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Question on Graphics Card Failures

Discussion in 'Videocards - NVIDIA GeForce' started by scrapser, Feb 24, 2018.

  1. scrapser

    scrapser Master Guru

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    GPU:
    EVGA GTX 980 ti
    I'm writing to get a general sense from members of what my issue might be. I'm providing a chronology of events here to review.

    I built my computer in 2009 which is what you see in my details. The original graphics card was an EVGA GTX 590. I purchased a Silverstone 1200 Strider PSU for the original build. I know that is overkill but that is why I bought it thinking it would never be strained.

    The GTX 590 died in late summer 2016 making it about 7 years old and is the first time I have ever experienced a card failure. I purchased a used an EVGA GTX 780ti Classified off eBay to replace it. The 780 died in November 2017 and I figured it was probably just wear. The original owner told me he used the card at stock settings. I replaced it with a brand new EVGA GTX 980ti I found on eBay. The card was an RMA replacement the owner decided to sell and use the cash to get a stronger card.

    The 980 died about two weeks ago so it died after 3 months. It was still under warranty from EVGA so I obtained an RMA and EVGA is now sending me a GTX 1080ti as a replacement.

    When I lost the 980ti I tried some troubleshooting and found that my computer would boot only when the graphics card was not powered. As soon as I plugged in the power cables the computer would not turn on. If I waited a few minutes and tried again all I got was a brief flicker of lights and fans. Unplug the power cables and the system boots.

    So I'm wondering if the PSU is weak and killing the graphics card. I read several posts on various forums and an old PSU seems to come up as a possible cause. Your thoughts? I realize this is a general analysis without specifics but I do not have the equipment to test the PSU and so forth.
     
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  2. JonasBeckman

    JonasBeckman Ancient Guru

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    GPU:
    Sapphire Vega Pulse
    Seven years would mean a bit of wear & tear on components in general such as the motherboard (Testing a different PCIE slot if available could be a thing.) and also the PSU as they do lose effectiveness over time although that alone shouldn't be a problem but there's the overall hardware degradation too, wonder how well it's delivering the power if that could be why the GPU shuts down.

    Have you cleaned the PSU? Some of them are more easy to open up in order to remove the fan and dust it out a bit, over the course of a year dust buildup tends to be pretty significant from my own experience although in my case I do have a pet dog and much of the dust is from hair as a result.
    (Not all PSU's can be easily dismantled though.)


    EDIT: Far as GPU durability is concerned 5 - 6 years is good but the quick deaths of the replacements is a concern and must have some other cause although if it's the PSU or if it's the motherboard could be tricky to figure out.

    Replacing the PSU wouldn't be bad due to overall degradation and wear & tear though but what state it actually is in might be something to investigate, cleaning it out if that hasn't been done before and if it can be easily taken apart might help as a first step but it might not solve the shutdown issues or at worst if it's killing the GPU's due to some fault in the hardware.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2018
    airbud7 likes this.
  3. JonasBeckman

    JonasBeckman Ancient Guru

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    GPU:
    Sapphire Vega Pulse
    A quick Google search for reviews and other information also shows that the PSU appears to be modular and there's at least three different models with the one I found being ST or silent as a more cost affordable alternative in this series, if you have the manual for it you can also check how it's set up in regards to the various rails and cabling (Looks like there's three? 12v3, 12v4 and 12v5) so you could try that and see if it works better to adjust the cables as another bit of general advice, every hardware is different and it could still work reliably but 7 years and counting is still a lot of time just so you are aware and hardware can and will eventually fail depending on a variety of conditions and causes.

    EDIT: A 1000W and above PSU is usually for powering multiple GPU's and other hardware, you generally won't need as much what with prices these days if you do decide on a replacement. :)

    I'd consider a replacement, better to be sure and avoid it killing the GPU. It's one thing if it shuts down which it can also do but it's a much more severe issue if hardware such as the graphics card takes damage.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2018
    airbud7 likes this.
  4. scrapser

    scrapser Master Guru

    Messages:
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    GPU:
    EVGA GTX 980 ti
    I already purchased a new PSU (Silverstone 1000W 80 Plus Gold) which I plan to install. The way everything occurred over the past two years it just made me wonder if I was losing the graphics cards due to the aging power supply. It could just be coincidence and some bad luck but I don't want to assume the old PSU is not involved.

    I forgot to mention when the 980ti died, I did clean the PSU and put everything back together. The computer booted up but within about three minutes the graphics card shorted out and a smell like burning electrical wiring was in the air. I removed the power cables one more time and the computer still booted okay. I called EVGA tech support and explained what happened. The tech guy said the card likely shorted out and issued an RMA. I don't want to burn up the replacement obviously.

