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eva2000
04-13-06, 01:29 AM
Okay we all know some 7900GTX/7900GT manufacturer oc'd cards had GPU cores which couldn't handle the overclocks they were flashed with.

Question for end users:

Now as an end user and owner of several eVGA 7900GT CO SC cards (arrived today :D ), how does one properly AND efficiently time wise, test for the freezing issue ? Which apps are the quickest to use to pin point whether or not a new 7900GT CO SC card has the freezing issue ? Looping 3dmark2001/2003/05/06 ? Quake4, FEAR, BF2 ?

I just tested my 1st card with ending 4 digits of serial number in low 2000s and out of the box with stock heatsink and no mods, it completed 3dmark05 at 590(610)/1760 easy so at least first card looks promising :)

I'll be thoroughly testing each of my eVGA 7900GT CO SC cards one at a time, so any suggestions or feedback on the above questions would be greatly appreciated

System specs are as follows:

FX-60 @13x200HTT = 2600mhz stock
DFI NF4 UT SLI-DR R.AB0 1114-3 bios
2x1GB OCZ PC4000EB Platinum capable of 275-278mhz 3-3-2-5 3d/gaming
4x 80GB Hitachi 7K80 SATAII NCQ raid 0
1x 250GB Maxtor Maxline Plus PATA
Pioneer DVD-ROM
FDD
1KW PC Power & Cooling SLI psu

20" BenQ FP2091 1600x1200 LCD monitor on Aten CS-84A KVM switch (analogue)

WinXP PRO SP2 latest updates
6.70WHQL NF4 chipset drivers
84.21WHQL Forceware drivers downloaded today from guru3d.com

p.s. Anyone experiencing delays in detecting of LCD monitor signal on system boot/reboot up with 7900GT CO SC cards ? On system boot/reboot, it takes 12-15 seconds for me to get a signal to my 20" BenQ FP2091 1600x1200 LCD monitor. I have Aten CS84A KVM switch with analogue to dvi adaptor to connect to 7900GT CO SC's 2nd DVI connector (closest to bottom of PCI slot bracket)

And the answer is no i won't be volt modding them anytime soon :)

OWA
04-13-06, 01:36 AM
Congrats on the new cards. :)

I looped the deep freeze test of 3DM06 to test the superclocked 7900 GTX. It seemed to cause artifacts and freezing pretty quickly and it was easy to do since I didn't have to do anything but watch it.

eva2000
04-13-06, 02:50 AM
Thanks for the tip... this 1st card i am testing shows alot of promising looping 3dmark05 for 1hr @595/1820 stock heatsink and no mods!!!! :eek:

Will have to use 3dmark06 next :)


edit:

http://fileshosts.com/videocards/7900/eVGA/7900GT_Superclocked/1/photos/7900GT_001.JPG http://fileshosts.com/videocards/7900/eVGA/7900GT_Superclocked/1/photos/7900GT_015.JPG

1st eVGA 7900GT C0 Superclocked
- bios 5.71.22.14.04 dated March 9, 2006 see pic here (http://www.fileshosts.com/DFI/NF4_SLI_D/results/FX60/HC200EX/OCZ/PC4000EB/2_1/1114_3/LDT3x/10x/260-260-3325-7-14-2223_1.33-1.3-1.5-2.64_1552_ds8dds2_8F5/7900GT_SC1/bios_screens/clocks.jpg). I dumped the bios and uploaded it here (http://fileshosts.com/videocards/7900/mybios/evga/7900GTSC/evga7900GTcoSC.zip) if anyone wants it.
- stock speeds = 550/1580
- Samsung BC14 1.4ns 610 (week 10, 2006) memory chips
- manages 590-595mhz on core and 1860 on mem fine when load temps are 63-66C.
- it managed 600/1860 when ambient temps dropped allowing 58-61C load temps but when load temp rises past 62+ it can't do 600/1860

http://www.fileshosts.com/DFI/NF4_SLI_D/results/FX60/HC200EX/OCZ/PC4000EB/2_1/1114_3/LDT3x/10x/260-260-3325-7-14-2223_1.33-1.3-1.5-2.64_1552_ds8dds2_8F5/7900GT_SC1/nvidia_bios_ver.jpg

