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Problem after installing new graphics card


MastaRedSnappa
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My computer is a Compaq Presario S6500NX (Athlong XP 3000+, 1GB PC2700 RAM) with on-board S3 Unichrome graphics adapter. I upgraded it many months ago with a cheap GeForce FX5200 graphics card and everything works properly. Today, I bought an ATI Radeon 9600XT video card. I uninstalled the FX5200 drivers and powered down the computer. I opened up the case, swapped the FX5200 for the 9600XT and turned the power on. The computer turned on but I get no video signal and it never boots the BIOS (I have to unplug the power cord to turn it off as clicking the power switch does nothing). When the computer is operating normally, upon power-up, all the fans turn on at their highest speed and then they switch to a lower quieter speed when the BIOS boots up. With the 9600XT in there, the fans stay on their highest speed indefinitely. I checked the 9600XT to make sure it's getting power (it is as the fan on the heatsink is spinning). If I take out the 9600XT and turn the computer on, it boots up normally (using the on-board graphics adapter). If I re-insert the FX5200, the computer boots up normally.

 

I thought maybe the 9600XT was bad so I took it to work and installed it on an older Dell system. It had no problems there.

 

I thought maybe the Compaq's power supply (rated at 250 watts) wasn't up to the power demands of the new card but it seems like the Compaq's power supply and connecter is slightly non-standard so upgrading it may be problematic.

 

Anyone have any ideas? Thanks.

 

Update - 1/14: I borrowed a 350 watt power supply from my friend that has the connector I was looking for. Apparently the connector I thought was non-standard (it's got four pins in a square formation) appears to be standard on newer power supplies. I'll let you know how it goes.

 

Update - 1/14.2: The 350 watt power supply had no effect. I did find a thread on some forum on the internet that had the exact same problem I have with the same computer/video card. He solved it by exchanging it for another one. This doesn't seem to jive with the fact that the card I have works on a Dell at work. I guess it's worth a shot.

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I feel for you. I'm having trouble with my new PC build - the primary IDE channel on my refurbed motherboard I bought back in June (out of return period) is dead. I was up until 9:30 AM trying to get the stupid thing to load up the IDE RAID driver to run my HDDs on the spare IDE controllers. &*#$(#$*#$@(!!! I think I found a solution, as it may be that the IDE driver file is just poorly written with a typo...will try it tonight when I get home.

 

Anyway,

Well, if you end up returning it (weird problem I must say), I will mention that apparently PNY video cards are going to be on sale 25% off @ BB this weekend (as per techbargains.com, they always post early).

That puts the PNY 6600GT at $187. A kickass deal (and often more than twice as fast as your 9600XT). :D

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Thanks for the tip, GreenMonkey. I'll look into that card. I just tried the 9600XT again here at work and it works fine so I'm thinking maybe even the 350 watt power supply wasn't enough. I just checked the listing for the 6600GT at bestbuy.com and it lists a 350 watt power supply as a system requirement. I'm gonna go try pick up maybe a 400 watt power supply to see if that gets the 9600XT working. I'll need a bigger power supply either way it seems if I want to run current video cards (other than the low-end ones like my FX5200).

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Check the numbers on your 350watt PS before you pull the trigger on one. People tend to be overkill these days on Power Supply wattages and what is really necessary. I just did some research on power - it's more about the #s on the individuals rails (like 12v, 5v, etc).

 

I was running my AXP 1800+, 9800pro, DVD-RW, DVD-ROW/CD-RW combo, 2 HDDs, and a couple of usb devices on my 300W Antec just fine.

 

On the 6600GT deal - although techbargains says the deal will be there, I notice that the 6600GTs don't seem to be commonly available at BB B&Ms.

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I'm no expert on it myself, but if you give me some numbers off it I could probably find out if it is enough.

 

My Antec 350 I just raided from a cheap A/R Antec case puts out 22V on the 12V (which is important I guess) and that is pretty unusual for a 350W - but it is a very new 350w I guess.

 

 

I found this link which has some info (although a little too deep at points it is useful)

 

http://www.pcguide.com/ref/power/sup/output_Power.htm

 

This is even better, from the great benchmarking guys at the firingsquad...it has listings of how much power different things suck and off what rail.

