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Video Card malfuntion vs. Power Supply not enough

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by rrchemo, Oct 14, 2008.

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  1. rrchemo

    rrchemo Thread Starter

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    Recently upgraded from 6 yr old desktop and built my own system.
    After 1 week of working fine I've started having serious problems. Wife close to shooting me since the kids complain that the computer doesn't work after about 10 minutes.

    System crashes with games (son's Lego Batman which I guess is graphics intensive; but at the same time with Hidden Object games which are not).
    Computer will freeze and need hardboot. Uninstalled the video card and ran the integrated ATI 3100 graphics card and had the same problem. Ran MEMCHECK for about 6 hours and no problem; ran a video card stability program for 4 hours and no problem. Can there be a problem with the MOB and the processor not working well with the video card?

    Any help is appreciated to save marriage sanity:

    Here are the specs:

    ECS A780VM-M2 Motherboard
    AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+ Processor 2.30GHz OEM
    Corsair XMS2 DHX 2048MB Dual Channel PC6400 DDR2 800MHz Memory (2 x 1024MB)
    EVGA GeForce 8500 GT Video Card - 1GB GDDR2, PCI Express
    450-Watt Power Supply
    Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 250GB Hard Drive
    HP dvd1035i DVD Writer
    Procesor running under 30C; video card running at 68C Operating System: XP SP3
    Drivers for MOB, Video Card and Processors are up to date
     
  2. BG-0

    BG-0

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    "450-Watt Power Supply" is a killer... Which brand, which model? Advertized watts mean nothing.
     
  3. JSanguancheu

    JSanguancheu

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    Bad choice using an ECS board. I've never had anything but problems with them.
    Any chance you can exchange it for something else?

    That being said.. some questions:
    1. Is this a fresh install of Windows after the build?
    2. Are you using the video driver that came with the video card?
    3. What brand / model is the power supply unit? Total Amps on the 12v rail(s)?
    4. Have you checked for any MB BIOS updates?
    5. Have you run a diagnostic test on the HDD? Check manfacturer's website for software.

    The 8500 is not really a power hog so I'm fairly sure it's not a power problem, unless it's a really bad quality PSU.
     
  4. rrchemo

    rrchemo Thread Starter

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    Messages:
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    Thanks for the quick answers. I’ll answer both posts at once.

    Power supply: Power-Up 450-Watt ATX Power Supply with the following specs: Form Factor: ATX; Wattage: 450-Watt; Fan: 120 mm; +3.3V: 18 A; +5V: 30 A; +12V 1: 24 A; -12V: 0.6 A;-5V: 3 A; +5VSB: 2 A; 20+4-Pin Connector: 1; 4-Pin P4: 1; 6-Pin PCI-Express Connector: 1;4-Pin Floppy Connector: 1; 4-Pin Peripheral Connector: 6 SATA Power Connector: 2
    Specifications
    AC INPUT
    115V/230V - 60/50Hz
    DC OUTPUT
    +3.3V
    +5V
    +12V
    -12V
    -5V
    +5VSB

    450W
    Max
    Combined
    Watts
    18A
    30A
    24A
    0.6A
    3A
    2A

    450W

    ECS motherboard can still be exchanged but the Tiger guys will charge me the restocking fee unless there is something wrong with it so I’m trying to limit that possibility.

    1. Is this a fresh install of Windows after the build?
    Yes; XP and it has been downloading all the SPs; just finished downloading and installing SP3

    2. Are you using the video driver that came with the video card? Installed them off the disk and then went to Nvidia to get updated drivers; the moment it started giving me trouble I rolled them back with no results.
    3. What brand / model is the power supply unit? Total Amps on the 12v rail(s)? See above


    4. Have you checked for any MB BIOS updates? Have the latest from May2008

    5. Have you run a diagnostic test on the HDD? Check manufacturer's website for software.
    Have not done that just ran an AV full scan in case my kids downloaded something weird.

    The hardest part to understand is that IE and Office run perfectly well for hours; it’s just when you switch to the games.

    I appreciate all the help. It has been frustrating to go through this because it’s my first project and I keep hearing the voice in the back of my brain telling me I should have bought a fully operational desktop instead of putting one together (of course it could be my wife’s voice; I’m not sure).
     
