Question Potentially damaged GPU on new mobo

May 20, 2021
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I've asked around in a few different places and have gotten varied answers, but since GPU prices are through the roof I think this is really worth looking more into. Basically had a whole system damaged by a power surge, most parts in my old rig died, a couple appear to have survived. I'm about to build a new one and wanted to know if there was any risk in installing my 970 from the damaged rig into the new motherboard, just to see if it survived. Obviously I'd rather use the 970 than pay outrageous prices for a new GPU or use the integrated graphics with the CPU. What is the risk I'm assuming if I hooked up that 970 to the new mobo? Could it fry any of the new parts? Damage the PCIE slot or beyond? Anyone ever done anything like this before?

Any advice would be appreciated.
 

Eximo

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If the GPU is shorted out, it could damage components. A dead short would probably keep the PSU from powering up, but a short that would allow a large current to pass through, might pop stuff in the new motherboard, yes.

Could always pick up something really cheap to test your GTX970, rather than risk your brand new components.

How much do you have to spend? Could get a PCIe capable box for under $100, or thereabouts:

https://www.newegg.com/hp-prodesk-400-g1-business-desktops-workstations/p/1VK-001E-2RD11?quicklink=true
 

Eximo

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Kind of defeats the purpose of re-using the GTX970. For that matter, you can pick up used GTX970 for not much more than a GT1030 new at the moment. At that point, might as well start trying to buy a GPU, could get lucky with an RTX3060 or hit the used market for a GTX1060/1070, etc.
 

jasonf2

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Oct 11, 2015
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Power surge damage causes one of three things to happen, either the circuit goes open, it shorts out or it wipes critical memory locations. With literally billions of potential damage paths you never know what combination of the three, if any you have on any component. Depending on the type of surge (ie lightning or transient voltage spikes/overvoltage) the defined circuit paths behave differently. So while the path of least resistance rules still apply when you apply around 300 million volts on a direct lightening hit (in contrast with 6000 volts in a transient spike or maybe 300 on an overvolt from a transformer), parts that can be considered to have pretty much infinite resistance under normal voltage conditions (<12 volts) suddenly become current paths and not necessary in the same direction as intended. This makes direct diagnostics of surge damaged cards difficult without expensive equipment and expertise that most don't have and leaves most people to the point of plug it in and smoke test it. When those parts blow smoke they usually take out motherboards so unless you have something sacrificial I would recommend against it.
 

Karadjgne

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Many gpus have power surge fuses soldered to the mobo at the power ports. If anything is going to fry due to a power surge from the psu, they stand a good chance of being it.

However that doesn't protect from surges coming backwards down data paths, pcie et. So Alot of that risk can be guessed at by the damage to the prior mobo, cpu etc.
 

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