9800GX2 - Odd behavior

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9800GX2 - Odd behavior

Postby cavyman » Sun Aug 17, 2008 1:57 am

I realize this post will probably sound slightly off topic and I apologize if it comes across that way. I am beside myself, though, and I know there are some brilliant minded people in this forum that will probably be able to help me solve my problem.

I finally got my 9800GX2 a few days ago and got it installed in Vista x86 with the 177.83 driver. After setting up F@H to run on three GPU cores, I watched the temps on my 9800GTX+ and 9800GX2 for about two hours. All three GPUs were at stock clock settings as I wanted to ensure everything was working properly before attempting overclocking. After watching the temps for a while, everything looked good and I left it running overnight (as is usual for me). When I woke up the next morning, I turned on my monitor to check on their folding status, I found that the image on the monitor was terribly garbled. The system was also completely unresponsive.

I powered off my system and turned it back on--the fan on the 9800GX2 spun up to 100% as it normally would, but it never throttled the fan down after beginning to boot the OS. Once back in Vista, I checked the display settings and found that only the 9800GTX+ and ONE 9800GX2 instance appeared. I ran GPU-Z and found the same thing--a 9800GX2 GPU disappeared. :evil:

Long story short...no combination of reinstalling various versions of drivers, reinstalling Vista, installing XP, swapping PCI-e slots, connecting monitors to the DVI ports, and disabling SLI has worked. I am fairly convinced at this point that the BIOS of the missing GPU became corrupted...somehow...during the process of folding overnight. I am not insinuating that F@H caused the issue--I simply am wondering if anyone else has experienced anything like this before (whether F@H related or not).

I have checked the listing of Nvidia cards using NVFLASH--I only see the 9800GTX+, one 9800GX2, and the BR04 chip. Can anyone else with a 9800GX2 run the "NVFLASH --list" command for me and confirm what the output of 9800GX2s is? I simply am out of ideas. Any help on this will be greatly appreciated! Thanks! :)
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Re: 9800GX2 - Odd behavior

Postby grumpydaddy » Sun Aug 17, 2008 8:27 pm

I see a lot of people have read this ....but like me no real answers..nothing obvious comes to mind except....can you extend the desktop? can you reload the driver on just that side? (or possibly clean the old driver out first) if so can you make that side of the gx2 primary screen? if not I have the feeling that you may have to RMA that gx2...could be you have one side failed
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Re: 9800GX2 - Odd behavior

Postby cavyman » Sun Aug 17, 2008 10:04 pm

grumpydaddy wrote:I see a lot of people have read this ....but like me no real answers..nothing obvious comes to mind except....can you extend the desktop? can you reload the driver on just that side? (or possibly clean the old driver out first) if so can you make that side of the gx2 primary screen? if not I have the feeling that you may have to RMA that gx2...could be you have one side failed


Hey! A reply! :D

Thanks for taking the time to reply! For the 3 hours that the 9800GX2 was working properly, I saw two instances of 9800GX2 in Device Manager and then the one 9800GTX+ card. In Display Properties, there were 6 screens and I extended the desktop to 2 of them + the primary display (total of 3, one per GPU). Now, there are only 4 screens visible (2 GPUs). I have tried removing the 9800GX2 device driver from Windows and re-installing it--no go. An RMA sounds like the obvious next step...though I have a problem with that. (more on that in a minute)

I've done a LOT of reading on various forums all over the net and there are numerous reports about the 177.83 driver causing overheating issues for various Nvidia cards (One of which is here: http://forums.legitreviews.com/about17015.html). As the 9800GX2 runs hotter than any other Nvidia card that I know of, I am fairly convinced at this point that the 177.83 driver hung at some point while folding and the driver-level fan control probably stopped auto-throttling the fan, thus causing an inevitable (and GPU-deadly) overheating. I know some may read that and come up with other theories, but that is the only thing that makes sense to me. When I found my computer had hung after the first night of folding, I noticed a great deal of heat coming from the GX2--I figured it was normal at the time--but now I figure it was hotter than it should have been.

I find it interesting that Nvidia released 177.89 so quickly after releasing 177.83--makes you wonder, right? :P So, in the process of trying to save some money, I had gotten my 9800GX2 off of Ebay... :oops: For those who don't already know this, PLEASE UNDERSTAND THIS--EVGA only warranties video cards registered by the original buyer--hence, the Ebay seller. In order to RMA, EVGA requires that the original invoice be scanned and sent to them in electronic format. The registered card's owner name must match the name on the invoice. So, needless to say, I have no option at this point but to contact the Ebay seller to see what he/she will do for me. I'm quite frustrated about that, as anyone who Ebays will probably understand.

