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I think I got the worst 970A-UD3 there is

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
First post in here and I'm already ranting, that sucks. Anyway, just as the title says, this thing I have is THE worst 970A-UD3 I've ever seen, Rev 3.0 if anyone wonders. The problem I have is, as you may imagine seeing as how there are some people already complaining about it, throttling. And by throttling I mean throttling due to VRM overheating, CPU/NB/socket is fine. I sold an old 4+1 board where I was using my 8320 undervolted, and I got this thing due to it's power phasing and pretty low price in these parts, but that seems to have been a mistake.

To explain - the board worked fine for the past 5 months, no problems what so ever, but today it decided to go bonkers. I fire up IBT and the board throttles my CPU down to x7.5 multi within the first minute of running the test. I fire up Prime95, same thing. Put a 2000RPM 40mm fan over the VRMs, still throttling. Put a 3000RPM 60mm fan over the VRMs, still throttling. Put a 4000RPM 120mm GentleTyphoon over the VRMs, still throttling. I got a headache from all the fan buzzing but the thing doesn't budge, throttles no matter what I do to it, it just takes a bit more time to throttle when I put a bigger fan.

CPU temp is not the problem, CPU runs at 45C under load with a Mugen 4 on it (35C during the GentleTyphoon treatment). Socket ain't the problem either, temps in HWMonitor/HWInfo/SpeedFan/god knows how many other programs I used report the socket temp to be 47C max. NB is undervolted so it's not even hot, I can rule that out then. The only thing that remains are the VRMs, which get hot no matter what I use to blow air over them, and the heatsink on those things looks like it can't even cool a potato, much less mosfets with over 140W being pumped through them. rolleyes.gif

I also tried fiddling in BIOS, enable HPC mode - throttles, disable CnQ/C6/C1E - throttles, do whatever you want - throttles. Even flashed BIOS a couple of times, no difference. Damn it.

And then came the best part, since I was running the CPU overclocked with +0.050V on VCore, I thought what the hell, let's put it back to stock and see if throttles then. Lo and behold, it throttled, and my CPU has a stock VCore of 1.3125V, which amounts to 1.320V on this thing, 1.280V with VDroop, the overvolt actually brought the voltage down under load to 1.320V this thing is supposed to run at. Then I went undervolting, lowered the bloody thing to 1.176V (1.140-1-156V with VDroop) and the throttling stopped, but once I shut down the VRM fan the board went "woop woop" and slammed face first into the ground - x7.5 multi after 15 seconds. I swear to god, this mobo is deliberately screwing with me, or trying to commit suicide by deliberately screwing with me.

Seeing as how my CPU has a rather low voltage for an 8320 (usually I see those in the 1.356-1.380V range), I can't imagine what this thing would do if I were to install one of the lower-binned ones, I guess it wouldn't even go out of the low-power state. And since this is the third Gigabyte board I've had issues in the past 10 years, I think I won't be getting Gigabyte any more.

Anyhow... not really looking for help fixing it since the board is under warranty, I just had to rant somewhere cause the next thing I have to do is a pain in the arse. Now begins a long and tedious process of taking this thing back to the store, waiting for two weeks so the guys "test it", waiting for another week for them to ship the board back cause "it works", then repeating this for a few more times until they get bored with shipping it back and forth and finally refund me.

As to why I have to return it a bunch of times, it's because guys here have a simple way of testing motherboards - insert CPU and RAM, connect the board, plug in a Linux live USB, flip the power switch. If it boots, ship it back, if it doesn't, replace the board. Shipping it to Gigabyte would cost me as much as a new board so that's out of the question. All in all, yeah, about 4-5 months of shipping it back and forth should piss them off enough to give me a refund, and by then I'll hopefully have enough money to buy a Sabertooth, I'm yet to hear anyone complaining about those.




EDIT: Actually, screw it, now that I had a cold one I remembered that the concept of warranty is something I don't care much about, I don't know what was I thinking there. Nah, I'll make it run cool myself, MX-2 is non-conductive so I just have to figure out how to put it onto the mosfets without collateral smearing. Anyone have any tips/tricks about that, I only ever used TIM on CPU and NB?

And the statement below still stands of course. smile.gif



And as a side note, I like this place, lots of hardware and overclocking talk, so I think I'll be sticking around once I make this pile of electronic scrap I call a PC to behave. thumb.gif
Edited by Werne - 3/24/14 at 5:08am
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post #2 of 11
I've heard reports that some of the rev. 3.0 versions of that board shipped with lower-quality VRM's than what you typically see on a 970A-UD3. These boards are normally bulletproof for anything less than someone doing exotic cooling and running enormous clock speeds and voltages.

