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Gigabyte Motherboard Caught on Fire!!!

WackyWRZ

Senior member
Mar 8, 2014
210
16
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So I come home from work, step in the house and immediately smell unmistakable putrid burnt electronic smell. So I play follow your nose - checking the rooms until I finally make it to my computer room... :eek: At this point I'm hoping a wall wart has fried but alas, the smell is strongly emanating from my tower. I immediately pull the PSU and give it the sniff test - nope. Grab my flashlight and then I see it... I see my 980ti classified burnt to my PCIe slot in my motherboard. D: :'(

I've attached pictures of the carnage - and it LOOKS like maybe a cap blew under the slot and caused it - but as far up the board the smoke trail went I don't know. I've been using this Mobo/CPU build without issue since May of last year - and the video card is the only thing that changed and it's only about 3 months old. Hell I used it before work this morning - and it worked fine. The big question now obviously is WTF do I do?? Everything is less than a year old - and I would assume that there's some sort of warranty that should cover this? I've had components that failed before and I have RMAed them - but none that have let out the magic smoke. Do I contact EVGA and Gigabyte separately here? I'm worried that there will be finger pointing either way and somehow I am going to be SOL here. Any help and advise that you can offer would be GREATLY appreciated!!!






 
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SKORPI0

Lifer
Jan 18, 2000
17,270
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Best way is send a RMA request to both companies and attach pics. Were the PSU, memory, heat sink/cooler affected? Was a surge protector used?

Best of luck and let us know how the RMAs went.
 

WackyWRZ

Senior member
Mar 8, 2014
210
16
81
Everything else seems seems OK... I am afraid to attempt to turn it back on - I suppose I could try with the onboard graphics... The PSU is a good quality unit (EVGA SuperNOVA 750 G2) so I would hope it didn't cause it. Don't have another system lying around to really test the RAM or CPU with. There was a Soundblaster Z card in the X1 slot above the video card that got blasted by the magic smoke, but I presume is OK also. Doesn't look like anything grounded out to the case either. Everything was plugged into an APC SmartUPS 1500 - which shows no signs of damage... My 2 monitors also seem to be OK as well.
 
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WackyWRZ

Senior member
Mar 8, 2014
210
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So what are the chances that the CPU got damaged here as well? Is it possible that if I drop it into a new/working board that it could damage that board if something is wrong?
 
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Yuriman

Diamond Member
Jun 25, 2004
5,530
141
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It's very possible the video card will continue to work fine. Not all of the pins are necessary. Do you have another machine to try it in?

My bets are on only the motherboard being damaged.
 

WackyWRZ

Senior member
Mar 8, 2014
210
16
81
It's very possible the video card will continue to work fine. Not all of the pins are necessary. Do you have another machine to try it in?

My bets are on only the motherboard being damaged.
I don't have another machine - that I am willing to risk damage to anyway. Most of those front pins are +12V or ground, so on such a high power card it seems risky to even try running it like that. EVGA has already responded to me and sounds like they are going to help me out and set up an RMA! Now just waiting on Gigabyte to respond...
 

MrTeal

Diamond Member
Dec 7, 2003
3,116
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PCI_Express#Pinout

Those burned traces are the 12V input to the card. All speculation, but I would say it's likely something very bad happened to the card and the card is what caused the melting of the PCIe connector. It's possible that the motherboard will continue to work using the onboard graphics, though it's also possible the connector is damaged in such a way that it will short out the 12V rail.

If you have a multimeter you can test to see if there's a short between 12V and ground on the MB. You could also just try turning it one without the GPU in there. At this point you're unlikely to damage it more than it is. That being said, I can't imagine you won't want to RMA it anyway, since you'll want a new MB.
 

ronbo613

Golden Member
Jan 9, 2010
1,237
45
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In my opinion, powering up a crispy PCB like that is not a great idea. Get another motherboard and hope your other components are OK(unless you suspect one of those components may be faulty).
 
