Is there anything that could be done about my GPU?

Discussion in 'Videocards - AMD Radeon' started by PrMinisterGR, Jan 14, 2016.

  1. PrMinisterGR

    PrMinisterGR Ancient Guru

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    Hello there guys. My system has been a bit unstable during the last month. A week ago it started giving me one-color screen freezes, or full screen vertical lines and freezes. I removed my Sapphire 7970 OC with Boost GPU (blue PCB), cleaned it, reseated the cooler, blew into the PCI-express slot and it seemed to have come back to normal.

    Yesterday it did the same, only the treatment didn't really work this time. This is the kind of image I get (badly taken image from the BIOS):

    [​IMG]

    I barely managed to boot it in DOS mode with a USB stick and used ATIflash to flash back the original vBIOS, but it didn't seem to matter. I'm still getting exactly the same artifacts. The card doesn't seem to have a physical defect as far as I can see with all of the cooling/retention brackets removed. While in DOS mode I had two big vertical stripes from top to bottom of the screen, and it was full of weird characters like É in pink color, all over the screen at random locations. When the system boots Windows the screen simply turns black.

    My motherboard has four PCI-e x16 slots, so I tried the card in all of them. It did the same in every single one (along with the cleaning/applying paste/reseating that I mentioned above).

    Unfortunately the card had only a two year warranty, so... : S

    My guess is that it's hopeless, but it had managed to work since last time, so I'm willing to give it another shot if you have any ideas. Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2016
  2. Undying

    Undying Ancient Guru

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    He is talking about his HD 7970 not 7900GT (which is his replacement atm).

    Damn man, it all points out to me at fried Vram. Black screen happens to me always when push my Vram to much, even at boot. Did your card have Vrm sensors? You ever checked how high are Vrm temps underload?
     
  3. PrMinisterGR

    PrMinisterGR Ancient Guru

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    Thanks for the reply. I was stupid and didn't mention my card in the post, and then changed it in my profile. My card is a Sapphire 7970 OC with Boost (blue PCB). I have updated the original post accordingly. The 7900GT is holding like a champ. It even works in Windows 10 if you install the Windows 8 driver in Windows 8 compatibility mode :p

    The card has a bios that gives 1.6V to the ram, I flashed it and reset, and it's the same. Black screen is in Windows, in the BIOS it's weird colors like the picture, or/and vertical stripes/horizontal lines.
     
  4. Undying

    Undying Ancient Guru

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    You tried 1.5v ram bios?
     

  5. PrMinisterGR

    PrMinisterGR Ancient Guru

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    That's the default.
     
  6. CrazY_Milojko

    CrazY_Milojko Ancient Guru

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    OP, iirc you were running that 7970 around 1200, or it was 1150MHz for GPU?

    Guess that GPU needs (best case scenario) propper reflow, that's what you can do yourself, for example with some heatgun with digital temperature/airflow control. Try to find in one of my posts here on G3D proper procedure for reflow... I don't like/recommend GPU oven baking, in most cases it's a short term solution and you're frying caps on much more temperature than recommended (most of caps are 105C rated).

    GPU reball is much better and far more reliable (long lasting) solution but you're probably too far from me so I can't do that to your grap.card. If reflow fails try to find someone localy to do proper GPU reball.

    Also there is a small chance that caps are worned/dried out.

    edit
    here's that post:
    http://forums.guru3d.com/showpost.php?p=4655623&postcount=13
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2016
  7. PrMinisterGR

    PrMinisterGR Ancient Guru

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    I'll try to see if I can get my hands on a heat gun. Thanks for helping! I got some more pics.

    BIOS:

    [​IMG]


    Booting Windows:

    [​IMG]


    Login Screen:

    [​IMG]


    Login Animation:
    After this it's black and the whole system hangs.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2016
  8. haz_mat

    haz_mat Master Guru

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    Yeah it doesn't look good. Surprising you can still get into BIOS, so perhaps there is some hope that a reflow will get it working again.

    Hopefully you can get it working for at least a few more months until the new cards are here :)
     
  9. Undying

    Undying Ancient Guru

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    Try it, cant hurt. Everything to bring back that card. This is the worse time you lost your 7970. You'll need like 250€ to get marginally better performance.

    380X and GTX960 isnt even a upgrade. Custom R9 290's is only worth while option atm.
     
  10. PrMinisterGR

    PrMinisterGR Ancient Guru

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    I have found a Gigabyte 290x OC Winforce for a more or less reasonable price, so I'm thinking in that direction. The GTX 980 is $100 more here, so I can't even consider it. Since I'm at 1080p I'll hold it for some time I guess. For now I just baked it, there is no one around with a proper heat gun/thermometer and buying them costs 15% the cost of the new card, so that was that. I'll report back :p
     

  11. oGow89

    oGow89 Maha Guru

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    i would give 500 bucks for the r9 nano and oc it to 1100 mhz on the core and 560 on memory and have fury x performance. Screw both the r9 290x and gtx 980
     
  12. CrazY_Milojko

    CrazY_Milojko Ancient Guru

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    You've rushed, I'm sure you can find someone localy with some nice heatgun in next day or two. Every single wall/wood painter has it! But guess it's too late now, 7970 is probably baking in the oven atm. Hope it'll be sucessful and it would breath at least month or two life in that card until you find some cache to buy new card, R9 290 or 970 is at least what you're aiming for to feel difference compared to that unlucky 7970.
     
