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Need help to determine what I need, please?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 12, 2007 12:56:07 PM

[quoted "I had a P5VDC-MX motherboard installed recently. Since then, the fan has not been keeping the system cool enough and is really very loud. The comp will also lock up and/or reboot unexpectedly, especially when playing games. 3D is much worse then 2D.

I was thinking that the problem might lie in the on board Graphic accelerator and thought that installing a card might allievate all of my problems. But I'm not sure that I don't already have one in there, just not hooked up right.

If I don't, I can only install an AGP8x card and wanted to know the best one that I can get that will last me a while.

This systems is only a couple years old and I've already had to install a new motherboard and a new HD because I didn't want to reformat my old one (now in the F: position).

Not up on the lingo so, if someone could help me in as plain language as possible? I'm not going to try to install this myself, just looking to not get screwed by a saleman looking to dump off old discontinued junk on me just because he may know more than I do.

Hmm, let me see if I can get my system info to help you.

V2 Premier comp Pentium 4, 3.4 GHz
motherboard P5VDC-MX
Memory 1Gig (DDR_1 & DDR_2 slots filled to make this)
Cards in both the PCI slots, one I think is a RealTek sound/video card or TIVO one, not sure (it has what looks like a cable hookup on it, sound and mike hookups, a single pin connector and a funny shaped yellow one, looks a lot like a mouse connector but it's the wrong color for that, mebbe a game controller port, I don't know) I don't get any sound out of it when I plug my speakers in to test it and I don't have a game controller to try.
The other card I don't have any clue on what it's for, I have no equipment that has plugs that fit it. The ports like kind of like USB ports but smaller than that)
AGP slot is empty

*Waits for about a minute before going on*
Well, now that you've mebbe stopped laughing at my ignorance, you can tell me if I need a card or if my current one is not hooked up correctly? quoted]

This was a copy of what I posted in the Motherboard forum, I've come to the conclusion that the one card in the PCI slot is just a sound/game controller card that's not hooked up properly.

Any ideas on what graphics card I should get that I will get the most mileage out of and perhaps solve my heating problem also?

I'd like to get one that I'm sure won't run out of memory no matter which game I load, the only problem is the power supply is only 115/230v and I'm not sure if I can get a larger one without blowing up the rest of the system. I've been looking at 512mg cards, but most require a larger power supply then I have.

Do I need both card and power supply or is there a card out there that will do it?

More about : determine

January 12, 2007 1:09:42 PM

First things first.

What you are describing... system instability... is often caused by an insufficient or dying power supply.

What kind of power supply do you have? How many watts? And how many amps on the 3.3v, 5v, and 12v rails?
January 12, 2007 1:15:06 PM

Quote:
First things first.

What you are describing... system instability... is often caused by an insufficient or dying power supply.

What kind of power supply do you have? How many watts? And how many amps on the 3.3v, 5v, and 12v rails?


ok, reading off the side of the power supply I have a Sunus Suntek Int'l Corp power supply, model number 350ATXE-HP and the amps are 20, 32, 16 respectively.

On the power supply it says: AC INPUT: 115/230V - 8/4A - 60/50Hz I don't know where to read the wattage off from. Sorry.
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January 12, 2007 1:27:33 PM

That's a relatively fast and power hungry pentium 4 you have.

As far as the raw specs go, that 350 watt power supply you're using should be sufficient if you're running integrated video.

I've never heard of that name brand and it's probably generic, then again I'm no PSU brand guru. But I'd definitely try a name-brand 450w PSU in that machine before trying anything else.

By the way, all PSUs have a 115/230 switch on the back, that's to set it to the voltages of different countries. :) 
January 12, 2007 1:35:17 PM

OK, so I do need a power supply evidently, I'll look into getting new one. But I don't know what you mean by integrated video. I have a flat screen monitor that's hooked up via a regular VGA connector. If you tell me where I can find the info, I can figure out if it's integrated or not, or at least give you the info and let you tell me. I really don't know a lot about these newer PC's, my forte used to be the old Apple's (IIgs and IIe's, don't laugh, they were good machines for their time), the stuff in these machines are too dynamic for me to keep up with.

