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9800 GX2 died, resurrected!

bokou

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#1
So my 9800 GX2 died a while back and I decided it was time for a whole new setup anyway and went with new mobo, ram, and a 6970 (don't flame me).

I couldn't ever figure out why the card had died or what there was I could do about it.

I decided last night to take it apart since I was bored and had time to kill. Took me freakin 30 minutes to get the thing apart (it's not two gpu's on a board, it's two boards sandwiched together... something I'd never encountered before). I took some pictures with the intentions of uploading them on here and asking if anyone could take a look at the high-res versions and see if anything looked "burned up" or broken. I have several tubes of thermal paste so I figured I'd clean it all up, re-thermal paste it, and put it back together to see what happened.

Low and behold!! It didn't fire up immediately, it took some coaxing. One of my DVI ports doesn't seem to work (topmost) and the HDMI port doesn't seem to work (used a hdmi->dvi adapter) but the bottom port works and all green/blue leds are on.

The two boards looked almost identical except for an extra chip located on one of them near the SLI bridge. I imagine that this is a controller of some sorts for the card. The "clear" glue around it had browned and I imagine this was due to heat. The thermal paste on it was also completely dried out and flaked off in chunks. I haven't been able to run it on a system with drivers and all just yet to see if it's able to detect both gpus or if I'm running a one-legged 9800 GX2 now.

Would it work at all if one of the cards in it was dead? The system I put it in to test it was my new rig and I didn't want to install Nvidia drivers over my AMD drivers. CPU-Z didn't like the card at all (didn't try gpu-z) and HWINFO32 showed two gpu's - GPU #0 had the correct 512mb RAM but GPU #1 had something like 4gb of ram showing... weird.

I'll upload pics of the internals tonight even though there's really not a whole lot that can be determined by looks alone.
 
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#2
to answer your question, yes i have seen these cards run fine with 1 gpu disabled or dead. its wierd though that 1 gpu is showing 512MB of VRAM and the other one is showing 4GB...
 

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#3
I know it's a lot of work, but I would suggest taking it back apart and doing the "bake" trick with both cards and putting it back together and trying it again..........You really have nothing to loose at this point :)
 

bokou

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#4
What's the bake trick?...
 

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#5
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#6
Yeah, you'd be surprised how well baking works for a lot of failed electronic devices. Seems like solder connections breaking is a common cause of death.
 

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#7
Yeah, you'd be surprised how well baking works for a lot of failed electronic devices. Seems like solder connections breaking is a common cause of death.
Very true Jstn! Hell, I have heard of people fixing cell phones by that means. :rockout:
 
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#8
when you put the graphics card back together did you use thermal paste on the memory chips?

the stock heatsink is supposed to use thermal pads so if you put the heatsink back together with paste it ends up having a half mm gap above the ram chips.

i have a dead 9800gx2 sitting here that i would love to get working so i will be following this thread closely.
 

qubit

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#9
You're lucky you got it to work at all. What's happened is that you have dry joints all over both boards and enough of them are making contact that you're getting some life out of it. The joints go bad due to repeated heating and cooling and as these things run so hot (I know, I had three) there's a whole lot of stress there. This is why hardware that runs cooler than the competition is always valued.

The card won't last long though. :ohwell:

The anomalous memory reading is 99% likely due to you not having the driver loaded. You really can't expect things to work in any way right without it. It won't hurt to install the nvidia and AMD drivers; I've never had them clash. Ever.

And finally, I wouldn't risk the bake trick, unless you really don't care about it and have nothing to lose.
 

bokou

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#10
I'll give the bake trick a shot soon and see what comes of it.

as far as AMD and Nvidia drivers not working together... my 6970 cost me well over $600... when it wouldn't work on my SLI ready board at all (due to on-board nvidia chipset) I had to buy a new mobo... and I had to buy a new processor... and new ram... and one thing led to another and the only thing that I used to have that I still have is the hard drive and optical drives... woohoo!
 
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#11
I'll give the bake trick a shot soon and see what comes of it.

as far as AMD and Nvidia drivers not working together... my 6970 cost me well over $600... when it wouldn't work on my SLI ready board at all (due to on-board nvidia chipset) I had to buy a new mobo... and I had to buy a new processor... and new ram... and one thing led to another and the only thing that I used to have that I still have is the hard drive and optical drives... woohoo!
Ok any PCI express graphics card like the 6970 will work on any motherboard that has a PCI express slot regardless of chipset branding. That was not the reason it wouldn't work, you must have received a bad part somewhere in the mix. Unless you had an old socket 939 nforce 4 sli motherboard maybe the card didn't get recognized or something but probably not. Also where in gods green earth did you pay well over $600 for an HD 6970?????????

