We’ve done some work with Gigabyte in the past. We’ve always like their products from mainboards to graphics cards, even cases. They’ve always, in our eyes, been known for creating great quality products. We recently had the chance to build a system which featured 3 video cards from Gigabyte. From the start we ran into issues with these video cards. Being a smaller review company, sometimes it is necessary to buy equipment for the reviews that we do. Case in point, our recent build revolving around the Corsair Obsidian 900D has mostly been out of pocket. We ordered 3 Gigabyte GV-R797TO-3GD video cards from Newegg @ $449.99 each ($1,349.85 Total). Mike, our owner, was willing to do this to get a great review on what the Corsair case is capable of, and give a shout out to Gigabyte as well.
Here at Xtreme CPU, it is our goal try to give VERY VERY unbiased opinions and do no form of perks for people who send us stuff (other than mention we received a product from that respective company). We do not accept money for reviews, we also do no advertising to bring money in. We are just a couple of guys that do this as a hobby. We’ve always given companies that chance to fix things, or make things right. With that being said. Lets go into the amount of problems we’ve had with these video cards, and the amount of support we’ve gotten from Gigabyte.
Initial purchase of these video cards from Newegg was on 4/05/2013. We received them on 04/07/2013. Mike threw 2 of them into his main rig to make sure they worked. He noticed that one of the video cards was running at 100 Celsius. Figured it was just a grease problem, called Gigabyte and asked if it would void the warranty if he removed the heat sink, and reapplied paste. The support person said as long as he did not damage it, there would be no problems. Mike did this and reapplied the thermal compound. This did not fix the over heating problem. So he ended up taking the clock down to 925MHz from the factory 1100MHz setting. He also cut the voltage down 20%. On 04/09/2013, this card completely died, and he filed a RMA request with Gigabyte to get a replacement.
I put in the third card in the top slot where the other one was, I noticed that I was running into the same overheating problems. Hrmmm… I then thought about it a bit. I switched the cards around. (Bottom card was running at 60-70C at full load). I noticed that the top card runs about 30-40c hotter than the bottom card. I called Gigabyte up again, I’m noticing a trend here. The top card runs 30-40C higher than bottom card. The Technician I was on with told me I am wrong, and that I have the wrong case. Ok… I asked him what kind of case I needed for this to work. He then mentioned to me that I need a Gigabyte case to do what I’m trying to do. I’m currently using a Corsair 650D, I don’t think this is the problem. I just happened to have the Gigabyte case in hand he recommended, Gigabyte Suma 5112 case. (Which still overheated). Matter a fact the only way I was able to successfully run more than 1 card in a single system was to put 2 Delta 220 CFM fans.
Mike also wanted to say that this was not the only time that we’ve had failed cards. To date, we’ve had 4 RMA’s sending these cards back 4 times.
Our first card, was RMA’ed on 4/9/2013, our second card was RMA’ed on 5/11/2013, Our third card was RMA’ed on 5/26/2013, Our fourth card was RMA’ed on 5/28/2013.
Our second card has 2 Noctua fans blowing directly on the cards. This is the damage we saw with that setup.
The other 3 failures did not look like this. That actually created a small fire in my machine, sparking and arching.
We do not think that we have to go into a in depth review here as we cannot even get these things to run stable in our machines without using 65 db fans.
With that being said, we ONLY recommend running these video cards in your machine if your going to be running 1 GPU. If you run more than 1 GPU in your machine, make sure that you look at a reference board, or use a better cooling technology. One more thing to mention. Swiftech’s Watercooling solutions do not work very well with these cards at all.
This is the lowest scoring item that we’ve ever reviewed.
It was our hope to have some comprehensive coverage of AMD’s flagship video cards, especially with them being featured in our Corsair 900D review. Unfortunately, Gigabyte has been very unhelpful and unresponsive to requests for replacements of what is clearly a malfunctioning product when used in multiple video card setups. Once we work out the issues we have with these cards, we’ll have a review up.