Black screens with Radeon PRO W7600 can be fixed with repasting and adding thinner thermal pads
During this summer, Igor Wallossek has dedicated his time to testing the latest workstation GPUs introduced by both NVIDIA and AMD. AMD has recently unveiled a pair of entry-level solutions, both powered by the Navi 33 GPU architecture. In the initial stages of his testing, Igor encountered a puzzling problem characterized by random black screens under load. Initially attributing these issues to a potentially faulty DisplayPort cable, Igor soon realized this assumption was incorrect.
Contrary to his initial belief, these black screens weren’t responsible for causing system crashes. Upon connecting the monitor to the integrated GPU (iGPU), it became evident that the system remained stable, with only the dedicated GPU exhibiting the black screen problem. Through comprehensive testing, it was determined that the discrete GPU was overheating, a conclusion supported by the data gathered from various tests.
Evidently, AMD’s thermal solution for the GPU left much to be desired. Specifically, the blame rested on the bulky thermal pads. These pads not only displayed suboptimal thermal conductivity but also demonstrated a tendency to warp and misalign the vapor chamber, potentially leading to operational issues.
Fortunately, rectifying this problem turned out to be a relatively straightforward task, requiring less than 15 minutes of work. However, this highlighted a clear oversight in the quality validation process undertaken by the manufacturing company. To address the situation, Igor initiated a series of modifications. He replaced the thermal paste, swapped out the thick thermal pads for thinner ones (specifically for memory components), resulting in increased pressure applied to the GPU. Additionally, Igor supplemented the thermal paste between the vapor chamber and the frame beneath the cooler. Remarkably, these adjustments promptly resolved the black screen problem.
It is unclear if this issue is only affecting one unit, as Radeon PRO W7000 review sampling is relatively low. However, this is the first report of this issue and the first potential solution to such a problem. While this might be an isolated case, such problems should not be present on expensive workstation GPUs regardless.
Igor’s repair suggestions shouldn’t be performed by users because this means that the warranty is void. The alternative is to send the card for RMA, which means that the important equipment will be unavailable. This could have been prevented should AMD noticed this issue beforehand.