The behavior you're seeing makes me think that is just a defective board, though. No 970A-UD3 should choke on a stock 8320, regardless of the VRM's on the board. Even a bum board should function perfectly well and without issues at least up to the clocks and voltages of a 9370. I've reached 5.1 GHz at 1.51v on my 8350 with a rev 1.2 board, but the CPU can't handle it. The board does so with no issues.

On a properly functioning UD3, you can eliminate any vdroop issues by enabling LLC. If you have and it's still doing that, you have a defective board, and i wouldn't risk an expensive CPU running in it.
     
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post #3 of 11
Try a bigger fan?

The 970A-UD3 I used to have can handle a FX6100 running at 4.8Ghz 1.65V no problem. That is not a typo, I actually needed 1.65V for 4.8Ghz stable.

To improve VRM temps I replaced the thermal pad under the heatsink with a thick layer of Ceramique 2, have a 80mm fan blowing on it at all times.
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post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
@jsc1973 Well, the board actually performed marvelously until today, it's not an issue I had for a while. And the LLC options I have are Regular (the VDrooping one), Extreme (the one that tries to melt everything, when set to +0.000V it runs at 1.380V on idle and 1.428-1.440V under load), and Auto, which is these two at random. Neither sound appealing to me though, with Regular I get a -0.050V drop and with Extreme I get a +0.050V raise, throttles either way. I recall running on Extreme at 1.428V for a while when I was benching 4.72GHz (which was actually stable, I even got additional 40MHz with it), back then it wasn't throttling even without a fan over the VRMs, but my old AC Freezer 13 barely kept the CPU under 62C which is why I had to dial back.

@TheLAWNOOB I used a 120mm 4250RPM Scythe GentleTyphoon to blow over the VRMs at one point, and I can safely say it's a typhoon but there's absolutely nothing gentle about it. It still throttled, but much less, took it 5 minutes to throttle on +0.050V (1.332V load).



And I think I may have found the problem, I ended up ripping the board out of the case to see if I can help it, after which I found something I wasn't expecting - the board and the cooler backplate are bent around the CPU socket by ~10 degrees, not good. That might explain why the VRMs can't keep themselves cool, contact with their heatsink must be pretty bad on a bent board, especially since they are in the same level as the socket.

I don't recall overtightening the sink though, board was flat when I mounted the Mugen and it was flat when I put it into the case, I checked cause I was afraid it might bend, had issues with mounting cooler on stock backplates in the past. Could be that the cooler's weight was bending it, wouldn't surprise me since that thing weighs quite a bit after the fans are mounted. Even cheap coolers like CM 212 EVO use a better and more sturdy plate for mounting, and those are 1/2 the weight of a Mugen 4.

Ugh, I'll take the cooler off later, then I'll try to figure out how to get the board and backplate back into shape and see if that changes anything regarding VRM temps. Anyone have any experience straightening a motherboard? I can put the backplate in a vice but I very much doubt the motherboard would like (or survive) the same treatment.
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post #5 of 11
If the board is bent then the only thing you can do it either use a lot of thermal pad under the VRM sink, or cut VRM sink into tiny pieces and super glue it on.
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post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
@TheLAWNOOB Nah, I straightened out the board, just needed to straighten the CPU backplate and screw the cooler in. It's as flat as a pancake now, I even put a piece of plywood behind it to make sure it doesn't bend anymore.

I also found the problem with the VRM overheating, and I solved it. It had nothing to do with the bent board or mosfet quality though, but it had something to do with the manufacturing quality. There was a sesame seed between one of the mosfets (third one from above, on the side towards the rear I/O panel) and the thermal pad. Since there was an air pocket in between the thermal pad and the mosfet cause of that, dust accumulated in between which likely raised it's temperature under load by a lot, I guess it was just that one mosfet that was overheating. Now I can't help but ask myself who the hell eats a sesame bagel while using a half-assembled motherboard as food tray?

Anyway, took off the pad completely and applied MX-2 to the mosfets, ran IBT for nearly an hour at 1.440V, not one throttle, and I didn't even put a fan to blow over the VRM heatsink. wheee.gif

I also replaced the thermal paste on the Northbridge which was a very good choice, the stuff used on it was older than me and it was rock hard, had to use sandpaper to take it off the NB heatsink cause I couldn't scrape it off, and cleaning it from the NB die took nearly an hour. That crack sound when I took the NB heatsink off was the most terrifying sound I heard, sounded like I ripped the entire Northbridge clean off the board, a series of s**ts went through my head at that moment. But NB is all good, much cooler too.

