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XFX 7950GT problems

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  • Nvidia
  • Computer
  • Graphics
Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 23, 2006 9:14:52 AM

Hello everyone.

I have been waiting several months for my new XFX 7950GT card. I replaced my previous 6800 card with the new card and installed the 93,xx drivers from nvidia.com, after uninstalling the old ones of course (normal uninstall).

This is a stock Dell 9100 computer.

Then I went to run 3DMark05. Half way through the test the screen went black, came back on with weird colored dots on the screen. I simply got a broken image. Then the screen went black again, and again the colored dots appeared, and then the computer froze, so I rebooted. 8O

I tried running a game, and the screen showed the colored dots and froze.
So I tried uninstalling the drivers again, and install the ones that came with the card (on the CD) (91,xx drivers).

I rebooted again... Appearently installing the new drivers didn't help. This time colored dots appeared already after logging in to windows. :( 

So I turned off the computer, waited a little while, and went into the BIOS to check the settings there. Even here the computer froze after the dot-filled screen again.

I rebooted, successfully logged back into windows, and saw that the GPU core temperature was stable at 40C... :roll:

My specs (DELL Dimension 9100):
P4 3,0Ghz Dual CPU
XFX 7950GT eXtreme (manufactor overclocked) (NON-SLI)
SB Audigy 2
2,0GB Memory
2x 250GB Hard drive (@ RAID Stripe)
PSU: 375W


My friend tells me it might be a driver problem.. But how can it be a driver problem when I even get the problem in the BIOS? Even before starting Windows?

I think the problem might be not getting enough power from the PSU, as the card needs additional power, but I can't say this for sure at all.

Is it because it is a DELL computer, or because 375W PSU isn't enough, a driver conflict or what?

PS: I tried replacing the new card with the old 6800, and there are no freezes yet (not even after 3Dmark05)

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

More about : xfx 7950gt problems

December 23, 2006 11:13:03 AM

Then Im Bettings It Not Your Powersupply Because That 6800 Uses About The Same Amount Of Wattage My Best Answer To Your Peroblem Is A Bad Card, I Would Renturn It For Another HOWEVER There Are Some Things You Could Try.

1.) And Older Driver (Not The Latest Release)
2.) If Its Not The Latest Release Try The First Suggestion And If That Dont work Try Installing The Newest Driver Available Form Nvidia's Website
3.) Reseat The Card In The Slot
4.) Clean Out The Slot
5.) Doublecheck the Installation
December 23, 2006 7:01:08 PM

Thanks for the tips Hella-D.

But you wouldn't think it might be too low wattage on the power supply?

Or maybe too little ampere on the 12V-rail? My PSU has MAX 18A @ 12V. Do I need a more powerful 12V-rail?

And how about cooling? I only have one fan, and it is the CPU fan. Just got the heatsink on the 7950GT in addition to that.

A merry christmas to everyone.
Related resources
December 23, 2006 10:37:22 PM

Well, As I Said If Your 6800 Didnt Have Problems Your 7950GT Shoulnt Ither, Before I Upgraded My System I Was Only Using A Single 450watt PS With A 17AMP 12V Rail And Still Didnt Have A Problem With My 7800GT And It Used More Power Than A 7950GT
December 24, 2006 8:09:24 AM

Quote:
Well, As I Said If Your 6800 Didnt Have Problems Your 7950GT Shoulnt Ither, Before I Upgraded My System I Was Only Using A Single 450watt PS With A 17AMP 12V Rail And Still Didnt Have A Problem With My 7800GT And It Used More Power Than A 7950GT


Can I ask you how good your cooling was, Hella-D? The 7950GT should create more heat that then 6800 (standard) that I have.
December 25, 2006 5:12:12 AM

Stock Cooling (It Was An Factory OCed, Further OCed To 550/1200 With A Voltmod) And 4x 3500RPM Blue-LED Case Fans
December 25, 2006 8:53:27 PM

iF tHe CaRd Is ArTiFaCtInG iN tHe WaY yOu DeScRiBe It Is EiThEr ClOcKeD tOo FaSt Or NoT gEtTiNg EnOuGh PoWeR.

iT mIgHt Be A sIlLy QuEsTiOn, BuT i TaKe It YoU dO hAvE tHe SiX-pIn CoNnEcToR cOnNeCtEd?