Out of the box - stock heatsink, no volt mods:
595(615)/1860 was very comfortable and easy to do with FX-60 @2600mhz for 3dmark05 score of 10,686 (http://service.futuremark.com/compare?3dm05=1952109) and 3dmark06 score of 5,891 (http://service.futuremark.com/compare?3dm06=242909) :)

http://www.fileshosts.com/DFI/NF4_SLI_D/results/FX60/HC200EX/OCZ/PC4000EB/2_1/1114_3/LDT3x/10x/260-260-3325-7-14-2223_1.33-1.3-1.5-2.64_1552_ds8dds2_8F5/7900GT_SC1/3dmark05_595-1860_10686_2_tn.jpg (http://www.fileshosts.com/DFI/NF4_SLI_D/results/FX60/HC200EX/OCZ/PC4000EB/2_1/1114_3/LDT3x/10x/260-260-3325-7-14-2223_1.33-1.3-1.5-2.64_1552_ds8dds2_8F5/7900GT_SC1/3dmark05_595-1860_10686_2.jpg) http://www.fileshosts.com/DFI/NF4_SLI_D/results/FX60/HC200EX/OCZ/PC4000EB/2_1/1114_3/LDT3x/10x/260-260-3325-7-14-2223_1.33-1.3-1.5-2.64_1552_ds8dds2_8F5/7900GT_SC1/3dmark06_595-1860_5891_tnn.jpg (http://www.fileshosts.com/DFI/NF4_SLI_D/results/FX60/HC200EX/OCZ/PC4000EB/2_1/1114_3/LDT3x/10x/260-260-3325-7-14-2223_1.33-1.3-1.5-2.64_1552_ds8dds2_8F5/7900GT_SC1/3dmark06_595-1860_5891.jpg)

@600/1860 with 58-61C load temps
http://www.fileshosts.com/DFI/NF4_SLI_D/results/FX60/HC200EX/OCZ/PC4000EB/2_1/1114_3/LDT3x/10x/260-260-3325-7-14-2223_1.33-1.3-1.5-2.64_1552_ds8dds2_8F5/7900GT_SC1/3dmark05_600-1860_10719_tnn.jpg (http://www.fileshosts.com/DFI/NF4_SLI_D/results/FX60/HC200EX/OCZ/PC4000EB/2_1/1114_3/LDT3x/10x/260-260-3325-7-14-2223_1.33-1.3-1.5-2.64_1552_ds8dds2_8F5/7900GT_SC1/3dmark05_600-1860_10719_tnn.jpg)




================================

2nd eVGA 7900GT C0 Superclocked
- bios 5.71.22.14.04
- stock speeds = 550/1580
- Samsung BC14 1.4ns 610 (week 10, 2006) memory chips
- doesn't seem as good as first card looping 3dmark05 already hit a limit on core - not passing at 590(610)mhz so far with 63-65C load temps
- limit of this card on the core seems to be 580-583mhz core and 1840mhz on memory with 62-65C load temps which are close to same load temps at stock 550/1580


================================

3rd eVGA 7900GT C0 Superclocked
- bios 5.71.22.14.04
- stock speeds = 550/1580
- Samsung BC14 1.4ns 610 (week 10, 2006) memory chips
- has consecutive serial number with the 2nd card
- lowest load temps of the three eVGA 7900GT CO SC cards, @550/1580 load temp is 61-62C, idle temps around same 44-46C
- this card has similar core clocks to that of 2nd card but slightly better on core, around 585-595mhz core on this card




.

sandeep
04-13-06, 05:00 AM
Eva, congratulations. The overclocks are mad considering no Volt mod. Incredible memory speeds.

eva2000
04-13-06, 05:10 AM
Yeah crazy ocs 595/1860 load temps only 63-66C!

I think my bios is more recent dated March 9, 2006 whereas eVGA 7900GT CO SC rev2 bios was dated March 3, 2006

http://www.fileshosts.com/DFI/NF4_SLI_D/results/FX60/HC200EX/OCZ/PC4000EB/2_1/1114_3/LDT3x/10x/260-260-3325-7-14-2223_1.33-1.3-1.5-2.64_1552_ds8dds2_8F5/7900GT_SC1/bios_screens/clocks.jpg

I've uploaded my bios to http://fileshosts.com/videocards/7900/mybios/evga/7900GTSC/evga7900GTcoSC.zip

pault123
04-13-06, 06:32 AM
I have a 7900gt evga co 500/1500 has there been any reports of these being faulty? I get occasional black flickers accross my TFT in Oblivion which ive not had previously. Is there a list of faulty serial numbers etc?

