Radeon HD 6770 Problem

I bought an XFX AMD Radeon HD 6770 from a guy on Craigslist sometime last week for a great deal. He assured me nothing was wrong with its functionality and seemed to be a pretty decent guy. I opened the box and looked at the card and noticed a broken fan blade. I still went through with the deal thinking it would still work.

When I finally got home, I got rid of all the graphic drivers off my system with driver sweeper (it's called something else now but I'm far too lazy to find the new name), and installed the hardware. I then installed the latest drivers with no errors. The problem occurs while playing games:

In Grand theft auto 4, the game is choppy. As I'm driving around, I get this intermittent stuttering. It's almost as if the game frequently freezes for a fraction of a second. So I monitor the fps to check for any dips-- Nothing! It maintains a consistent 50-60fps even while this stuttering is occurring. I tweak the in-game settings to see if anything will help. It seems to me that if I lower the shading settings down, the problem becomes less of an issue; but no matter which setting I set it to, the problem still exists. This problem happens in other games too.

The fan is noticeably loud-- presumably because of the lopsided fan, I run GPU-z to check for signs of a thermal issue. But even with a broken fan blade, the card runs at a maximum of 60c.

I then go to the XFX website and create a support ticket to see if their customer support can help me. So far, they have given me great responses, but nothing has worked. At this point, I'm desperate to find the cause for this; it makes me sad to see youtube videos of people playing gta4 flawlessly with their hd6770 because I'm sitting here with the same thing but no game :(

I've come up with the idea that maybe the uneven spinning of the fan is somehow affecting its functionality-- so I ask the people at XFX the steps to fixing/replacing my gpu fan but have yet to receive a response. I am quite certain the issue lies with the graphics card because my old setup (same everything except with an 8800gtx) didn't have this problem.

You're probably slightly angry now that I've made you read all of that without presenting a clear question, so here it is (actually its 2 questions, sorry :X):

1. Does anybody have any knowledge regarding this issue?

2. Does anybody know whether or not XFX will let me RMA this card given its current condition (missing fan blade)?

As a sidenote: I know XFX has stopped the lifetime warranty on their products, but this card has been out for less than 2 years (the limited warranty for cards that haven't been registered is 2 years; I don't think the guy who sold it to me ever registered it)

I hate to think I got cheated out of my hard earned money :( :(

At this point, I put my older 8800gtx back so I don't have to worry about another fan blade coming off.

OS: Win7 64bit
CPU: core i5 3570k
PSU: Silverstone 500w
MOBO: biostar hi-fi z77x
RAM: 4gbx2 crucial ballistix ddr3
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More about radeon 6770 problem
  1. Problem #1
    you loaded driver sweeper.
    Bad idea.
    NEVER LOAD ANY free software from the internet, it's a SCAM.

    You must replace the fan. You were burned on craig's list.
    Once you load JUNK FREE software into your system, expect problems.
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