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DELL XPS 8300 video upgrade to Sapphire R9 390X

I'm trying to game and watch streaming video out the HDMI on my Dell XPS 8300. Video stutters and tears when the PC is pressed even slightly. The Windows Experience Index, marked the graphics as the weakpoint (3.7 then 4.9 with a driver upgrade) Anyway, I bought an Antec HCG-900 900W PSU and the Sapphire Tri-X R9 390X. I installed the card and the power, but I couldn't get any video. I left the PSU in and put the old card back in and it works. Anyone have any tips on this install? Besides this, I haven't really messed with PC innards since the early 1990s, but I do have a BSEE (for what that's worth) If anyone knows of any incompatibility issues with this pairing, please let me know that as well. Thanks. -Joe
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More about dell xps 8300 video upgrade sapphire 390x
  1. What 900w PSU? Make and model?
  2. Antec HCG-900 900W ATX 12V v2.32
  3. Ok that is a good unit. Just making sure.

    Does the PC boot fine but just not display anything?
  4. tiny voices said:
    Ok that is a good unit. Just making sure.

    Does the PC boot fine but just not display anything?


    The PC turned on, but it didn't sound like it actually booted. All the peripheral devices got power, but there didn't seem to be any hard drive activity. The network yellow LED was blinking, but I didn't get the impression that it was actually booted up. Might've been in the midst of an update. Not sure what I was supposed to see on that huge graphics card to verify it was getting power... The PCI E connectors I used were the two on the same cable that were kinda split into 6 and 2. I was thinking I might need to use one set from two different cables (there are two dual-ended PCI-Express power connectors (read that: 4 total PCI-E connectors)
    I'm going to try again right now and see if I have any better luck.

    EDIT
    Tried it again with no luck. PC does not sound like it is booting up. Harddrive spins up, but I don't hear any reads. Anyone know how to check if the video card is getting power? indicator LED or somesuch.
    Mind you, when I put the old graphics card back in, it boots up fine (I'm on the dell right now)
  5. You only need the one set with both dual-ended PCI-E connectors (2x[6+2]) into both the graphics card not two discrete sets.
  6. If the GPU fans spin, then it is getting power.

    The monitor is connected to the GPU, not motherboard right?
  7. tiny voices said:
    If the GPU fans spin, then it is getting power.

    The monitor is connected to the GPU, not motherboard right?

    Right. The fans. I thought of that after the last attempt.

    Monitor and HDMI cable plugged into Sapphire card.

    I got a series of responses from Sapphire technical support. So far, the general consensus is that it should work and we're not sure why it doesn't yet. I'm going to try and see if this giant graphics card is pressing and slightly detaching any cables when it is inserted in place of the 6450.... side note: writing this, I recall that he asked if I had an HD6450 in there previously and I was pretty sure it was a 6450.... there aren't two versions of the 6450 is there? HD vs non-HD? video sure looks HD to me.
  8. HD is not "high definition". It is just the designation for that generation of GPUs from AMD. The 6450 is an hd6450. That is the model number.

    Do you have one or two connections into the GPU? Also, try using a different cable that is not HDMI. Like DVI for example.
  9. tiny voices said:
    HD is not "high definition". It is just the designation for that generation of GPUs from AMD. The 6450 is an hd6450. That is the model number.

    Do you have one or two connections into the GPU? Also, try using a different cable that is not HDMI. Like DVI for example.

    The times I've tried and tested it, I actually have two cables hooked up, the HDMI going to the Plasma TV and then the white Monitor Cable which is the DVI.
  10. You only want one cable connected. Try JUST the DVI cable.
  11. tiny voices said:
    You only want one cable connected. Try JUST the DVI cable.


    Ok. Still a No-Go.
    I tried both options of only one cable (only DVI and only HDMI)
    The PC just seems like it isn't moving any further with the boot sequence after the initial HD read.. It just pauses and with no active output device, I have no idea what's going on. I feel like I need to upgrade the BIOS, but I fell I'm just pulling that out of a dark recess.

