Improper storage believed to be the number one suspect in the strange case involving 48 broken AMD Radeon RX 6800 / 6900 XT cards
Last week we were reporting on the mysterious case involving dozens of dead AMD Radeon RX 6800 / 6900 XT cards which cannot be repaired because they have short circuits on all SoC rails, memory rails and memory controller rails, with some cards even exhibiting cracked GPU dies. Back then, KrisFix, the German service that received all these faulty cards, presumed that AMD’s Adrenalin 22.11.2 drivers might be part of the problem. KrisFix said it would post another video after performing some tests on brand new cards in order to determine if drivers can indeed break GPU dies like that. The results have been posted today and it looks like the drivers alone cannot cause such type of irreparable damage.
With that out of the way, KrisFix started looking for other possible explanations. He asked the affected customers why they chose to send the cards to his repair service and not RMA them. All cards appeared to have the warranty sticker and seals on them, but most of the customers said they did not have an invoice. One of the customers who did have an invoice asked if the card might have malfunctioned because the PC running it was in a cold basement. KrisFix initially dismissed this suggestion, but then corroborated it with the fact that most of the problematic cards were bought from third parties on Ebay-like sites in late November / early December 2022, so they functioned for just a few days before breaking.
KrisFix now believes that most of the defective cards were sold by someone (possibly a cryptominer) who had unused AMD GPU overstock. Miners are now trying to get rid of their GPUs since Etereum mining may become unprofitable very soon, but the defective GPUs encountered by KrisFix were definitely new. This most likely means that the majority of defective cards came from an unused batch of cryptomining cards that was probably stored in a place with increased air humidity for an extended period of time.
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