This is a multi-GPU build. Works fine without this particular GPU. But when it is plugged, OS (Linux) crashes during boot. Linux logs indicate that the last actions before the crash pertain to the pci slot that is occupied by this GPU being addressed.

The light that you see in the picture below is off when the PC is on. But if you turn the PC off the light turns on.

I've tried different slots. I've tried different power-supply cables. I've tried removing some of the other GPUs. Nothing helps.

Any idea what this means? Can something be done short of returning it?

It's not the PSU, I'm sure.

enter image description here

  • You need to install proprietary drivers.
    – user931000
    Sep 16, 2019 at 18:14
  • @GabrielaGarcia Drivers are Nvidia's. The latest.
    – user75619
    Sep 16, 2019 at 18:14

2 Answers 2




The smart power LED indicator alerts the player when any PCI-E power supply is abnormal.

Light on : power cable disconnected
Light off : stable power supply
Blinking : abnormal power supply
  • Interesting. So I guess there's something wrong with power management of this video card, and there's nothing I can do except return it.
    – user75619
    Sep 16, 2019 at 20:12
  • Try swapping the PCI-E cables over to see if the other smart power LED lights up instead, just to rule out this being a PSU issue. Sep 16, 2019 at 20:31

I actually think there is nothing wrong!

The fact that both smart power LEDs turn off when the PC is on, indicating a stable power supply, tells us that:

  • both PCI-E wires are working normally
  • both PCI-E connections on the video card work are working normally
  • both PCI-E connections on the PSU are working normally

When you turn your PC off, your power supply will no longer produce 12V at its PCI-E connections but there will still be some voltage entering the video card through the motherboard itself, which would be how the video card is able to illuminate this LED when the PC is off.

I'm just confused as to why both smart power LEDs aren't being illuminated when the PC is off!

The next step would be to swap the cables over, to see if the other smart power LED lights up instead.

  • I have 7 GPUs of this type. Both LEDs are off on all of them all the time -- whether PC is on or off -- except on this one. I've tried swapping power cables. I've tried swapping PCI-e cables. I've tried plugging this GPU directly into the motherboard. Nothing helps. The OS crashes whenever it is plugged. What's strange is that I can plug it into a two-GPU rig that dates back to early 2010s and it works fine in there. And the LED doesn't turn on too.
    – user75619
    Sep 16, 2019 at 21:06
  • So the problematic Nvidia 2080 doesn't do this on another motherboard. The motherboard in this particular PC is continuing to give the Nvidia 2080 power through the PCI Express 3.0 bus, which allows the card to report the power state of its PCI-E connectors. Perhaps the other mobo completely shuts off power to the PCI-E bus, making it impossible for the smart power LEDs to be illuminated. What happens if you connect the other Nvidia 2080's to the PC? Do they do the same thing with this motherboard? I'm starting to suspect the issue is being caused by the motherboard in this particular PC! Sep 16, 2019 at 21:46
  • Only 1 of 7 GPUs misbehaves in this way. Right now 6 GPUs are plugged in the new PC. And all's fine. But the moment I plug the presumably faulty GPU, the OS doesn't boot. Which pci slot I plug it into doesn't matter. It's not the high number of GPUs either... I've experimented with plugging 2 GPUs from the working set, everything is fine until you plug in the faulty one. I highly doubt it's the motherboard, if it was, it would be failing under some other circumstances. But the fact that this GPU doesn't crash the old PC is still strange.
    – user75619
    Sep 16, 2019 at 22:24
  • Ah okay. So they're all on the same motherboard. Now it definitely looks like a problem with that particular GPU. You mentioned that you could boot using this GPU in a different system. I would try putting this GPU into that older system that allows it to boot and see if you can update the firmware in that. If there's an update, install it and try again.The only thing I can think of at this point is some obscure issue that a firmware update might resolve. Failing that, I would be going back to the store and asking to swap (or doing an RMA if it's too late to take it back). Sep 16, 2019 at 23:11

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