Solved: Faulty graphics card? Or faulty motherboard?

Status
This thread has been Locked and is not open to further replies. Please start a New Thread if you're having a similar issue. View our Welcome Guide to learn how to use this site.

matthewdownloads

Thread Starter
Joined
Dec 28, 2008
Messages
249
Sorry that this is quite long, but I want to give complete details as to the problem rather than just giving a vague problem...


Nvidia 8500GT card has been overclocked for the last year:

Original: 450, 900, 400
Stable OC: 690, 1380, 547

Before you panic, it's been stable and temps have been fine (<70). My motherboard is a Asus P5N-E SLI board. The computer is dual boot to Vista (for general use) and XP x64 (for games). ONLY XP IS OVERCLOCKED. Vista is not overclocked at all. Only the GPU is overclocked in the computer.

Now, the problems started when I moved the computer. All the games on x64 crashed unless I underclocked the machine, except UT (ancient game) which garbled the graphics (weapon textures on walls etc). I found out it was because somehow the card wasn't plugged in properly - so I pushed it back and I was able to play again.

Since then, sometimes the card is alright and other times it isn't. The other day I was playing fallout (graphics intensive game) for around 3 hours without any problems. But right now, I boot to vista and within a minute it crashes. Other times I was programming (not even using graphics) and the mouse suddenly has a flickering box around it - then the computer crashes.

When it crashes, the screen goes weird colours (like its rendered the screen as 4 bit colours rather than 32 bit) and shortly after I get a blue screen with it complaining about a graphics DLL.

At first, giving the card a wiggle in the PCI-E slot fixed it. Now, I've discovered that when the garbled graphics come up, if I physically push the card upwards in the PCI-E slot (whilst the PC is still on), they go away (by this time the computer has crashed, & so I have to reboot anyway).

It's nothing to do with the drivers; I've reinstalled them on XP, and besides, the problem happens on both of the OS on the computer. Vista seems to be considerably worse though - XP only crashes once in a while whereas Vista seems to be more unstable.

If you push the card up quickly, sometimes Vista "recovers". It says "the display ddriver stopped responding and has recovered" or something like that. You can then use the computer normally. If I push the card down when the computer is working fine, the computer crashes.

Any suggestions whether it's the card or the motherboard? I removed the card, blew dust off it etc, put it back into the machine and the problem still happens (although it initially solved it). I don't want to spend £100 on a new card to find that it's the MB that's the problem.

I'm wondering if the card is fine since it doesn't have an issue with 3 hours of gaming on a good day. If it's a lose connection, what can I do about it (it's fully pushed into the motherboard).

If you've read this far, thanks. :)
 
Joined
Nov 30, 2006
Messages
941
Have you tried another PCI-e slot? If not, try that. It sounds like the connection isn't being properly formed, When things heat up they tend to expand and when they're cool, they tend to shrink - it could be that this process has eventually misaligned the card from its slot.

Is the PCI-e card powered by any power source? If so, try changing the power connector with another one (most power supplies have a few) - if you don't, you can try buying a molex to pci-e card power chord and trying that.
 
Joined
Nov 30, 2006
Messages
941
Have you tried another PCI-e slot? If not, try that. It sounds like the connection isn't being properly formed. When things heat up they tend to expand and when they're cool, they tend to shrink - it could be that this process has eventually misaligned the card from its slot.

Is the PCI-e card powered by any power source? If so, try changing the power connector with another one (most power supplies have a few) - if you don't, you can try buying a molex to pci-e card power chord and trying that.
 
Joined
Oct 11, 2006
Messages
5,855
1 - You shouldn't be shoving the card around while its powered up. If the card itself was dying (OC a barely gaming card) - you might have damaged the mobo.

2 - Try the card in the other PCIe slot if its supported by the board.

3 - buy a card locally that has a return policy.

4 - buy a much better video card. A 9600GT or Ati 4830 are both well under $100USD (They are about $75) or ATi 4670 ($65USD) You'll enjoy your games more.

You need another video card to confirm the failure. Even a PCI card since you seem to have problems in desktop.
 
Joined
Dec 31, 1969
Messages
6,922
8500 doesn't need a 6-pin power cable.. Neither would I suspect the connector heat expanding, that has propably never damaged a slot.

What I would suspect is either the card or PCI-E slot being damaged by the incorrect installation (the not properly secured in the slot after moving the pc one). Try another slot on the board, it might not work at all, some SLI/CF boards are made so that single cards must be used in the specific slot. Anyways, replacing both the mobo and graphics would be a wise shot before the system completely fails...

http://www.microdirect.co.uk/Home/Product/38675/Asus-motherboard-P5QL-Pro + http://www.microdirect.co.uk/Home/Product/33918/NVIDIA-GeForce-9600-GT-512MB-GDDR3-PCI-E wouldn't cost that much...

