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AMD 7970 Stability Question

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 12, 2012 3:56:30 PM

Hello!

Yesterday I received my long-awaited 7970 via UPS. The front metal plate was bent (the part where the HDMI/VGA ports are located) and I had to squeeze it in between the motherboard and the back of my case. After a bit of muscle (which I hate to use on my precious computer) I was able to get it to fit solidly.

Can any harm come to the card or PCIE slot from being to forceful?

Anyways, games have been running pretty well. The card never goes below 65 degrees while gaming. It seems to have some issues running Skyrim at 1680 x 1050 in Ultra, yet it runs Battlefield 3 at the same resolution at absolute highest settings. What gives?

I just want to make sure this expensive card is stable. What are the best tests for GPU stability? I played BF3 for two straight hours without a single hiccup, which made me feel better, yet when I ran Furmark it seemed very choppy. I just want to feel better because for some reason in the back of my mind I am paranoid that this GPU (or my MoBo's PCIE slot) is messed up from my somewhat brutal installation.

Thank you so much for any help!
January 12, 2012 4:10:37 PM

Skyrim is cpu bound and does not utilize modern cpus very efficiently. So dont judge the card on that basis. As far as Furmark, i would bet it is choppy due to unoptimized drivers. Im sure future driver updates from AMD will smooth that out.
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a c 87 U Graphics card
January 12, 2012 4:11:22 PM

Skyrim with ultra shadows is very cpu limited, so drop the shadows to high/medium and you should see an improvement. (even with i7@4GHz ultra shadows can give some grief)

It is typical that the narrow bit on the end of the back bracket is slightly bent outwards, but only like one millimeter or so.
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a c 124 U Graphics card
January 12, 2012 4:27:25 PM

You bought a 7970 for 1680x1050 gaming? Interesting.

Might want to spend some of that cash on a nice monitor.
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January 12, 2012 4:46:48 PM

wolfram23 said:
You bought a 7970 for 1680x1050 gaming? Interesting.

Might want to spend some of that cash on a nice monitor.


I am buying a 1920 x 1200 monitor within the next couple of months. I just built my new rig AND bought the 7970, so throwing another ~$200 on that wouldn't have gone down so well with the wife. I am patient, but it'll be worth it. What kind of idiot do you think I am? :lol: 

CRAP, I just woke my monitor up from sleep mode, and found my Windows 7 Taskbar looking like THIS: http://i.imgur.com/ars0q.png

What gives, is this a GPU issue? Something tells me it is. That colorful distortion covered the entire taskbar but disappeared once I moved my mouse over it, leaving what you see in that screenshot.
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January 12, 2012 5:19:31 PM

At this point I would say any graphical issue you are having are driver related. The card is a week old

D/L Afterburner and run some bench marks and post results.

I am uptight about any physical damage on any computer component and I would RMA if it were me. Why didn't you take some pliers and bend the metal back instead of forcing it into the brain of your computer?
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January 12, 2012 5:27:52 PM

Cryosis00 said:
At this point I would say any graphical issue you are having are driver related. The card is a week old

D/L Afterburner and run some bench marks and post results.

I am uptight about any physical damage on any computer component and I would RMA if it were me. Why didn't you take some pliers and bend the metal back instead of forcing it into the brain of your computer?


I'll blame excitement over the new card I suppose. In hindsight, I think it was a poor decision, but it was bent in such a way that I didn't think it would case any damage to electronic components once it was seeded in the slot. I'll DL afterurner and post some results. Thanks!
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January 12, 2012 5:52:05 PM

OK, So I installed Afterburner, and ran Kombustor in the preset 1280 x 720 mode twice, and it got the test with a million bouncing blue cubes, and after about a minute, the program would freeze and Windows would display a message saying "The AMD Display Driver has stopped responding and has recovered", upon which I would have to end the Kombusor process via the Task Manager. My GPU got up to 63 degrees, so its not like it was overly hot or anything.

What say you about my results oh knowledgable ones?
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January 12, 2012 6:21:16 PM

I agree with wolf at this point.

D/l latest drivers the uninstall current drivers. Reboot and install new drivers. Run the test again.

