Video Card from Hell

Discussion about old graphics cards, monitors and video related things.

Video Card from Hell

Postby Hamby » 2018-10-10 @ 16:23

This doesn't exactly have to do with old hardware (but it does involve an older dual xeon motherboard) but..

I put together my ASUS Z8NA-D6C dual xeon computer into an old ATX case. My old power supply wasn't powerful enough, so I got an EVGA 600BR (for almost half price by buying direct from their website, btw).

This time it fired up. Literally.

It worked for about 20 minutes, then the system shut down... with a melted rubber smell. The led on the MB would light, and the fans would spin for half a second, then nothing. So, thinking I had a fried power supply or MB, I unplugged it for about an hour.

Plugged it back in and the system fired up, but gave the 2 / 8 beeps meaning video card problems...

then the video card...an EVGA GTX 1060 I got from ebay... literally burst into flames. I mean the flames came off the circuit board an inch. Seemed to have come from two tiny surface mount chips, when I examined the card later.

I bought another video card (going to have to give up some retro stuff to pay for it :( ) another type of EVGA GTX 1060... and it ran fine all day. I had been afraid that the power supply or the video card were just too much for that old motherboard, but now I think I just bought myself a faulty card.

But I am curious what could cause literal flames?
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Re: Video Card from Hell

Postby bjwil1991 » 2018-10-10 @ 16:32

One question: how the hell does that happen?

That's your issue: the board is too much for the GTX 1060.
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Re: Video Card from Hell

Postby Koltoroc » 2018-10-10 @ 17:30

I would be careful with used modern GPUs. There is a good chance that they were uesd for crypto mining, which puts their power draw to the limit 24/7. I suspect it is likely, that your first card sustained some damage from that and didn't appreciate its final power cycle.

Unfortunately, there is no (good) way to tell, if a card has been used for mining. The biggest indicator is if an individual suddenly sells a large number of modern GPUs for cheap. Which could also be chinese fakes.

The used market for modern GPUs is a total mess currently.
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Re: Video Card from Hell

Postby bjwil1991 » 2018-10-10 @ 17:37

Never buy used modern GPUs since people are running those things 24/7/365 for crypto mining, not compliant for US or other country standards (cheap Chinese knockoffs). Here's a suggestion: buy a brand new one.
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Re: Video Card from Hell

Postby stamasd » 2018-10-11 @ 11:27

bjwil1991 wrote:Never buy used modern GPUs since people are running those things 24/7/365 for crypto mining, not compliant for US or other country standards (cheap Chinese knockoffs). Here's a suggestion: buy a brand new one.


Depends. I have bought video cards from China, listed as used, without issues. If the ones you buy weren't the top of their generation chances are they weren't used for crypto mining as they wouldn't be cost-effective. I made sure a few things before ordering:
1. that the model of the card really exists and that the pictured card in the listing matches the actual card from the manufacturer's site, model numbers match etc (Gigabyte in my case)
2. that the seller has good feedback on this particular item (not on any other items they may be selling)
3. that they have a reasonable return policy, and that they don't have negative feedback related to botched returns

In particular, I got a couple of Gigabyte GTX750 (one Ti 2GB, one non-Ti 1GB) and they both tested well. These were probably from a cyber cafe gaming farm, not a crypto mining farm.
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Re: Video Card from Hell

Postby spiroyster » 2018-10-11 @ 12:01

The only GPU's I have ever heard of combusting in some manner have ALL been EVGA. They have shite VRM's, which are far more sensitive to mediocre PSU's.

Personally I wouldn't worry too much about buying something that has been put under heavy load for prolonged periods. Components should be rated based on 'under load' scenarios. Yes thermal 'wear and tear' can happen during prolonged use, but I would have thought decent components are designed with this in mind?
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Re: Video Card from Hell

Postby brostenen » 2018-10-11 @ 12:15

Regarding modern technology. Computers, smartphones and tablets....

