaudible. I have to adjust the bottom based on what card and how low the fans will go without stopping, but the basic curve stays the same. With this curve, the fans start to gradually ramp up once the temperature goes over 35°C, and basically the fans go up 10% for every 10°C. But it does it gradually, so you don't hear the sudden speed up or down of the fans. Once the card hits 70°C I have the fans start to ramp up from 60% to 100% much faster, in the span of just 10°C. This is so I am doing everything possible to keep the card under the 80°C throttling threshold(I know it is actually higher than that, but I like a little cushion). But even that last 10°C is still a gradual ramp, not just a jump, so it is pretty hard to actually hear it happening unless you are listening for it, until the fans really start to get loud that is.

GTX1070-Fan-Curve.png
 

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#21
@newtekie1 I thought of leaving the fans running at minimum speed and it worked fine when I tried it, fixing the revving problem nicely. However, this has the disadvantage that it will wear them out much more quickly, suck much more dust into the cooling fins, cover the fans in dust and still makes a bit of noise, although slight, so I've not left it this way. This is compounded by the fact that I don't actually game all that much on the PC, despite spending big bucks on a gaming rig, the various upgrades and loads of games, so my graphics cards just idle for most of the time, anyway.

The profile I've used minimises the revving problem so it's not such a problem any more and I get to keep the benefits of the fan off feature, which was one of the reasons I bought this card in the first place.

Re the dust / fan off, if you remember, I had a Palit GTX 1080 before this card, which died after three months and I created a thread about it. The surprising thing was how clean the card was due to the fans not spinning all the time, which is a significant plus in my book. The reason is that the card is sitting upside down, so the dust doesn't collect on the fans and fins with the fans off. All I have to do is clean the top horizontal surface of the card occasionally and don't have to remove it from the PC for a thorough clean, when the connector can get damaged and increase wear on it. Just see the thread in my siggy for what happened when I screwed that up just once...
 

newtekie1

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#22
However, this has the disadvantage that it will wear them out much more quickly, suck much more dust into the cooling fins, cover the fans in dust and still makes a bit of noise, although slight, so I've not left it this way.
Really, with the fans running at their minimum the fans aren't going to wear out until long after the card is in the landfill. And the minimal amount of air the fans move isn't going to cause a large dust issue either. I've run my fans at the minimums like this for years and there is very little dust build up in the fans. The air just isn't really moving fast enough to pull up dust into the card.

Plus, IMO, the other components on the card should have a little airflow. The surface mount components on the PCB, especially in the VRM area, don't like to be hot and wear out faster the hotter they run. So you are trading off soldered component life for fan life, not something I want to do.

But if you still want to use the idle off function, I can't argue with you. It is your card and I understand if that is what you want to do. But you should still minimize the stair stepping in the rest of the fan curve and use a sloped curve instead.
 

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#23
I hate you sometimes NT :p you make some good points there about the dust, wear and heat, so I might just give that a go. I guess it's not a black and white situation here. The cards I'm thinking about where older NVIDIA models that didn't have the fan off feature, so presumably they had a higher idle fan flow, causing all that gunking. I'm thinking GTX 285, GTX 580 reference cards and the MSI GTX 780 Ti Gaming here.

As far as that stupid staircase goes, that's a limitation of the FireStorm software unfortunately. Let's just say the software is a little crude. Perhaps MSI AfterBurner can do a better job? I'd have to check it out. Can you recommend any other utilities for controlling the fans?
 

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#24
I guess it's not a black and white situation here.
It never is. :D

I'd definitely ditch the Firestorm software. I'm pretty sure MSI Afterburner can do everything you need and is way better. It looks like Firestorm is just a shitty clone. I like MSI Afterburner, I use it with all my cards. I'm an old school Rivatuner user, so Afterburner just feels natural to me since Afterburner is based on Rivatuner.
 
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#25
I agree with this. IMO, the idle off feature is kind of gimmicky, and usually leads to more perceived noise than just leaving the fans running with a steady gentle fan curve.

The human ear is very sensitive to changes in noise. It is best to not have a stair step curve. The bumps up are going to cause a frequency change, and you are going to notice it.

This is the fan curve that I use for my cards. In this case, it is for a ASUS GTX 1070 Strix. The fans still stay spinning at 25%, but are inaudible. I have to adjust the bottom based on what card and how low the fans will go without stopping, but the basic curve stays the same. With this curve, the fans start to gradually ramp up once the temperature goes over 35°C, and basically the fans go up 10% for every 10°C. But it does it gradually, so you don't hear the sudden speed up or down of the fans. Once the card hits 70°C I have the fans start to ramp up from 60% to 100% much faster, in the span of just 10°C. This is so I am doing everything possible to keep the card under the 80°C throttling threshold(I know it is actually higher than that, but I like a little cushion). But even that last 10°C is still a gradual ramp, not just a jump, so it is pretty hard to actually hear it happening unless you are listening for it, until the fans really start to get loud that is.

View attachment 89151
This is what I do and it makes the most sense. Not just because I do it though, but hey :D

No one is going to convince me that a zero-DB fan will live longer than one that can keep spinning all the time - same as HDDs that die faster when they're put to sleep every five minutes. At the same time, you can't hear a good fan at low RPM anyway so the usefulness of 0dB eludes me. And then there is the obvious hot GPU in the case at idle that you also get to avoid when you just keep that fan going.
 
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