If problem persists try another PCIe slot. If problem still persists it sounds like a RMA at this point.

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January 12, 2012 7:03:14 PM

Cryosis00 said:
I agree with wolf at this point.

D/l latest drivers the uninstall current drivers. Reboot and install new drivers. Run the test again.

If problem persists try another PCIe slot. If problem still persists it sounds like a RMA at this point.


First off I'd like to thank you guys for taking time to help me. It's really appreciated!

I have a PCIE x8 slot on this MoBo, that I know can be used for CFX/SLI. Could it be used as a PRIMARY graphics slot without a loss in performance?
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a c 124 U Graphics card
January 12, 2012 7:22:10 PM

It can be used as primary, but there would be at least some loss to performance.

Right now it's more just a test to see if it's the PCIe slot or not, because that would mean you need a new motherboard.
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January 12, 2012 7:52:04 PM

wolfram23 said:
It can be used as primary, but there would be at least some loss to performance.

Right now it's more just a test to see if it's the PCIe slot or not, because that would mean you need a new motherboard.


OK, so I had this gut feeling that maybe the 7970 wasn't seeded the whole way. So, I removed it and put back in my 8800gt just to see how IT was seeded, and sure enough the white PCIE connector snapped right into place, which it DIDN't do with the 7970. In fact, the 7970 was clearly not in the whole way.

The problem is, it seems like my motherboard's SATA ports are in the way of the 7970. Here is a pic: http://www.modsynergy.com/Modsynergy%20files/Intel%20DP...

Those 2 black and 1 blue boxes to the upper right of the skull pattern (the skull is located in the bottom right hand corner) are the SATA ports, and the 7970 touches them and apparently doesn't fit in the slot because of them. What do you think?
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a c 124 U Graphics card
January 12, 2012 7:56:46 PM

I think it must be going in crooked. There's no way it should actually be able to touch those ports.

I had an issue where my 5850s were going in crookedly, basically the L bracket was too short, so they were kind of popped out on that side. The fix was to take out the motherboard and slightly unscrew the stand offs near the PCIe ports, then they went in fine.
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a c 87 U Graphics card
January 12, 2012 10:23:22 PM

yep the card isn't seated properly if it's touching the sata ports. it's not the cause but the effect rather...

also GPU-z will show the Bus Interface, what the card supports and what it is currently running at like PCI-e 2.0x16 @ x16 2.0
So if the card is seated properly it should be running at x16, if some of the fingers arent making contact it would run at lower width, say x8 or x4
http://www.techpowerup.com/gpuz/
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a b U Graphics card
January 12, 2012 11:14:50 PM

If it is not working properly and it arrived with visible damage, then you should sue UPS for damaging private property.
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a c 87 U Graphics card
January 12, 2012 11:19:45 PM

_Pez_ said:
If it is not working properly and it arrived with visible damage, then you should sue UPS for damaging private property.

but seriously, if the bracket was damaged/bent during transport the whole package/box would be a total mess... I dont think thats the case...
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January 13, 2012 2:54:34 AM

Kari said:
yep the card isn't seated properly if it's touching the sata ports. it's not the cause but the effect rather...

also GPU-z will show the Bus Interface, what the card supports and what it is currently running at like PCI-e 2.0x16 @ x16 2.0
So if the card is seated properly it should be running at x16, if some of the fingers arent making contact it would run at lower width, say x8 or x4
http://www.techpowerup.com/gpuz/


OK, so I put the 7970 in the secondary port (the PCIE x8 port) and put the 8800GT next to it in the primary x16 slot, and here is what I found: The 8800GT is JUST short enough that it misses the blue SATA port box thing, but IF it were any longer (i.e. the size of my 7970) it would encounter the same problem and they would be in the way.

So, it appears that no matter what card I would put in the x16 slot, if it is a big card and goes over the SATA ports, they will interfere with it's connection to the slot. What does this mean? That there's something wrong with the motherbard itself? I never noticed any issues for the past few weeks when I had the 8800 plugged in, and the motherboard itself looks absolutely fine and normal.
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a c 87 U Graphics card
January 13, 2012 9:36:22 AM

the sata ports shouldn't be tall enough to interfere with the card... :/ 
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