As far as I can see, and for what I hear from people. Then anything that have been produced after some 2010, are supposed to be functional for some 1.5 to 2 years. Never ever buy anything second hand, that have been produced after 2010. Unless we are talking industrial grade stuff. Consumer products have for the last 10 years, been build to last those two years.
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Re: Video Card from Hell

Postby stamasd » 2018-10-11 @ 12:29

My Radeon HD7970 must be an outlier then. Going on 6 years now with a moderate amount of gaming constantly.
(edit) just looked up purchase date - it's actually going on 7 years. :)
Last edited by stamasd on 2018-10-11 @ 12:44, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Video Card from Hell

Postby spiroyster » 2018-10-11 @ 12:31

brostenen wrote:...Unless we are talking industrial grade stuff....

Yep, no need to buy new, just buy decent! I haven't purchased anything computer related new (apart from my mouse and noctua's) since about 2006. My main rig is an ex-GPU node which was in service for about 4/5 years... 24/7/365.. retired in 2013.... loud as f*ck (hence the noctuas) ... but working flawless. GPU was a GTX690 (reference), now a Titan (pny)... never had any 'hardware' problems.... never any flames... never had EVGA!.
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Re: Video Card from Hell

Postby Ozzuneoj » 2018-10-11 @ 13:25

Wait, so it shut down with a burning smell, then you plugged it back in later and are asking why it would have caught fire?

If I had to guess, something failed in the first time and the system shut down to prevent damage. By powering it back on without locating the source of the burning smell you just allowed whatever burned the first time to do further damage. Don't be surprised if more than the GPU ends up with problems. It's also possible that the problem originated with whatever lead you to upgrade the power supply... either a defective motherboard or damage caused by the first PSU.
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Re: Video Card from Hell

Postby bjwil1991 » 2018-10-11 @ 13:28

My guess is an overload in the voltage regulators that caused the card to catch fire.
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Re: Video Card from Hell

Postby Hamby » 2018-10-11 @ 16:18

bjwil1991 wrote:One question: how the hell does that happen?

That's your issue: the board is too much for the GTX 1060.


How is it too much?
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Re: Video Card from Hell

Postby Hamby » 2018-10-11 @ 16:25

Ozzuneoj wrote:Wait, so it shut down with a burning smell, then you plugged it back in later and are asking why it would have caught fire?

If I had to guess, something failed in the first time and the system shut down to prevent damage. By powering it back on without locating the source of the burning smell you just allowed whatever burned the first time to do further damage. Don't be surprised if more than the GPU ends up with problems. It's also possible that the problem originated with whatever lead you to upgrade the power supply... either a defective motherboard or damage caused by the first PSU.


First, I wasn't sure that the burning smell was real; the new power supply smelled like model airplane glue, coming out of the package.
Second, I'm not asking why it would have burned, I was wondering why there would be FLAMES coming from where there were flames. I've never seen a circuit board burst into flame before.

I've examined the video card... right next to the two components that melted down there is a charred sticker. I suspect that is responsible for the flames... but that means the circuit board had to heat up to 451F...
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Re: Video Card from Hell

Postby bjwil1991 » 2018-10-11 @ 16:31

Hamby wrote:
bjwil1991 wrote:One question: how the hell does that happen?

That's your issue: the board is too much for the GTX 1060.


How is it too much?

Sorry. Wrong assumption.
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Re: Video Card from Hell

Postby cyclone3d » 2018-10-11 @ 16:40

brostenen wrote:Regarding modern technology. Computers, smartphones and tablets....

As far as I can see, and for what I hear from people. Then anything that have been produced after some 2010, are supposed to be functional for some 1.5 to 2 years. Never ever buy anything second hand, that have been produced after 2010. Unless we are talking industrial grade stuff. Consumer products have for the last 10 years, been build to last those two years.


Hmmm. I guess all my used equipment that was made after that should have died by now then.

Only thing I have had die was a few HDDs.