There's not much more to say about all this. I just hope people take note of these two things so that you can avoid being in the same situation as me:

1) The 177.83 driver *might* be bad news due to driver instability issues causing hangs
2) Make sure you check out warranty terms with video card manufacturers BEFORE considering a video card purchase outside of the manufacturers list of authorized retailers. EVGA in particular only warranties their products when you are the original purchaser and you purchased the item through their list of retailers. :roll:

If you need confirmation about EVGA's Ebay policy, see these links: http://www.evga.com/forums/tm.asp?m=280981&mpage=1&key=&#280981 -- http://www.evga.com/forums/tm.asp?m=114178&mpage=1&key=&#114178
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Re: 9800GX2 - Odd behavior

Postby grumpydaddy » Sun Aug 17, 2008 10:45 pm

I've got a "ebay" 9800gx2 ssc so I know where you are coming from. I'm using 177.79 and have overclocked both sides to 6010ppd (that's my stable limit) not bragging ...the point is that with max fan and ambient of 18-19deg My temps sit at around 60-61 one side and 65-66 the other (as read by everest) My 9800gtx ssc runs at 6380 and temps of 50-51 as a comparison (again 100% fans)...putting a hand near the card exhausts I can only say both feel equally warm that is warm heading towards hot. Does that sound about the same?

I'm not sure your drivers were the problem...I would question your fan/overclock software too.
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Re: 9800GX2 - Odd behavior

Postby cavyman » Mon Aug 18, 2008 12:07 am

I suppose I could have a faulty fan, but I'm also questioning the BIOS also. I was running my 9800GX2 on a fresh Win Vista install and as I mentioned in my first post, I had not overclocked anything as I wanted to watch everything at stock settings for a while. I used only GPU-Z to watch temps and never even had installed RivaTuner since reinstalling Vista. I should have just stuck with the 177.35 drivers (since I know they were great on my 9800GTX+ and 8800GT) like I had been running prior to getting the 9800GX2.

Anyway, I'm still awaiting a response from the seller I purchased it from. Not too sure I'm going to get anywhere with this. :(
Last edited by cavyman on Mon Aug 18, 2008 12:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 9800GX2 - Odd behavior

Postby leexgx » Mon Aug 18, 2008 12:07 am

use gpuz it shows all temps on the cards

9800gx2 should run around 80-90 on auto full fans 60-70c maybe
9800gtx runs cool on auto norm (60-70c)

i try to keep mine below 85c (thats at 71% on the 9800gx2 and 62% on the 9800gtx)

all the above realy depends on ambient temp 18-19c is cool my room temp is more like 20-23c but thats the cards warming the room up
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Re: 9800GX2 - Odd behavior

Postby cavyman » Mon Aug 18, 2008 12:42 am

@leexgx, what brand of 9800GX2 do you use? What driver version are you running? Have you ever used NVFlash?
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Re: 9800GX2 - Odd behavior

Postby leexgx » Mon Aug 18, 2008 1:01 am

all stock ref 3x9800GX2 (2x Zotac 1x BFG) never used NVflash herd of it but i asume you can hard code fan settings with it
i can run the GX2s at 1750 (tested 1800 on BFG)thay are Not gameing stable but fully folding stable
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Re: 9800GX2 - Odd behavior

Postby cavyman » Mon Aug 18, 2008 1:09 am

leexgx wrote:all stock ref 3x9800GX2 (2x Zotac 1x BFG) never used NVflash herd of it but i asume you can hard code fan settings with it
i can run the GX2s at 1750 (tested 1800 on BFG)thay are Not gameing stable but fully folding stable


Okay, I was hoping you might have an EVGA model so that I could double check my NVFlash output against yours. It really looks as if a GPU in mine is fried. Oh well :|
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Re: 9800GX2 - Odd behavior

Postby leexgx » Mon Aug 18, 2008 1:17 am

make sure the internal bridge is still connected if the card has been taken apart, look at the PCI-e power plug the 8 pin one make sure it is Lit up if that is not green or is red lit, if you see only green on 6 pin power plug green then the HDMI card is not connected to the DVI only side of the card

has the 9800GX2 been taken apart ? as i got 2 of them from some one and one of them was half pluged in in doing so only 1 half of the card would light up
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Re: 9800GX2 - Odd behavior

Postby cavyman » Mon Aug 18, 2008 2:04 am

leexgx wrote:make sure the internal bridge is still connected if the card has been taken apart, look at the PCI-e power plug the 8 pin one make sure it is Lit up if that is not green or is red lit, if you see only green on 6 pin power plug green then the HDMI card is not connected to the DVI only side of the card

has the 9800GX2 been taken apart ? as i got 2 of them from some one and one of them was half pluged in in doing so only 1 half of the card would light up


No, I have not taken it apart. In fact, I have never seen the internals of one. I didn't realize there was a physical internal bridge that was removable, though now that you mention that it makes sense. Even if the internal bridge has come loose, wouldn't the system still recognize two 9800GX2 devices?

