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Author Topic: Used 5970 off E-bay - crippled - any way to fix?  (Read 1867 times)
Nancarrow
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February 27, 2012, 03:43:03 AM
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Over the last couple of months I have bought 4 used 5970s off Ebay, from different vendors, and I'm planning to get 3 more. 3 of the 4 have been fine, but the last one... grr.

It's an XFX Black edition if that makes any difference. The vendor mentioned there was a hairline crack in the backplate. There is, but I don't think it's causing the problem. More worrying was that I could see a couple of patches of white goo inside the card, just behind the backplate. They remind me very much of what I saw in a PSU that I apparently blew up.

If I try to set the card mining at any decent speed it packs up... the happy green light by one of the GPUs gets replaced by an angry red light near the fan.
When I set the clock speeds VERY low (mem and core both around 100 Mhz) it can mine, but as slowly as you'd expect. Looking at the GPU temps with atitweak, I can see that within seconds of starting to mine, the reported temperature rises rapidly, reaching maybe 100C over 30 seconds (and this is with the *shitty* clock speeds). This is despite the fan going at 100% and is the same for both GPUs. Running either GPU separately still gets it going at 100C and the other GPU, which is idle, gets to around 70C.

What's going on? Are the temperature sensors merely defective? But they do show the rapid cooling when I stop mining. So I think that somehow the heat is getting trapped in the GPUs and not being dissipated. Are the white goo blobs to blame? What are they and can I fix this?

Pics of the goo hopefully to follow soon.

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MrTeal
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February 27, 2012, 03:48:44 AM
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The goo could be thermal compound, so it's hard to say. Do you have any pics of the card and the backplate? It would be that there's no longer good contact between the heatsink and GPU and that's causing your temperature problems.
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February 27, 2012, 04:22:05 AM
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If you can return it, return it.  Start claim w/ ebay as product defective not as described.

If you can't return it you need to open it up.  The prior user could have been an idiot and slapped 15 pounds of thermal compound under the heatsink which is acting like insulator trapping GPU killing heat inside.  Don't run it if in goes >100C w/ minimal load you are just going to guarantee you kill it (if it isn't already dead).

Open it up, clean it up, put proper thin coat of thermal compound, replace any damaged thermal pads, close it up and try to mine at stock.  If it is still behaving the same way you bought a piece of shit.  In future test cards right away and dispute them.  

The thing that worries me is the "red light" = insufficient power.  If you know your PSU is good, and connectors are solid that shouldn't be comining on ... ever ... for any reason which makes me think internal damage or possibly blow VRMs.  
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February 27, 2012, 04:31:25 AM
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Return or rma it. 5970s go bad way too easily for my tastes and i no longer desire them at all
Nancarrow
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March 13, 2012, 09:43:15 PM
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Just so's you can all sleep easily at night again, I did indeed return the card to the ebayer, and he refunded me toot sweet. Amusingly I now see he's reselling it on ebay! Though to be fair, he has made it clear that it's faulty ('for parts or not working' as the lingo goes there).

Thanks to everyone who prevented me from following my natural instinct to take it apart, get way out of my depth and spend far too much time and effort getting nowhere.

If I've said anything amusing and/or informative and you're feeling generous:
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PulsedMedia
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March 13, 2012, 11:59:11 PM
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Just so's you can all sleep easily at night again, I did indeed return the card to the ebayer, and he refunded me toot sweet. Amusingly I now see he's reselling it on ebay! Though to be fair, he has made it clear that it's faulty ('for parts or not working' as the lingo goes there).

Thanks to everyone who prevented me from following my natural instinct to take it apart, get way out of my depth and spend far too much time and effort getting nowhere.

I think i just bid for it XD starting price was around ~50$
hoping reapplying thermal paste will solve it.

http://PulsedMedia.com - Semidedicated rTorrent seedboxes
PatrickHarnett
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March 14, 2012, 12:03:15 AM
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Could be a paste issue as D&T said.  Could be a VRM issue as they get hot - might also explain the insufficient power. 

However, it's now someone else's problem - so that's good.
Nancarrow
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March 14, 2012, 10:48:25 AM
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I think i just bid for it XD starting price was around ~50$
hoping reapplying thermal paste will solve it.

Is your prospective vendor an l_mayhew2009 (or somesuch)? If so, that's the one. If you win it at a bargain basement price, and manage to get it working for a few bucks more, let me know so I can kill you and everyone you've ever loved with my thought rays congratulate you on your resourcefulness and enquire politely how you fixed it.

ETA: oh in our communications, the guy did reassure me that the white goo was thermal paste... which, considering how prominent it was, might easily be the cause of the problem for reasons D+T explained. OTOH he might have removed and reapplied it himself by now.

If I've said anything amusing and/or informative and you're feeling generous:
1GNJq39NYtf7cn2QFZZuP5vmC1mTs63rEW
PulsedMedia
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March 14, 2012, 10:50:40 AM
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I think i just bid for it XD starting price was around ~50$
hoping reapplying thermal paste will solve it.

Is your prospective vendor an l_mayhew2009 (or somesuch)? If so, that's the one. If you win it at a bargain basement price, and manage to get it working for a few bucks more, let me know so I can kill you and everyone you've ever loved with my thought rays congratulate you on your resourcefulness and enquire politely how you fixed it.


ROFLMAO! Good one! Smiley

Nope, another vendor.

http://PulsedMedia.com - Semidedicated rTorrent seedboxes
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