Last night I smelt buring from my AMD HD 7950 XFX DD and it was very hot to touch, I had only just turned the pc on, did not reach login stage. I turned it off, took gpu and let it cool, replaced the thermal paste and it would not boot. Without the gpu the computer works fine ( im on it now with no gpu) but when the 7950 is in they system refused to boot and then it sparked and a lot of smoke came out of it; with some fire.
Now xfx are refusing to help in anyway without stating a reason.
This will not be the answer that you want to hear, but as soon as you remove that heatsink or really any other component on the video card body, the warranty is generally completely void. If you can demonstrate, with proof, to them that there was an issue with the part before removing the heatsink to reapply thermal paste, you might luck out with a sympathetic customer service employee, but it's a very frustrating situation to be in.
Is it still under warranty? Did you register it on their site as they then provide a lifetime warranty if I am not mistaken.
What is XFX saying?
I'm registered on the xfx site with my gpu product code, they just said they cannot help, please look to buy a new card
Is it worth trying it in my pc again? I didn't try it with it back in after the sparking. It still smells after about 20hrs.
Would a R9 290 be a reasonable upgrade from a single 7950?
Would a R9 290 be a reasonable upgrade from a single 7950? I refuse to go with a XFX branded card as they pose fire hazards and terrible customer service; eg a month or two ago I contacted them complaining that my monitor was losing signal from my gpu, I said it was a fault. No RMA offered just told to look at useless FAQs. So I did mention the card was dodgey earlier..
If you can get the R9 290 at that price, I'd say that's a very good upgrade. As the drivers mature for the Hawaii GPU, you'll see even higher performance vs the GTX 700 series drivers which are pretty far along and will continue to improve performance, but not as much as the R9 290/290X will probably see.