As far as the power connections are concerned, no problems there. I am quite versed in computer troubleshooting as I do IT work for a living. I am positive that voltages and such are not an issue. There has to be something very low level on the card that is wrong--either a dead GPU or blank BIOS. There is something else I failed to mention earlier. When my 9800GTX+ and 9800GX2 are both installed in my system, the computer POSTs and boots Windows normally. However, if I remove the 9800GTX+ completely and move the 9800GX2 to the upper PCI-e slot (which is the correct slot on my mobo for only one PCI-e x16 card), the computer never fully POSTs. My mobo has lights on it that indicate the progress of the POST all the way through the booting of the OS. The lights indicate that the POST hangs on:

Initializing Video Interface
This will start detecting CPU clock,
checking type of video onboard. Then,
detect and initialize the video adapter.

So it looks like the primary GPU on the 9800GX2 is not being recognized at all even at a very low hardware level. Not sure there is anything else I can do if that is indeed the case.
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Re: 9800GX2 - Odd behavior

Postby trev3074 » Wed Aug 20, 2008 9:01 am

My XFX9800GX2 died after 3 days of ownership.
Symptoms were no display, cold to touch. The LED showed green and fans spun up.
No post nothing.
Tried DVI instead of HDMI, another HDMI cable, hard disk with new OS, monitor.
Put the old BFG 8800 GTX OC2 and everything worked fine.

Luckily I bought it from a ebay shop and managed to get it RMA'd.
At first they said it was my power supply at fault Seasonic 900 and they managed to get it working.
After a few days of test it failed to post/work.
I now have the choice of getting another one (none in stock at that speed) or refund.

Might hold out I guess since I already own a Inno 8800 GTS and a BFG8800 GTX OC2 both have been reliable.

Cheers
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Re: 9800GX2 - Odd behavior

Postby leexgx » Wed Aug 20, 2008 11:11 pm

cavyman wrote:
leexgx wrote:make sure the internal bridge is still connected if the card has been taken apart, look at the PCI-e power plug the 8 pin one make sure it is Lit up if that is not green or is red lit, if you see only green on 6 pin power plug green then the HDMI card is not connected to the DVI only side of the card

has the 9800GX2 been taken apart ? as i got 2 of them from some one and one of them was half pluged in in doing so only 1 half of the card would light up


No, I have not taken it apart. In fact, I have never seen the internals of one. I didn't realize there was a physical internal bridge that was removable, though now that you mention that it makes sense. Even if the internal bridge has come loose, wouldn't the system still recognize two 9800GX2 devices?

As far as the power connections are concerned, no problems there. I am quite versed in computer troubleshooting as I do IT work for a living. I am positive that voltages and such are not an issue..


the part about that is that that Bridge us what connects the HDMI/DVI card to the DVI only card if its not pluged in first card will only be detected i am guessing you are haveing to Plug the DVI cable into the DVI only side of the card, and the Green and Red light Look at the PCI-e power connector and is it lighting up or not (Both PCI-e power pulgs has 4 LEDs, 2 red and 2 green is it lighting up or not the Light comming from the first card does not count)

when the 9800GTX is in most likey thats the Prime video card ? so that the one half of the video card can still work when an other video card starts
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Re: 9800GX2 - Odd behavior

Postby Prof. Dr. Silver » Fri Aug 22, 2008 4:42 pm

I have a somewhat similar issue.... I recently got a GX2 after its amazig price drop and I had some severe issues getting this card to fold on both sides! I disabled SLI and extended the desktop. In Device manager two cards show up, in GPU-Z 0.2.7 I see 2 and in Rivatuner 2.09 I see 3 of them. Some extra specs besides my sig: 2x LCD screens, Driver: 177.83 with Physx, Vista Ultimate 32-bit, Systray 6.20, Fahmon 2.3.2b. The two main issues I have are the following:

Card 1 is doing 4822 ppd on project 5014 but Card 2 is doing only 2454 ppd on project 5506. Now I know that some projects yield a higher ppd but 2400 ppd more is a bit much of a difference! Both 'stock' cards run at approx 80C which is fine by me. So while trying to see how these cards run in GPU-Z and Rivatuner I've discovered the following:

Both cards have a different Bios: Card 1: 62.92.39.00.09 and Card 2: 62.92.39.00.10
Card 1 runs at 600/1000/1500MHz (which is stock) and Card 2, as it shows in GPU-Z, runs at 0 MHz and Rivatuner shows that the second card runs at 400/400/800 (Core/Mem/Shader). Is that normal? Now this could possibly explain the low PPD output for the second card.

Is there a way of OC'ing the second card or just to make it run stock to gain PPD? Or is there something wrong with the second card?
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Re: 9800GX2 - Odd behavior

Postby Tigerbiten » Fri Aug 22, 2008 5:00 pm

Prof. Doc. Silver
Do you have a monitor or dummy plug connected to the second output of the card ?
Also check the drivers are loaded correctly for the second GPU core.
It sounds like something is not loaded correctly and your running in 2D mode.

I think one of the outputs seen in Rivatuner under Vista is the HDMI output, the other two are the DVI ones.

On my 4x 9800GX2 system, I've overclocked all the shaders to the GTX speed and the 8 clients fold within around 60 PpD of each other.

Luck ..........:D
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