Friday, November 2nd 2012

Some Sapphire Radeon HD 7870 Cards Affected by "Black Screen" Issue

According to an investigative report by BeHardware, some Sapphire-made Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition graphics cards may be affected by a "black screen" issue. Some Sapphire HD 7870 users could notice random screen blackouts. A collaboration with AMD unveiled the cause of the screen blackouts to be caused due to a "noisy" GPU electrical signal (voltage is controlled by pulse-width modulation). The cause for GPU electrical signal noise is found to be bad quality ceramic capacitors responsible for conditioning power to the GPU.

AMD has been investigating the issue for months, and had already informed its add-in board partners (AIBs) about components responsible, and to take steps to correct the issue. BeHardware, however, was able to reproduce the problem in recent batches of Sapphire-made HD 7870 cards bought from stores. Following the investigation, Sapphire corrected the issue at their production lines, recalled inventories from French retailers, and relaxed its RMA policy towards existing users of its HD 7870 cards.

Source: BeHardware
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37 Comments on Some Sapphire Radeon HD 7870 Cards Affected by "Black Screen" Issue

#1
eidairaman1
so R2 boards are in the works and if a R1 is affected to immediately RMA it. Good Stuff, Atleast AMD is actually taking responsibility and same with Sapphire
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#2
Widjaja
I was so close to buying a Sapphire HD7870.
Went for ASUS instead but still the drivers are flaky.
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#3
eidairaman1
perhaps it was your choice of video card, aka Asus...
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#4
Widjaja
by: eidairaman1
perhaps it was your choice of video card, aka Asus...
There are threads on the issue of graphic anomalies with the 7xxx series in various forums.
All varying to different degrees based on the card model, game and driver version.

Sapphire's cards also exhibit the same graphic anomalies but also black screen with any card made before May this year.

I would have purchased a Sapphire HD7870 due to never having problems with them, but saw the ASUS model on special.
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#6
Widjaja
by: eidairaman1
so anomalies even with the beta 4 of the Never Settle Driver (12.11)?

Seems most at this topic have no complaints of any graphic corruption or even blankouts?

http://www.techpowerup.com/forums/showthread.php?t=173865
12.10 and 12.11 beta show significant flickering and corruption in Skyrim and Tribes: Ascend while other games do not from my experience.
12.8 will show a black poly for less than half a second on rare occasion in Skyrim and Tribes: Ascend.

People have RMA'ed their cards to find the replaced card has the same issue.

This thread at GURU 3D is one of the two there which is all about the flickering.
There are probably links within that thread going to other forums as well.
i think there is a forum over in Germany talkng about the issue as well.

AMD forums have been removing threads on the topic for a while now not that there is any evidence besides dead links left by posters of other forums.
There are videos on youtube about the issue.
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#7
NeoXF
I never had issues like these while I benched and played with a friend's R7870 a while back, ran plenty of games on it, don't think TES V was one of them tho... or maybe it was, or maybe I'm thinking of my old GF8800GTS 320 on my ex's PC, damn I miss having my own rig.

Soon...
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#8
3870x2
I could replace all the capacitors on the card within an hour, it is very simple.

Atleast they are making up for it, and 'relaxing their RMA policy'
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#9
TheGuruStud
by: Widjaja
12.10 and 12.11 beta show significant flickering and corruption in Skyrim and Tribes: Ascend while other games do not from my experience.
12.8 will show a black poly for less than half a second on rare occasion in Skyrim and Tribes: Ascend.

People have RMA'ed their cards to find the replaced card has the same issue.
Disabling anistrophic, surface format, and trilinear optimizations probably fixes this. I would rarely see that on T:A and figured it was due to my OC. I've had the optimizations disabled for a while (definitely improves quality on T:A) and haven't seen it.

Although, that unreal engine is bad, and the devs should feel bad.
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#10
Novulux
And here I thought it was an issue with my monitor...
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#11
alwayssts
Holy crap...Oddly enough I'm glad to hear this is an actual issue and not something I was mucking up.

I have a Powercolor 7870 (that originally came with the stock amd cooler), and almost certain this issue has happened twice. I kept messing with my HDMI cable and checking the seating of the card trying to figure out what the hell was going on...thinking perhaps I had lost the ability to do simple tasks like installing a video card, until it finally came on. Up until yesterday, it worked fine...when it happened again on a restart. I messed with the cable again, and the seating...and it magically came back on. I was pretty sure everything was fine before-hand since it's pretty hard to screw up plugging in an hdmi cable...now I'm sure of it.

Thanks TPU for reporting on the issue.
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#12
eidairaman1
by: alwayssts
Holy crap...Oddly enough I'm glad to hear this is an actual issue and not something I was mucking up.

I have a Powercolor 7870 (that originally came with the stock amd cooler), and almost certain this issue has happened twice. I kept messing with my HDMI cable and checking the seating of the card trying to figure out what the hell was going on...thinking perhaps I had lost the ability to do simple tasks like installing a video card, until it finally came on. Up until yesterday, it worked fine...when it happened again on a restart. I messed with the cable again, and the seating...and it magically came back on. I was pretty sure everything was fine before-hand since it's pretty hard to screw up plugging in an hdmi cable...now I'm sure of it.

