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Author Topic: [SOLVED! Don't buy shitty power cables!] Can a video card start to "smoke"???  (Read 4116 times)
gigabytecoin
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June 09, 2011, 09:23:51 AM
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So I just setup my first dual PSU rig...

Two raidmax gold 850W PSUs (one with a shorted green + black ATX power cable to keep it powered on) powering 3 * XFX 5870s and 3 * GIGABYTE 5870s (OC Editions)...

All cards are connected by extension cables except for one which didn't want to work in an extension cable for some reason so it's plugged into the mobo.

I start up the computer, all is well...

I start the first few miners, all is going smoothly.

I begin to check the temperatures about half way through setting up the miners in a terminal, and notice that one or two of the cards is already at 90 degrees celcius. Which is odd... they are 5870s with 950core/300memory clock settings hard coded to the BIOS with almost nothing else changed.

Some of the cards (presumably the gigabyte's) are running just below 80 celcius like they should be... but 3 of the cards are just burning right up to 92-93 and sitting there.

I have my fans on continuous all the way from 0 to 100, so they should have been running at about 92% at that point in time.

Something starts to stink. Not sure what it is... assume it's just cheap glue burning off the pcie extension cables and/or that "fresh plastic smell" coming from the brand new cards perhaps.

I stupidly leave the room for a few minutes... only to come back and find that the room is now filled with a light grey smoke.

The computer is still working thankfully, and all cards are still mining... but I obviously shut it off ASAP and that is where I am at now.

The weird thing is... everything looks ok. The cables, the cards, the mobo... I can't tell exactly where the burning smell/smoke is coming from - I can only assume that perhaps xfx of gigabyte can't take the 950/300 clocks and they are literally burning up?

The PSUs were only running at about 85% max.

Another possibility is the fact that I have pcie power cable splitters? But this is not a problem on any of my other two rigs...

Anybody have an idea? Should I be "un-shorting" the green+black wires on the second PSU as soon as I short them to turn it on or something? Very worried about turning this baby back on...
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Scientician!
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June 09, 2011, 09:34:57 AM
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I think your PSU is frying or possibly the molex splitters. 850 is a bit low to try to run trifire 5870s.. the TDP on these cards stock is 188W, but anecdotally they've been reported to draw as much as 210-215W under 100% load. So lets call your 3 STOCK 5870s 600 watts. plus the rest of your system. If your gold raidmax are giving you 85% efficiency, you're getting around 720 W peak power.. You're definitely skirting it close.. As for the OC edition cards, you are definitely past the envelope.

Hopefully all you lost was a psu.

Next time you want to trifire on 1 PSU, get at least 1kW, preferably >1.2

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June 09, 2011, 09:36:23 AM
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well the only thing i ever really turned into smoke was a PSU, i hardly think it's possible to turn the video card into smoke, just for the lulz i clocked my 5970s WAY TOO HIGH and the only thing that happened was that at about 105°C the computer shut down to prevent itself from harm. maybe there wars dirt or smthn on your card/bord/cpu ?
gigabytecoin
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June 09, 2011, 09:40:32 AM
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Well like I said... thankfully everything still works. I can boot up the computer fine. Both of the power supplies turn on fine.

I only have a 20W CPU running, a flash drive for hdd, and 2 gb of ddr3 ram. That is my "system". So really each PSU is pulling 670 watts at most. For an 850watt rated Gold PSU I would expect that to be kosher.

Raidmax is a slightly lesser known name however... could be them?
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June 09, 2011, 09:56:57 AM
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You can't just calculate PSU_WATTS - HARDWARE_WATTS.

Watt = V * A

And it is NOT automatically, evenly distributed among your hardware. So your GPUs can draw too much, even if PSU_WATTS > HARDWARE_WATTS.

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June 09, 2011, 12:40:45 PM
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Your sniffer should be able to ferret it out.  Take a good whiff of the PSU and GPU fans individually and see if you can catch the smell off of anything.

One thing to watch out for is that a lot of GPU's, mobo's, etc, come with that clear plastic protective coating on some components that you're supposed to peel off.  If you don't take that off, the heat could cause it to start curling off and possibly come into contact with something hot enough to melt it.  Of course you'd probably notice a crispy piece of plastic somewhere, but just make sure you have all the plastic off.
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June 09, 2011, 02:55:22 PM
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If everything still works, I would suspect some non-essential part burned up ie. in some psu's there is sometimes a piece of plastic that might touch the heatspreader also Ive found in some psu's they have paperish lining that could easily burn up.

