Question Something sparked on my GPU and now it buzzes, what do I do?

grgery hzat

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Aug 13, 2013
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Hello

I purchased a gtx 980ti the other day and went to install it in my computer. It was late and I forgot to turn off the power switch on the PSU first, so when I plugged it into the PCIEx16 slot, connected the power cables and hit the power button, there was a spark from the rear of the GPU. I immediately shut it down and could smell something melting/burning electronics. The GPU would not light up again and I thought i fried it. I decided to move it into the PCIEx8 slot and it lit up the standby light and I was able to power on the system with no isssues.

However I noticed an annoying buzzing/electrical noise coming from the system when under load. I at first thought it was the PSU as that's where the noise was coming from, but even after purchasing a new PSU, the sound remained. I finally went to my brothers house and swapped GPU's, only to find that my card had the same effect on his PSU/system and his card worked fine in mine.

So I'm not sure where to begin or what to do. The GPU is obviously out of warranty, but it works as it is, and the only issue is the buzzing/crackling when under load. Where should I begin looking? Thanks.
 

Shay Green

Great
Feb 17, 2020
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Well for one you are extremely lucky.

2. The 16x slot is for the fastest performance so you may be losing out in 8x

3. If it sparked something may be burned inside or on the connective yellow causing the issue but i dont fully know how easy it would be to fix
 

grgery hzat

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Aug 13, 2013
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I did notice that switching to the 8x slot reduced my performance a lot compared to the 16x in the other board I tested. What do you mean by the connective yellow?

I was thinking of disassembling the shroud to access the PCB and see what could have blown up/melted on it. I'm thinking maybe a capacitor since the card still functions, but when under load it buzzes and ticks like a HDD seeking files(And yes, the first thing I tried was disconnecting my HDD's and leaving only the SSD's just to make sure). But I'm worried about damaging the card more and am thinking to begin calling around to local electronics repair stores to see what they have to say.
 

Shay Green

Great
Feb 17, 2020
112
15
95
1
I did notice that switching to the 8x slot reduced my performance a lot compared to the 16x in the other board I tested. What do you mean by the connective yellow?
Well if you take the gpu out the part you put into the slot check if its ok, if it is its something inside the gpu
 

grgery hzat

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Aug 13, 2013
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Well if you take the gpu out the part you put into the slot check if its ok, if it is its something inside the gpu
Oh, I understand now. That's a good point, I didn't try with another PCI/E device in the x16 slot to see if it'd work. But the GPU works in any other slot on the primary motherboard, the all slots on the secondary motherboard and all slots on my brothers. I think I may have just destroyed the x16 slot somehow. But I'll check it and see.
 

grgery hzat

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Aug 13, 2013
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What is the make and model of your power supply?
I have two:

1) The one that I first used is a Coolermaster RS-700. Have used it since 2013 with no issues. Buzzes and ramps up like crazy when the GPU is under load.

2) New PSU I purchased two days ago is a EVGA 750 BQ. Buzzes/ticks intermittenly when GPU is under load and the fans ramp up as well.

I'm hoping it's just a capacitor, but I don't know enough about electronics to say.
 

DSzymborski

Champion
Moderator
Ouch. This is a garbagely Seventeam unit made in about 2008 with a design from about 1998 and part quality from ideally never.

First thing to do is to replace this with a power supply of reasonable quality. I'm not sure why a 980 Ti, even though an older card, was paired with this power supply to begin with. If it still crackles with a proper power supply, there's not much you can do.
 

DSzymborski

Champion
Moderator
The EVGA BQ is mediocre, but not this horrible. I suspect the GPU and possibly the first PCIE slot are damaged and that's not repairable without a warranty. There were two serious mistakes: not turning the power supply completely off and using an extremely low-quality PSU. Either could have damaged the GPU and both just increases the risk.

I'd try to find another machine to test the GPU in (absolutely not the original power supply; that should be sent do a recycling center).
 

grgery hzat

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Aug 13, 2013
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The EVGA BQ is mediocre, but not this horrible. I suspect the GPU and possibly the first PCIE slot are damaged and that's not repairable without a warranty. There were two serious mistakes: not turning the power supply completely off and using an extremely low-quality PSU. Either could have damaged the GPU and both just increases the risk.

I'd try to find another machine to test the GPU in (absolutely not the original power supply; that should be sent do a recycling center).
I already did test the GPU in my brothers system and with a different motherboard. The problem was present in both my brothers system and my other one with the GPU plugged in. With my brothers GPU in either system, there were no issues of any kind. So I am confident the source of my troubles is with the GPU, but I don't know what exactly. It works, but it just makes a buzzing sound under load.
 

grgery hzat

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Aug 13, 2013
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This whole ordeal has made me feel like the dumbest person on Earth. I think due to the GPU sparking and not working initially in the PCIE slot, I assumed I had damaged it somehow.

But no. I should have started off with the fans instead of spending all that time and money...It was the far left fan that was grinding for some reason(probably a bearing) and when I took it out and manually charged the fans, there was no noise. I tested all the fans sequentially and it was always quiet until I installed the third fan alone. $340 spent in the last week...Just FML. Thanks.
 

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