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7970 crashing over and over

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  • Radeon
  • Graphics
Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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May 14, 2012 2:57:57 PM

Hi there,

Hoping someone might be able to shed some light on these problems.

In January I purchased a PowerColor HD 7970. It has worked for 3 months without any issues what so ever. Then suddenly it started crashing. Initially in game in The Witcher 2 but then in other games and even on the desktop while the PC was doing nothing at all.

Typically the screen will go a funny colour with vertical lines and no error codes - here is a photo to explain what I mean.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/atkzrl54af5o91y/IMG_20120420_...
The screen just freezes. I have seen it crash at 80 degrees, but also at 36 degrees with the GPU idle. I can sometimes go a few hours from a cold boot before it crashes (tho happens much sooner if gaming) but once the crashing starts it becomes more and more frequent until I cant even reach a games main menu.
On some occasions the screen will come back telling me the display driver stopped responding and had to be restarted. 99% of the time tho it just freezes the system. Windows reliability log says its a Video Hardware Error.

I've tried changing the driver, crashing persists on RC1, 12.3, 12.4. I have reformatted and the issue remains.
I replaced the graphics card with a very old 8800GT (horrible for 2560x1600 :S) and the system is stable. I haven't been able to game extensively but I haven't had any of those crashes which leads me to believe the 7970 is knackered. So I sent it back to Ebuyer (am in the UK) they sent it back and say it works fine, that they couldn't find any faults. Again I tested it, again it crashed over and over so again I sent it back once again for more extensive testing, again they claim the card is fine and wont replace it but it continues to be an extremely expensive paperweight to me.

It could be temperature - highest it hits is 80 degrees which shouldn't be an issue at all. However the system has crashed numerous times just on an empty desktop with the GPU at below 40.
It could be power supply - gaming would draw more power but as it does crash even when idle and as this generation draws next to no power when idle it makes me think its something else.

I don't know what power draw the 8800GT uses but I have been able to use 2 in SLI without any issues both running much hotter than the 7970 did.
Am using a 750w PSU if that info is needed.

I'm pulling my hair out over this. This issue has been going on over a month - prior to that I never had a single issue with the card, it just started randomly.
Anybody have any ideas at all?

More about : 7970 crashing

May 14, 2012 3:16:55 PM

Have you used driver sweeper to get rid of the.nvidia drivers? They could be giving you issues as well as downloading latest from amd.
Also what are your cpu temps?
May 14, 2012 3:19:45 PM

The crashing started before the nvidia drivers were ever installed. Also I reformatted this morning when the card arrived back so the only card/driver that had ever been in that install was the AMD one.

CPU temps are around 38 degrees idle. gaming wise I think it gets to around 60+, not completely sure as it dips slightly when I alt tab back. Highest I have ever seen it at is 70.
Related resources
May 14, 2012 3:21:59 PM

Do you haveanother system to test it in?
May 14, 2012 3:24:05 PM

Not one easily accessible but I am working on borrowing one to try it in for a couple days
May 14, 2012 3:44:19 PM

I have 2 of these in CF, I was getting the same problem but only when my machine would go into hibernation mode. That's what I would see when I tried to come out of it, or my system would just reboot. I changed up my power profile, removed HIbernation mode and everything is working perfectly.
May 14, 2012 4:01:19 PM

I have just changed the power profile to never put the computer to sleep and never turn off the display - the crashes have happened while the pc has been in use , making me believe that hibernation has nothing to do with it, but I will see what happens.
I have windows installed on a backup hdd atm (cos I wanted to see if a reformat would solve it) but before I had it on my SSD and im sure I had hibernation disabled. Ah well, all suggestions are welcome, I'd try anything at this point :) 
May 15, 2012 12:46:56 AM

Tonight I've been able to game all night without a single crash - I put it in the 2nd pci slot... Its only been a few hours so its not conclusive yet, but that would make it appear to be a fault with the main pci slot on the motherboard (only 6 months old) yet I have been using a 8800GT in that pci slot with no crashes at all!
Still gaming to see how it holds up but this is the longest its been stable since problem first manifested. god knows why
May 15, 2012 2:37:04 AM

Try updating your mobo vitals it might help
May 15, 2012 5:38:29 AM

Interestingly my powercolor 7850 from ebuyer seems to be doing the same sort of thing to me.
June 21, 2012 7:39:20 PM

I just bought one and it's doing the same thing, but even worse.

I've tried all fixes i can find to no avail.

Whenever anything happens to change my screen, i.e. installing/uninstalling drivers, setting resolution, setting eyefinity up... anything... it crashes with slow mo lagged sounds...

Anyone any idea, i dont wanna RMA cos it takes so long... why are they legally allowed to sell these when they are so direfailcake?

:(  help plix
June 21, 2012 7:51:24 PM

bonse said:
I just bought one and it's doing the same thing, but even worse.

I've tried all fixes i can find to no avail.

Whenever anything happens to change my screen, i.e. installing/uninstalling drivers, setting resolution, setting eyefinity up... anything... it crashes with slow mo lagged sounds...

Anyone any idea, i dont wanna RMA cos it takes so long... why are they legally allowed to sell these when they are so direfailcake?

:(  help plix

As long as people keep buying them AMD/ATi will keep selling them.
June 21, 2012 8:06:58 PM

Couple thoughts:

Do you have anything overclocked? Do you have a quality power supply in your rig (i.e. what model is that 750W unit)?

Most likely, you have a bad card and need to RMA. If you have a cheapo $30 750W power supply, it could be that. If you have the card overclocked, it could be that. Could always be some random driver or non-GPU hardware bug. But most likely you just have a bad card and need to RMA.
June 21, 2012 8:11:00 PM

Thanks for the fast reply, the PSU is Ocz 80% stealth xtreme.

Sure the 7970 doesnt use as much power as 2x 69502GB.

The card isnt oc'd i've tried on both switches.

I'm 90% sure it's driver related as i can run it in Windows Safe Mode lovely, i can change resolutions and everything... it's when i go into normal windows and do anything that relates to refreshing it just dies :( 
June 21, 2012 9:01:09 PM

another thing i might add that its doing is when it crashes and i go to shut the pc down via the button (holding it down).... the PC shuts down then boots up again 2 seconds later.
June 22, 2012 1:50:44 PM

sent mine back to seller, i'll be avoiding 7970s in the future lol, untill then i'll stick with my 2x 6950s.
!