[SOLVED] Electrical issue with card, GPU is alive but no display

Feb 21, 2020
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Hey folks,

I'm facing an odd issue with my old card. It's a GTX 970 and until very recently was in perfect shape. I live in a stormy area, and recently we had some issues with energy that have affected my house. An electrical surge happened, and when it did, my computer lost its video signal - but stayed on. Attempting to boot the device normally failed, though it worked with the iGPU, and I figured the 970 was dead.

Curiously, however, was that the computer booted with the 970 as long as my screen was hooked up to the motherboard's DVI connector, and not the card's, as per usual. Still, the card was recognized by Windows, and could run and display the very few games that support being rendered by another video device that isn't the main one. I tested this with Kenshi and MSI Afterburner, the former allowing you to pick a rendering device before launching, where the 970 showed up normally. I can also confirm it was the device rendering the game and NOT the iGPU, since MSI Afterburner correctly could measure its clock speed, voltage, fan speed and memory usage. The game ran flawlessly with performance the iGPU wouldn't be able to deliver. There was not a single issue with the gameplay - no artifacts, no driver crashing, nothing. Visually, the card is also okay, with no burnt caps or mosfets or anything of the sort. GPU-Z can also read the 970 normally and so can Windows' device manager.

So the GPU itself is okay - but gives me no video whatsoever as the main display. I have tried messing with the BIOS and even disabling the iGPU completely, yet it doesn't work. It does, however, render anything that can be rendered by a separate PCI-E device. I suspect the card's DVI output is gone, assuming this isn't some random bizarro one-in-one-million kind of issue.

Is there any software to render any other game this way? If not, what can possibly be the culprit, aside from the aforementioned output?
 
Last edited:

hang-the-9

Titan
Moderator
If you think the issue is with the DVI connection, the simplest and only way to test that is to use another connection and see what works and what does not. Once you test the simple thing you can go on to trying other stuff like testing the card in another system.
 

hang-the-9

Titan
Moderator
If you think the issue is with the DVI connection, the simplest and only way to test that is to use another connection and see what works and what does not. Once you test the simple thing you can go on to trying other stuff like testing the card in another system.
 
Feb 21, 2020
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I just found it weird for a strong electrical surge to damage only the DVI connector - normally phases and caps are the first to go on this scenario, if not the GPU itself. I did test it and voila, it was, indeed, only the DVI connector that received any damage. I believe the current entered through the DVI cable through the monitor, and not the PCI-E/PSU, which would explain zero damage to the hardware aside from this specific connector. Video output on HDMI works fine.

I'm leaving this here in case someone stumbles upon a similar issue and thinks their card is dead.
 

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