Bought an nVidia 460 GTX, had minor artifacts in BIOS, now card is dead.

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hollowropes

New Member
#1
I decided to go out and get an actual nVidia brand GTX 460, when I first put the card in and turned it on, I noticed a few artifacts on the BIOS start-up screen. I reset the computer, got into Windows, loaded the drivers, everything was fine. Started playing games and everything was fine, even overclocked the card a tiny bit (I think the numbers were 800/1600/1950) and everything was still working fine.

I eventually had to restart the computer for another reason, and I noticed the artifacts in the BIOS again so I reset and they went away like the first time. Went back to some game playing, everything was really extremely well (I was very happy with the cards performance at this point despite the artifacts in the BIOS).

I was changing a few things in my mcsonfig for the startup sequence (some MSN messenger thing I forgot to get rid of at an earlier time) and had to reboot a third time, this time my card gives the standard (beeeep, beep beep beep) that I've always associated with bad RAM or just a bad card in general. I'm pretty sure I'm going to RMA this card today as soon as I have an available ride, was just wondering if there was another problem that could have caused this, or if it was probably just a faulty card from the beginning (since it was showing the artifacts in the BIOS right out of the box). Anyway, thanks, if there's another thing I can try before RMA'ing the card, please let me know. Thanks.


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Well I can't even get a video signal on my monitor, it beeps 4 times and it hangs there. I don't have another working card to stick in and I also don't have onboard on this motherboard)

On a second note, I just removed the casing and heatsink unit from the card itself and on two of the RAM chips, there's a clear STICKY substance covering half of the two RAM chips that I at first thought may have been some sort of advesive, but after touching it with my fingering, I could tell that it wasn't at adhesive/thermal compound/etc. It didn't even have the look of any type, it was a clear, sticky, almost dried, oil-like substance but I couldn't get any off of it using my fingering.

[Edit: I reread my post and realized that when I was describing the substance on the RAM sinks, it almost sounded as though I was describing a form of thermalgrease. I can take a picture if needed, just so someone can tell me whether or not this could be the problem causing the card to report RAM problems, but let me assure you that it is NOT any form of thermal compound]

Anyway, so yeah, system's hanging with the three beeps (one long beep, three short ones) and I'm stuck there. What next, RMA
 
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Admin

Admin

Administrator
Staff member
#3
Hi there. Having some trouble viewing those photos -- got a 403 trying to click on the URL. Can you upload them elsewhere? Perhaps add them as an attachment in this thread?

Without having seen those photos, my gut reaction to your problem is that a) the fluid you're talking about is, in fact, some kind of thermal compound (maybe just not one commonly seen); and b) there's a non-visible defect in the memory.

Also, will you still be able to RMA this after overclocking and removing the casing and heatsink?
 
H

hollowropes

New Member
#4
Sure give me just a few minutes, I think the images aren't showing up because they're from a weird foreign image uploading site. I'll try Imageshack and see if it helps.
 
H

hollowropes

New Member
#5
Alright, hopefully they'll work this time. You'll see that for infact this is no type of thermal compound at all, it's more like a slightly sticky clear oil. Remember that they're on/by RAM slots M6 and M7.

http://img809.imageshack.us/img809/8030/35172600.jpg

http://img814.imageshack.us/img814/1517/73980468.jpg

http://img819.imageshack.us/img819/9748/14733220.jpg

http://img607.imageshack.us/img607/7100/55992879.jpg

Also, I'm not too concerned about the RMA issue since I bought this card at a Best Buy store and I doubt they'll have their GeekSquad team take the whole card apart to make sure I didn't do anything to mod/change it (which I didn't to begin with).

If those pictures still don't work, let me know and I'll zip them up and send them to you.
 
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Admin

Admin

Administrator
Staff member
#6
The pictures came through.

OK, I'm still not sure this isn't thermal grease. According to some anecdotes I turned up through diligent Google searching, you can find transparent thermal compounds at some stores like Radio Shack, and manufactured by people like GC Electronics. Here is one example of someone who's seen clear thermal compound: http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showpost.php?p=4219296&postcount=8

I hesitate to say that if this is indeed thermal compound, it may be a cheaper kind than the arctic silver type of stuff many PC builders use for their CPU mounts. Hard to say for sure.

In any case, I think an RMA is the only way to go, and this is probably obvious, but I wouldn't point out that you discovered this (cheap?) thermal compound in there.

Let us know how it goes, and good luck.
 
H

hollowropes

New Member
#7
Yeah, I'm just gonna take it back and probably get a HD 6870 or something of that sort instead. Whenever I touch my finger to the stuff, it's really sticky, almost like how superglue is sticky RIGHT BEFORE it hardens up completely, if that makes sense. Also, I don't understand why there'd be those little bits of 'thermal grease' in those specific areas unless some machine or a person made a really bad mistake and touched something where they weren't supposed to. But thanks a lot for your help, by the way. Take it easy.

Also if for some reason the HD 6870 is a bad choice, let me know since I won't be leave for another hour or so.
 
Admin

Admin

Administrator
Staff member
#8
Happy to help!

Seems like the HD 6870 is a good choice. A lot of people like the card, but as with all of this stuff, it depends on the exact OEM. I see high marks for XFX and Sapphire on Newegg, which isn't surprising -- both are generally solid.

Cheers!
 

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