SLippe
04-13-06, 09:55 AM
Yeah, those are high clocks on a non-vmodded card. And 63-66' C load temps sounds a bit hot to me, but not bad I guess, mine is 53' C idle. Of course it's early in the day and the house temps are nice and cool. Later today when we hit 90' F outside, it may go up a couple of degrees, to like 55/56' C.

EDIT: I just checked and I have the same BIOS version.

eva2000
04-13-06, 10:11 PM
yeah load temps seem to be between 61-66C even when clocked to the max for my 7900GT SC cards.

I've updated above post with pics and prelim clocks i managed for each card :)



edit:

Here's 1st eVGA 7900GT CO SC card with some overclocking

@stock 550/1580
3dmark05 = 9,830 (http://www.fileshosts.com/DFI/NF4_SLI_D/results/FX60/HC200EX/OCZ/PC4000EB/2_1/1114_3/LDT4x/12x/250-250-3325-7-14-2223_1.48-1.3-1.5-2.64_1552_ds8dds2_8F5/7900GT_SC1/3dmark05_550-1580_9830.jpg)
3dmark06 = 5,588 (http://www.fileshosts.com/DFI/NF4_SLI_D/results/FX60/HC200EX/OCZ/PC4000EB/2_1/1114_3/LDT4x/12x/250-250-3325-7-14-2223_1.48-1.3-1.5-2.64_1552_ds8dds2_8F5/7900GT_SC1/3dmark06_550-1580_5588.jpg)

3dmark05 @589/1880 = 10,781 (http://www.fileshosts.com/DFI/NF4_SLI_D/results/FX60/HC200EX/OCZ/PC4000EB/2_1/1114_3/LDT4x/12x/250-250-3325-7-14-2223_1.48-1.3-1.5-2.64_1552_ds8dds2_8F5/7900GT_SC1/3dmark05_589-1880_10781.jpg)
3dmark06 @590/1892 = 6,005 (http://www.fileshosts.com/DFI/NF4_SLI_D/results/FX60/HC200EX/OCZ/PC4000EB/2_1/1114_3/LDT4x/12x/250-250-3325-7-14-2223_1.48-1.3-1.5-2.64_1552_ds8dds2_8F5/7900GT_SC1/3dmark06_590-1892_6005.jpg)

Scacrificed 5-6mhz on GPU core for 20-32mhz more on memory heh

All stock heatsink no mods :D

pault123
04-14-06, 05:41 AM
I have this bios number on my CO 500/1500

5.71.22.14.09, my serial number ends in 0244.

Can you list your bios and end of serial?

Trying to see how recent my card is.


Thanks :)

eva2000
04-14-06, 07:49 AM
bios are listed above in 3rd post for each card , serials are low 2020 and 2170s

here's very first 2x 256MB eVGA 7900GT CO SC SLI @stock 550/1580 with cards #1 and #3

3dmark05 = 13,937
http://service.futuremark.com/compare?3dm05=1954630

http://www.fileshosts.com/DFI/NF4_SLI_D/results/FX60/HC200EX/OCZ/PC4000EB/2_1/1114_3/LDT3x/10x/260-260-3325-7-14-2223_1.33-1.3-1.5-2.64_1552_ds8dds2_8F5/7900GTSC_13_SLI/3dmark05_550-1580_13937_tnn.jpg (http://www.fileshosts.com/DFI/NF4_SLI_D/results/FX60/HC200EX/OCZ/PC4000EB/2_1/1114_3/LDT3x/10x/260-260-3325-7-14-2223_1.33-1.3-1.5-2.64_1552_ds8dds2_8F5/7900GTSC_13_SLI/3dmark05_550-1580_13937.jpg)

Strange though see in pic my control panel with 84.21WHQL drivers in SLI mode, the temperature display option has gone missing ?