My best bet if you want to find out is to open both psu covers and look for burn marks.

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gigabytecoin
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June 20, 2011, 07:52:41 AM
 #8

UPDATE:

So it wasn't my video cards, motherboards, PSUs, or anything that I paid decent coin for...

It was a fucking $3 cable from Hong Kong that melted almost instantly after it reached above 500 Watts of power.

The thing was rated 10A 250V but was thinner than a strand of my hair. I should have thought about that before but it was hidden (tucked away) behind my tower of rigs and thus explains why I couldn't see or smell any noticeable damage.

My carpet is now burnt to a crisp and I am lucky I didn't burn down my entire place.
detroit
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June 20, 2011, 11:49:31 AM
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It's good to hear you got it solved without major drama.

I'd love to see a pic of this rig!  Can you post a quick one?

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June 20, 2011, 03:43:37 PM
 #10

Please also include a pic of your melted/burned power cables, just in case that we have the same  Grin
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June 20, 2011, 04:56:09 PM
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Haven't read the replies yet (will in a second) but I want to give my opinion - it's one of the two (or both) of the PSU's, whether they're underpowered for the job or your wiring job hooking them together


*edit* just read the [solved] part, thank you for letting everyone know about that - because that is certainly the LAST thing I would have thought to check!

Please post a pic of the whole shebang for us to gawk over!

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June 20, 2011, 08:25:07 PM
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UPDATE:

So it wasn't my video cards, motherboards, PSUs, or anything that I paid decent coin for...

It was a fucking $3 cable from Hong Kong that melted almost instantly after it reached above 500 Watts of power.

The thing was rated 10A 250V but was thinner than a strand of my hair. I should have thought about that before but it was hidden (tucked away) behind my tower of rigs and thus explains why I couldn't see or smell any noticeable damage.

My carpet is now burnt to a crisp and I am lucky I didn't burn down my entire place.

Phew. Damn dude! You're lucky! Hope the damage wasn't too bad.

Photo please! You're talking about the power cable running into the PSU right?

Be careful >.>

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June 20, 2011, 08:45:59 PM
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Yes, what kind of cable was it?

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gigabytecoin
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June 20, 2011, 11:47:50 PM
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Haha ok guys pics are on their way.

I have been trying to contact ebay to get them to remove the listing in question, but I will have to call them when I have time it seems as you cannot email their abuse department with an explanation anymore.

The item in question is found here: http://cgi.ebay.ca/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=300491603025&ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT

On a related note, PayPal gave me a refund out of their own pocket (not from the seller, since the seller demanded I return the item and I stated I would not waste me time doing so).

Something tells me I might be able to sue PayPal and/or eBay for this occurance? Since they so aptly gave me $25 out of their own pockets... that is highly uncharacteristic of PayPal.
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June 21, 2011, 01:05:39 AM
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Why were you even using that particular cable???

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kr105
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June 21, 2011, 01:10:57 AM
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On a related note, PayPal gave me a refund out of their own pocket (not from the seller, since the seller demanded I return the item and I stated I would not waste me time doing so).

Something tells me I might be able to sue PayPal and/or eBay for this occurance? Since they so aptly gave me $25 out of their own pockets... that is highly uncharacteristic of PayPal.
You spend $3 on this cable and paypal gave you $25? Maybe i'm missing something...
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June 21, 2011, 01:54:38 AM
 #17

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You spend $3 on this cable and paypal gave you $25?
Where do I sign up for this deal?  Grin

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June 21, 2011, 02:12:33 AM
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You spend $3 on this cable and paypal gave you $25?
Where do I sign up for this deal?  Grin

in for 2.

the auction does say " PC Monitor Cable ", though it does go on to say you can connect servers, amps, dj equip, etc. yeah right.

ive bought plenty of stuff from china. as far as cables that carry a lot of power, id tend to shy away. check monoprice for good cabling. they may have power extensions, i never looked.
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June 21, 2011, 03:15:07 AM
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Something tells me I might be able to sue PayPal and/or eBay for this occurance? Since they so aptly gave me $25 out of their own pockets... that is highly uncharacteristic of PayPal.

So because they gave you a full refund out of pocket to help keep you as a customer you feel morally alright with suing the shite out of them?

I doubt they are scared, they just have a good customer service policy, which is why we don't use Paypal for Bitcoin, they almost always take the side of the customer, even if that means screwing the seller.

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