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Author Topic: Will minning bitcoins kill your card?  (Read 11004 times)
mute20
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October 14, 2011, 10:24:04 PM
 #1

I am curious if anyone has had a card from around june or before that have been minning non stop that have caused problems? I am specifically looking to see if anyone who games and mines bitcoins and if they have had artifiacting or more crashing or if the card died.
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cbeast
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October 14, 2011, 10:47:53 PM
 #2

I am curious if anyone has had a card from around june or before that have been minning non stop that have caused problems? I am specifically looking to see if anyone who games and mines bitcoins and if they have had artifiacting or more crashing or if the card died.

Well I have had one die off out of 16 and a second that at the moment is displaying signs of going tits up as well so take that data point as you will started this mining thing in May.

How OC'd are you with them, and are they adequately cooled?

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October 14, 2011, 10:52:45 PM
 #3

I have had several cards i used to run alot which died or has been failing somehow
The issue is did overclock damage it or the constant stress from running almost 24/7
The problem is actually you never can say if they would have died with or without the constant stress
Overclock code N = non, L = Low ( 5 to 45 Mhz), M = (45 - 100 Mhz) and H= High (higher then 100 Mhz or more)

Nvidia 6800 GT, N, usage: Physx and gaming about 12 hours a day the hottest card i ever owned ( 123 C)
Nvidia 8800 GTX, L, usage : distributed computing 24/7, suddenly burned down
Nvidia 9600 GT, L, usage : physx + Distributed computing, from scratch gave artifacts slowly died
Nvidia 280 GTX, N, usage :physx _distributed computing, burned down
Nvidia 440 GT, L, bitcoin, died yesterday 4 months old
Ati 4830, H, usage: distributed computing, slowly ran every month lower clocks till sudden dead.
Ati 4890, N , usage : distributed computing, i think the enormous heat damaged it ( 112 C) still worked but xfx replaced

Another thing some cards at start i had made huge overclocks but in time i constant had to lower the overclocks since they give artifacts or crash at the previous settings
I had 4 x 4850 which ran at very high overclocks but slowly began to decay in speed at the end they hardly went above stock speeds.

I somehow find the ati cards however giving me much more stable cards if you keep them stock speeds.
Only one ati died out of 27, compared to nvidia 5 out of 8  
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October 15, 2011, 03:12:53 PM
 #4

had a fan get noisy on an asus direct cu 6870 (1000/300) I bought in june 2011 running the fan at 85-90 % (this before using cgminer with its auto clocking and auto fan features) . oiled it and its fine now but Im not impressed. couldnt return it as I had already replaced the TIM with AC MX-2

been doing folding for years on various overclocked but well cooled cards. never killed a card but Ive killed some fans over the years. keep em under 75% if ya can.
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October 15, 2011, 07:30:13 PM
 #5

I lost one after a power outage outisde of that no troubles

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PatrickHarnett
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October 15, 2011, 09:57:03 PM
 #6

Yes (some faster than others, some not at all).  I run distributed computing (Boinc) projects before mining so have stressed cards longer than just June.  My graveyard covers quite a few.  Not running o/clock, and most are mem down clocked.

HD2600 - it was a cute card
HD4850 - several
HD4890 - nice card, ran hot
gt8800 - still going, but suspect
gt9800 - simple fail - not even artifacts
gtx280 - major artifacts on load, will not compute
HD5850 - tried the "oven bake" fix on this as a test, but used the fan in another card.
HD5850 - meh
HD5970 - XFX black edition, very nice paper weight
HD5970 - screens of death (blue, grey, green, black - I think the gtx280 was the only one with a pink/red screen of death)
P4man
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October 15, 2011, 11:31:15 PM
 #7

Clearly, yes, chances of killing a card will go up considerably if you stress them 24/7, particularly if you overclock them and dont provide ample cooling.
Its simple really, running a card causes electromigration. Think of it as erosion inside the chip. Electromigration is worsened by:
 heat and voltage (and very much so!).

Its like running your car flat out. Its designed to run flat out, and it shouldnt break just because you do it, but chances of it breaking down do go up considerably if you do it 24/7. But its still only a chance. Was it saab that ran their cars for 200.000 Km flatout on a circuit some years ago as a publicity stunt? Dont remember.

Anyway, for some more anecdotal evidence, mining with old 8800GT, 2x5850 and a 4770. One of the 5850s died after a month.


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October 16, 2011, 12:44:40 AM
 #8

I almost killed a 9600GT, my first mining card.  After a couple days of running it will start to artifact on its own not even mining, just showing a Windows desktop.

My 5830's have slowly lost overclocking abilities.  I used to be able to push over 1,000MHz, now I can barely hit 980MHz.  For a couple of weeks I was running super high voltage on them also.  24/7 mining + heat (especially if you crank voltage) will definitely kill a card.  The big boys that have large farms are no strangers to flat out smoking cards and having to replace them left and right.
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October 17, 2011, 04:10:38 PM
 #9

technically you should breakeven before killing your card, but at today's difficulty/price ratio I'm not so sure anymore Sad

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October 23, 2011, 12:43:38 AM
 #10

got the cheapest 5770 i could find and it's been plugging away 24/7 since june- got a 5870 too but it's only active 50% of the time since I need it's RAAHW POWAH for producing stuff.... no problems at all for either of them at all.