3dmark06 = 8,704

http://www.fileshosts.com/DFI/NF4_SLI_D/results/FX60/HC200EX/OCZ/PC4000EB/2_1/1114_3/LDT3x/10x/260-260-3325-7-14-2223_1.33-1.3-1.5-2.64_1552_ds8dds2_8F5/7900GTSC_13_SLI/3dmark06_550-1580_8704_tnn.jpg (http://www.fileshosts.com/DFI/NF4_SLI_D/results/FX60/HC200EX/OCZ/PC4000EB/2_1/1114_3/LDT3x/10x/260-260-3325-7-14-2223_1.33-1.3-1.5-2.64_1552_ds8dds2_8F5/7900GTSC_13_SLI/3dmark06_550-1580_8704.jpg)



Thought i'll pull this one out of the hat and no it ain't 3dmark05 score :D

@590(610)/1827 = 9,683
http://service.futuremark.com/compare?3dm06=245316

http://www.fileshosts.com/DFI/NF4_SLI_D/results/FX60/HC200EX/OCZ/PC4000EB/2_1/1114_3/LDT4x/12x/250-250-3325-7-14-2223_1.48-1.3-1.5-2.64_1552_ds8dds2_8F5/7900GT_SC13_SLI/3dmark06_590-1827_9683_tnn.jpg (http://www.fileshosts.com/DFI/NF4_SLI_D/results/FX60/HC200EX/OCZ/PC4000EB/2_1/1114_3/LDT4x/12x/250-250-3325-7-14-2223_1.48-1.3-1.5-2.64_1552_ds8dds2_8F5/7900GT_SC13_SLI/3dmark06_590-1827_9683.jpg)

eva2000
04-15-06, 12:43 AM
Interesting i swapped the 2 cards around in SLI, so #3 card in PCI-E #1 and #1 card in PCI-E #2 slot furthest away from cpu socket, and idle temp reported by ATI Tool is 3-5C lower than with card #1 in first slot

Definitely card #3 runs way cooler than the other two and SLI proves it....

single card max
card #1 = 595-600mhz core and 1860mhz mem (can do 1880-1892mhz mem if i drop core to 590mhz)
card #3 = 585-595mhz core and 1880mhz mem

SLI max (PCI-E slot 1/2)
card #1/#3 = 590mhz core and 1827mhz mem (> 1827mhz mem will result in lower 3dmark06 HDR/SM3.0 scores)
card #3/#1 = 585mhz core and 1840mhz mem (this config results in 6C cooler load temps then card #1/#3 config!)

eva2000
04-15-06, 07:27 AM
okay strange i'm getting same 3dmark06 deep freeze locks http://www.evga.com/community/messageboard/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=14044 ever since i changed from 84.21WHQL drivers to 84.43 beta drivers... it happens even at stock 550/1580 speeds single card and sli. No probs with 84.21WHQL initially but now changing back to 84.21WHQL i get same tearing/lock up at stock 550/1580 speeds ??? :confused:

with 84.43 beta drivers, in winxp event viewer i see

nv: silent running: rising temperatures caused level transition from L2 -> L1
nv: silent running: rising temperatures caused level transition from L1 -> L0

i don't get this message with 84.21WHQL but still get 3dmark06 deep freeze tearing

??

edit: confirmed this issue is happening on card #1 (the best clocker too :( ) no probs so far with card #3 and 3dmark06

it's strange 84.43 betas might have done something to my card #1 as it now has tearing at stock speeds in 3dmark06 deep freeze test even on 84.21WHQL but no probs on card #3 which never saw 84.43 drivers only 84.21WHQL

eva2000
04-16-06, 01:32 AM
plucked in card #2 and looping 3dmark06 at stock fine so far... so looks like card #2 and #3 with consecutive serial numbers in low ending 4 digits of 2170s are fine and only card #1 has tearing issues at end of 3dmark06 deep freeze loop tests.

edit:

mvktech guy says these winxp event viewer entries are related to high temp throttle of the card

nv: silent running: rising temperatures caused level transition from L2 -> L1
nv: silent running: rising temperatures caused level transition from L1 -> L0

now these messages and tearing in 3dmark06 deep freeze only occured for me when i updated from 84.21WHQL to 84.43betas so my theory is something in the beta drivers are causing false thermal throttling issues or the thermal throttling threshold in beta drivers is much lower or incorrect (i only got 63C load at 590/1860 with card #1)

Now the weird part is going back to 84.21WHQL drives (drivercleaner cleaned old drivers) still has deep freeze tearing though.

