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4870 Fan Issues

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 18, 2011 5:22:40 PM

I have 2 Asus EAH4870 video cards in Crossfire mode.

Normally the PC runs well, but when I try to play any games, the computer freezes after about 10 minutes. The monitor goes black, and I have to restart the machine with the switch.

After restarting, I checked the card temperatures, and the top card was overheating, although it was cooling down fast. The bottom card was fine.

I tried playing a game again later, with the side off my PC case, and I noticed the video card fan on the top card actually stops. If I quickly change the fan speed manually in Catalyst Control Centre the fan restarts, when I 'Apply' the changes.
Otherwise it overheats and freezes. Again, the bottom card seemed fine.

After a lot of messing around, I finally removed the Crossfire arrangement. I used the lower card and just installed it on its own.

Unfortunately the problem still occurs, only now it is worse. The fan can now stop at any time, I don't have to be playing a game like before.

It seems unlikely (or unlucky) that I would have two cards with the same fault. Could the problem be with the top PCI express socket on the motherboard?

Any help or pointers would be much appreciated.

my specs are:
Gigabyte GA-X58-UD5 mobo
i7 920 CPU
4Gb OCZ Reaper DDR
2 x 1Gb Samsung Spinpoint HD's (RAID 0)
2 x ASUS EAH 4870 video cards in Crossfire
Antec True Power Quattro 850W PSU

More about : 4870 fan issues

a b U Graphics card
January 18, 2011 7:52:05 PM

So this only happens with the top PCI-E socket? If you move your "bad" card to the other socket it works fine? And if you move your "good" card to the top socket it doesn't work right?
January 18, 2011 8:13:45 PM

^That sounds like the situation. I'd call it a socket problem. Check to see if there are any burnt connectors in the slot, or puffy/blown capacitors around that area.
If nothing seems out of place, try different drivers.
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January 18, 2011 8:50:47 PM

Yeah, that's about right. The card in the top PCI-e socket has the fan stopping issue.

Regardless of which card I use, or whether they are in crossfire or single card mode it seems.

Is it possible to mount a single card in another PCI-e slot, other than the top one? Just to see if I am having issues with these cards. Otherwise I will try to test them on another PC.

I have tried all drivers from the latest, right back to 10.2 , and with the same results, but only on the crossfire rig. For the single card I have just used the latest drivers. Is it worth trying the single card with older driver versions?

Either way, it looks like I have to take the card out, so I will inspect the condition of the PCI-e socket when I do.

Thanks for the help
a b U Graphics card
January 19, 2011 5:49:45 PM

You don't ever have to use the top PCI-E socket, your system doesn't care which is used.

If you have three PCI-E sockets, just use the other two, but if you only have two, then you'll have to only use 1 card in the working one.

Check if your motherboard has a warranty, then contact them and see if they will replace it for you. Too bad your comp will be outa commission for a few weeks while you get it.
January 19, 2011 8:05:06 PM

My motherboard has 3 full sized PCI-e sockets The top two are 16x speed, the bottom one is 8x.

At the moment, I am planning to test both 4870's in the middle socket, to see if the fan issue is confined to the top socket or not.

Would I also be able to test both cards in Crossfire mode by using the bottom two PCI-e sockets, despite one being 16x and the other 8x?

All the PC components are 10 months old, except the secondary video card which is a little older. I guess I should have some warranty if I could find out if I had a faulty component.

I was really hoping that the problems was GPU related, as losing my Motherboard, even for a few days, would be difficult because of work commitments.

Thanks again for the help, I really appreciate it.
a b U Graphics card
January 19, 2011 8:14:22 PM

You could run it on the 8x but then both cards will run at 8x instead of 16x if in crossfire mode. You may or may not notice any performance hit from this though. If you have PCI-E 2 it is fast on both 16x and 8x. Of course the best thing is running both on the 16x...

Do what you're planning to do for testing. If the problem only happens on one pci-e and for both cards then you know it is the socket. Sucks to have to send back a Mobo but I'd say it is worth the fix. See if they are willing to send you a replacement first, if the company is good on CS then hopefully you can argue your point that it is a work machine and you can't go without it.
January 19, 2011 8:40:11 PM

Good advice, thanks.

I will use the bottom two sockets to test a crossfire rig, after I have tested both cards individually in the middle socket.

As you said, if I am only getting the issue on one socket and for both cards then I have my answer.

I will post again after testing.
!