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-   -   Sapphire HD6970 - possible DVI port problem (http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/video-cards/40632-sapphire-hd6970-possible-dvi-port-problem.html)

Jeff1961 February 8, 2011 08:45 PM

Sapphire HD6970 - possible DVI port problem
I was wondering if anyone had some advice about this issue.
Looks like I have to replace the GPU, but perhaps i've missed something.
Some pictures of the issue:

I had ordered some really long DVI-D dual link cables, and after replacing the DVI-I single link cables that came with my monitors...one monitor went yellowish, then black.
To make a long story short...after much cable wrangling...i've come to the conclusion that it is one of the ports on the GPU.

It was the left monitor that was yellowish initially. So I switched the "monitor cable ends" with both left and right monitors. I thought it was the cable, and this test seemed to confirm that because now it was the right monitor that was yellowish.

So I got rid of that cable and put back one of the ones that came with the monitor. All three of those cables worked fine before. But again...the left monitor was yellowish.

I then thought it may be the DVI port on the monitor...so this time I left the cables in the monitor and switched the left and right monitor cables at the GPU connection. The problem switched over to the other monitor proving that it was not the monitor port, but the issue was at the GPU port.

So it is definately not the cable, or the monitor. The problem originates at the GPU port, or perhaps GPU drivers.
I uninstalled the ATI CCC drivers, then reinstalled. No luck.
I went to ATI to check for more versions and noticed it was still the same version, but there was a second option for the driver without "APP". So I tried that. No change.

The problem itself is not just a "yellowish" discolouration. While testing the display it went black. I could only see some of the monitor menu features working. (like the ones that show which port is selected...so I could always confirm that I was selecting the DVI option) Later after doing more testing, the monitor was yellow for a minute or or two...then it went black for 5 seconds....then back to yellow for 5...then back to black for a bit longer...then to yellow...then black for over an hour.

I fussed for a long time with the CCC options for triple displays...thinking it might have been related to that. But I could not fix the problem with them all cloned...or as one 3 monitor desktop. The CCC drivers were even still seeing the third display in the triple display group...yet it was black. It even labelled them correctly regarding which one had the mini display port to DVI.

I'm very cautious with my equipment, and while plugging in and removing cables i'm very slow and careful. There's been no shoving, or pushing hard while the port was in the wrong position...or anything like that.

I've not checked forums at AMD or Sapphire yet.
The GPU has only been running for about 4 weeks.

Jeff1961 February 10, 2011 04:13 PM

Took the GPU out and had a look.
Anyone have any thoughts on how serious this mark on the node is?
P1070933detail | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

I'm making arrangements to take it back to NICX for testing.

It also looks from this photo that there might be something in the pci slot...in the same position where the node appears damaged:
P1070913detail | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

I also noticed some tiny bits of red plastic that must be from the pci-e slot.
P1070863 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
...although I don't see how a tiny fibre like that could cause that very well defined...horizontal gouge in the gold node.

Do you think that gouge in the node could be responsible for the problems i'm having when I plug my monitors in to the GPU's DVI port?
Do you think that gouge is something that could have happend at the manufacturer?
Of course, the card passed tests done by the manufacturer...and the builder...and worked fine for the first 3-4 weeks I had the computer. The problem occured without me ever having touched the card...let alone remove it.
And these would have been easily missed (both the gouge on the node, and whatever it is shown in the photo of the pci-e slot)...because they are so small. I could not see it until I looked at the macro photos afterwards.

_dangtx_ February 10, 2011 04:21 PM

the traces are supposed to look clean,and not cut,abrased etc...

that could give you issues..are the pins in the pci-e socket scratching/cutting it away?

Jeff1961 February 13, 2011 03:53 PM

Took the machine back to the store and builder and it worked fine.

The builder said it looks more like an indentation as opposed to the node being "folding back" from something in the pci slot.

At my request he looked closely and attempted to clean anything in the pci slot. Tried the card in slot 1 and 2. All was fine.
Tried it with one monitor and two. Using cloning and using a two monitor setup. No issues.

I brought it back home and the problem was still there.