Card #2 and #3 never saw 84.43 betas, only used 84.21WHQL.




interesting i just plucked in both remaining cards i have

PCI-E slot #1 = card #3 idles at 37-41C (usually in SLI slot #1 is always hotter)
PCI-E slot #2 = card #2 idles at 41-44C

when i had card #1 + #3 in SLI, 84.21WHQL drivers didn't slow temperature panel in nvidia control panel to be able to see both card temps

but with card #3 + #2 in SLI, the temp control panel exists and can view both card temps

eva2000
04-16-06, 09:02 AM
what's wrong with this score with SLI with 2x 256MB eVGA 7900GT CO SC @550/1580 stock speeds :lol:

http://www.fileshosts.com/DFI/NF4_SLI_D/results/FX60/HC200EX/OCZ/PC4000EB/2_1/1114_3/LDT4x/12x/250-250-3325-7-14-2223_1.48-1.3-1.5-2.64_1552_ds8dds2_7F5/7900GT_32_SLI/3dmark06_550-1580_10280_tn.jpg (http://www.fileshosts.com/DFI/NF4_SLI_D/results/FX60/HC200EX/OCZ/PC4000EB/2_1/1114_3/LDT4x/12x/250-250-3325-7-14-2223_1.48-1.3-1.5-2.64_1552_ds8dds2_7F5/7900GT_32_SLI/3dmark06_550-1580_10280.jpg)

http://www.fileshosts.com/DFI/NF4_SLI_D/results/FX60/HC200EX/OCZ/PC4000EB/2_1/1114_3/LDT4x/12x/250-250-3325-7-14-2223_1.48-1.3-1.5-2.64_1552_ds8dds2_7F5/7900GT_32_SLI/3dmark06_550-1580_10294_tn.jpg (http://www.fileshosts.com/DFI/NF4_SLI_D/results/FX60/HC200EX/OCZ/PC4000EB/2_1/1114_3/LDT4x/12x/250-250-3325-7-14-2223_1.48-1.3-1.5-2.64_1552_ds8dds2_7F5/7900GT_32_SLI/3dmark06_550-1580_10294.jpg)

eva2000
04-17-06, 02:02 AM
best i can do so far with card #3 + #2 in SLI (held back on mem clocks for now to make sure these 2 cards are okay :)

3dmark06 @580(600)/1780 = 9,627
http://service.futuremark.com/compare?3dm06=249573

http://www.fileshosts.com/DFI/NF4_SLI_D/results/FX60/HC200EX/OCZ/PC4000EB/2_1/1114_3/LDT4x/12x/255-255-3325-7-14-2223_1.57-1.3-1.5-2.64_1552_ds8dds2_7F5/7900GT_SC32_SLI/3dmark06_580-1780_9627_tnn.jpg (http://www.fileshosts.com/DFI/NF4_SLI_D/results/FX60/HC200EX/OCZ/PC4000EB/2_1/1114_3/LDT4x/12x/255-255-3325-7-14-2223_1.57-1.3-1.5-2.64_1552_ds8dds2_7F5/7900GT_SC32_SLI/3dmark06_580-1780_9627.jpg)

eva2000
04-17-06, 02:23 AM
hmmm now with card #3 + #2 in SLI config, 3dmark06 deep freeze is fine looping with no tearing

BUT trying 3dmark2003 i found that Troll Lair GT3 test is showing tearing.. and even one instance of locking up.... lowered the default memory from 1580mhz to 1500 and no tearing! so seems card #3 has issues with 3dmark2003 GT3 when in SLI.. could be heat related ???

aborting out of 3dmark2003 GT3 Troll Lair looping with ATI Tool and nvidia panel on GPU2, I see temps of only 43-46C

still using 84.21WHQL drivers with system specs same above

KickAssCop
04-17-06, 02:39 PM
My card only does 550/775 :(.

eva2000
04-18-06, 02:10 AM
well at least yours are working, 2 of the 3 cards now have tearing and lock up issues and they're only 3-4 days old :(

to confirm my issues, i will do a fresh winxp pro sp2 install on a spare 3.46Ghz 955XE/Abit AW8-Max system I have here as well and test each card individually to confirm if the issue is driver/system specific...

KickAssCop
04-18-06, 03:00 AM
well at least yours are working, 2 of the 3 cards now have tearing and lock up issues and they're only 3-4 days old :(

to confirm my issues, i will do a fresh winxp pro sp2 install on a spare 3.46Ghz 955XE/Abit AW8-Max system I have here as well and test each card individually to confirm if the issue is driver/system specific...
Oh really, that is sad to hear. I just bought my card yesterday, does this mean I should back down my card a bit. Why am I even asking, I will back it down to 525/750 and call it a day.