XFX HD-697A-CNFC Radeon HD 6970 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 ...

$359 and even has a $30 MIR

Im running an Nvidia GTX 580 on an AMD/ATI chipset board... I've done vice versa as well, it doesn't matter what chipset you have it will work.
 

bokou

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#12
No no no

#1... all nvidia cards I have in my house would work with my old mobo. No ati/amd cards I had would work with it. I chalked this up to the nvidia chipset conflicting. Nothing I tried (wouldn't even see bios with the ati cards) got them working. I read several people having this same issue and it seemed to only be ati cards and I never saw a solution that wasn't "bought a new motherboard..."

The $600 was the cost of a new mobo, ram, and video card. Not $600 for the card itself lol. I'm ok with being an early adopter, but not spending $600 on a single-gpu card!
 

bokou

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#13
ok now that everything seems to be working fine, it's throwing up a "Windows has stopped this device because it has reported problems" error even though the drivers are up to date and this is my third install of the drivers with driver sweeper between them.

card officially toast? most threads I came across via the all-mighty google have told me that 98% of the time that's a hardware fault and I should abandon all hope
 

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#14
Yup, it's toast. From everything you've described, this card has had its day. Why not treat yourself to a new card?

The performance of this thing is only comparable to a GTX 460 now and doesn't support DX11. Definitely time to change it.
 
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#15
Start warming the oven up bokou lol, The baking trick is like magic!
 

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#16
@qubit: I've got a really nice rig and this is a small form factor gaming rig that I'll use to take to a few friend's houses. I have had it since it was equipped with a 9600 GSO and so I don't want to buy anything for it. It's gotten hand-me down Ram, a PSU, and now video card. I'd rather not spend more than $100 on a card for it and I wouldn't want anything less than 460 performance-wise...

@physxerror: oh noes!!! :p
 

qubit

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#17
@qubit: I've got a really nice rig and this is a small form factor gaming rig that I'll use to take to a few friend's houses. I have had it since it was equipped with a 9600 GSO and so I don't want to buy anything for it. It's gotten hand-me down Ram, a PSU, and now video card. I'd rather not spend more than $100 on a card for it and I wouldn't want anything less than 460 performance-wise...
A mere $100... I dunno. You're not gonna get GX2 performance for that kinda money. I believe for this end of the market ATI deliver better performing cards, but don't quote me on it.

If anyone can say authoritatively which gives more performance for $100 then please let bokou know.
 

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#18
well if I spent any more than $100 I'd be trying to talk myself out of it: "oh you're not going to be playing on the pc that much any way because you'll only use it when you go over to friend's houses!" but when I use the thing I'd want nothing less than 460 performance... so I'm stuck either spending $149 on a twin frozr or getting this puppy to work! :)
 

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#19
well if I spent any more than $100 I'd be trying to talk myself out of it: "oh you're not going to be playing on the pc that much any way because you'll only use it when you go over to friend's houses!" but when I use the thing I'd want nothing less than 460 performance... so I'm stuck either spending $149 on a twin frozr or getting this puppy to work! :)
It's tough to get 460 performance for $100, here a nice 5770 for $122: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0035K6H2C/?tag=tec06d-20

or this HD 5670: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0034JLTNG/?tag=tec06d-20, which is within your budget.

They're both decent cards performance wise, but not really near 460 levels. If you want to get to GTX 460 performance and above, you're going to have to raise you budget a bit
 

qubit

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#20
Wow that was quick. Nice. :D
 

txsouthpaw

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#22
well if I spent any more than $100 I'd be trying to talk myself out of it: "oh you're not going to be playing on the pc that much any way because you'll only use it when you go over to friend's houses!" but when I use the thing I'd want nothing less than 460 performance... so I'm stuck either spending $149 on a twin frozr or getting this puppy to work! :)
I have been seeing 768 MB 460's used for ~ $110 and nicer 200 series cards for ~$100 or less. In fact, I just purchased a nice EVGA GTX 285 for $90 shipped from another forum. The 285 gives you roughly 460 level performance -DX11.
 
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#23
285 -dx11 surely not full but partial, bake it simples
 

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#24
Been busy and the computer is being used as a server for the time being so the baked-potato is going to be in the pantry just a bit longer. Definitely gonna do it as it's not like theres really anything to lose
 
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#25