Nov 26, 2005
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something caused the electrical signal to change through-out the 12v rail to the PCIe slot. maybe an overload on a fuse in the fuse box. i've seen two occupants blow a fuse in the main box from running multiple appliances at once. maybe the electric company was doing maintenance to the circuit in your area. a tree trimmer could of dropped a limb and completed the circuit somewhere along your power grid. it could be a smaller issue. the cool thing is if the GPU works 100% it's got character now.

I would definitely buy a new PSU for starters. The motherboard looks like a risk, I would check the warranty on that. Same with the GPU.
 

Ketchup

Elite Member
Sep 1, 2002
14,494
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My advice:

RMA the board and video card through the manufacturers, unless you have a warranty through someone else. Even then, most tell you to at least try the manufacturer through their warranty periods.

I agree that the board is at fault, so be prepared for the video card manufacturer to say that the card replacement is not on them.

Oh, and don't even think about running the computer in that condition. Although the pics were limited to a section of the board and parts of the video card, I would assume that all other components are good.
 

WackyWRZ

Senior member
Mar 8, 2014
210
16
81
EVGA responded to me within 12 hours of it happening - and already set me up with an RMA!!! This is why I made it a point to buy EVGA video cards - I have read nothing but good and have also had positive experiences with their customer support as well - so kudos to them! Probably doesn't hurt that I own 2x 980ti Classys either LOL...

Gigabyte on the other hand - no response... I submitted everything that night, and according to their ticketing system they haven't even opened my ticket yet. I've read tons of stories of them and terrible / slow RMA processes - taking months - so I think at this point I am going to buy a new/used board and sell the old once it comes back. Yeesh Z97 boards are expensive still though!
 
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Nov 26, 2005
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Yeah EVGA is pretty good once you register your product, and ONLY if you register your product. Glad that's working out for you. I will continue buying EVGA products.

Good Luck with Gigabyte. They're a decent company. I wouldn't count them out yet.
 

WackyWRZ

Senior member
Mar 8, 2014
210
16
81
Yeah EVGA is pretty good once you register your product, and ONLY if you register your product. Glad that's working out for you. I will continue buying EVGA products.

Good Luck with Gigabyte. They're a decent company. I wouldn't count them out yet.
I'm one of those people that reads into warranty terms when I buy something as well as keeping all original box/packing materials. Plus I tend to register everything I buy anyway so I was easily covered on that end.

I'm hoping Gigabyte comes through. I had to RMA a MSI motherboard years ago and it was painless. Worst case - my CC has protection I can go through.
 
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jardows

Member
Oct 17, 2011
42
1
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This is a fire and safety hazard. Be sure to mention that to Gigabyte, will probably hurry up the process.
 

nerp

Diamond Member
Dec 31, 2005
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This is a fire and safety hazard. Be sure to mention that to Gigabyte, will probably hurry up the process.
I was going to say this. From those photos and your story, you're lucky all you're dealing with is some burnt computer parts. This is why electronics manufacturers pay big bucks for liability insurance.
 

BarkingGhostar

Diamond Member
Nov 20, 2009
9,592
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I fail to understand how any electrical work outside of the PC would cause such a specific issue on the 12v input to the video card that comes from the PSU, AND not affect anything else. I would imagine any voltage rail surge would have affected anything plugged into the mobo.

I would lean that something failed either specific to the voltage feed to the mobo itself, either internally to itself or from the PSU, a component failing as someone else mentioned (cap), or something caused a short at the 12v intersection.
 

WackyWRZ

Senior member
Mar 8, 2014
210
16
81
Update:

EVGA sent me a new graphics card! Within a week or so of it actually happening I had a replacement in my hands. They even go as far as updating your EVGA profile with the new serial number and everything! This company is like the Amazon of computer parts when it comes to customer service. I was getting email responses from them within an hour which is awesome! I can say that in the future I will not buy any other graphics card other than EVGA (unless by-chance AMD comes out with something great).

