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Sapphire R9 290x Tri-X middle fan damaged during shipping? Steps to fix?

Naijin
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I just bought a second hand r9 290x Tri-X and it seems the middle fan was somehow damaged during shipping. The previous owner has 100+ good reviews and even a lot of recent ones, so I decided to buy it. He even made a video of the card idle and starting Furmark, showing an open air test bench with the card fully functional and you can hear and see all fans spinning normally and ramping up with temperature.

 

Now I opened the package yesterday and was packed quite tight in the box. Installed it and everything was fine, but when launching a game, I noticed the card would get quite hot. It showed a steady increase to 85°C until I decided to quit the game and have a look at it. The outer 2 fans were spinning very fast and making lots of noise, while the middle fan was not spinning at all. In MSI Afterburner I thought maybe it only starts at a certain temperature or fan %, so tested in steps of 10% fan speed until the middle fan finally started at 90% fan speed. It ran just as fast as the other 2 fans, but dropping the fan speed to 80%, the fan just stopped. I must note though that when pushing the fan there seems to be very little resistance, as it keeps on spinning for a good 5-10 seconds.

 

Am I just out of luck with a damaged motor or could I bring the fan back to life somehow?

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Just replace the fan, you can get a kit of all 3 fans on eBay for about $20

Though on an old gpu that may not be worth it, in which case you can always just zip tie any case fan to the card in its place and it’ll cool the same if not better.


You can try disassembling the fan/motor though note tiny c clips are a nightmare, sometimes fans getting bumped in shipping can just misalign them and they may not work.

 

This was a really common issue with the type of fans sapphire used for the r9 200/300 generation of coolers across the board, and solutions such as this were commonplace:

6FA18275-81B1-4E50-9434-885DD89CBF85.thumb.webp.7e85e402981a662ca7057cbbb081a138.webp

You could also just remove the fans and add a pci slot triple fan in front of it or a wide variety of things.

If the goal is function over form, just slap a fan on it.

If you want the card to look original, try rebuilding the fan first. If it still doesn’t work or you can identify that something non-repairable is damaged, replace the fans with old stock oem fans 

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It's possible that the fan came disconnected during shipping, it might be worth popping the cooler off and just taking a look to make sure all the fan connectors are properly hooked up. It's a ~12 year old card anyway, it probably needs a repaste and repad anyway, might as well check while that's happening. 

 

Though if that's not the problem, I'd just assume something with the fan gave the ghost, and those fans are usually cheap enough that it's not worth the effort of trying to perform necromancy on them rather than just trying to replace them outright. 

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5 minutes ago, 8tg said:

Just replace the fan, you can get a kit of all 3 fans on eBay for about $20

Though on an old gpu that may not be worth it, in which case you can always just zip tie any case fan to the card in its place and it’ll cool the same if not better.


You can try disassembling the fan/motor though note tiny c clips are a nightmare, sometimes fans getting bumped in shipping can just misalign them and they may not work.

 

This was a really common issue with the type of fans sapphire used for the r9 200/300 generation of coolers across the board, and solutions such as this were commonplace:

 

You could also just remove the fans and add a pci slot triple fan in front of it or a wide variety of things.

If the goal is function over form, just slap a fan on it.

If you want the card to look original, try rebuilding the fan first. If it still doesn’t work or you can identify that something non-repairable is damaged, replace the fans with old stock oem fans 

Actually I'm building a low budget PC for a friend and would prefer it to be a normal card if he ever wants to sell it or the card 🙂

4 minutes ago, RONOTHAN## said:

It's possible that the fan came disconnected during shipping, it might be worth popping the cooler off and just taking a look to make sure all the fan connectors are properly hooked up. It's a ~12 year old card anyway, it probably needs a repaste and repad anyway, might as well check while that's happening. 

 

Though if that's not the problem, I'd just assume something with the fan gave the ghost, and those fans are usually cheap enough that it's not worth the effort of trying to perform necromancy on them rather than just trying to replace them outright. 

I'll try that tonight, I've already looked up a set of Tri-X fans and while they are 20 USD, it could take roughly a month of shipping to Europe. I'm hoping it's a quick fix as I'd give him the PC this weekend, else I'm going to look for a different gpu.

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