Question Are my R9 380s broken?

Oct 30, 2019
Hello people, I come to you for help and I have to say, I am a bit desperate.

Recently I bought 2 PowerColor R9 380 4GB, one that apparently worked fine and the other one that had problems on the PCI-E connector.
Today I was able to try the cards for the first time. My setup is an i5 2500, ASUS H61PRO, 8GB DDR3 and a be quiet! 480w (BQT E9-CM-480w). I want to clarify to all of this parts are bought recently used, except for the i5. I built the machine outside of the case, since I don't have the screws to tighten up the motherboard to the case, so I placed the mobo in a box and the psu in another one.
Basically what happens is that the "working" 380 doesn't display image and the computer never posts. The broken one does post but never displays image. The other weird part is the fans. The "working" one only uses one fan at a time, then it stops and the other one starts spinning, while the broken one has both fans working at the same time and a bit faster. Here is a list of the things I tried:

  • Another GPU (5570 and GTX 750 work just fine)
  • Update bios (it was very old, but it didn't solve the issue)
  • Try different ports on the monitors (I have a two monitor setup and tried DVI and HDMI to no avail)
  • Uninstall all the GPU drivers
  • Switching the 2 PCI-E 6 pin connectors from one slot to the other (2 to 1 and viceversa)
  • Clear CMOS (also while having the graphics cards installed)
  • Use only one stick of RAM in either slot
The way I see it, either both cards are faulty in different yet similar ways or the power supply is not giving enough power to make this graphics cards functional. I know that 480w is not much, but with 38a on the 12v rail, I thought it would be enough. Sadly I don't have another motherboard nor PSU to test with.

Does anyone know what can it be? Thanks!
As neither card is known good, your options seems straightforward...

Test them (that's what freinds are for!) in another rig that has a more than adequate PSU....if neither works there either, your troubleshooting might be done at that point...

If you ordered these cards off of e-bay, etc., 75% chance on both being bad....(it's where the crooks sell off bad hardware every day)