One of the cards that are in our reviews agenda is the GALAX / KFA2 GTX 1070 EX, ours sample was purchased by our team at a retailer, sealed, with warranty and all procedures common to any purchase of hardware. The first tests run by our Editor, Abilio Albino, were those of stress in synthetic benchmarks in order to find the limit for overclok.
The procedure was a classic overclock through the MSI Afterburner, dragging the bars by raising the clock, power limit and temp target. With this method we find the GPU limit in approximately 2177-2190 MHz, a great performance for the chip that can be considered “above average”. In a search of refinement we set out for the clock and voltage curve editor of MSI Afterburner when things started to get weird.
OVERCLOCK BUG “GOLD CHIP ”?
Decreasing the voltage we reached 2200 MHz easily. With 2230 MHz in curve editor we have run a Firestrike test, after the results we started to suspect something was wrong since the score was lower than the 2100 MHz overclocking in the classic way. We came across the bug.
By using the clock and voltage curve editor from MSI Afterburner for overclocking you can already see a lower performance at the same clock against the classic way. The “bug” allows to take the board up to the 2519 MHz mark just by climbing the clock curve aggressively from the 1,025v, so it was not necessary to change even the voltage.
Fake clock cheats monitoring software
All this would be something remarkable if it were not an important detail. While it was possible to achieve a extreme clock, the performance gain equals at most 2130 MHz effective results. In all tests we performed the results were always below expectations with the clocks reached by the GTX 1070 EX even at 2.5 GHz, which leads us to believe that the actual “real” clock is much lower than presented, as we can see in 3DMark Firestrike.
Overclocking remains stable even in games, such as the Just Cause 3 test:
In a livestream broadcast on our channel with Abilio Albino, we reproduce the bugs in live with various monitoring programs with Galax / KFA2, check out:
EXCLUSIVE PROBLEM WITH GALAX / KFA2?
We tried to reproduce the scenario in a GTX 1070 Founders Edition in addition to EVGA, PNY and Zotac models through our colleagues but the bug was not repeated in any of them, being restricted exclusively to the tested GALAX / KFA2 models (yes, more than one).
To make sure the source of the problem, we tested four different BIOS available from Galax / KFA2 (http://www.galax.com/1070bios/), the versions:
GTX 1070 EX
GTX 1070 EX (Fan Stop)
GTX 1070 Exoc
GTX 1070 EXOC-SNPR BLACK
With the use of different BIOS we confirmed a suspicion that the problem was in the BIOS, since it was not possible to reach higher clocks with the GTX 1070 EX’s BIOS. This confirmed what we already suspected, because with the BIOS of the GTX 1070 EX it was not possible to reach clocks higher than the actual limit of the board, despite presenting the same loss of performance in a scenario where the clock reached with classic overclocking has more performance than the same Number obtained through a curve edition (2100 MHz x 2100 MHz). We have concluded that the anomalies are exclusive to the BIOS of the GTX 1070 EX (Fan stop), EXOC, and Sniper Black, which has been confirmed by our partners’ tests under the same conditions.
We asked for a response from NVIDIA Brazil that does not yet have an official position to the problem, but is analyzing the case. KFA2 was contacted by our team but until the release of this matter had not yet been positioned. As soon as we receive the official answers from NVIDIA and KFA2 we will update with more news.