Gigabyte on the other hand - what a friggen joke. After waiting almost a week for them to approve the RMA, sending the board in, and then it sitting for 3 days after delivery they have decided that the warranty is void due to "physical damage" and sent a picture showing the burned area. Are you freaking serious?!?! No s**t Sherlock there is physical damage - the thing melted down. I called them and the guy I talked to told me "too bad" there's nothing they can do because the damage was not caused by the motherboard. When I asked what did cause it they said they "didn't know" they just knew it wasn't a problem with the board itself. Riiiight. I installed a different mobo in my system while this is being sorted out because I expected them to drag this out and everything else seems to be fine - even the PSU. I checked voltages with a meter and they all seem fine. Granted I can't check ripple without a scope, but I don't think ripple would cause a burn like that. I also fail to see how a power surge or anything external could possibly even be a factor. Nothing else in the entire house had an issue - not even the 2 monitors plugged into the same wall / outlet / UPS device or my Dell PE servers.

When they send it back I am thinking about filing a claim with my CC - as I would think that's an alternate option. My real question is - am I beyond pissed over nothing? What are the chances that the video card caused the board to melt down - and not the other way around? I'm sure it's hard to pinpoint what was actually the cause - but for GB to just give me the finger and say oh - not our problem is just asinine. Seems like the only thing they would cover is if a bios chip failed - and even then they'd find a way to blame you. I can say that I don't think that I will ever buy or trust another one of their products again. I've had good luck with ASUS (never had to RMA anything) and one RMA with an MSI motherboard that was painless.
 
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Ketchup

Elite Member
Sep 1, 2002
14,494
220
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Go to a higher level at Gigabyte. You may have to search the web for a contact, as I don't know if you could get to one through a normal phone conversation with support. Unless their pics show something provocative that your pics don't show, I don't know how one could definitely say that didn't come from a short in the board or a blown cap.

I don't know what your credit card company can do about the thing, but of course would be happy for you if they can.
 
Nov 26, 2005
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No it's not your fault you are beyond pissed. I would be too. The board has capacitors that regulate the voltage to areas of the motherboard. To say it's not their fault is offensive and absurd. I will NEVER buy Gigabyte after hearing your story. Giga-go-ahead-and-die-and-go-out-of-business-byte.
 

nerp

Diamond Member
Dec 31, 2005
9,844
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Tell then you almost had a fire and are in touch with a lawyer.
 

WackyWRZ

Senior member
Mar 8, 2014
210
16
81
No it's not your fault you are beyond pissed. I would be too. The board has capacitors that regulate the voltage to areas of the motherboard. To say it's not their fault is offensive and absurd. I will NEVER buy Gigabyte after hearing your story. Giga-go-ahead-and-die-and-go-out-of-business-byte.
It's even more frustrating because I think for the most part I am using decent quality equipment. It's not like I went and bought a $30 1000W off-brand power supply and am pushing 5.0GHz with LN2 or phase change cooling! It's a simple machine that plays my BF4/SC2/LoL/GTAV (well it used to LOL).

I've been building computers since high school starting with my first build being a K6-2 - so I'm not exactly new to this either. The only other blaze of glory I have seen is when I worked for a large company here where we were imaging and deploying HPs by the pallet... Those things would literally go up in smoke right out of the box at least once a week.

I hear ya nerp - at this point I think I am gonna go the CC claim route and otherwise let it be. It's the principle of the matter that's such bull. These days consumers expect and ACCEPT disposable products and it lets companies like this get away with anything. And here in the US we have some of the weakest consumer protection laws out there which makes matters even worse. What is obviously doing the "right thing" has now turned in to such a fight. And for them to make it right would have cost them under $100.

I also went the social media route and posted to Gigabyte's Facebook page... They basically mocked me with cry-face emojis and when I said that they lost a customer for good to other brands - they told me "We hope to see you back real soon"... What a joke of a company.
 
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compudog

Diamond Member
Apr 25, 2001
5,782
0
71
It could have been the video card drawing too many amps through the PCIe socket or a loose connection in the slot. Possibly a bad trace on the video card PCB. Increased resistance, high current equals heat. Enough to cause the scorching and burning. It is very difficult to say with 100% certainty. Be glad eVGA covered the video card. Gigabyte may very well be right saying it wasn't a fault of the mobo... OR... it could be the other way around. I am pretty confident in saying it wasn't a short circuit, but more likely a loose or high-resistance connection for it to smoke and scorch.
 

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