Still have a bunch of stuff that was made after 2010 that I have never had issues with.

Now if you run stuff with not enough airflow to keep stuff cool I can see it dying, but that is true of all electronics.
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Re: Video Card from Hell

Postby bjwil1991 » 2018-10-11 @ 16:43

I have a 23+ year old Seagate 428.1MB HDD and it still works, and my 2009 Seagate 1TB HDD still functions. GPUs are the exact opposite: lost a GeForce 6200 AGP that would overheat and reboot the computer (also artifacts) and ended up tossing it since it's impossible to reflow the solder easily.
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Re: Video Card from Hell

Postby nforce4max » 2018-10-12 @ 01:07

A lot of mid range and lower graphics cards tend to not having anything at all for the VRMs and like the prior generation there has been cost cutting that reduced the number of mosfets used with some of the cards so it is no surprise that they smoke up then burn. My advice is to get picky as to what modern cards one buys and to be sure that the vrms have something to keep them from getting too hot and that there is more than just one or two mosfets per phase especially when buying used cards or doing any heavy overclocking. Overheated mosfets tend to weaken and underperform once they get too hot.
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Re: Video Card from Hell

Postby Munx » 2018-10-12 @ 13:18

brostenen wrote:Regarding modern technology. Computers, smartphones and tablets....

As far as I can see, and for what I hear from people. Then anything that have been produced after some 2010, are supposed to be functional for some 1.5 to 2 years. Never ever buy anything second hand, that have been produced after 2010. Unless we are talking industrial grade stuff. Consumer products have for the last 10 years, been build to last those two years.

My current PC that I got around 2012-2013 is only off when I sleep (mostly). The cheap budget MSI motherboard in it still works fine. The cheap Seagate harddrive in it is still fine. The cheap GTX 650ti that came with it is now in my friends PC working and gaming just fine. My 3.5 year old GTX 960 has been running just fine. Nothing that I bought since 2010 has failed.

Compare that to 20 yeard old hardware where caps would burst if you looked at them funny.
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Re: Video Card from Hell

Postby realoldguy23 » 2018-10-12 @ 13:58

Munx wrote:
brostenen wrote:Never ever buy anything second hand, that have been produced after 2010. Unless we are talking industrial grade stuff. Consumer products have for the last 10 years, been build to last those two years.

My current PC that I got around 2012-2013 is only off when I sleep (mostly). The cheap budget MSI motherboard in it still works fine.
...
Compare that to 20 yeard old hardware where caps would burst if you looked at them funny.


Same here. I've built my main home PC in 2013, nearly exactly 5 years ago. It has the last Intel built mainboard DH87MC, an Intel Core i5 4570, Samsung 840 Evo 250GB SSD, etc. And to this day it is more than fast enough for video and photo editing and occasional gaming, nearly completely silent, and running all day.

My wife uses my retired work laptop from 2009, a Dell Lattitude (IIRC) with a Core2 Duo and 4GB RAM to this day. The only thing I changed is the replacement of the Samsung HD with a cheap 120GB SSD several years ago. I think I also cleaned the fan and heat sink from huge amounts of dust at this occasion.

Compare this to the nineties where a 2 year old computer was already obsolete because it was too slow...
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Re: Video Card from Hell

Postby bjwil1991 » 2018-10-12 @ 14:08

My laptop from 2012 when I bought it brand new for college is going slower than normal (replaced the HDD with a 480GB SSD) and it has 6GB RAM in it. Another issue is the charging circuits are failing and the battery just dies after 30-40 minutes, runs slower with the charger disconnected, and the laptop power cycles on and off. It still has the Celeron B820 which isn't Windows 10 friendly. My main PC, the 6-core FX-6300 runs a heck of a lot faster (480GB SSD, 1TB HDD, GT730, 12GB RAM) as well as my other laptops from the early-mid 2000's and desktops from early 1990's-mid 2000's.
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