Thanks TPU for reporting on the issue.
HDMI cable connections are weak and sensitive. But Id say request an RMA then. thats all you gotta do, just record your pn and sn down before sending it off
Posted on Reply
#13
alwayssts
by: eidairaman1
HDMI cable connections are weak and sensitive. But Id say request an RMA then. thats all you gotta do, just record your pn and sn down before sending it off
Totally true in all respects.

The card has been working fine in games...and while you are absolutely right hdmi cables/connections can be flaky, this set (I tried two) has worked fine for a long time. I used to use the current one on my ps3 for over a year. I'm fairly certain the issue is related to this, as the screen did randomly display a very unsettling 'not-off black' while the tv still registered a connection to the port. It also automagically turned back on afaict. I'll wait for it to happen again, and if it does will probably follow that advice.
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#14
eidairaman1
by: alwayssts
Totally true in all respects.

The card has been working fine in games...and while you are absolutely right hdmi cables/connections can be flaky, this set (I tried two) has worked fine for a long time. I used to use the current one on my ps3 for over a year. I'm fairly certain the issue is related to this, as the screen did randomly display a very unsettling 'not-off black' while the tv still registered a connection to the port. It also automagically turned back on afaict. I'll wait for it to happen again, and if it does will probably follow that advice.
ya ever since 1080p became big etc EDID tables have been way off too. normally black screens for me atleast meant either refresh or resolution was being changed.

this is just a reason why I buy a Separate monitor and then a TV.
Posted on Reply
#15
alwayssts
by: eidairaman1
ya ever since 1080p became big etc EDID tables have been way off too. normally black screens for me atleast meant either refresh or resolution was being changed.

this is just a reason why I buy a Separate monitor and then a TV.
What really I need to do is get off my ass and go back to dvi/audio out like I was before...it's what most people do that use this tv (it's a pretty popular option on AVS) as a monitor. I have been trying hdmi out just to see if the clutter convenience was worth it considering most of the edid issues have been worked out these days so there is little compromise. If nothing else, it may isolate my particular issue. Sorry for thread-jacking peeps!

FWIW, I totally respect the desktop devotees...was one for years. Now I really dig sitting on my couch with a keyboard remote most of the time (like now). If need-be I can still grab my keyboard/mouse off the shelf,raise the top of the coffee table, and game in a similar way. It's truly worth it for the media convenience imho.
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#16
eidairaman1
by: alwayssts
What really I need to do is get off my ass and go back to dvi/audio out like I was before so...it's what most people do that use this tv (it's a pretty popular option on AVS) as a monitor. I have been trying hdmi out just to see if the clutter convenience was worth it considering most of the edid issues have been worked out these days so there is little compromise. If nothing else, it may isolate my particular issue. Sorry for thread-jacking peeps!

FWIW, I totally respect the desktop devotees...was one for years. Now I really dig sitting on my couch with a keyboard remote most of the time (like now). If need-be I can still grab my keyboard/mouse off the shelf,raise the top of the coffee table, and game in a similar way. It's truly worth it for the media convenience imho.
nah this pertains to the flash etc no worries
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#17
alwayssts
by: eidairaman1
nah this pertains to the flash etc no worries
Ah, I follow what you're saying now. I don't think this was that, as I've certainly dealt with that before and this occurred during strectches I had not messed with any settings, but it's always possible. I am one of those guys constantly messing with everything though (as you say lining up edid, getting rid of panel processing etc can kind of be a fickle chore) so I can't rule out that having something to do with it. Perhaps I'll just stop messing with it for a while. :laugh:

Either way, regardless if the core issue of this thread pertains to me or not...guess those capacitors replacements MSI et al pushes are doing somebody some tangible good!
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#18
james888
My 7970 is in RMA right now for a black screen problem.Might not only be 7870s
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#19
Lazzer408
by: 3870x2
I could replace all the capacitors on the card within an hour, it is very simple.

Atleast they are making up for it, and 'relaxing their RMA policy'
They have to "relax" an RMA policy to deal with a defective product? Don't most companies cover defective products with their standard RMA service? :rolleyes:
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#20
Dj-ElectriC
My HD7970 Vapor-X Ghz Ed. Exploded for no reason....

:(
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#23
Widjaja
by: Novulux
Anyone know if I just email rma@althonmicro.com about the issue?
Start a thread in Sapphire for8ums as well.
hopefully the fanboi members will not try and blame every other part of your PC at fault or attempt to say who ever made your PC is lacking in skill.

by: james888
Can't hurt
Will be lucky to get a response but yeah doesn't hurt.
Best to go through the vender you bought the card from or find a way to RMA with Sapphire.
Posted on Reply
#24
james888
by: Widjaja
Start a thread in Sapphire for8ums as well.
hopefully the fanboi members will not try and blame every other part of your PC at fault or attempt to say who ever made your PC is lacking in skill.



Will be lucky to get a response but yeah doesn't hurt.
Best to go through the vender you bought the card from or find a way to RMA with Sapphire.
I currently have a RMA with saphi re so I do know how it works with them. All their RMA's go through Althonmicro. I talked to sapphire support first, who then sent me to althon micro. Althon responded in less than an hour. My 7970 is currently with them in Los Angeles and I am awaiting any news.
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#25
Novulux
I've already packed it up; the process was quite quick and painless. Only needed to send 2 emails.

I'm just wondering why they responded when the closing business hours even listed in the email itself was hours before.
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