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Aurora R8, 2080 Ti failing, unhappy customer

Let me start off by saying I have always been a loyal fan and customer of Dell/Alienware and I always purchase their products. I started off with an Alienware Aurora 5500 that I got back in 2005 and that started the PC gaming itch from there. Fast forward to 2019 and I wanted to purchase a PC with the capability to run games smoothly in 4K resolution. The Aurora R8 was a perfect fit. i7-9700, 32GB ram and a RTX 2080 Ti. I was all set. I didn't mind paying almost 3 thousand dollars because I believed the product would be the best in class compared to other pre builts, boy was I wrong.

Everything was solid for the first 6 months, then the RTX 2080 Ti fan started to rev up to 5500 rpm from a steady 2500-3000 rpm for no apparent reason. Tech support was fantastic, came to the house to replace the card. Awesome. Another 6 months later, the RTX 2080 Ti fan is doing the same thing as before. Called up tech support, went through diagnosis for a few hours and they confirmed it was the same exact issue. This time they had me send the PC into their service center so they can "investigate" the issue. Little did I know that they told me false information, they did not even try to diagnose what exactly was going on with the PC, they ended up just replacing the RTX 2080 Ti and not looking into the issue. I am unsure if they weren't informed correctly of the procedures of the service center, or if they were just trying to tell me the information I wanted to hear to "satisfy" me. Regardless the RTX 2080 Ti was replaced a second time now and everything seemed fine.

Now its end of April 2020, another 6 months since the RTX 2080 Ti was replaced and now it is doing the same thing again! Three times the same exact problem and what is the resolution of the tech support? To replace the RTX 2080 Ti again, after being on the phone for hours with customer care and tech support, I am told the only thing they can do is just replace the RTX 2080 Ti again. This will be the 4th RTX 2080 Ti in less then one year! Insane! Market value of replacing these cards has already exceeded the price of the system I paid for. Obviously I understand they buy them in bulk for alot cheaper from the supplier Nvidia. My service contract expires at the end of this month, and I am almost done paying the PC off. My issue now is that I have a system with a part that needs to be replaced every 6 months that costs over 1000 dollars for a consumer like myself.  Two times with the same issue is a coincidence, third time the same exact problem this is a pattern. I explained that I love the system and product and that I want to stay a Dell/Alienware customer but I am so worried about keeping and owning a system that I have to expensively replace parts every so often. I do not want to own and keep paying for a system that is defunct and has an issue that the company does not want to look into. They say there is nothing that can be done besides replacing the RTX 2080 Ti, reiterating that same point over and over.

I work in the customer service industry for an automotive manufacturer and I find the service I was provided abysmal and extremely poor, with no resolution to my happiness/satisfaction even offered. I even asked if I could extend the service contract, and if there was anything they can do for my inconvenience of still paying for a computer that I had inoperable for more then a month collectively because of these problems and they said I would have to pay in full for it. No resolution for a refund, replacement of the PC, or even investigating the issue. When I worked in the service department I would have been fired long ago for just throwing expensive parts at a vehicle and not fixing the issue the first time because I chose not to diagnose the issue. So as it sits now, they are replacing the RTX 2080 Ti  for a 3rd time next week, but I am not happy at all with this resolution and I would like for someone to contact me and make this right. Yes, I understand Lemon Law does not apply and the Massey Furgusson act is why they are just barely skating the edge of helping me out, because that act states they must replace the part if no other resolution can be found or a full product replacement. And since they can just keep throwing GPUS at me that's exactly what they are doing. I even offered to keep the pc and deal with me getting the bad end of the stick, if they could help out with the service contract extension, but I was told they couldn't help and I would have to pay in full for anything of the sort. I just find this insulting and not right to not even explore any options for a customer of 15 years. I would love to stay an Alienware customer, but I cannot put faith in a product that keeps breaking over and over again. Gaming is one of my passions and its greatly disappointing to have a company I love not help out. 

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11 Replies
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7 Thorium

Re: Alienware R8 2080TI Keeps Failing, Unhappy Customer

At least you were smart and got the extended warranty.

My Nvidia GTX-1070 (now old ?) cards are rock-solid (with working drivers ... which has been a slight challenge, but manageable over the years). One is Dell-OEM and the other is MSI-Gaming-X .

Not sure what is going on with the RTX cards, but I doubt it is Dell/MSI's fault . Appears to be Nvidia's problem ... either with their GPU's or their "reference design" (that includes chipset and memory).

People say "it's a normal failure rate". I think that is a lame answer. I don't think I would personally buy one of these . For the cost 2080's should be perfect. Not sure what GPU I would buy since I broke-up with AMD years ago (IIRC, over similar reasons) .

https://forums.tomshardware.com/threads/are-people-still-buying-rtx-card-despite-dying-issues.345239...