I know I need a graphics card to run my 3D games, is what I have sufficient for a 512MB card then? Can you recommend one so that I'm not taken for a ride by the salesman at the PC place?
January 12, 2007 2:00:03 PM

Would a Cooler Master CoolerMaster 450W Power Supply Model RS450ACLY be a good choice for my machine? I really don't know what is a good brand name and what isn't. :oops: 

Also looking at a Asus GeForce 6800 GeForce Video Card for the AGP slot.

From what I've managed to read on the requirements for my games, this is the recommended one. Will this one last me for a while, or will I need to upgrade to keep up with grapahic dynamics in a year or so?
January 12, 2007 2:06:34 PM

Integrated Video - Lingo - The video output that you are using is hard wired (Integrated) into the motherboard. Some main boards - especially from 1-3 years ago - had video incorporated on the motherboard. These are usually very low resolution, but can have basic functions for things like business functions. Many of the Dells and Gateway 'el-cheapo' machines had this - as it is much cheaper than installing a seperate card.

Yes - the apple IIe was a fine machine back in 1983, but we have come a long way baby.

As for AGP8x recomendations - The 7800GS is probably the fastest of this genre - for around $200. The 7600GT is also quite good at around $190. The 6800GT is also quite nice for around $100-$150. Go to Newegg.com to look for options.

Do not worry too much about the amount of memory - you have been surviving on integrated video for so long - any new card will make your gaming experience scream in comparison.

Good Luck.
January 12, 2007 2:17:48 PM

That PSU is ok - but you are spending extra for that power meter - if that is what you want - fine.

Otherwise - This other Coolermaster PSU will be less expensive. Also I really like Fortrons - though this one is not the same product line as the one I have - it is still a solid solution.

There is a sticky (posted at the top of the forum list) under the TOMS Forumz - inside Powersupplies - which gives you a PSU 101. Give it a read, and follow some of the links to learn more. It will help you guage what you need. One of the links lists the tiers of PSUs- most folks really should have a Tier2 unless they truely need something better.

Good luck.
January 12, 2007 2:42:24 PM

Quote:
As for AGP8x recomendations - The 7800GS is probably the fastest of this genre - for around $200. The 7600GT is also quite good at around $190. The 6800GT is also quite nice for around $100-$150. Go to Newegg.com to look for options.


The 7600 GT will actually beat out a 7800 GS by a couple FPS, for cheaper.

Much faster than both of those Geforces is the Radeon X1950 PRO for AGP... the best AGP you can get.


But back to the original poster, do you have a friend who has a decent power supply you can borrow to test?

You don't want to go spending a wad on a new PSU without diagnosing that properly first.
January 12, 2007 2:53:15 PM

No, I have been disabled since I moved here about 3 years ago. No way to test something out without spending the bucks.

I bought the new motherboard because I was having much the same problems though, the tech that came out and looked said I had 3 capacitors going bad on the old one.

It's happening less now but it's still happening, part of the problem may be not having a video card when I play my games and it's overwhelming the integrated video, the rest may well be the PSU since it's still orginal to the machine.

This points a finger that the PSU was at least part of the problem in the first place. I don't want it to cause any more problems with my motherboard since this machine has to last me for at least another 2 years.
January 12, 2007 3:08:12 PM

Agreed - I always seem to forget ATI - not that I am a fanboy - but I just havn't had any experience with ATI.

I hang my head in shame.
January 12, 2007 3:27:08 PM

Heheh. No shame required! :) 
January 12, 2007 4:53:33 PM

ok, looks like I've got the info I needed. Thanks! :D 

I ordered that Fortron PSU and the BFG nVidia GeForce 7600GS OC 512MB DVI/HDTV AGP Video Card.

I looked at the Radeon X1950 PRO but it was a bit out of my price range. :roll:

Now, hopefully, the tech that comes out won't try to call me an idiot for buying without their advice. :cry: 

I wish I could go back to the days when I could do this work myself, but that's long past me, anything I do inside of the case would be guesswork at best, disasterous at worst!

I'll let you guys know if these items solve my problems. Thanks again! :D 

BTW, any guesses on what that other card in my 2nd PCI slot might be? The one with the tiny USB-looking connections on it?
January 12, 2007 5:29:37 PM

Just my two cents.

Your initial problem of lock-ups an reboots could also be heat related to the system and not the graphics. You said the fan was quite loud and that this started occurring once you "moved here 3 years ago". The CPU heatsink could have been slightly dislodged during your move. If the heatsink doesn't have proper contact with the CPU it will not cool the CPU sufficiently. The CPU fan will kick in and try to compensate for the hotter temperatures. Unfortunately it will not be enough over longer periods of high stress, like gaming, to keep the CPU cooled which could cause it to overheat and act like you've indicated. Have your techs double check and make sure the CPU heatsink is making proper contact and is installed correctly.

