Question from Telsi P.: I have a 5 year old gaming computer that came with a fairly weak video card.
About three years ago I replaced that original GPU with a MSI R9 390 GAMING 8G Graphics Card and it worked great until yesterday when it burned out on me.
And I do really mean BURNED OUT!!
This computer’s case has a see-through side panel and I literally saw the video card shooting flames.
I quickly unplugged the computer and removed the video card. One small section of the card was almost completely destroyed but there’s no damage that I can find anywhere on the motherboard.
The computer starts up fine and runs perfectly using the motherboard’s integrated video. My question is can I just replace the bad video card and everything will be ok?
I’m not all that concerned about the computer itself because I’m planning to replace it fairly soon anyway but I’d hate to burn out an expensive new video card by plugging it into a bad GPU slot.
Rick’s answer: I’m very sorry this happened to you, Telsi. That must have been a scary thing to witness!
I’ve actually heard of this same thing happening to a couple of other folks with that same GPU so I’m thinking there might be an issue with that particular model, even though MSI is an outstanding brand over-all.
The good news is both of those folks were able to simply replace their damaged video cards with new ones without experiencing any additional problems.
The fact that you didn’t find any damage on your computer’s motherboard coupled with the fact that others have successfully replaced their bad GPUs with good results leads me to believe that you’ll probably be just fine if you decide to go ahead and replace the bad card.
This is what I recommend that you do:
1 – If you still have it, install the original video card that you removed when you replaced it with the one that just burned out.
2 – Use the machine to play your most graphic-intensive game for a few days and see what happens.
3 – (Optional) If you don’t mind spending a little cash in exchange for some extra peace-of-mind you can always take your computer to a repair shop and have them test the motherboard and power supply to make sure they’re working as they should.
4 – If everything works ok with the old video card installed you can probably go ahead and install a new gaming graphics card. (#ad)
Now I have to give you my semi-standard disclaimer:
While I honestly believe your gaming PC will run just fine with a new video card installed, there are no guarantees.
There’s a small chance that there could be an issue with either your computer’s motherboard or power supply that caused that GPU to burn out.
Given the circumstances of the “burning” incident and the fact that this has happened to at least two other people, I doubt that will happen. But that being said, there’s always a SLIGHT chance that a new video card could go up in flames just like the last one did.
In other words, if you decide to install a brand new (and probably expensive) gaming GPU in your machine you will do so at your own risk.
/ End of semi-standard disclaimer
I hope this helps, Telsi. Good luck!
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