    I will have the new card on Monday. I will post the results once I'm done installing and checking things out. I should also mention I have another computer with a DFI X58 mobo, Silverstone 1000w PSU and a GTX 295 card and that computer is still running just fine. It's 11 years old at this point.
     
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  5. JonasBeckman

    JonasBeckman Ancient Guru

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    GPU:
    Sapphire Vega Pulse
    Yes the overall lifetime of hardware can be very varied, my previous system was assembled in 2006 and then in 2011 as I built the current computer my sister was in need of a PC so I handed her the old one which it's now nearing 12 years since then.
    Only thing that was changed is the GPU which is using a AMD 7970, still running though it's not used as often these days and it's not problem free since a few hours in a powered off state makes it drop the bios settings entirely but it still functions despite it's age.

    For the example you provided the the 980Ti is a very solidly built GPU and if it's been running at stock settings then it should not have shorted out like that so to me that points to a problem with the power supply as well and since a replacement is already on it's way then tinkering with measuring equipment and trying to monitor what the PSU is supplying and how stable it is with fluctuations, spikes and other behavior irregularities is probably not going to be worth the effort compared to just taking it out and replacing it with a new power supply entirely although on the other hand if it is possible to confirm the PSU as faulty without risking the new 1080 GPU that would be better than needing to have it replaced too if things go badly.

    And at which point it would then be a issue with the motherboard and possibly the PCI-E connector itself but hopefully swapping out the PSU will be the end of these issues, switching to using say the x8 port isn't a ideal solution either if it's starting to show signs of failure but hopefully it won't come to that as it would be a much more problematic replacement and perhaps also quite costly depending on what's in stock.

    I suppose there was no obvious signs of damage when you cleaned out the PSU? Would have been easy if it smelled burnt or had visible damage or wear on the components since that would be a sure way to tell somethings not right with it, that's unlikely though seeing how the system still boots just that whatever part of it is feeding the GPU (One of the 6 to 8-pin connectors and rails.) might be problematic in some way. Almost sounds like it's pumping too much power and that's what kills it but that's just a thought.


    Other users might have a better idea and more detailed info as to what's happening, definitively don't want to risk another GPU and even if overall efficiency drops off after a while it's still more than enough for that hardware though how the power is delivered and other factors could still be a problem. Complex pieces of hardware too, fuses and other safeguards such as heat protection but that isn't always enough to prevent issues that can arise from gradual wear and tear unfortunately.

    But hopefully replacing the PSU will be the end of it and it had just started to fail. :)
    (There are worse ways for these to die, thankfully it didn't come to that at least.)


    EDIT: Also good to see EVGA still having good customer support, heard good things about them before and it's good to see it still being true.
     
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  6. user1

    user1 Master Guru

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    GPU:
    hd 6870
    whether a psu can survive long durations of time is really hit or miss, had a 500w psu that started dropping voltage after 10 years , caps starting to go bad ect, yet i have an antec 350 from 2004 (so old it has the aux connector) and it still delivers voltage within tolerance and the caps are ok , after all this time.

    that being said i definitely wouldn't run anything i cared about on something that old, caps dont last forever, even just sitting on a shelf.
     
  7. sneipen

    sneipen Active Member

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    GPU:
    Nvidia 1080 2ghz
    Im still using my 10++ year old powersupply, corsair 620watt. Still stable voltages at correct value. Have still to this day never experienced hardware dying on me. Considering buying a new psu next time i buil a new pc tho.
    Also my amd phennom and amd 6970 still works after many years of abuse. Heavy oc in the last year to keep playing games. My old core2 due worked several years after i bought it.
     
  8. Killian38

    Killian38 Member Guru

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    GPU:
    1060
    Reminds me of a Bad Motherboard I once had.


    Edit: With GPU prices where they are. I'd replace MB and PSU. Don't reuse PSU cables either.
     
  9. cryohellinc

    cryohellinc Ancient Guru

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    GPU:
    1080Ti SeaHawkX@2k+PG348Q
    As others have suggested - this is most likely a Motherboard failure.
     
  10. scrapser

    scrapser Master Guru

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    GPU:
    EVGA GTX 980 ti
    I installed the new PSU and graphics card. The card is a GTX 1080 SC ACX 3.0. I looked it up and it gets very good reviews. It lists for $1399 on Newegg. It's super quiet and everything appears to be running okay.