ThAt PsU iS oN tHe LoW sIdE, eSpEcIaLlY wItH a SmItHfIeLd CpU. wHaT iS tHe +12V aMpAgE rAtInG oN iT?

fAiLiNg ThOsE tWo, DrOp ThE cLoCk SpEeDs DoWn A bIt WiTh CoOlBiTs AnD sEe If YoU cAn GeT tHe ArTiFaCtS tO gO aWaY. aLtHoUgH tHaT wOnT pRoVe MuCh UnLeSs YoU cAn AlSo TeSt It WiTh AnOtHeR pSu As DeClOcKiNg WiLl AlSo ReDuCe PoWeR ReQuIrEmEnTs.

<Look mom! I can type stupidly with caps all over the place too, and it makes me look like an idiot!!!>
December 26, 2006 3:37:03 AM

Dont Be A Moron
December 26, 2006 8:22:19 AM

Declocking the card sounds like a good idea. And yes, it has the six-pin thingie connected =) As I will try and overclock the card later, I will buy a new PSU anyway.

The +12V rating as per the sticker on the PSU:

+12VA - 18A MAX, +12VB - 18A MAX


But I believe it's more like 275W/12 = 23A on the +12V rail.

I'll give coolbits v2 a try then :) 
December 26, 2006 12:04:08 PM

Quote:
Dont Be A Moron


I figured I was in good company ;)  - at least I only did it in one post!
December 26, 2006 12:21:43 PM

Yes its common for PSUs (especially low end ones) to be rated on the peak of each rail assuming no loads on any other rails.

That is to say, +12V¹ can take 18A assuming +12V² has no load, but the combined load on both cannot exceed 23A/275W.

Still, that should be enough for the card.

Is the card you have the passive cooled model? In that case your problem is more than likely heat. Monitor your temps with Rivatuner while running a game, I bet they go high. The card DOES need airflow over the heatsink. Passively cooled Gfx rely on a lot of airflow from the CPU fan, without this they suck. I've seen a few Dell PCs where the CPU fan exhausts outside the case, which would prevent this.

If its not passive cooled, and declocking stops the artefacts, then it sounds like it is RMA time as the card wont run at stock speeds.
December 26, 2006 4:00:53 PM

I agree with darkstar782. Try underclocking the card a bit and see how that goes. You should also start a support ticket at www.xfxforce.com and let me know the ticket number. Let us know how the testing goes.

XFX Support
December 26, 2006 8:37:05 PM

Ok, I'll try declocking tonight then. It is not passively cooled, but I do have the CPU fan now, plus a fan in front (blowing air in) and one in back (blowing air out). I'll try to close the side case, as having the case open might disrupt the airflow. Isn't that cooling enough?

XFX Support, where do I post a ticket on the site? And can I RMA the card directly to XFX, if that will be necessary?

Thanks
December 26, 2006 8:41:16 PM

Once you go to www.xfxforce.com you can select "Help Desk" which can be found under "Support". Will need to register the video card to start the ticket and we can take it for there. Please list the ticket number after it has been created.

XFX Support
December 26, 2006 8:48:13 PM

Quote:
Ok, I'll try declocking tonight then. It is not passively cooled, but I do have the CPU fan now, plus a fan in front (blowing air in) and one in back (blowing air out). I'll try to close the side case, as having the case open might disrupt the airflow. Isn't that cooling enough?


Sounds fine, was just worried you had one of the passive cooled XFX cards and a CPU fan that is ducted out the back, leaving the poor card with no airflow at all :) 

It is sounding to me like a dodgy card now, declocking should support that. It probably wont take much of an underclock to make it work fine, say 500MHz on the GPU and 650MHz (1300 effective) on the RAM, then work upwards till the artefacts come back.

You have to then decide if you want to go through the RMA procedure or you can live with the card. If you want to voltmod and overclock (you'll then need an aftermarket cooler or watercooler however) it probably wont make that much odds to you.