 

http://www.firingsquad.com/guides/power_supply/page2.asp

 

 

 

Admittedly the power supplies from Major manufacturers tend to be pretty cheap and JUST barely enough power. And if the card is confirmed working in another machine it is quite a possibility. 9600s arent really power suckers but sometimes it doesn't take much to tap out the cheap PS in a commercial box.

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In regards to power supplies, the first thing I tell people when building a new PC is choose a power supply from a reputable company.

 

I've been using Antecs "True" series of PSUs in the last 5 PCs I've built, and they're rock solid. I've never had a power problem with them. Before that I was using Enermax, and they're great as well. Check the reviews, you'll see that either of these companies puts out excellent PSUs.

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I ended up buying an Antec 400 watt PSU. Here are the specs:

 

Antec P4 ATX12V 400 Watt Power Supply With 2 Fans, Model "SL400" - Retail

 

Model# SL400

Item # N82E16817103912

 

Specifications:

Type: ATX

Maximum Power: 400W

PFC: No

Power Good Signal: 100-500ms

Hold-up Time: < 17ms at Full Load

Efficiency: >=68%

Over Voltage Protection: +5V trip point<+6.5V;+3.3V trip point<+4.1V;+12V trip point<+15.6V

Overload Protection: Latching Protection+5V @<53A;+3.3V @ <48A;+12V @ <23A

Input Voltage: 115 VAC / 230VAC

Input Frequency Range: 47-63 Hz

Input Current: 10A for 115VAC;5.0A for 230VAC

Output: +3.3V@28A;+5V@38A;-5V@0.5A;+12V@18A;-12V@0.8A;+5VSB@2A

 

I really like it because it has two fans to help suck the hot air out of the case (the usual one on the outside along with one facing down towards the CPU). However, the ATI Radeon 9600XT still did not work. :bh

 

One possible explanation I read on the VIA forums (my Asus A7V8X-LA mobo uses the VIA chipset) is that the AGP slot on some mobos does not output the correct voltage for 4x/8x.

 

I returned the 9600XT to Best Buy (but kept the new PSU since I'm sure any other new video card I get will require more watts, etc.). I went back to BB a few times to see if they had the 25% off PNY GeForce 6600GT in stock but so far, no luck.

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Yeah, they don't seem to be stocking 6600GTs in stores, just on the website.

 

Too bad you have just BB credit - there's been a few 6600GT deals out there.

 

A 9800pro 128MB is the second best bet to a 6600GT (it is almost as fast in many common settings).

 

The 9600XT doesn't require external power. If you are having a voltage shortage problem with the AGP slot, a card with an external power connector seems like it would work without a problem - As a lot of the power comes from the floppy drive power connector.

So I would look for a card that requires external power to solve your voltage problem. I had a similiar problem when I tried to put a power-hungry ti4200 in my wife's PC about a month ago (my old Epox KT133 board). It crashed in DirectX games - problem was not enough voltage in the older AGP slot. I had to RMA the card back to buy.com and got her a refurb Radeon 9100 instead (less power required) - which works fine.

 

So you need either a card that needs less power (you're not going to find an improved card over your FX card that needs less power) or a card that requires so much more power that it needs the external power connector. :D Easy, all the good cards require them :D

 

A 9800pro or a 6600GT need external power. If you could find a deal on it the vanilla 6800 is also a good buy but it pushes $250-$300ish. The old midrange cards like the 9600p/XT are external-power-connector-less. I know BB carries the BFG 6800OC @ $299...if you could find a coupon or something...I know they had a deal a while back with the 6800OC and Doom3 for $250AR. I know my store used to carry the 6800OC instore...

 

 

 

Video cards have been in very short supply lately, with HL2, Doom3, etc hitting the market. The new ATI x800XL is supposed to be a $299 card but is pretty much still vaporware.

 

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?id=1083715895205&skuId=6727081&type=product

 

You can always click on the "limited store availability" and see if it is in stock at your store. I haven't seen the BB ads for next week yet - maybe there will be a sale or something.

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Thanks for the info, Green Monkey! I never could score a 6600GT at a Best Buy B&M (and the website doesn't take gift cards) so I think I'll just wait. Luckily, in California, gift cards cannot expire so I'll just hold on to them until a really good deal comes along.

 

Besides, I just bought a new car yesterday so I gotta be more frugal!

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