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6950 Waterblock issue

Discussion in 'Overclocking & Cooling' started by Whilhelm, Jul 22, 2011.

  1. Whilhelm

    Whilhelm

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    This is driving me crazy.

    I have two 6950s with XSPC waterblocks. I was having issues getting crossfire to run so I decided to pull each card and test them one at a time with the waterblocks installed. I came to the conclusion that one card was not working correctly since it just gives me a black screen in furmark and the system locks up.

    So to confirm that the card was in fact dead I re-installed the stock cooler and low and behold the card worked perfectly fine. So I figured that it was just a bad mount of the waterblock causing the issue so I reinstalled the block and I am still having the same issue. Anybody have any tips for me since I am going nuts trying to figure out why this is happening.

    Now just to confirm, I have tested both cards in both PCI-E slots both with and without waterblocks on multiple different driver sets. One card is perfectly fine both with the unlocked shaders and locked shader bios with either the water block or reference cooler in both slots.

    The other card black screens in fur mark, locks up in catalyst control center, and black screens in every game in both slots with the water block on using either the default bios or unlocked shader bios. But when I slap the reference cooler back on it works fine in both slots with both bios.

    Probably a long shot but I am hoping someone can give me some advice. :toast:
     
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  2. Whilhelm

    Whilhelm

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    I guess nobody has any ideas :confused:
     
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  3. erocker

    erocker Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Have you tried mounting the block with less tightening? Does anything mounted on the PCB seem to be touching the block anywhere? I've heard of this happening before and often it's due to the block warping the PCB in a way that something shorts out.
     
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  4. Whilhelm

    Whilhelm

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    I have loosening all the screws a bit, I have also tried moving the thermal pads around, in total I have re-mounted the block about 6 times and each time I am having the exact same issue. It is almost like the card won't switch to 3D clocks and it causes a black screen. I have even tried connecting the stock cooling fan to the header to eliminate that as a potential cause.

    I have looked very closely at the block and there is nothing I can see that is touching anywhere, it is somewhat hard to tell with the block mounted but there is no evidence that there is a short causing the problem.

    When I put the stock cooler on it works perfectly fine, I guess my last option would be to take the block off the working card and try it on this one. It is just very frustrating and time consuming to keep trying different solutions.

    Oh and the board shows zero signs of bowing or warping and all the standoffs are making proper contact with the card.

    Thanks for the tips, awesome avatar by the way.
     
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  5. erocker

    erocker Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Are you able to use the stock backplate and retention bracket with the waterblock?
     
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  6. Whilhelm

    Whilhelm

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    the stock retention bracket uses much smaller screws and the backplate gets in the way of the fittings. So I cannot try that, too bad because that would be a good way of eliminating potential mount problems.
     
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  7. FreedomEclipse

    FreedomEclipse ~Technological Technocrat~

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    whats the make of the 6950?
     
  8. cadaveca

    cadaveca My name is Dave

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    Leave fan plugged in?
     
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  9. Whilhelm

    Whilhelm

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    It is a reference Sapphire 6950, and I have tried it with the fan plugged in and that didn't make a difference.

    I have also tired both blocks on the card and the same result with each.
     
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  10. cadaveca

    cadaveca My name is Dave

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    perhaps do you have an image of the block when you pulled it, with the pads and paste showing?
     
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  11. FreedomEclipse

    FreedomEclipse ~Technological Technocrat~

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    well Id say its sapphire messing about with warranty. their warranty policy states that taking off their own cooler voids warranty. So if something is genuinely wrong with the cards. you cant send them back.

    theres been a lot of speculation about how partners like sapphire, XFX, HiS etc etc tell that you have removed the stock cooler. some of them hide stickers under the cooler where you cant get to it that 'breaks' if you remove the cooler, and some just stick small void warranty on stickers over screws to stop you tinkering.

    It wouldnt suprise me if they rigged the card up top stop working properly if you removed the stock cooler from it and thats what seems to be the case here.

    its too much of a coincidence that it happend to BOTH cards from the same partner.
     
  12. Whilhelm

    Whilhelm

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    I think you misunderstood me, One card works perfectly fine with either block installed, the other card does not work with either block installed. Both cards work fine with the reference cooler.

    I will take a picture of the block and card when I get a chance, I have looked very closely at this card and I cannot see any obvious issues. To my eyes both cards and blocks look spot on identical.
     
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  13. cadaveca

    cadaveca My name is Dave

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    I'm jsut wondering if maybe a fet on one of the cards is lower than the others, or a bit higher...sounds like a thermal shutdown.
     
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  14. Whilhelm

    Whilhelm

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    Actually this is a possibility, It seems to do it whenever the card tries to switch to 3D clocks. The strange thing is, the system doesn't crash, just whatever program I try to run. If i kill the process through task manager then the system usually recovers the display driver.
     
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