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GPU PCIe contacts wearing down

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
The pins/contact areas on the GPU PCB are wearing down to the board and are just barely making contact with the PCIe slot pins, resulting in graphical anomalies such as red/green/blue lines. It can be fixed by moving the card a bit until it disappears, but it usually comes back within an hour or two.

Was wondering if anyone has had this issue and if there might be any way to fix it, besides throwing it out and getting a new card.
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post #2 of 13
Its actually wearing the pins down? How bizarre. I would RMA that thing. Are you sure its not just some gunk on there? If you scratch it with your fingernail those black spots don't come off? I just went in the closet and picked out a burnt up 9600GT and scratched at the pins with a scribe and it takes a LOT of force to damage them.
Edited by Scorpion49 - 8/4/12 at 12:34pm
post #3 of 13
I would think the only way to wear them down was repeated pulling and installing. I would try and RMA if I could.
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post #4 of 13
From looking at those pictures it does not appear to be worn as much as it is corroded. Most likely its the PCI slot on the motherboard that is not contacting the pins.

Clean it with alcohol, what I would do is try to kind of buffer it with something, maybe even take some high grit sandpaper and lightly sand the connections.
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post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
@Scorpion49 - I was a bit curious as to why they might wear down too, but in the end I attributed it to two years of use with a heavy water block attached to it and once in a while LAN party moves. As for there being junk on the contacts I tried to remove it lightly with a flat head screw driver and it sort of/kinda worked.

@MobAttack - The only uninstall/reinstall I did with that card was annual maintenance of the water cooling loop where I needed to remove the water block from the card.

@Dillmiester - After reading the first reply I pulled it out to try the sandpaper option, but I wanted to wait and get a second opinion before I go at it and possibly ruin my card. In the end a fine grade metal sand paper did the trick, but there is noticeable wear and divots where the pins in the slot make contact because there was some leftover black marks I couldn't quite sand off without sanding down the contacts more. Also it isn't the pins on the motherboard since I tried moving the card to a different PCIe x16 slot and it did the same thing with the same consistency.

In the end the issue still remains but isn't as constant. I'll try some other methods to clean the 'junk' off if that is really what it is. Will take pics and update as I go.
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post #6 of 13
i just use this to clean memory, agp, pci and express contacts on old hardware.

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post #7 of 13
I would check the cable before assuming that the contacts are wearing out. A bad wire inside of your cable can make the colors look crazy, and is much easier/cheaper.
post #8 of 13
You must have some serious vibration from the water block that is making the card vibrate and wear away the contacts.
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post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
So far so good, I've had the card running for the past day and a half (as per normal use in games and what not) and have had no issues. What I did was:

1) Took fine wet/dry metal sand paper and gently sanded the contacts on the card, cleaning off excess metal and dust with rubbing alcohol. After sanding and cleaning there was still visible pits on certain contacts so I went in with 0000 grade steel wool to try and get any gunk out of the pits.

2) As a further measure I decided to rub vinegar on the contacts with a q-tip, working the vinegar in before wiping clean and then cleaning again with rubbing alcohol.

3) Using a double sided cheap paper nail filer I went to work on the PCIe slot, gently inserting and removing the file to remove any surface imperfections that might have accumulated on the pins/contacts. Afterwards I gently inserted kleenex into the slot with one end of a tweezers and, after stuffing the whole slot, gently removed the kleenex so as to clean off any debris.

4) Used canned air and dusted both the slot and the card contacts to remove any left over debris. Reinstalled card and it worked perfectly.
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post #10 of 13
Good to see you got it solved, definitely took some work but better than RMA'ing the card/board.
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