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Calabash, NC

Year old Sapphire graphics card fan

I opened a ticket with Sapphire on this, but never had to deal with them before, so while waiting for a response, I thought I'd ask a question here.

I have a Sapphire Radeon HD6870, a card which was recommended to me from the forums a year ago when I bought it from Newegg.

The card has run like a champ for the year it's been in my computer, a simple Dell Inspiron 530 w/ 700W power supply. It's a tight fit, but the temps have always been low considering.

Enter today, I get home from work to a lovely grindy sounding cooling fan on the GPU. Frag. Shutdown the system, and take it outside to give it a good cleaning. Little dust, but nothing overly bad. Bring back in, and the fan is still grindy. When I cleaned it, just as always, I'm careful to hold the fan blades when the air is blown on it. No change. CCC reports the card being @ 52-53C with 33% fan speed. It just started this out of the blue. My computer runs 24/7, and wasn't making this noise when I left for work this morning. Usually for me, bad noises start after you shut the thing down for a trip or something.

So I still have the box/etc from when I got it. Is a failing fan covered under their 2 year warranty? Or do you think they'll tell me I'm SOL? I don't think these fans are easily replaced, at least it doesn't LOOK that way. I don't want to wait for the thing to fail completely before I do something tho.

Ideas? Comments? Have any of you dealt with Sapphire on warranty issues?

Mountain View, CA

1 recommendation

Sounds like the classic problem with fans in general -- they tend to be inexpensive parts and often require maintenance (specifically having the bearings oiled), except that most of them -- even most case fans I've used -- often do not provide an access hole for oiling. I've had lots of GPU fans "grind" like you describe, so you're not alone in the least.

I can assure you a failing fan is covered under product warranty. You may be asked to clean the fan to see if that helps, but you've already done that (and correctly!) so that's hat.

I have no experience with Sapphire as a company.

Generally speaking with the video card vendors I've interfaced with -- those would be Matrox, Leadtek, EVGA, Asus, Gigabyte, and MSI -- most of them just do entire card RMAs because it's less hassle for everyone involved to just be given a replacement card. There's actually a lot of justification in this, and I can expand on those items if need be. My guess is that they'll probably just have you send them the card. Find out if they do advanced RMAs (where they send you a replacement card first).

I don't tend to recommend third-party/after-market GPU coolers because some card manufacturers (but not all) consider removal of the original HSF worthy of voiding your warranty; I believe their justification, both silly and understandable simultaneously, is that someone replacing the HSF on their card could damage the card in the process, then would file an RMA -- when had they stuck with the standard HSF (and/or done an RMA to begin with) they wouldn't have messed up their card.
Making life hard for others since 1977.
I speak for myself and not my employer/affiliates of my employer.


Lynnwood, WA
·Frontier Communi..

1 recommendation

reply to captokita
Personally, I usually just:
a) remove the fan
b) carefully remove the label on the back
c) put in a couple of drops of oil
d) run it that way for a little while to let the oil 'dissipate' in
e) if more oil needed, goto c)
f) if no more oil needed continue
g) clean up all oily residue where the label will be
h) put the label back
i) put the fan back
As far as I concern this is less hassle than doing an RMA and I usually had very good success with.

Disclaimer: I do have an electronic assembler certificate, so I may be more skilled than an average Blow Joe, but there's nothing really earth shattering in the above process. Just be slow and careful.
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