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Radeon hd 7000 series with bad ceramic capacitors

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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November 7, 2012 9:53:15 PM

I was gonna buy a Radeon HD 7870 or 7950 since they are pretty attractive to me against the expensive Nvidia alternatives (gtx 670 and above. I don't like the 660Ti series).

My objective is to play Guild Wars 2 smoothly at MAX settings on a i5-3570k processor.

Now comes the problem: Recently I realized the issue about the Radeon 7000 series and their bad ceramic capacitors. Yes, as it sounds. It seems that cheaper capacitors were used by assemblers, even although AMD warned them when the problem was detected. 'Googling' I found a really huge amount of people complaining about the sudden BSOD(Black Screen Of Death) or flickering effect on their machines after playing/watching games/movies, often. So they cannot play for more unless they reboot. It seems to happen with any kind of 7000 series, in any brand (most Sapphire due to its higher sales). People are EVEN being refunded (after a RMA claim) with a new card but...STILL WITH THE SAME PROBLEM!, which is ironic and frustrating. More than that, it directly sucks. I have read people who after 3 RMA(yes 3) has opted to leave the ati card and buy a nvidia one. Of course there are people who don't have the problem anymore after refunding but they are not so common.

Most brands and even AMD say that it happens only with models made 'til May or June 2012, not with later products. But I'm still reading people with the problem who bought their cards on September 2012.

So frankly, I cannot spend so much money on a card of this type and wait for it quietly. I don't wanna take the risk. The only alternative is to buy a Nvidia card but 660Ti series don't meet my requirements. And GTX 670 or above are madly expensive for my budget.

So this is the improvised paradigm in my mind right now. I cannot buy a graphic card happily, I don't feel sure about an ATI card right now. I'd like to know if someone else has realized the same reality and if he/she has figured out an alternative which I haven't referred. May I achieve 7870/7950 results on that game (at MAX with filters and so on...) without spending the value of one of my kidneys on an Nvidia card?.

Thanks in advance.
November 7, 2012 9:56:22 PM

I've been running my 7770 since July or August and I've never had any problems with it.
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November 7, 2012 10:05:05 PM

Yeah, you're lucky Mace. It doesn't affect everyone, in fact only about max 6% of people, most of them who bought a Sapphire card.
Anyway there's a risk and I wouldn't like to be one of the "choosen" after paying for a high end graphics card.
Btw, there are even videos on youtube with that annoying problem.

I'm thinking that maybe would bea good idea to put in contact with a seller before purchasing a card. Although this doesn't assures you anything at 100%.
November 7, 2012 10:37:11 PM

A french site? Last french "source" posted here was highly outdate, inaccurate, and unscientific. Any other source? I don't see any. And even if true, a 6% failure rate on a single low end brand is hardly something to worry about, just buy a different brand, not to mention that's what warranties are for.
November 7, 2012 10:55:58 PM

But it is on the internet, it must be true. :ouch: 
November 7, 2012 11:12:34 PM

Yes, source is french but I wanna think it doesn't mean everything from there isn't accurate. That's unfair.

There are other websites repeating the same issue:

(for example here in spanish)
http://www.noticias3d.com/noticia.asp?idnoticia=54670
http://hardzone.es/2012/10/30/amd-radeon-hd-7870-2gb-en...

Youtube videos with people recording the problem:
http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=7870+black+...

There are also a lot of forums (I won't copy here all of them because there are a lot, just seek and you'll find it) with people complaining about that often black screen and noise.

What deserves consideration is that AMD and assemblers recognized the problem. That seemstobe official so true.
What makes me be afraid is that people are being refunded (here we have the warranty working) sometimes with same "broken" card. Also it doesn't look to be a problem from only a brand and 7870, but whole 7000 series on any brand.

Probably I'll save more money and get a gtx 670 or just wait for a new revision of fixed cards.
November 8, 2012 8:14:25 AM

You just digging yourself a deeper hole. If you don't get it I'm not one to write a essay explaining it. Check out the newest Tom's article about the elimination of micro-stuttering for AMD, that settles any issues as far as I'm concerned. If I didn't already have 2x 6950 2GB unlocked to 6970, I'd buy another 7950 in a second. 6 months ago, it would have been Nvidia, 6 months for that is AMD.

You seems to have unresolvable issues with AMD, so don't stress and just the Nvidia that you can afford. They'll all be obsolete before the warranty expires.
November 8, 2012 10:18:33 AM

I have a Sapphire 7870 and I thought I had to RMA, but turns out I just can't use 12.10 or 12.11. If I use 12.8 I have no flickering or anything. I never had black screens though.
November 8, 2012 6:53:37 PM

abbadon_34 said:
You just digging yourself a deeper hole. If you don't get it I'm not one to write a essage explaining it. Check out the newest Tom's article about the elimination of micro-stuttering for AMD, that settles any issues as far as I'm concerned. If I didn't already have 2x 6950 2GB unlocked to 6970, I'd buy another 7950 in a second. 6 months ago, it would have been Nvidia, 6 months for that is AMD.

You seems to have unresolvable issues with AMD, so don't stress and just the Nvidia that you can afford. They'll all be obsolete before the warranty expires.



Everything I have found about micro-stuttering in Tom's hardware...isn't connected with what I'm talking about here. As I can read the effect you refer seems to happen on SLI/Crossfire. I'm talking here about single gpu and computer crash with blackscreen which forces to reboot. Maybe you are talking about another article I haven't found. So if you please I'd be very grateful if you pass it to me.

By the time, I sent an email to the online shop I wanted to buy an ATI card, asking about those broken ATI cards and now I'm totally convinced about the problem. Their answer (today):

"Hello,
from technical service we are informed that they still have that problem, so all those cards carry the defect.
Sorry for the inconvenience.
For all other inquiries please contact us, we are always happy to help.
Greetings!."

I appreciate that sincerity but I don't understand why they still sell them in their web.
What a pity because I always loved Ati and I'm really impresssed with 7870/7950 performance. But after confirmations like this I think I really 'get it' at last. Would you still take the risk of buying an ATI HD 7000?. Not me.

!