Still, that's just me being lazy as usual, I hate RMA procedures and rarely keep a GPU more than a couple of months anyway :/ 
December 26, 2006 8:56:55 PM

Ok this is the ticket number..

75014

Off to try declocking! :) 
December 26, 2006 9:14:31 PM

Thanks for the heads up. I will have someone get right on it for you.

XFX Support
December 26, 2006 9:36:55 PM

Oh, that's really superb. Thank you.

I just tried underclocking the card, but appearently that didn't help. I still got the artificing after the underclocking to 450/600. I didn't even get the chance to check for temperatures.. I restarted, and I got artificing even on start up.

I think I misunderstood what passive cooling is. The only cooling the card got is the heatsink. I've got a fan in the back of the case (blowing air in) and one in front (blowing air out), plus the one on the CPU. But the GPU hasn't got a fan..

How warm is the heatsink supposed to be?
It was not uncomfortably warm. I would guess the heatsink had around 40 celsius (104 fahrenheit).

EDIT: I'm not sure if the six-pin PCI-E connector I use for the GPU gives 23A.. Thinking the dual CPU drags much power, plus the soundcard and the harddisk, wouldn't that leave a pretty small amount for the GPU?
December 26, 2006 10:22:14 PM

Your CPU is either a Pentium D 830 or a Pentium D 930. I'm guessing by the fact that it is a Dimension 9100 that it is an 830.

As such it has a 130W TDP, without being overclocked, so lets say 11A on the +12V rail.

HDDs draw from both the +5V rail and the +12V rail, I've never seen one even close to 1A (12W) on the +12V rail.

Soundcard is again a negligible amount, although if you have an Audigy 2 Platinum with the front drive bay then it will use *something*

Either way, nVidia recommend a 21A PSU for the 7950GT iirc, they don't account for the CPU TDP or anything with this, so they must have based it on the "worse case" setup. I'd say you should be ok myself, although borderline.

It *could* be a PSU issue, and I'm leaning that way myself now that declocking hasn't cleared it up. Capacitors do age, and older PSUs wont perform as well as they once did. The fact that you are now getting artefacts on startup (when the card should be in 2d mode) indicates to me that either the card is completely stuffed, or its the PSU.

Don't suppose you have another PC, or a friends PC, that you can test it in?

Much as I don't really trust passive cooling myself, XFX did a good job on the 7950GTs they are putting out. A friend of mine has one, and the card runs fine at stock with the heatsink too hot to touch, although he needs additional fans to overclock, so if yours is not getting too hot then you should be fine.

Like I say my main concern was that you had no airflow at all on it, I have known people try to build a performance PC with no fans, or one silent fan on the CPU only.....
December 26, 2006 10:35:04 PM

Thanks darkstar.

Unfortunately I have no friends with a PCX computer, but I will be buying a new PSU tomorrow anyway. I will need it I'm thinking. So I will see then if the problem is the PSU or not. I will also be calling Dell to ask what PSUs I can use.

Maybe a mix between bad PSU and bad cooling?
December 26, 2006 11:06:57 PM

So this is more leaning towards a weak PSU? Or a bad card of course.
December 26, 2006 11:44:08 PM

I'm leaning towards PSU or bad card now. If it is a bad card its a completely screwed card though, not just a card that needs a small de-clock.

Of course, that's just an opinion based on the available info, and I reserve the right to change it as more info pops up :p 
December 27, 2006 12:36:33 PM

Well, it seems like a 550W PSU didn't help at all. Same problem occurs..

I have one fan in back, one for CPU, one in front and a hell of a good one for the PSU... The airflow should be good enough for stock..

If this is a bad card, then can I RMA it directly to XFX and get a new one?
January 31, 2008 2:08:16 PM

I had a similar issue with my XFX 7900GT 256M PCI-e card... artifacts (colored dots) appearing same location on both my monitors during bootup (BIOS flash screen) and then wierd artifacts displaying when I play World of Warcraft. I contacted XFX and they were very helpful in diagnosing the card then RMAing me a replacement. Ended up I got a XFX GF7950 GT 512M PCI-e in replacement.... great deal IMHO...
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