Bad thing is, it could well be that your power supply can't handle the better graphics card... Post its model?
 

matthewdownloads

Thread Starter
Joined
Dec 28, 2008
Messages
249
some SLI/CF boards are made so that single cards must be used in the specific slot.
@Maveric, yes I've tried the other PCI-E 16x slot which I believe is only there for SLI. It beeps 3 times which I believe to mean "no video". Nevertheless, I shall try it again and see if that fixes it.

@Compiler, I'm aware its a bad idea to touch components whilst the machine is on - I am just pinching it right at the end and pulling it up just slightly. I'd love to get a new card, but obviously there's little point if its the MB. Was looking at the GX2, but I need to upgrade the PSU for that (mine only gives 23A on the 12V rail).

Bad thing is, it could well be that your power supply can't handle the better graphics card
Bingo. It's a nice 650W supply, but it doesn't give enough amps for a monster card. If it helps it's labeled "Win power atx-650l".

I'll try again moving the card. I hate the idea of replacing the MB, the PSU, the graphics card etc - the machine is under a year old! :rolleyes:

Will post my findings shortly...

Update: Card on the second slot gives a long beep and 3 short beeps.

I blew on the top PCI-E slot and fitted the card. Upon booting it says "Display driver stopped responding and recovered" BUT it hasn't yet gone funny (crashed etc). I don't have much confidence in this - I'll post here as soon as it blue screen crashes (which I think will be today).

Edit: I found an old PCI card which I stuck in and it's working. In device manager the 8500 is now marked as "Windows stopped this device because it reported problems (error 43)". The PCI card is working fine, but obviously it isn't using the PCI-E slot, so I don't know if it's the slot or the 8500 card. I wonder if I can steal my fathers PCI-E card and try that... hmmmm...
 
Joined
Dec 31, 1969
Messages
6,922
9600 GT should run pretty decently even with such a low-end power supply, until you can afford a better one. Still, to be sure... Corsair 400CX should run a 9600 GT or Radeon 4670 (even more definitely, 4670 is recommended as you have a pretty high-end CPU))

OCZ SXS600 for 9600 and higher, up to 4850 and 9800GTX+/GTS250.
 
Joined
Oct 11, 2006
Messages
5,855
The GF8500 is not a monster card. A "real" good 650watt PSU can handle an X2 video card. The "Win power atx-650" is junk... but should have enough amps to handle the likes of a 9600GT which is 3x~4x better than the 8500.

Almost anything is an upgrade from what you have.
 

matthewdownloads

Thread Starter
Joined
Dec 28, 2008
Messages
249
Sorry, I got it confused in an earlier post - It's the Nvidia 260 card I'm looking at - I've seen them going on ebay for £80 (cheap!). So for £20 I get a considerably better card than the 9600. A good deal in my opinion.

Now, I'm confused at the power requirements. Is it a combined total of amps on the 2 12V rails, or is it just 1 12V rail.

My PSU output says:
+12V1 23A Max
+12V2 23A Max
+5V 40A Max

+3.3V 30A Max
-12V 0.8A Max
+5V/SB 3.0A Max
Sorry if I'm not allowed to link to other sites, but here they seem to think 2x18 is enough. The replies say "No, that would mean that my 650W wouldn't be able to power my GTX 260, and AFAIK, I'm using it right now. Those 36 A are in total" etc etc.

Does this mean I actually have 46A - more than enough when the card needs 38A? Even if my PSU is "garbage", would it do the job?

If so, hooray! I'd go get that card immediately (after testing my PCI-E socket first though, obviously :))

Edit: And the reason I'm not keen on the 9600 is the 8500 has run most games fine (I know it gets mocked and is a cheap not-for-gaming card, but I'm running UT3 on Max settings @ 1024x768 and getting 50 frames - enough for me to be happy). Crysis is the only game it struggles with, and really the crappy framerate spoilt it. The whole game is known for the graphics, so I swore when I get a new graphics card I'd get one that can run everything "Very High" @ >40fps. The 260 for me is fairly future-proof as well (since I'm using a nice 17" dell CRT (well, actually 2 but just 1 for games) which goes max 1280x1024 :p)
 
Joined
Dec 31, 1969
Messages
6,922
No, a garbage PSU is garbage, no matter what the ratings say. Two 12 V rails with 23 A max doesn't necessarily mean anything at all. It may well have a max combined output of, say, 28 A or 336W. Also, the quality makes the power unstable, and the possible output decreases even further, because the ratings have been measured at, say 30 C, and the parts run at 40-50 C in normal use, maybe even a bit more at max output levels. Get a good quality PSU before you upgrade anything.
 
Joined
Oct 11, 2006
Messages
5,855
260 what? Quadro or GF GTX 260?

Your brand of PSU and price is in the "junk" category. Its "650watt" is typically fake by the reasons BG-O says. What the CHEAP junky companies do, is power the computer up in a refrigerator... closer to 20C. And its 5v rail is huge... and useless at that size... but it "pumps up" the wattage. The 12v RAILs are out of spec... There are two specs for 12v. No more than 18amp. Or you have a large single rail which is made a bit differently. Either way works.