My guess is that your current PSU was sufficient but Fortron makes a quality product and it's always a good investment to have a good PSU.

You should have consulted us before making the final purchase on the graphics card as we would have not recommended a 512MB card. 512MB on a graphics card is still a marketing gimmick these days. 256MB would have been sufficient. It's not the end of the world, but we could have saved you some money buy suggesting a 256MB 7600GS.

Good luck with your techs and make sure to mention that they double check that the CPU heatsink is installed correctly and is making proper contact with the CPU.
January 12, 2007 5:55:32 PM

I have to agree with Anoobis. I too hate NASCAR. Can't they at least have the criss-cross tracks like they do with the hotwheels cars?


Oh - and a heatsink that is not seated correctly will create a thermal condition that will cause the HS Fan to go wild trying to cool what it can. It can be successful at cooling to a point - but then during a time of high stress your CPU may have a thermal fault and shutdown.

If you have a tube of Arctic Silver 5 - ( a little dab 'll do ya) you should remove, clean, and reseat the heatsink. Clean by blowing air through the fins, and wiping all excess thermal paste from the CPU and heatsink. Arctic silver's website has good instructions for the reseating.


Cheers.
January 12, 2007 6:11:07 PM

Quote:
Just my two cents.

Your initial problem of lock-ups an reboots could also be heat related to the system and not the graphics. You said the fan was quite loud and that this started occurring once you "moved here 3 years ago". The CPU heatsink could have been slightly dislodged during your move. If the heatsink doesn't have proper contact with the CPU it will not cool the CPU sufficiently. The CPU fan will kick in and try to compensate for the hotter temperatures. Unfortunately it will not be enough over longer periods of high stress, like gaming, to keep the CPU cooled which could cause it to overheat and act like you've indicated. Have your techs double check and make sure the CPU heatsink is making proper contact and is installed correctly.

My guess is that your current PSU was sufficient but Fortron makes a quality product and it's always a good investment to have a good PSU.

You should have consulted us before making the final purchase on the graphics card as we would have not recommended a 512MB card. 512MB on a graphics card is still a marketing gimmick these days. 256MB would have been sufficient. It's not the end of the world, but we could have saved you some money buy suggesting a 256MB 7600GS.

Good luck with your techs and make sure to mention that they double check that the CPU heatsink is installed correctly and is making proper contact with the CPU.


You mistunderstood, I had this MB installed just a few months ago, the fan was quiet before that, but it was still rebooting on me unexpectedly. My tech found 3 capacitors going bad on the old MB and so we got the new ASUS P5VCD-MX installed. The fan has been louder since then, I never thought of the heatsink, but the PSU I have has been in since I got the machine, and doesn't sound sufficient if I install any video card and add that load to it.

I'd rather be safe than sorry when it comes to power supplies, though I will make sure the tech knows that we think the heatsink wasn't properly seated when he finished my machine the last time, might keep him on his toes when he finishes it this time. :wink: My system runs hot all the time, not just when I'm running a lot, so I think it's more then just the PSU, the fan may have to be replaced also. I'll deal with that once the PSU is replaced, then if I need a new fan, I'll get one.

I saw the 256mb card for $153 and the 512mb one for $158, figured that $5 wasn't much to gamble on the difference, and, YNK, I may need the extra memory before I'm ready to buy a new machine. After all, today's gimmick usually ends up being tomorrow's minimum system requirement.

*YNK= You Never Know*
January 12, 2007 7:02:10 PM

Pardon the misunderstanding, but the advice still remains the same. Now more than ever since we know the CPU heatsink has been been removed and re-installed and your system had been running hot ever since. It may not be the problem, but it might be part of it. Also make they have the "Q-Fan" function enabled in the system BIOS. Most likely it is, but it wouldn't hurt to have them check it. If it isn't enabled, the fan will run at full speed all the time. When it's enabled, the motherboard will automatically adjust the fan speed according to the CPU temperature.
January 12, 2007 7:23:43 PM

I can check the Q-Fan setting in the BIOS as soon as I finish downloading this file I'm getting, in mebbe 2 hours. (I wish I could use a download manager for this file, but it's already failed or corrupted 4 times that way, so I'm getting it the slow way this time to be sure I get it right)

I think you're probably right about the heatsink being part of the problem, but I'm not sorry I got the new PSU, since I'll probably still need it for the video card that I ordered also. I hope to have the new gear by early next week so that I can get this trouble behind me.