  5. JSanguancheu

    JSanguancheu

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    LOL, I know what you mean about that little voice. :)

    So it's only the games? Just a few specific games? Any patch updates available for the games?

    If the HDD diag test is OK, I would say at the moment it's either an under performing PSU or flaky MB.

    Power-Up is not really a good brand PSU. Pretty much on the low quality scale. It could be the cause of your problems. You can easily test this by replacing it with a new PSU that you can get from a local store (that way you can return it later easily and maybe buy a good one online for cheaper). Get a PSU in the 450-550w range from a good brand like Thermaltake, Antec(not basiq model line), Cooler master, Corsair, Enermax, PC power & cooling, Seasonic, etc.
     
  6. BG-0

    BG-0

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    Just adding FSP and OCZ (I don't recommend the StealthXtream 500W, the 600 W version is 2 times better) to the quality brand list.
     
  7. rrchemo

    rrchemo Thread Starter

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    Thanks. I'll look into the PSU today.

    I've downloaded the Seagate diagnostic software and will run it to double check.

    Regarding the games I'm confused because you have freezes and malfunctions on low end games like Hidden Object games that really don't seem to require much graphic intensity while having similar problems with the newer games like Lego Batman and Fifa 09.

    Thanks for all the input.
     
  8. JSanguancheu

    JSanguancheu

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    May want to pick up a decent Radeon 3850/4670 graphics card while you're at the store for "testing" purposes. :)

    PS: Make sure whatever local store you go to has a really good "no questions asked/no restocking fee" return policy.
     
  9. rrchemo

    rrchemo Thread Starter

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    I will look into that. I'm hoping to take off in a few hours to look at both.

    The funny thing is that all games ran fine for 10-15 minutes with the on board graphics card (ATI-3100) and then had the same freezing problem that the NVIDIA card had. I was wondering if the EVGA card and the MOB had a compatibility issue but once I uninstalled it the problem persisted with the ATI card. I even went back and unistalled SP3 since it was around that time that things went haywire and no change.

    Appreciate the help.
     
  10. br1ng3r

    br1ng3r

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    You could try installing "omega" drivers for your GPU. you'll find them here plus all the info.
    http://www.omegadrivers.net/

    Iv'e had no problems with my card since installing them.
     
  11. rrchemo

    rrchemo Thread Starter

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    I'm guessing these omega drivers are for the 8500GT card? I'm heading that way to download them. Thank you

    I have a feeling that it's a combination of many things like the drivers and the Power Supply since I opened my case and unplugged my dvd drive, 2 case fans (still have 1 running in addition to the processor fan) and went into one of the games (using the ATI card) and there seem to be no problems; I guess I'll go to Newegg or tiger and get a 650-700 W PS to try it out; I'll have 30 days to return it.
     
  12. BG-0

    BG-0

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  13. Compiler

    Compiler

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    Seems more like a PSU problem... A cheap PSU can cause problems, it may have already failed.

    ECS is not a top-end board, but some of them are okay. I have an ECS board that has worked fine for years... it was free. But try the PSU first. The OCZ that BG-O recommended is fine. If looking for something local - pick up a $40 Thermaltake 450~500watter... its okay and much better than the usual junk.

    The GeForce8500 is NOT a gaming card. Get your money back. Buy a $70~80 for an ATI 4650~4670 card... is easily faster than any 8600 type cards - should be about 4-5 times faster than the 8500 card.
     
  14. br1ng3r

    br1ng3r

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    Im sorry to hijack this thread, but iv'e a quick question for Compiler. You say the GeForce 8500 is Not a gaming card, so what is it? Im confused. What makes a GPU a gaming card or not a gaming card? Again sorry to butt in but i don't understand.
     
  15. BG-0

    BG-0

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    Before Compiler answers that, I could try :rolleyes:
    You can use 8500 GT for gaming(my friend has it, he hates it), but it won't be any good for gaming. It's one of those gfx cards that come in a HPaq, Dell or so, or are used to just get video out of the machine, because there's no integrated graphics.
     
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