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Water Loop GPU Effectiveness Degrading

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Hello all. I'm seeing an odd issue with 1 of 3 R9 290's in my loop.

While mining, this card was reaching a max VRM1 temperature of 58C two weeks ago. Last week, I noticed it was maxing out at 63C. Now, I'm watching it climb all the way up to 78C while the other two cards are sitting comfortably at 57C.

Has anyone experienced this phenomenon before? I used Fujipoly Ultra Extreme pads on all 3 cards, but this one is just climbing higher and higher as the weeks go by! Can thermal pads lose their effectiveness like this, or should I blame the VRM on the card getting ready to die?

Any help or insight would be much appreciated! Let me know if I need to provide any extra info.

Thanks!
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post #2 of 23
Have you rechecked the fir of your block on the problem card? Are your cards in series or parallel? If in parallel, you could have a blockage issue and only one card is effected.
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post #3 of 23
How old is your loop and when is the last time you changed the liquid?
post #4 of 23
Weird. I highly doubt the thermal pads would just degrade like that over the course of two weeks. Either the VRM is about to die, or your loop's flow rate has slowed down due to some kind of build up in some point of the loop. Are these all in a serial or parallel flow? If serial, is it the last card to get the water? In that particular block, does the water run over the core first or the VRMs first? Are all 3 cores using the same voltages and clocks?
post #5 of 23
Thread Starter 
Wow, thanks for all the replies so far.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deaf Jam View Post

Have you rechecked the fir of your block on the problem card? Are your cards in series or parallel? If in parallel, you could have a blockage issue and only one card is effected.

I haven't checked anything other than visually confirming the block is making good contact with the thermal pad. I figured I would ask, first, in case there was some known reasons why this is happening. Cards are in series.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostrider85 View Post

How old is your loop and when is the last time you changed the liquid?

The loop is 2 weeks old, and I used fresh distilled water to fill it up! This was an existing loop that I tore down and rebuilt to apply the Fujipoly pads.

Quote:
Originally Posted by iamhollywood5 View Post

Weird. I highly doubt the thermal pads would just degrade like that over the course of two weeks. Either the VRM is about to die, or your loop's flow rate has slowed down due to some kind of build up in some point of the loop. Are these all in a serial or parallel flow? If serial, is it the last card to get the water? In that particular block, does the water run over the core first or the VRMs first? Are all 3 cores using the same voltages and clocks?

The cards are in series, and this is the last card in sequence. The water is entering in the core side and exiting out the VRM side. This card runs at a slightly lower clock speed than the others (947 instead of 977). All cards run at stock speeds, too.

Like I mentioned before, it's been a gradual thing. All temps were fine at first, but this last card is just getting worse and worse...
Edited by Redvineal - 3/9/14 at 10:07pm
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post #6 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redvineal View Post

Cards are in series, and this is the last card in sequence. The water is entering in the core side and exiting out the VRM side. This card runs at a slightly lower clock speed than the others (947 instead of 977). All cards run at stock speeds, too.

Like I mentioned before, it's been a gradual thing. All temps were fine at first, but this last card is just getting worse and worse...

How about core temps? Are they all around the same range? What's the hottest any of them get?

With most of their blocks, EK puts in a "shortcut" channel before the VRM section, splitting the water into 2 parallel flows, so some of the water never even goes over the VRM section. I believe they do this so that if there's a blockage, at least water can keep flowing out of the block. Obviously if there was a blockage in the VRM section, almost all of the water would take that shortcut channel. My bet is on a build up or blockage. maybe plasticizer or something.
post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by iamhollywood5 View Post

How about core temps? Are they all around the same range? What's the hottest any of them get?

With most of their blocks, EK puts in a "shortcut" channel before the VRM section, splitting the water into 2 parallel flows, so some of the water never even goes over the VRM section. I believe they do this so that if there's a blockage, at least water can keep flowing out of the block. Obviously if there was a blockage in the VRM section, almost all of the water would take that shortcut channel. My bet is on a build up or blockage. maybe plasticizer or something.

Core temps are all within 2-3C of each other (hottest being 53C). Output voltage is similar across all cards, too, which makes me think it's not the VRM going out.

This may be the most unscientific way to tell, but I shined a flashlight on the clear side of each water block. I can see the motherboard clearly through the offending card's block, but not the others...

Also, I forgot to mention these are XSPC water blocks. Do they have the same design that you mention?

All in all, It seems like the rest of the loop is doing fine as if the liquid is still flowing well everywhere but that last block. Is that a sensible assumption/observation?

Edit: Using XSPC FLX white tubing.
Edited by Redvineal - 3/9/14 at 10:56pm
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post #8 of 23
If it is getting worse and your mining, I would take the loop apart to check it. That is an investment and you will lose more money from a dead card (rma if allowed is still a lot of down time) than from the downtime cleaning out a block. If it is hitting the 70s on water, it is probably running too hot for air on stock cooler and will throttle so you can rma if the block is clean.

Check your block out, the interconnect, and verify you have contact. If your block is clogged, tear down the whole loop and clean everything.

There is always the outside chancr your sensor is faulty, but given this block looks different, I would lean towards a blockage of some kind. EDIT. You should add an inhibitor and biocide ro your loop sometime. The cost is miniscule to the benefits.
Edited by Deaf Jam - 3/9/14 at 11:10pm
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post #9 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deaf Jam View Post

If it is getting worse and your mining, I would take the loop apart to check it. That is an investment and you will lose more money from a dead card (rma if allowed is still a lot of down time) than from the downtime cleaning out a block. If it is hitting the 70s on water, it is probably running too hot for air on stock cooler and will throttle so you can rma if the block is clean.

Check your block out, the interconnect, and verify you have contact. If your block is clogged, tear down the whole loop and clean everything.

There is always the outside chancr your sensor is faulty, but given this block looks different, I would lean towards a blockage of some kind. EDIT. You should add an inhibitor and biocide ro your loop sometime. The cost is miniscule to the benefits.

Thanks for the info. I added Dead Water to the loop as a biocide. What do you recommend as an inhibitor?

I really do think only the block on this card is affected. The rads that come after the GPU's are putting out heat, and the pump isn't choking on air, so the water must be flowing well throughout the rest of the loop.

Since this is 1 of 3 cards, I've temporarily disabled it to avoid damage. My wife has a Corsair 900D headed my way for our anniversary biggrin.gif so I'll be breaking the whole loop down one day this week anyhow.

I hope it's not plasticizer since I've read a lot of good things about that tubing and don't want to waste the backup pack I have in favor of ordering Primochill Advanced LRT. Any thoughts/experiences on the XSPC FLX tubing?

Btw, huge thanks to everyone for all the help so far! At first I suspected the card, itself, and dreaded the thought of an RMA, or worse, purchasing a replacement! You guys have brought me back down to Earth with logical small steps to try first!
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post #10 of 23
Smart idea in disabling the card. I can't say anything about the FLX tubing as I run what you don't want to order. I would think that a company that sells other components (particularly pumps) would have decent tubing, since it will bring up RMA rates of said pumps. I would hold on to what you have unless you hear of some horrible stuff.

It may not be plasticizer as there are all kinds of things that can clog a those tiny intakes and fin assemblies. So your tubing could be fine. Two weeks is a rather short time for plasticizer to be an issue, and only on the last card.

I would check your Fujipoly as well. If you made a silly mistake and left a film on one side that could cause issues. Initially it may let heat through, but over time it may turn into carbon and act as an insulator.
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