    But with the posts suggesting the mobo might be the culprit I'm beginning to worry I may not be clear of danger. Is there any way to determine if the mobo is causing the problem?

    I have an Asus X79 Sabertooth.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2018

  11. jaggerwild

    jaggerwild Master Guru

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    GPU:
    Many
    As was stated, if left on 24/7 even a quality PSU can die out. The motherboard is pretty much all or nothing, as it has been working I wouldn't screw with it. Boards either work or not no middle or the road. I would suggest as someone else did, use a different PCI-e slot(X16). I could see if the GPU was hanging in the PCI-e and may have warped it.
     
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  12. Agent-A01

    Agent-A01 Ancient Guru

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    GPU:
    1080Ti H20
    Could be bad luck or any number of things.

    One thing to note is 590s have very weak VRM and often overheat, not uncommon to die.

    As for 980TI rma, it's not brand new, it's a refurb; who knows what happened there.

    As for the Silverstone gold, it's an older design from 2011ish; today's PSUs are better all around so that's an odd choice to go with IMO.
     
  13. scrapser

    scrapser Master Guru

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    GPU:
    EVGA GTX 980 ti
    I checked my records. The 590 was part of the initial build (6/2011) and lasted for just over 5 years. Then a used 780ti replacement off eBay (9/2016) lasted just over a year. Then the 980ti replacement off eBay (10/2017) lasted about 3 months.

    I'm assuming the GTX 1080 SC ACX 3.0 is also a refurbished card. I closely inspected the motherboard and find nothing that looks bad. In fact, the board looks pristine. I never overclocked anything on this system so at least I can rule out that sort of variable. I also keep my computers clean and regularly blow/brush the dust out, remove fans every few months and clean the blades. I make sure the PSU is kept clean as well.

    So now I have a new Silverstone ST1000-G Evolution 80 Plus Gold PSU and the replacement card. I checked the voltage in BIOS and the 12v is spot on. I also installed GPU-Z to keep an eye on temps.

    I'm curious about what you said of the PSU. Are you saying the new unit I just purchased is based on 2011ish tech or were you simply commenting on the old 1200w unit?
     
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  14. jaggerwild

    jaggerwild Master Guru

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    GPU:
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    Down load MSI AFTERBURNER, use it to control the fan on the GPU keeping it nice n cool. I didnt see you mention any use of a GPU controller for cooling, this may be one reason the cards were failing. Also as said the 590 was a 2 die card. They usually have heating issue's, dual cards never seem up to snuff.
     
  15. insp1re2600

    insp1re2600 Master Guru

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    GPU:
    EVGA FTW3 1080Ti
    wouldnt fancy using a psu for 6-7 years personally, be too worried it taking out all the other components.
     

  16. Agent-A01

    Agent-A01 Ancient Guru

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    GPU:
    1080Ti H20
    The new one you bought.

    Your last PSU was a design from 2007.
     
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  17. scrapser

    scrapser Master Guru

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    GPU:
    EVGA GTX 980 ti
    Thanks. I would never have known about the specifics of PSU design. I never had need to go to that depth. This is the first time I've had a hardware problem involving component failure. And I've been involved with computers since 1984. I had a RGB cable fail on an Amiga monitor back in 1992. I had a Gateway monitor die just one month before the 3 year warranty expired and received a new replacement. But that's it.

    On the other hand I have never kept computers this long until now so perhaps I'm moving into new territory. Thanks for your feedback.
     
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  18. Chastity

    Chastity Maha Guru

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    GPU:
    Nitro 390/GTX1070M
    Depends on the quality of the PSU and the load you put on it. I like to get PSU overkill, where my full load is barely 1/2 the PSU capacity, or less. This way the PSU is never stressed, and lasts a very long time. My Cooler Master Silent Pro Gold 1200 is still kickin' out the power just fine. I also upgraded the quality of the PSU fan.
     
  19. RealNC

    RealNC Ancient Guru

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    GPU:
    EVGA GTX 980 Ti FTW
    The only GPU ever to die on me was a 780 Ti (Palit) after 2.5 years of use. (Warranty was 3 years.)

    I've read an article somewhere that NVidia stated they're designing GPUs for a lifetime of at least 5 years.
     
  20. scrapser

    scrapser Master Guru

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    GPU:
    EVGA GTX 980 ti
    I forgot to mention I have another computer for WinXP that I built in 2007. It has a OCZ GameXStream OCZ700GXSSLI 700W power supply. It's been running all these years (nearly 11). So with this recent issue I've decided to replace it. I bought an EVGA SuperNOVA 750 G2. Might as well take steps not to stress other components with an aging PSU.
     

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