    I did verify that The 3 fans on the GPU are running.
  12. That is good. And the GPU is connected to the PSU with proper cables?
  13. tiny voices said:
    That is good. And the GPU is connected to the PSU with proper cables?


    yep, a dual-ended PCI-E cable.

    I'm in the process of applying updates and upgrades from the Dell site.
  14. Updates likely will do nothing. If you can, update the BIOS.
  15. tiny voices said:
    Updates likely will do nothing. If you can, update the BIOS.

    I just keep swapping the 6450 back in.

    When I get a suggestion,
    I take old card
    Put in new card
    Observe the sameness of nothing and note the details.

    Then
    Remove new card
    Put back in old card

    And I'm back in business.
  16. I think the BIOS needs an update.
  17. tiny voices said:
    I think the BIOS needs an update.

    BIOS wouldn't update. said it was "current or older"
    Display showed A06 I think
  18. Hmm is that the newest bios?
  19. SO unless your PC is newer than march 2014, it doesn;t have the newest BIOS installed
  20. tiny voices said:
    SO unless your PC is newer than march 2014, it doesn;t have the newest BIOS installed

    That seems perfectly logical.
    However the BIOS installer showed the installed BIOS to be A06 and wouldn't let me move forward.
  21. Right, but it is not the newest version of that BIOS. If you look it says the BIOS is from 2011 but the most recent update was march 2014. Are you sure you installed it properly?

    And the old card still works?
  22. tiny voices said:
    Right, but it is not the newest version of that BIOS. If you look it says the BIOS is from 2011 but the most recent update was march 2014. Are you sure you installed it properly?

    And the old card still works?


    Old card is currently working.

    I am not sure of anything with regard to BIOS update. I haven't done it on a PC in many many moons and it was different in those days (DOS and all) I just know that the BIOS installer showed both the installed BIOS number and the to be installed BIOS to be the same. The button to actually run the install was greyed out. My only option was to cancel out of the program.
  23. Hmm, thats weird.

    There is a chance it might just not work. OEM motherboard's are notorious for not accepting new GPUs sometimes.

    Might contact DELL and see what they say.
  24. tiny voices said:
    Hmm, thats weird.

    There is a chance it might just not work. OEM motherboard's are notorious for not accepting new GPUs sometimes.

    Might contact DELL and see what they say.

    I got zero from them. I was on the call for 30 minutes or so and the dude ended up having no idea.
    "If it's not in the list of drivers, then I guess it's not supported."

    The Sapphire tech gave me a response that might help, (he is under the impression that it should work)
    "Well just make sure you have plug in both PCIE power connectors to the card, also make sure the port configurations are correct that matches the cards port. If that still does not allow it to post, check the bios switch on the card to see if that will help as well."
    If I knew what he's talking about with regard to a "BIOS switch" or the "port configurations"
    I'll see if I can get more info out of him.
  25. All he is saying is to make sure you have the right cables connected from the PSU to the GPU. Does your card have dual BIOS? If so try moving the switch like he suggested.
  26. tiny voices said:
    All he is saying is to make sure you have the right cables connected from the PSU to the GPU. Does your card have dual BIOS? If so try moving the switch like he suggested.


    I don't think it has dual BIOS.

    Where would I find this BIOS switch if it existed? Like a DIP switch on the MB somewhere?
  27. Yeah, it would just be a little switch on the back of the card on the motherboard itself. But switching this wouldn't actually do anything. Both BIOS on dual bios cards ship as the same thing.
  28. Best answer
    Been having this issue too, turns out that the video card I just spent a bunch of money on is not supported by Dell for my computer (XPS 8300). I guess it's not enough to just match specs. Now you have to check with Big Brother Dell to make sure they will allow you to have it (thanks assholes). I have bought three Dells in the last 6 years (a laptop, desktop, and gift) and I will never buy another again, I'm done. You figure when you buy a computer and you know enough to spec it out so it isn't obsolete in a year that you are "safe" and can build it up as you get money, Dell does't work that way, they rig it so you can only go so far without buying a completely different machine.
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