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Updated GTX590 BIOS rushed out to repair reputation

KitGuru spies have uncovered the reason behind all of the recent commotion at NV headquarters. It seems that the stories being reported by customers on sites like Overclockers.co.uk mean that the “It is an old driver issue” statement might be binned in favour of something more substantial. KitGuru applauds nVidia's move.

Ever since SweClockers ran a video of nVidia's GTX590 card exploding in the lab, the world + dog has been waiting to see if this is a one off – or something indicative of a more serious issue. Interesting to see that in the day or two after the explosion, the view count was less than 10,000 – but it is now over 300,000. SweClockers ad sales team must have made an alter to nVidia and be thanking their personal gods that the cameras were switched on at the right moment.

Hard to see in this still, but there are 3 small columns of smoke floating up from the card in the full video. Worth looking at - click the pic to see

At the end of last week, nVidia was telling the UK channel that – 100% – the exploding card issue only affected products that were being over-volted and being used in conjunction with an older driver that was not meant to be used.

In nVidia's own words…

“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.  Rest assured that GTX 590 operates reliably at default voltages, and our 267.84 launch drivers provide additional levels of protection. See our knowledge base for more info (http://nvidia.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/nvidia.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=2947)”

Initially, it was believed that almost no one would be affected. However, the latest stories from customers on Overclockers seems to indicate that the issue could be more widespread than first thought.

Greg Brown shares his pain on Overclockers

The jury is out and – in all honesty – with the speed of development, it may never return.

What do we mean by speed of development?

Well, nVidia's engineering squad have just completed work on a BIOS that is intended to prevent future GTX590 explosions.

We will be watching nVidia to find out when it might be available and will let you know. It would be nice to get a clarification from nVidia about which customers could be affected by the ‘exploding card problem' and whether it is necessary for all customers to update their BIOSes.

nVidia has also said that additional warranty problems relating to exploding GTX590 cards will be dealt with by the manufacturer who shipped you the card, rather than by nVidia itself. So the returns policy should be ‘Back to your local store, as per normal'.

nVidia has yet to make a statement regarding customers who want to return GTX590 cards because they are scared that there are safety issues. It's a little bit of a grey area, so some clarification would be nice.

KitGuru says: Great move by nVidia to hard-code a solution into the BIOS. No one wants to see £600 cards exploding – even if there is an RMA process in place. Prevention is definitely better than cure. We will watch this closely and report back on developments.

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