I took the risk of purchasing a used HIS Radeon R9 290X from someone on eBay who had used it (along with a number of identical cards) for Bitcoin mining. I got it yesterday, but have run into some trouble. I took out my other card (a Diamond Radeon HD 7970), put in the 290X, and fired the system up. I was worried from the start because when the system booted, it had the Windows 8 logo on the screen, but didn't have the animated circles indicating it was booting- it just sat there. I eventually reset it and then it booted to the desktop, but trouble continued. When I tried to play a 3D game, it failed, throwing an error within the game saying that the video card or driver was unstable. I then tried installing the newest beta drivers (i had the latest non-beta drivers, 13.12, installed before), rebooted, and tried again. This time, the screen went red; the system had hung, and I had to reboot. Before that, I'd tried to adjust the video playback settings in the Catalyst application, and the system crashed in the middle of that too. I uninstalled all AMD drivers and then installed the 13.12 drivers anew, but that didn't seem to help. At first, I figured the crashes just occurred when I tried to play a 3D game or when I was changing settings in the Catalyst Control Center, but on two other occasions, the system crashed when I was typing (coincidentally, typing up a post like this in these forums) in an all-2D desktop session. These weren't hard resets, but Windows crashes where 8.1 gives me the big
and says a problem has occurred, then it saves whatever debug data it has to disk and reboots. Eventually, I took the 290X out and put the 7970 back in, and things were back to normal.
Now, obviously I have to wonder if this card is defective. I was pretty sure I had it seated in the slot correctly and in as far as it would go, and I don't think the PSU is an issue (I have a good Seasonic 750W Gold PSU in here); certainly the PSU was able to handle two 7970s in CrossFire not long ago, so I'd think it could handle a single 290X. Also, if it were a problem with a PSU that couldn't supply enough power, I'd think it would be a hard system reset when it crashed, since that's the behavior I experienced (admittedly a number of years back) when I put a new video card into a system that had a PSU that wasn't quite adequate for it. I also don't think cooling is likely to be the issue, but I suppose it's a possibility- again, the same system ran fine with two 7970s, and heat hasn't been an issue.
Has anybody seen the kind of behavior I'm experiencing with the 290X before, and is it a sign of a defective card or something else? The PCIe power plugs were both definitely all the way in and supplying power, and the GPU fan was running fine. In case it matters, I'm running Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit on an ASUS P6T7 WS SuperComputer motherboard. Any help would be appreciated!