  13. PrMinisterGR

    PrMinisterGR Ancient Guru

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    I would if it was 500 here. Unfortunately it's closer to 750 :/

    I cleaned the whole card from paste, stickers etc. I put it in a pizza pan covered with aluminium foil, the card itself standing on four little aluminium foil "pyramids". I preheated a gas oven at 200C for 5 minutes, lowered the temperature to 180C and put the card in for 8 minutes. No artifacts whatsoever yet. I just installed the driver. I'll run 3DMark now in a loop.
     
  14. Embra

    Embra Maha Guru

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    *crosses fingers*
     
  15. nexxusting

    nexxusting Banned

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    It's absolutely not hopeless.

    BGA GGDR5 ram becomes unsoldered with excessive heat.

    Heatgun at 400c with rosin flux. Fixed. I'd bet my life on it.

    I fix PS3/PS4/Xbox 360/XBONE's as well and its ALWAYS, ALWAYS a reflow. Maybe 2% of the time it's a dead part.

    Am I in the wrong forum?

    Are there no REAL geeks here? I never see responses like mine. I've even seen idiotic responses like "Bake it in the oven'. Little tip on people who do that? Unable to grasp the simple concept of precise LOCALIZED heat via a heatgun. $20 at Wal Mart.

    Seriously some people.... lol.

    *edit*

    Well, just realize I more or less put my foot in my mouth.

    Regardless, not a smart move man. At all. You should have used a heatgun. It's an extremely simple concept dude. Do you understand what you have done by baking it?

    Capacitors LOVE excess heat. LOVE it, so much so that they will now produce a nice brown liquid prematurely on top for you to enjoy.

    Everyone here would be best suited to PM me with issues like this. I reflow/reball as a side job and have TWO professional rework stations (Hot air/ Soldering Iron). I would NEVER suggest a bake. EVER. I'm not trying to throw salt into the wound, however it's a mistake. Undeniably. Even if your card works because of it.

    I actually would have properly reflown or even reballed your card for nothing but postage here and back (reball would have cost for the stencil). Takes me all of 20 minutes and about 1 cent worth of Rosin flux to do it.

    Cool for the future guys? My knowledge is at your disposal.

    You didn't isolate the capacitors and other SMD's with foil and allow open flow directly to the GPU or RAM. No flux either. Point proven.

    It will not last. 180c is NOT enough heat either. Contact me when it stops working.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2016

  16. oGow89

    oGow89 Maha Guru

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    Where do you live at? That should be around 500 world wide. I mean it costs 500 euros here but for 750?
     
  17. PrMinisterGR

    PrMinisterGR Ancient Guru

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    I'll see what I can do to find a heatgun. The card has been running constant loops of Heaven and 3DMark firestrike for one and a half hour now. No problems yet. I live in Brazil, it's actually quite hard to find a heatgun at an acceptable price here. It would be more like $60. No matter, if I manage to get my hands on it, what do you recommend me to do exactly? You sound like you know what you're doing. As for the bake, a friend of mine actually managed to permanently fix a 9800GT of his with it.

    Brazil, which has a 40% import tax in electronics. The best case is to get something as a side import, but you still get a hefty addition in price. The 290x is really the only hope of getting something better at least.
     
  18. Undying

    Undying Ancient Guru

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    Still, if nothing helps 290X should a nice upgrade over your 7970. I would say go for it. 980 isnt worth 100$ extra. Stay with red PrMinisterGR, we need your wisdom here. :p

    And yeah, new toy to play with is always nice.
     
  19. nexxusting

    nexxusting Banned

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    He honestly got lucky bro. I do hope you do too, I really do.

    I wonder how much it costs to ship to Brazil, I'd buy one an ship it if it was cheaper. Furthermore, Brazil is humid. Always. Humidity in excess of 70% most of the time will damage PCB's and their ability to retain some of the smaller solder joints they hold. That plus heat = cards dying.

    I would get a hygrometer and see how humid it is in your PC area. Aim for 50% RH. A small cheap dehumidifier in your PC's area could extend it's life.

    Anyway since it works now I would wait for it to fail (if it does) and then use a heatgun. At that time I will walk you through it, you are clearly not an idiot and capable of doing the heatgun method... maybe just slightly misinformed.

    Happens to everyone bro. :)
     
  20. PrMinisterGR

    PrMinisterGR Ancient Guru

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    I was thinking more to survive 2016 with the 7970, and then get the best I could from the new stuff :/
     

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