Look at the price of your 650watt PSU and compare it to a quality unit from Thermaltake, Antec, Corsair, Seasonic... reputable brands. You'll notice their 350~400watt models cost about twice as much as your "650" (which may really only be a 285watt unit).

Go ahead with your 650, we can only make suggestions. Some of us have been here for a while (or in the tech business) and have seen plenty of "Thanks, the new PSU fixed the instability" or "PSU has killed my computer".

eBay is not exactly reliable... usually the prices of use/unknown PC parts on ebay end up being the same or higher than retail new parts from reputable business. In the USA, we have www.newegg.com

If I need a PC part, Newegg or a local electronics store. If I need a daughter board for my Amiga 3000 (which I do), then eBay is the place for THAT.

One day... you'll have an LCD monitor that'll do 1680x1080... ;) So much sharper. :)
 

matthewdownloads

Thread Starter
Joined
Dec 28, 2008
Messages
249
I see what you guys mean. The message "avoid like the plague" has been spread around the internet as to these "WinPower" units. However there's one or two people who have been "completely satisfied" with theirs (as I have up till when I want to upgrade), and most interesting was one person has one which works with the GTX280 (4th post down). Seems a bit dodgey though. They seem to be unheard of in general.

So, I'm gonna test my PCI-E slot with my fathers card, if it works get a GTX 260 (sorry for the confusion - it's the Nvidia GTX260, to clarify). If I have issues, I'll get a new power supply. And if that doesn't work then I'll be chucking my PC out the window :D

It's times like this that I hate computers and hardware. Why is every component so damn expensive (when the parts cost manufacturers £5 to make) and so incompatible with each other? :mad:

Oh the joy of computers :rolleyes:
 
Joined
Dec 31, 1969
Messages
6,922
I wouldn't do that if I were you. When (not if) the power supply breaks down under the excess load, it can very easily take other parts down with it.
 
Joined
Oct 11, 2006
Messages
5,855
I see what you guys mean. The message "avoid like the plague" has been spread around the internet ~~ most interesting was one person has one which works with the GTX280[/URL] (4th post down). Seems a bit dodgey though. They seem to be unheard of in general.
So? What happens in 6 weeks or 6 months? Lets see if he comes back and posts "Why my $400 video card blew up?" As stated... its up to you or that guy if you want to chance your $400 video card and $400~800 of other computer hardware to a $20 PSU.

For everyone who has a "good story" about the $20 PSU... theres plenty of failures to out-weight it. Compared to those who spend $70~100 for a PSU.

It's times like this that I hate computers and hardware. Why is every component so damn expensive (when the parts cost manufacturers £5 to make) and so incompatible with each other? :mad:

Oh the joy of computers :rolleyes:
Expensive? Use your interenet and look up the prices of computers from 1985 and at 1990 and get back to me.

When I was 15, I worked a part time job to save money to buy a 5.25" 320K floppy drive! I paid $280 for it! In 1989, I paid $100~120 for the smaller 880K 3.5" floppy drives. In 1986~88, a 2MB (TWO MEGABYTES) Ram expander and memory which is heavier than my dual-core Thinkpad ($600), was about $800! I got mine used for about $200.
My Amiga 3000 retailed for $2500 in 1990. I got it new for $800 in 1993. It only came with 5MB of RAM, 100MB HD. No modem (Those were about $100~200 and the size of todays 3.5" external USB drives), no CD-Drive, no 3D graphics. 25mhz CPU... but it was FAST for its time. Lets move to 1999... $200+ bought you a Voodoo1 card with 8MB of RAM (compared to modern 512mb/ 1GB video cards) $1000 bought you a PentiumII 400Mhz CPU. 64MB of RAM was $200... much cheaper than $150 for 4mb in 1994.

Expensive? LOL.... I don't think so.

Incompatible? They are very compatible. But come on.... do you expect BMW parts to FIT into a Porche? No. So AMD CPUs need AMD compatible motherboards... Intel with intel... thats petty much it. The power issues are NOT a big deal... Someone buys a basic PC, a 300watt PSU is more than enough. Want more power... need to add a more powerful power source.

You can't turn a Ford Focus into a Porche by just putting a paint job on it. That's almost like expecting the PlayStation to SUCK because it can't play PlayStation 3 games. Things change... if now... you'd still be using a Commdore64.
 
Status
This thread has been Locked and is not open to further replies. Please start a New Thread if you're having a similar issue. View our Welcome Guide to learn how to use this site.

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

As Seen On
As Seen On...

Welcome to Tech Support Guy!

Are you looking for the solution to your computer problem? Join our site today to ask your question. This site is completely free -- paid for by advertisers and donations.

If you're not already familiar with forums, watch our Welcome Guide to get started.

Join over 807,865 other people just like you!

Latest posts

Staff online

Top