Radeon HD 6870 RMA Questions

I recently purchased a new XFX 6870. After installing the card and the latest drivers I had severe pixelation issues. The really odd thing was the pixelation appeared in a checkerboard pattern, where some squares on the screen were normal, some were pixelated.

After discussing the issue with XFX support, they had me try several things (re-install drivers, check connection cables, etc), none of which fixed the issue. They asked if I could RMA the card to the seller. Looking into this, I should still be able to, but this is where things get really strange.

I continued using the card while the discussions with XFX support were happening over email (took 3-4 days), and about the time they decided that there was likely a problem in the card, the problems disappeared. There were several things that happened around this time. My computer had some major issues and wouldn't reboot. Long story, but after changing out all the components (including the graphics card), I finally got the computer running again. The problem was a Windows issue from what I've been able to tell, but I wanted to rule out hardware, so I removed anything that could be causing it.

After re-installing the graphics card, I still saw pixelation issues. However, after doing another reboot or two (reboots were not for anything that should be related to the card), everything seems to be fixed.

So, here are my questions:

1) How concerned should I be with this card? What are the chances that the problems I was seeing were early symptoms of the other issue I had with the computer (even though I didn't see those same graphics issues with the old card)?

2) If I do RMA the card, is there any test done to see if the card is defective. In other words, if the card gets to the reseller or manufacturer and they find everything working fine, am I out the cash for the RMA?

3) Is there any type of a burn-in time for graphics cards where things like this could be fixed after some time?
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  1. 1) If the problems did not exist and this card was a upgrade and the problems started then its obvious the card to some degree is the effect of the problems.
    This does not automatically mean hardware issues. But since driver updates did not fix the problem and I assume you fully uninstalled any potentially conflicting old drivers. This certainly does no favors in eliminating the GPU itself. I would be concerned.

    2) No they don't really test it. Most you can expect is a inspection to make sure there isn't any abuse or neglect on your part to cause it. So if there is nothing the human eye can detect your fine.

    3) No.

    If you want my advice I say RMA it just to be safe. I know its a pain to have to do so but what you experienced is
    not normal and the problem does not simply fix itself. Just because its not doing it right now does not mean the problem is solved.
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