Question Gigabyte GTX 980Ti No Boot

Jul 1, 2021
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https://www.techpowerup.com/gpu-specs/gigabyte-gtx-980-ti-g1-gaming.b3350

I bought this GPU second hand and for whatever reason, the PC will not boot when the GPU is connected to the PSU.

The following are the actions I have done and the steps I have taken to troubleshoot thus far:
Initial testing of the GPU was on a test bench consisting of A520 motherboard, R3 pro 4350G, 16GB G.Skill ripjaws, and 450W Corsair 80 plus bronze PSU*.

Result: Lights on GPU would flicker once and fans would attempt to spin but the PC would not power on.

*Note: The GB website states that the recommended PSU for the video card is 600W, however, with a "TDP of 250W" with the 65W of the CPU and the card not under load I figured it would at least get me to the BIOS or the windows desktop.
Usually, PSU recommendations lean on the higher end and people don't tend to read the footnotes that sometimes shows how they got that number.
Take the RTX 3080 reference footnote for example:
"4 - Requirement is made based on PC configured with an Intel Core i9-10900K processor. A lower power rating may work depending on system configuration."
I have seen videos of certain systems, where under full load, the GPUs do not pull the recommended wattage listed for them. The wattage is measured at the wall. This topic is still debated on so I am aware of both views.

Second attempt tested using a Seasonic 650W 80 plus gold PSU with the same MB, CPU, and ram as stated above.
Result: a click would be heard from PSU but nothing would happen. No lights, no fans spinning, nothing.

Troubleshoot: used an additional PCIe cable instead of the single with the daisy chain so one cable per plug. GPU has 2 8-pin ports.
Result: Same as above.

Decided to clean the GPU as it was very dirty and dusty. Cleaned, replaced thermal paste and thermal pads.
I was hoping the cleaning would help.

Third attempt after cleaning.
Result: same as second attempt.

Fourth attempt: Tested on using my personal rig consisting of an R7 5800X, B550 Tomahawk, and 850W NZXT C850 PSU.
Result: Same as second attempt. Audible click can be heard from PSU when trying to power on.

The clicking coming from the PSU is, what I assume, the OCP.

When cleaning the GPU, I didn't see anything visibly wrong that I could identify that was obvious.

The GPU has obviously been reseated multiple times and the plugs have as well.

Some possibilities that are considered:
DOA (optimistic that seller didn't screw me and the card was working prior, card did show some signs of life at initial testing)
450W PSU damaged the card(skeptical but I wont completely dismiss it)

Open to suggestions.

I've been considering baking the GPU as another attempt but have never done so before.
 
if it doesnt power on and psu looks like dead...then gpu is shorted
u can test which gpu power side is shorted
disconnect your gpu from pci-e slot, keep just pci-e power plugs (6/8 pin from psu)
see if psu turns on
if yes then pci-e slot power side is short
 
Jul 1, 2021
2
0
10
0
if it doesnt power on and psu looks like dead...then gpu is shorted
u can test which gpu power side is shorted
disconnect your gpu from pci-e slot, keep just pci-e power plugs (6/8 pin from psu)
see if psu turns on
if yes then pci-e slot power side is short
Thank you for replying.

I tested the 980Ti disconnected from the PCIe slot on the motherboard and had it connected to the PSU via the PCIe cables only
Result: Test bench did not power on. I heard a noise coming from the PSU but it wasn't the same clicking sound as before.

For a sanity check, I finished cleaning a 1060 I have on-hand and put it together. I did the same thing and had it disconnected from the motherboard and connected to the PSU.
Result: System did power on. I connected it back into the PCIe slot on the motherboard and it worked as it should.

I'm not sure where to go from here. I know I need to find where the short is but don't know where to start or look. I do have a couple of multimeters if that's necessary.

UPDATE: For the sake of testing, I tried using one plug at a time and powering on the system.
PCIe cable connected to the inner most plug and the system powered on.
PCIe cable to the outer most plug and the system did not power on and sound could be heard coming from the PSU.
The same noise could be heard when the GPU was not installed into the motherboard. Sounds like a zapping electricity noise if that makes sense.
 
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