Strange issue with an old HD 7950

Edit: Problem was solved. The 7950 ran fine after undervolting and underclocking from the factory overclocked settings. It is absolutely a power delivery issue through the PCI-E or just from the mobo in general. I tested both cards in both PCs with the PSUs switched. The 500watt PSU was plenty to overclock the 7950 significantly in my system. The 750watt PSU couldn’t run the 7950 in her system. Thanks for all the help and ideas guys.

Hello, every one, this is my first post on these forums so I hope this is in the right place. Now that we have that out of way I’ll explain my situation. Today I helped my girlfriend build her first PC, to save some money on the GPU we picked up a used 7950 for $60 and upon testing it in my PC it worked perfectly. Yet, when throwing it into her PC today (R5 1600, 8GB DDR4 3000, MSI Pro-VDH B350, 500W EVGA PSU) everytime we start a game the GPU gives out after about 30-45 seconds of gameplay if that. When this happens the whole system needs to be restarted.
This is simply not an issue on my PC (R7 1700, GTX 980Ti, 16GB DDR4 3200, ASRock Killer X370, 750W Corsair PSU). We even switched out the two cards to see if hers maybe just stopped working, or to see if mine would run wthout flaw on her system. The 980Ti ran perfectly fine on her PC, and her 7950 ran perfectly fine on my PC. I originally thought it could be a power issue but this proved that it was not. I am severly confused and was wondering if anyone had some insight on this.

TL:DR: HD 7950 works on one system, then refused to play games without crashing on another. GTX 980Ti runs fine on both systems. Runs both GPUs: (R7 1700, GTX 980Ti, 16GB DDR4 3200, ASRock Killer X370, 750W Corsair PSU). Runs only the 980 Ti: (R5 1600, 8GB DDR4 3000, MSI Pro-VDH B350, 500W EVGA PSU). Of course I have tried uninstalling and reinstalling divers.


It might be that the MSI board is not able to handle the power draw from the 7950. I don’t know if AMD had issues in the past with power consumption through the PCI slots. Maybe that card doesen’t have an issue, it’s just pulling too much power from the PCI slot for that motherboard (I see that’s a pretty barebone and cheap motherboard, not in a bad way).

I think this was just the RX 480 and a subsequent driver update fixed the issue (drawing more than 75W through the slot).

Of course you’re right in that the motherboard might not supply it enough either and be short on the PCIe 3.0 spec in practice. The board doesn’t look to have very robust power delivery.

@ClarkHeiney Are you using two separate 6-pin connectors or the chained type that only has one connector with the PSU?

I know you already swapped cards and it still only runs in your system. I know you are saying it is not an power issue but I still think it is.

Have you tried having the 980 in your girlfriends PC and the 7950 in hours and swapping the power supplies. You running the 500w and her with the 750w. It sounds like a power issue to me. Worth a shot, a bit of a pain I know but would completely clear the power supplies of any fault if it still work after that and other ideas can be tried.

I appreciate the responses guys. So power issue seems to be a strong possibility which like I said was my first thought. It’s just strange because I have looked and usually answer I get about power draw from the 980Ti vs the 7950 is that the 980Ti uses more. Another thing I should mention. I did try to underclock and reduce the power limit of the 7950 in Afterburner to see if I could reduce power consumption from it. I got the same results though.
@MetalizeYourBrain This is something that crossed my mind. It isn’t the best board, but I don’t think it should be struggling to put power into a PCI-E slot. It is a newer board and supports decent features for what it is though. This is a possibility but does the 7950 draw a significant amount more from the PCI-E slot than a 980Ti? I think right now this seemed the most convincing answer but I will have to look more to see if I can find an average power draw from the PCI-E Slot on the 7950.
@Steinwerks I am using two chained 6-pin connectors with one connection to the PSU, but it is like this on both my Corsair and her EVGA PSU. and her EVGA PSU has no problem pushing the 980Ti with a 6-pin and 8-pin both plugged in.
Swapping PSUs is something I can try, but I won’t have time to tear down both PCs for a few days or so.


I’ve read through some reviews of the VDH line of boards from MSI in the past and I remember there were many people facing issues with those or just poor quality in general. Anyway you know what you’re doing so keep testing and hope you solve your issue soon.

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Thanks for all the replies everyone. This issue was solved by me yesterday afternoon. I put a more aggressive undervoltage, on the 7950 and lowered the clocks from the factory overclocked speeds. After this was done stability has been more or less solid from testing I did for a few hours. This pretty much puts the nail on the head of the being the motherboard for me. I don’t see the PSU lacking the power required to run these components, so i am pretty sure the motherboards power delivery is at fault. I will see if I can return it to newegg and go with something a bit better if my girlfriend is willing to wait for all of that.

To me that completely points to the PSU, but as long as it works for you, I would still try swapping them if only to find out once and for all.

It’s 100% the motherboard. We swapped PSUs of the two systems, and it still couldn’t run the 7950 with a 750watt PSU. On the other hand, my mobo with the 500watt PSU and the 7950 could run the card overclock and overvolted at a very high core and memory speed, as I remember the card working originally. The motherboard is being sent back and we are ordering a new one. Thanks for all the input guys!

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