Right now, TMPIN2 runs 16C cooler (I'm guessing that's the Northbridge), the rest of the temps remain the same, and the VRM heatsink is merely warm to the touch when CPU is on stock voltage and under full load. Now I can actually do some proper overclocking on this thing without setting the board on fire. smile.gif
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post #7 of 11
Was the sea same toasted when you took it out? Anyways I'm glad to hear it's working for you biggrin.gif
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post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheLAWNOOB View Post

Was the sea same toasted when you took it out?
It was actually extra crispy with a side dish of charred PC dust and a bit of thermal pad sauce, just like mom used to make. tongue.gif
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post #9 of 11
Glad the "defect" turned out to be something that was easy to fix. A sesame seed...was the Giga QC guy careless with his lunch of sesame chicken when he was checking the motherboard? LOL

Anyway, crank that 8320 up now. The board can handle it. thumb.gif
     
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Intel Core 2 Duo Mobile T9900 Dell 0G848F Intel Mobile 4 series 4GB Crucial DDR2-6400 
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OWC Mercury Electra 3G 44GB SSD stock DVD-RW Linux Mint Cinnamon 17.1 "Rebecca" 1366x768 WXGA 
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post #10 of 11
Thats boreds been a dream for me...

5.35291GHz on my FX 6300 @ 1.8v

And has run a bench load of 5.2GHz @ 1.65v

The board is great, it will treat you well
     
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Intel Core i7 3820 @ 4.3GHz ASUS Rampage IV Formula X79 EVGA GTX 980 Ti Hybrid @ 1.45GHz/1.9GHz Corsair Dominator 16gb @ 2.2GHz C9 
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Samsung 850 EVO 250GB WD Caviar Blue 1tb 7200RPM WD Caviar Blue 1tb 7200RPM WD Caviar Blue 500gb 7200RPM 
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120.5 Custom Loop Windows 10 Pro x64 LG D2343P-BN 3D Monitor @ 70Hz Corsair K70 (MX Brown) 
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Corsair AX Series 850w NZXT Switch 810 Black (Heavily Modded) Logitech G502 Proteus Spectrum Sennheiser HD 598 Cs 
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AMD FX-6300 @ 4.5Ghz Gigabyte 970A UD3 AMD HD8490 (OEM) @ 1.1Ghz Core/Mem Patriot Viper Xtreme 8gb @1600MHz 8-8-8-24 
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LiteOn Bluray Player Corsair Hydro Series H100i Zalman 120mm Led Fans x4 Windows 10 Pro x64 
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Hitachi 24" 70Hz Monitor Logitech EX110 OCZ ZT 550w Full Modular Zalman Z9 Plus 
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DELL Wireless Mouse Logitech 5.1 Sound System TP-Link TL-WN781ND Wireless Card 
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i7 3820 @ 4.3GHz ASUS Rampage IV Formula X79 EVGA GTX 980 Ti Hybrid @ 1.45GHz/1.9GHz Corsair Dominator 16gb @ 2.2GHz C9 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Samsung 850 EVO 250GB WD Caviar Blue 1tb 7200RPM WD Caviar Blue 1tb 7200RPM WD Caviar Blue 500gb 7200RPM 
CoolingOSMonitorKeyboard
120.5 Custom Loop Windows 10 Pro x64 LG D2343P-BN 3D Monitor @ 70Hz Corsair K70 (MX Brown) 
PowerCaseMouseAudio
Corsair AX Series 850w NZXT Switch 810 Black (Heavily Modded) Logitech G502 Proteus Spectrum Sennheiser HD 598 Cs 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD FX-6300 @ 4.5Ghz Gigabyte 970A UD3 AMD HD8490 (OEM) @ 1.1Ghz Core/Mem Patriot Viper Xtreme 8gb @1600MHz 8-8-8-24 
Optical DriveCoolingCoolingOS
LiteOn Bluray Player Corsair Hydro Series H100i Zalman 120mm Led Fans x4 Windows 10 Pro x64 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Hitachi 24" 70Hz Monitor Logitech EX110 OCZ ZT 550w Full Modular Zalman Z9 Plus 
MouseAudioOther
DELL Wireless Mouse Logitech 5.1 Sound System TP-Link TL-WN781ND Wireless Card 
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