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Faulty Sapphire 7970? First Build

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 26, 2013 5:32:52 AM

Hi everyone,

I put together my first machine a couple of days ago, here are the specs (all purchased from Umart):

i5-3570k @Stock with stock cooler
ASROCK Z77 extreme 4 motherboard
Sapphire 7970 OC Edition GPU
8GB G.Skill Ripjaw 1600Mhz RAM
Samsung 500GB 7200RPM HDD
Corsair TX650 V2 PSU

It seemed to run fine for the first couple of days after assembling it, though it will not boot if the monitor is connected via HDMI. I did apply a relatively small overclock (1100Mhz core, 1600Mhz memory, no voltage adjustment) for a few hours of gaming (Batman AC, Skyrim, Crysis 2) and everything seemed to run smoothly. I did get one GSOD while playing Guild Wars 2, but I suspected that was just because of the overclock, after returning to stock there were no problems with it. Then, playing Crysis 2 on stock clocks today I noticed some pretty serious artifacting (lines, stretched objects, light shafts in the wrong spots). I then attempted to run Crysis 1 and the artifacting obscured the entire screen. I re-seatedthe card, and as a matter of curiosity, I downloaded OCCT and within a few seconds of running (all stock clocks) thousands of errors appeared. I rebooted and re ran OCCT, no errors appeared for several minutes then the display told me there was no input. In removed/reinserted DVI and the monitor continued to not display an image.

I'm wondering if this is indicative of a faulty GPU, and in that case what is the procedure for RMA'ing the card, or whether it's possible I messed something up during assembly. The one issue I can think of is I had a great deal of difficulty inserting the 24pin ATX connector to the motherboard. During all of this the GPU temperatures did not exceed 63 celsius, and the cpu did not top 70. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.
January 26, 2013 5:36:36 AM

Contact where from you had brought gpu and they will rma.that is why overclocking gpu sometimes results bad.Try to update mobo bios to latest.
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January 26, 2013 6:04:32 AM

I seriously doubt it was the overclock. It was a small clock adjustment without changing the voltage. The fact that i can't boot with the HDMI connected to the GPU makes me think that it may have been faulty beforehand. I just want to be sure this is an issue with the card before I send it off for replacement. I'll try updating the BIOS now, thanks.
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January 26, 2013 8:31:38 AM

Are you 100% positive you are running 9.12 drivers and 13.1 catalyst?
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January 26, 2013 12:08:03 PM

nconde25 said:
Are you 100% positive you are running 9.12 drivers and 13.1 catalyst?


Completely sure. Rebooting with all OC software disabled (Trixx, AMD Overdrive) reduced the artifacts in Crysis, but they are still definitely there. I'm not sure if this is meant to be acceptable or not. If they deem there is no fault with the card (pretty sure at this point that there is), am I liable for any of the test/shipping costs?
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January 26, 2013 2:05:33 PM

bgoss4 said:
Completely sure. Rebooting with all OC software disabled (Trixx, AMD Overdrive) reduced the artifacts in Crysis, but they are still definitely there. I'm not sure if this is meant to be acceptable or not.

ABSOLUTELY NOT.
I think the card is faulty, you'll need to RMA it.
bgoss4 said:
If they deem there is no fault with the card (pretty sure at this point that there is), am I liable for any of the test/shipping costs?

i think shipping cost is on you either way.
They will have to be blind to not see the card is faulty. :lol: 
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January 26, 2013 2:11:39 PM

sounds pretty faulty to me
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January 26, 2013 2:35:14 PM

you need to select the monitor input to be HDMI in order to boot up normally, when connecting through VGA or HDMI you don't need to select the input first in your monitor, so make sure that this is the case.

I have difficulty myself overclocking my HD 6950 anymore, any small portion of OC would make those lines and artifacts in games, it's something related to the drivers I have seen in a while. So play some games for some hours on stock clocks and see how it goes.
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January 26, 2013 2:37:08 PM

ilysami, when was the last time you updated your 6950 drivers? the last set of drivers brought me a huge performance boost, but i could no longer overclock like i was without the card totally sketching out.

this new set of drivers, 13.1, have seem to resolved that problem and i can overclock well again
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January 26, 2013 2:41:39 PM

I'm running 12.11 they locked the voltage in MSI Afterburner since the last few months so I was able only to OC via the TRIXX utility I've not tried any other software and I'm not interested much in OCing it as it doesn't give me any noticeable value :( 
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January 26, 2013 2:46:35 PM

well, 13.1 is out, and it addressed the sketchiness i was seeing in 12.11 =]
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January 27, 2013 7:02:58 AM

ilysaml said:
you need to select the monitor input to be HDMI in order to boot up normally, when connecting through VGA or HDMI you don't need to select the input first in your monitor, so make sure that this is the case.

I have difficulty myself overclocking my HD 6950 anymore, any small portion of OC would make those lines and artifacts in games, it's something related to the drivers I have seen in a while. So play some games for some hours on stock clocks and see how it goes.


Wow I feel dumb now. Yes setting it to HDMI in before I boot does fix that particular issue.

Thanks everyone, I'll do some more benchmarking so I can reproduce the problem on command. Also will be helping a friend assemble a new rig next week with an identical GPU, I'll give that a shot in my machine just to be completely sure, then I'll start the RMA process.
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January 27, 2013 7:03:14 AM

Best answer selected by bgoss4.
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