Says:

The only thing Nvidia admitted was there was problems with early founder edition PCB 2080 ti's

My thoughts:

If Dell asked MSI to supply an "OEM clone" of their Nvidia RTX-2080ti MSI-Aero (reference-design, back-blower) ... that sure sounds like your card. Good chance that Dell stock was all made back then for them. Dell rarely replaces with different card or part-number because you bought a specific one. Also, some people try to "scam an upgrade" out of them.


Registered Microsoft Partner and Apple Developer
- Like many of you, I can appreciate a good game-engine.
- I answer questions here, but I'm not a Dell employee.
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4 Germanium

Re: Alienware R8 2080TI Keeps Failing, Unhappy Customer

I went ahead and read the link just to make sure I was on the same page. As you said, early reference PCB for 2080 Ti had issues and I suppose we're all talking about that "space invaders" screen artifact problem.

However, seems like @MayTheSchwartzBeWithYou is having the blower fan ramp up for no reason. Was there other performance/ functional issue that accompanied the ramp up? What's the temperature of the card when it happened and did ramping up the fan help cool it down? When the fan ramped, did you feel warm air stream out the back of the card?

How do you know if Dell changed the card the first 2 times? Did you record the serial number from GPU-Z? For all you know, Dell just slapped on a new shroud after repasting the heatsink?

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4 Beryllium

Re: Alienware R8 2080TI Keeps Failing, Unhappy Customer


@GTS81 wrote:

How do you know if Dell changed the card the first 2 times? Did you record the serial number from GPU-Z? For all you know, Dell just slapped on a new shroud after repasting the heatsink?


Yeah, you do get refurbished, not new, replacement parts for repairs under warranty. Although, my first thought was that Dell would have done what you mentioned to someone else's defective card that was previously replaced under warranty (i.e., refurbed it) then used that as the replacement 2080ti for the OP.  And the OP's card would go into the next person's PC, after getting fixed.  And so on, etc. 

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Re: Alienware R8 2080TI Keeps Failing, Unhappy Customer

Yes you are correct, I am experiencing the blower fan ramp up. To answer your questions about said ramp up :

GPU temp is around 80-82 Celsius when the ramp up occurs. From my understanding and viewing, this is normal temp for this specific card when under high load (Correct me if I am wrong). However when the ramp up happens, I can not note any significant decrease in temp, maybe 1 degree if anything. The ramp up does also occur even when playing games that are not demanding/not putting much load on the GPU. I can also confirm feeling warm air out of the back of the unit when ramp up occurs. Regarding performance, I will only get an occasional stutter or two when the ramp up occurs, nothing major. I can be playing Star Citizen in 4K and it is buttery smooth for the most part and the ramp up will occur. Or for instance while playing Age of Empires from 1999 it also occurs. To clear up any confusion I am on the stock factory clock, no overclock settings set or messed with on Alienware command center or anything like that. 

Sadly no, I can't actually confirm if they indeed did replace the unit. Like you said they could have just replaced the shroud etc. I didn't record the S/N which was a mistake on my part, most likely because of how painless it was to have it "replaced" the first time around, didn't think much of it. 

Thanks for taking the time to respond. 

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7 Thorium

Re: Alienware R8 2080TI Keeps Failing, Unhappy Customer

Right, no OC (as you are having problems at the moment). Actually, I don't OC anything-ever, but that's just my preference.

Are you sure you don't want to try MSI-AfterBurner ? You can setup a preset for "stock clocks" and better fan-curve.


Registered Microsoft Partner and Apple Developer
- Like many of you, I can appreciate a good game-engine.
- I answer questions here, but I'm not a Dell employee.
- Consider giving posts you like a "thumbs-up"
- Posting models-numbers and software versions speeds trouble-shooting.
- Click "Accept as Solution" button on any post that answers your question best.
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4 Germanium

Re: Alienware R8 2080TI Keeps Failing, Unhappy Customer

Actually @Tesla1856 has a good point. Using a fan curve tuning software allows you to put a cap on the fan speed and then observe if temps continue to climb. This would be very useful in non GPU demanding games where maybe after you cap the fan speed, there's no indication of temperature climbing, and all you were dealing with all this while was some software/ firmware bug that ramps the fan for no reason.

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4 Beryllium

Re: Alienware R8 2080TI Keeps Failing, Unhappy Customer

Yeah, I use MSI too for a custom fan curve too.  You can test out how your custom fan curves respond to rising temps using something like the GPU (3D) test in OCCT.  

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Re: Alienware R8 2080TI Keeps Failing, Unhappy Customer

Yeah I have the same preference as I do with my cars lol I try to go for as much reliable performance as possible. Yes I actually have tried MSI afterburner in the past and while setting a custom fan profile to test (set fan maximum at 3500 for one test) the blower fan still ramped up from the GPU.

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8 Xenon

Re: Alienware R8 2080TI Keeps Failing, Unhappy Customer

You cant expect a silent card when it has a fan.


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