Did my GPU commit suicide, or are there other suspects?

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skywalkerog707

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Specs:
MSI Z97 PC MATE (MS-7850)
EVGA SuperNova 650G PSU
Intel i7-4790k 4Ghz
Sapphire Nitro+ RX 480 8G
Corsair Vengeance 32GB 1600 mhz RAM
Samsung Evo 500gb
Various HDDs
Windows 10 Home Premium

So while playing Destiny 2 my computer suddenly shut down and restarted. But when it restarted my monitor had no signal. I plugged the HDMI cable into my motherboard and I got an image from the onboard graphics driver. Obviously my PC is working fine right now using Intel HD 4600. My GPU was still producing light through the Sapphire logo on the side. I pulled the GPU out and removed the shroud. Upon inspection I found a rubber strip on the inside of the shroud probably used to reinforce the entire unit as one solid piece. This rubber strip and the surrounding area of the circuit board it contacts was wet. By that I mean half of the top of the circuit board was wet. I figure that this is moisture that has been collecting over a very long period of time. I've had this GPU for something like 3 years and I've never removed the shroud before. Anyways, I dried it off and put the GPU back in the motherboard and powered on the machine. Still no image but I have the Sapphire logo light still. I restarted my computer. Now I have no light on the Sapphire logo, and no fan spin upon startup. Just a quick flicker of light and then nothing right as I press the power button. So obviously RX480 has bit the dust, probably from liquid damage. But why did it die so suddenly after absolutely no issues all this time? I had no signs of impending doom and then...gone. Did the moisture build-up swiftly and suddenly cause a catastrophic failure? What is strange to me is my entire computer shutting off when my GPU died, did the PSU have something to do with this? I really want to know if I need to replace the PSU before I install a new GPU in my system so it does not meet the same fate as RX480. I can combat moisture build-up in the future but if my PSU fails it's goodbye everything.
 

Macboatmaster

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My guess is that you have been overdriving the graphics to such extent that the thermal paste has changed consistency, with the extreme heat so that it has leached the oils onto the PCB
Short of that being the cause there can only be two other explanations - extremely damp surroundings to computer and fan has continuously sucked in moist air
OR but far less likely water cooling - system - leak
 
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If you don't have a water cooling setup for either the CPU or GPU, it could be a defective heatpipe or vapor based heatsinks are defective. Another possibility of user error putting liquids near a computer and knock over the container that has liquid. Some liquid electronics can handle, but a lot of it can't. Water containing minerals will cause the most damage to electronics.

Thermal paste can last a long time and high heat. Before thermal paste change its consistency through extreme temperatures (400 degrees F or 204 degrees C), the GPU will be fried.

Once or twice a year, do cleaning maintenance and check components to make sure they look or work properly. Think this as your preventive maintenance.

Check for the warranty for your card. If warranty has ended, you can probably put just the GPU board (no heatsink and no fans) in a box that is filled with isopropyl alcohol. Just fill it enough that covers the board. Then lightly shake the box side to side. Take the board out and dry it for a week. Use an aftermarket heatsink that is compatible with your GPU. It may work or it may not work.
 

Macboatmaster

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You may be interested in this
https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwiR2MXp7I7fAhWBSBUIHULcBrAQFjABegQIAhAB&url=https://forum.zcashcommunity.com/t/nitro-saphire-cards-driping-oil/15803&usg=AOvVaw3pukLFh3EZS16QSyOq49f9

and this
https://forum.ethereum.org/discussion/11807/gpu-oil-leak

https://forum.zcashcommunity.com/t/nitro-saphire-cards-driping-oil/15803


so be it from the thermal pad or from something else on the card - it CLEARLY has never run at the temperatures suggested by my colleague, or as he says the card would have fried together with other parts of the computer - no doubt

Re this
Another possibility of user error putting liquids near a computer and knock over the container that has liquid.
It is of course a possibility - I did not suggest it, as I thought it a little insulting - plus which I would have expected it to on OTHER than merely the Sapphire card
 
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skywalkerog707

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Dec 7, 2018
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Thank you both, that is very useful information. I rarely check my temps so i could have missed warning signs. But with extreme temps i would expect throttling, but man it was running smooth as silk right up until it died. Oh well. I already ordered a slightly better graphics card, i guess this is a good excuse to finally upgrade.
 
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