Btw my Auto-detect does 558/784 everytime, so I was running it at 555/780.

sandeep
04-18-06, 03:13 AM
Since these cards come without any ram heatsinks, I'd suggest back your ram down for sometime and then maybe a month later slowly overclock. Maybe you shouldn't push anything to its extreme straight outa box and leave it there. Let it flex its muscles first ;)

eva2000
04-18-06, 07:58 AM
yeah maybe ram just too hot buuuut

Okay setup a freshly installed winxp pro sp2 OS on this below system with 84.21WHQL drivers to test card #1

System:

P4 3.46Ghz 955XE with Swiftech G4 Storm H20
Abit AW8-Max 16 bios
2x 512MB Corsair PC5400UL v1.5 3-3-2-8 DDR2
80GB Seagate 7200.7 PATA hdd
LiteOn 165H DVD-Rom
FDD
650W Silverstone SLI psu

WinXP Pro SP2
84.21WHQL drivers

Result:
Initially, 3dmark06 deep freeze looped a few loops at stock 550/1580 without any tearing issues. I thought this was maybe due to no 84.43WHQL driver interference or the fact that on Abit AW8-Max my memory Corsair PC5400ULv1.5 needs chipset voltage for motherboard at 1.65v. Then loop it for longer 30 minutes and notice slight tearing issues in deep freeze 3dmark06 looping (not as bad as on FX-60/DFI NF4 UT SLI-DR rig).

I stop the looping and load winxp event viewer and notice the 'nv rising temperatures caused level transition...' messages - which according to mvktech.net's Johan means thermal throttling occured due to high temps. Now I had ATI Tool logging temps in background too so thought to compare the timestamps of when the event viewer logged the messages with the temps at that particular time in ATI Tool logs.

Notice anything strange about this screenshot of 9:55:16 pm time stamp and the temp recorded ? It's at the lowest temp of 42C ???? highest temp logged was like 60C

http://fileshosts.com/abit/aw8_max/results/955XE/SwiftechG4Storm/Corsair/5400ULv15/268_284/16bios/17x/204-307-3328-1.2875-1.65-2.1/7900GT_SC1/thermalthrottle/42C_throttle_weird_L2toL1_tnn.jpg (http://fileshosts.com/abit/aw8_max/results/955XE/SwiftechG4Storm/Corsair/5400ULv15/268_284/16bios/17x/204-307-3328-1.2875-1.65-2.1/7900GT_SC1/thermalthrottle/42C_throttle_weird_L2toL1.png)

maybe faulty temp sensors on the cards or bios/driver related or both ?


more tests to come..


seems tearing in looping deep freeze 3dmark06 test at stock 550/1580 for card #1 got pretty bad once gpu load temps hit 67C - ATI Tool log (http://fileshosts.com/abit/aw8_max/results/955XE/SwiftechG4Storm/Corsair/5400ULv15/268_284/16bios/17x/204-307-3328-1.2875-1.65-2.1/7900GT_SC1/thermalthrottle/bad_tearing_550-1580_30xloop_67Cmaxload.png) :(

lowering mem clocks below rated 1580mhz speeds reduced or fixed tearing issues .. so i say gpu heat is affecting memory clock stability ?????

KickAssCop
04-19-06, 01:06 AM
If its doing all of this on stock setting (which you mention, but just re confirming) then its time for some RMA :(.

I set my card to 550/775 last night and played oblivion for around 3 hours, no issues thus far. I may vmod it soon to pump some more fps. :D

eva2000
04-19-06, 06:59 AM
Looks like card #1 is totally done for now... 3dmark06 deep freeze test shows tearing issues and locks up at stock 550/1580 on the very first loop and it was at 39C idle temps with fan blowing over it before the run hmmm

KickAssCop
04-21-06, 08:08 AM
RMA'd yet?

eva2000
04-21-06, 11:16 PM
RMA'd yet?
haven't rma'd yet as it's a weekend and testing my card #2 (working one so far) a bit more to make sure it doesn't fail... better to send back all 3 cards for rma than to send the card #1 and #3 back only to have card #2 fail too later

plus the next shipment of eVGA 7900GT CO SC isn't arriving to next week anyway AFAIK

i'll keep folks updated on my progress :)