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October 23, 2011, 07:50:34 PM
 #11

here is a good analogy.

if you buy a car, put it on the highway and floor it, how long will it last?   myguess:  20,000 miles?

if you buy a car, put it on the highway and go 80 MPH.  how long will it last?   myguess:  180,000 miles? or more

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P4man
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October 23, 2011, 08:27:05 PM
 #12

here is a good analogy.

if you buy a car, put it on the highway and floor it, how long will it last?   myguess:  20,000 miles?

You might be surprised.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ov8m8gJNeGA
For those not wanting to watch the boring video, saab put a couple of regular 5 door cars on a test circuit and floored them for 100000 Km. IIRC, they only changed tires and topped oil. This is 25 years ago with cars that frankly, where no good (Ive had one for a short while decades ago. To be fair it had 250.000 Km on it when I got it lol, so perhaps they were not that bad).

Anyway, the car analogy is somewhat flawed, as I think flooring a car non stop is probably less abusive than driving it in the city, doing short distances and lots of cold/warm heat cycles. Although some of that actually may apply to gpu's as well (the heat cycles).

Electromigration is the real killer. The longer you run the card, the hotter you run the card, and particularly the higher you set the voltage, the bigger the chance of a card failing due to electro migration. I cant think of a good car analogy, other perhaps than tires wearing out and eventually blowing, but more info here:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electromigration

edit: btw the last paragraph of that wiki article also explain why "baking" a card in an oven can sometimes fix it, if the electromigration occured in a solder joint. Heating it and melting the solder again, can actually fix it.

pinarphan
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October 27, 2011, 03:33:26 PM
 #13

I got 2 5850's running at 86% fan and 86 degrees F.  Is that too hot?
P4man
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October 27, 2011, 03:41:17 PM
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No mate, that way too cool. you will wear your fans out in no time for nothing. but I kinda doubt anything other than chilled water cooling would keep the card at that temperature. Unless you mean 86 celcius, which I would consider too high.

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October 27, 2011, 06:16:23 PM
 #15

Hummm... Double checked and it is Celcius but now the fan is at 76% and the temp is 60 C.  How hot is too hot?
P4man
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October 27, 2011, 07:44:18 PM
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Thats quite a drop. Something aint right there. Be VERY careful never to use 2 temperature monitoring apps at once, like GPU-Z, Everest, Trixx or afterburner. There is a bug in those cards that can trigger voltage to spike to 1.65V if two apps are monitoring  :
http://www.overclock.net/amd-ati/648462-hd-5870-random-voltage-bump-1-a.html

I killed a 5850 that way:
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=44495.0

It only worked for a few weeks after that happened.

Anyway, to answer the question. 60C is great. 70C is my personal pain limit. Anything over that is not a good idea to run 24/7. Its not like it will instantly fry at 85C, but its not good for longevity either.

also be sure to check VRM temperatures if you can. Not all cards support it, but if yours do, check GPU-Z. Try to keep those under 100C

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October 28, 2011, 12:05:53 AM
 #17

I am reading this carefull and found indeed the same disturbing change in volts on my 5870 ... never knew nor even looked at it before.
Simply because i do never overvolt, i think you hit the hammer at the right spot with your answer
This might have killed the old ati card as well, all though that can never be proofed anymore.
Anyway i turned of 2 programs which where monitoring the hardware simultanious.
I decided only to keep afterburner running for keep an eye on my gpu's cause of the cpu gets too hot it gets turned of by the bios
On the temps i would say max for long term running is still about 90c, with some peaks near 100c anything above i consider dangerous if longer then a few minutes.
The cooler you can run them the longer they will last or die


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also be sure to check VRM temperatures if you can. Not all cards support it, but if yours do, check GPU-Z. Try to keep those under 100C
brrr lol mine second cards do come over 100c since they are stuck to each other in the case
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October 28, 2011, 06:02:55 AM
 #18

Amazing huh, by being careful and keeping a watchful eye on your hardware you end up killing it. And surprisingly its not well known.

As for your temps; Id really look in to an aftermarket cooler. Look at this asus slide:



Ignore the absolute numbers, its for solid cap VRMS on a motherboard, which unlike with videocard VRMs, rarely blow out anyway. The point here is that that operating temperatures decreases life expectancy exponentially.

Unfortunately, I cant monitor VRM temps on my current cards, but the same logic holds true for the GPU itself. My 5850s dont break ~60C (on the default sensor but that also means around 70C on sensor #2 in GPU-Z). Thats with a standard cooler (albeit non reference). My 5870 with reference cooler should come in today, about the first thing Ill do is fit a VRM cooler (thermal right R5) and see if my accelero twin turbo is good enough.

Aftermarket coolers tend to be pricy if you are running a bitcoin farm, but you can almost always reuse them for a new card, even if some minor modding might be needed. So I bought a pile of battle-axe cooler second hand for 6 euro each, that will come in handy if I decide to expand further.

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November 20, 2011, 02:32:12 AM
 #19

Not necessarily, but the short term risk of fan failure reaches 100% pretty fast if you run the cards 24/7 at full or very high fan speed.
So if you still have hardware in use for mining, there is a very high chance the fans will start failing one by one.

I didn't have *all* fans fail on my cards but a fair amount did.

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December 28, 2011, 12:22:04 AM
 #20

IMHO, unless you have FREE or extremely cheap electricity, overvolting or overclocking is pointless because it will cost you so much more on your power bill.  Just pulling numbers out of my ass, think 25% more power for 5% more bitcoin.  Might as well run stock or overclock it to the point that's stock-like.

edit: not only the cost of electricity, but you end up saving a lot of money in cards not dying.

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