It made no sense to me given the previous troubleshooting, but I decided to try replacing all the new DVI-D cables with the original monitor cables that are DVI-I. It worked fine. :doh:

I called the builder back and told him someone had mentioned there should not be any difference in using either DVI-D and DVI-I, which is why I got the new "longer" DVI-D cables. He mentioned he saw something on the web saying it did matter with an eyefinity setup. I'm not sure what he was looking at. But that's the end of this scenario for me. I will keep the card despite the indentation and take the builders word that...there's more than enough of the node to make good contact for it to work. If it got dented from something in that pci slot...I believe that it is now gone.

Very bizarre scenario where one of the 3 monitors would always be distored yellow or blue when the DVI-D cable was plugged in to the lower DVI port on the GPU. Even my attempt at two new cables and one old...and the problem was still present. Not until all DVI-D's were disconnected did the "one monitor distortion" issue go away. So not a very intuitive issue, where all DVI-D cables cause only one monitor to have an issue...and even then, only when one of the 3 monitors is plugged in to the lower GPU DVI slot. Weird.

I still need some longer monitor cables, so I will order some long DVI-I cables for this eyefinity setup.

Thanks for the help.

FEB 15 ENTRY: all references to DVI-I are incorrect. My bad. I'm being told the cables that came with the monitors and those that I bought are both DVI-D. But one is single-link, the other dual-link.

Jeff1961 April 28, 2011 10:38 AM

The saga continues.
I just put in a support ticket with Sapphire.
This is what I wrote:
I suspect there is a problem with the lower DVI port on the GPU.
I have an eyefinity setup.
The problem is that I infrequently experience one of my 3 displays going yellowish in colour. (ASUS VW266H 25.5 LCD 1920X1200 2MS)
It is always just one display, and the issue usually only occurs at startup and lasts for about 5 minutes.
The problem does not appear until the next startup.
The problem also starts before Windows is loaded.
And the problem sometimes manifests as a total disconnect. A black display. No video feed at all.

I have tried the latest Catalyst drivers (11.3) and it didn't help. I went back to 11.2 because I lost over 60% of my fps in games with 11.3.

I have updated the mobo to the latest bios.

I have updated the operating system to the latest windows updates, including SP1.

I have tried switching the DVI cables (single link) at the back. (the ones that came with the monitor)
I have tried using high quality DVI cables (dual link) and switching those at the back.
Specifically: I turn on the system and the left display is yellowish in colour. I shut down and switch the left and right display cables at the point where they connect to the GPU. (i simply switch the upper DVI to the lower DVI) The problem then switches to the right display when I start up again. This suggests that there is an issue with the lower DVI port on the GPU...or, something within the GPU that operates that port.

I have tried moving the GPU to another PCI-e slot. Same issue occurs.

I bought this system new and received it mid-January.
The problem did not start occurring until a few weeks later.
As part of the troubleshooting, I switched the new high quality dual link DVI cables and put back the original ASUS display cables. The problem went away for about 4 weeks, then came back.
The builder at NCIX said I needed to bring the whole system in. Seeing the system is so huge, and I have no vehicle...i'm opting to go this route with Sapphire first.

Jeff1961 September 23, 2011 10:57 AM

I assume this will be my final entry on this issue.

To recap, over the past 7 months i've taken my GPU back to NCIX twice, and once I took the system in...without the monitors. Each time i've gone to NCIX we were not able to recreate the problem. (any of the three monitors that was plugged in to the upper DVI port of the GPU would experience yellowing...or lose connection with the computer)

I put off an obvious work-around for quite awhile, to stop using that DVI port and use one of the others.
I put it off because the GPU, in my opinion...is defective...and at $380 I wanted a replacement. Logical...but not in the cards as I could not reproduce the issue at the store where it was purchased...and I was unwilling to spend more money on sending it to Sapphire in Hong Kong. (i had already spent over $100 renting a vehicle to take the computer to NCIX)

So...I decided to try an HDMI connection for the third monitor 6 weeks ago.
As I suspected, there's been no problem since then.
I just hope...that whatever is wrong with the DVI port in the GPU...it will not someday affect other parts of the GPU. (assuming it isn't simply the port itself...but some component elsewhere in the card controlling that port)

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