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This page is an overview of Nvidia products and their common issues. For the specifics of Nvidia-branded reference graphics card models, see Nvidia Founders Edition GPUs.

Nvidia is a designer of graphics cards for desktop computers, mobile devices, and their own custom SoCs. Nvidia primarily creates reference GPU designs which are then extended and mass-produced by their board partners, however they also sell GPUs to end consumers under the Founders Edition label.

Graphics Card Generations[edit | edit source]

This list omits ancient generations unlikely to be encountered in semi-modern systems.
Code Name Marketing Name Guides
Fermi GeForce GTX 400 series, GeForce GTX 500 series
Kepler GeForce GTX 600 series, GeForce GTX (760, 760 Ti, 770, 780, 780 Ti)
Maxwell GeForce GTX 900 series, GeForce GTX (745, 750, 750 Ti)
Pascal GeForce GTX 1000 series (excluding later GTX 1600 series)
Volta NVIDIA Titan V
Turing GeForce RTX 2000 series, GeForce GTX 1600 series
Ampere GeForce RTX 3000 series

Memory Diagnosis with MATS/MODS[edit | edit source]

Symptoms: Graphical output is corrupted or missing or the system fails to boot.

A common failure mode of desktop graphics cards is bad VRAM (video RAM). Desktop GPUs typically have up to 24GB GDDR or HBM memory. If any of these chips fail then problems can occur. HBM is a special case because you cannot (yet) replace it without replacing the core as well.

Helpful software known as MATS/MODS can be used to diagnose which chips, if any, are failing on an Nvidia GTX 900, GTX 1000, or RTX 2000 series GPU.

BIOS Flashing[edit | edit source]

Symptoms: Graphics card fans spin but no output.

Often a dead graphics card can be brought back to life by reflashing the appropriate VBIOS image to its ROM chip. Occasionally end users will flash a buggy BIOS image with the aim of improving performance or for special applications such as power optimized cryptocurrency mining. If users flash a bad BIOS, they often lack the expertise to restore a working image.

Depending on the damage it may be necessary to remove the BIOS ROM chip from the GPU to flash it using a standalone programmer.

Clean reinstall of GPU drivers[edit | edit source]

Sometimes GPU drivers are faulty or conflict, and uninstalling them from device manager might not be enough.

If Windows reinstalls or updates to a faulty GPU driver you might need to use a diagcab file.