I'm also a bit excited to find out what difference I'll see in my games with the upgrade from integrated video to the card. It should even make a lot of difference in the 2D's and make the 3D's at least playable for me now.
January 12, 2007 7:54:22 PM

Don't apologize for the PSU as it is a good investment even if you don't need it.

There will a world of a difference between your onboard video and the new 7600GS. Have fun with it.
January 13, 2007 8:43:04 AM

Quote:
I can check the Q-Fan setting in the BIOS as soon as I finish downloading this file I'm getting, in mebbe 2 hours.


I checked the Q-Fan setting in the BIOS, it was enabled and set on Auto, there's been no change in the action of the fan since then. Still runs constantly and is very noisy. The good news is that the MB temp is still good, it's just the CPU's temp that seems to be running a bit high.

New Egg has already shipped the PSU, I should have it today if they'll deliver on Saturday. Perhaps I can get the most severe of my problems resolved before I get the Video card (which has also shipped but will take a lot longer to arrive, I ordered that one from eWiz in CA).

I wish I'd found you guys a lot sooner! I'll definately be back to check with you if I run into any other problems!
January 13, 2007 10:05:59 AM

Quote:
I have to agree with Anoobis. I too hate NASCAR. Can't they at least have the criss-cross tracks like they do with the hotwheels cars?


:lol:  :lol:  :lol: 
January 24, 2007 3:31:10 PM

Quote:

I'm also a bit excited to find out what difference I'll see in my games with the upgrade from integrated video to the card. It should even make a lot of difference in the 2D's and make the 3D's at least playable for me now.


Well, the new 450W PSU and 7600 card are now installed on the machine.
Fan was cleaned out completely and that solved the overheating problems.
I've gotten no solutions, more freezing and reboots. Now it's even freezing and rebooting while I'm playing my 2d's as well. I can load and start the 3d's but I freeze out and reboot in those as well!

Nothing makes any sense in why it's doing this. 99.9% of the time it is only doing this while I'm in my games. It's doing the same thing as it was before I put in the new MB & new HD with a fresh system on it, just more often now. (the old one is FAT32 and the new one is NTFS)
I slaved over the old HD so I didn't lose data and programs. I've run virus/spyware/malware etc. checks on both drives. I've cleaned and defragged the registry. I've updated the DirectX. I can't think of anything else to do.

About the only things that are still original to the machine (besides the drives not the new HD) is the CPU, fan, one memory stick and the RealTek sound card.

Anyone got any ideas on what else to check?

HELP!!
January 24, 2007 3:38:14 PM

Try running memtest.
January 24, 2007 4:43:15 PM

Agreed. Run memtest overnight and see if any errors pop up. Any errors at stock speeds is unacceptable except in a few platform specific cases. If you're using more than one chip of RAM and you get errors, you might want to test each chip by itself to see if only one of them is faulty as both may not be bad.
January 24, 2007 6:28:55 PM

Quote:
Try running memtest.


Well, you were right. I checked the memory and got 209 errors at 100% coverage. I took out the original stick and tested the new one and got 0 errors at 100% coverage.

New memory boards ordered from NewEgg. I am taking the opportunity to upgrade to 2G memory at the same time. :lol: 

I did make VERY sure to order the memory recommended by my MB Manufacturer, ASUS.

Thanks a bunch! Wish I'd thought to test the memory months ago!
Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
a b V Motherboard
March 9, 2009 8:01:46 PM

Chandria said:
Quote:
First things first.

What you are describing... system instability... is often caused by an insufficient or dying power supply.

What kind of power supply do you have? How many watts? And how many amps on the 3.3v, 5v, and 12v rails?


ok, reading off the side of the power supply I have a Sunus Suntek Int'l Corp power supply, model number 350ATXE-HP and the amps are 20, 32, 16 respectively.

On the power supply it says: AC INPUT: 115/230V - 8/4A - 60/50Hz I don't know where to read the wattage off from. Sorry.

need to buy same power supply mine is burnt up where can i find to by papaglen@comcast.net
!