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Suspect MSI HD 6950 bad (at least in xfire)

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
Ok folks, looking for a bit of help here. I thought about just getting another card (since I'm going to eventually have three) to help in the troubleshooting, but the cost of most of the 6950's have jumped as much as $150 in the month I've gotten them (hell the 6970's are cheaper now in many cases).

Ok, background, most of my system should be in my system listing below. I'm currently running everything stock, no OC'ing yet. Was at first suspecting the RIIIBlack Mobo, since the first one I got was DOA and RMA'd for a new one.

I'm currently using 3DMark Vantage and 3DMark 11, and PC Mark for testing ATM. I know, benchmarks, meh. Not so much for the marks but since this is a new build, they do work to monitor system health (and I already had them). Back ground, I'm no stranger to electronics nor computer components. Before some of you question my reasons for this build, I have my reasons. The two 6950's in the system are references from MSI and HIS. I have attemted to flash 6970 bios in both for troubleshooting, and am running on the 6950 bios.

Symptoms: When in Crossfire, video hangs (occasionally with BSOD but not always), and appears that the MSI card will max rpm the fan (as if I switched off the PCI lane on the mobo). When it's the secondary card in xfire, apparently happens when the actual graphic test starts. When it's the pri card, has happened as soon as the desktop loaded.

Now this just started to happen, and I've been watching the temps on GPU-Z for both cards thinking that there's some kinda thermal cut off. Main GPU temp was as low as 41deg and high as 49 ish (when I was watching). Now, doesn't happen when NOT in xfire, nor when it's the only card in the system (getting about 21000 in Vantage). I've tried the cards in the 16x lanes, 8x lanes, and a combo of with no success.

Prior to this recent casualty, when I first got the new board, I was having simiar problem, the system would hang. At times, certain apps would grind to a slow crawl that shouldn't. Since it was a new board, was troubleshooting that first. Thought it might have been the ram (using all six slots with ram), so I also swapped and reseated, trying in different configurations. Also thought it might have been my Mimo USB touch screen drivers. Then I swapped out the GPU's a couple, and tried a couple of new drivers (from ATI, MSI, and HIS) of times and then it seemed to work. About a day later, tying out the system with FFIV, the system hung and that was that. Well, at least here I am. Still not ruling out the mobo, but now I HIGHLY suspect the GPU.

Waiting for the new mobo, I used my old P6T Deluxe with the new components (to make sure they work) and had some issues. Thought it might have been the mobo and its age, seemed to be bottlenecking somewhere. New board came in and didn't really think of it again.

Looking for suggestions, or points to where I missed (even with 20 years in the Navy, been known to miss a thing or two once in a while).

Currently running with a clean install of WIN7 Ultimate, most updated ATI Bios, both MSI and HIS are running default BIOS (and I tried both).

Of another note, I can't tell (and don't want to swap cards again to see), but through overdrive and increasing the fan speed, only one card will respond (was the HIS and it was in primary). The MSI sat at 50% no matter what I set the fan to. Don't know if that helps.

Thanks in advance.

The FROG

Edit: Just read the thread on the reference cards becoming hard to find. Would explain why they shot up in price.
Edited by superfrog73 - 5/20/11 at 5:43pm
Typhoon
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Typhoon
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post #2 of 3
So let me get this straight - just to summarize;
- when you're in crossfire, your video hangs and sometimes you get BSODs
- you think it may be your motherboard
- problem does not occur when in crossfire
- system has a fresh install of Win 7, and also you tried running the cards in 16x, 8x lanes but to no avail.
- you're using 3dmark 11 and vantage to test stability and monitor temps via GPU-z

If I did read all the facts you state without missing major ones, it seems that your problem is definitely not the mobo, but your MSI (as you suspect).

What you do want to do is:
- Firstly, use OCCT for GPU testing, it's much better. Enable error checking and simply let the test run for 10-20 mins.
- Use MSI afterburner to read temps, as it states the max and the min you can see the temps even during benchmarks (you may have a problem with overheating).
- you said you get BSODs; look at the codes you get... open up "event viewer" (search start menu for it) and look at which errors you got.
- just to be sure it's not your RAM, download and run memtest.
- absolutely make sure nothing is overclocked (I know you said it's not; but just to be sure)
Edited by born2bwild - 5/20/11 at 8:03pm
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The Overlord
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iMac 5k Late 2015
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The Overlord
(25 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 6700K Custom Apple Motherboard AMD Radeon R9 M395X 4GB 16GB 1867Mhz DDR3 
Hard DriveHard DriveOSMonitor
3TB Apple Fusion Drive 4TB WD Elements External Drive Mac OS X 5120‑by‑2880, 10-bit IPS 
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Apple Magic Keyboard Apple Magic Trackpad 2, Razer Deathadder 2013 Bose Companion 2 Series iii 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 970 @ 4.4 Ghz Asus P6X58D-E EVGA GTX 680 SLI @ 1200Mhz 12GB Corsair DDR3 1600Mhz 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Samsung 840 Pro SSD 2 * 1TB WD Black 5 * 2TB Hitachi LaCie 1TB External HDD 
Optical DriveCoolingOSMonitor
LG BD Combo Corsair H70 Windows 8 64-bit HP ZR30W (2560*1600) 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Logitech 920-000914 OCZ ZX 1250W CM 690 II Advanced Logitech G500 
Mouse PadAudioAudioAudio
Razer Goliathus Audez'e LCD-2 Schiit Lyr + NuForce HD DAC Blue Yeti Microphone 
AudioAudioOtherOther
Logitech G35 Altec Lansing 2.0 7 Scythe Ultra Kaze fans @ 3000rpm Scythe Kaze Fan controller 
Other
Logitech C900 Webcam 
CPUGraphicsRAMHard Drive
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Mac OS X 2560-by-1600 resolution IPS display 
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post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
Yea, sorry for the long rant, lesson is don't type frustrated. After further testing, the MSI card started failing when not in crossfire. I think that ID's the problem.

But, I'm a day late (bought it through Amazon) so I'll have to go through MSI for RMA.

Most of the errors in the BSOD were failing Video driver (had a similar problem with my GTX280's a couple of years ago).

Thanks for the ideas, didn't think of using Afterburner, Kombustor, or OCCT. It appears, the card in question is increasing in temp too much, but there's an I/O problem. Some of the data points (shader clock, fan rpm) are either zero'd or very low.

So thanks B2BW, that was a big help. Got some more tools for the box.

+Rep!
Typhoon
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Typhoon
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