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GeForce FC 5600 Ultra - keeps freezing

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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June 15, 2007 2:06:28 PM

My friend gave me his Gainward GeForce FX 5600 Ultra but I'm having some serious problems with this card. Everything on the screen becomes garbled and freezes like that, while sometimes after that screen goes to standby and I have to turn off PC.
My setup is: AMD Athlon 64 2800+ (1,80 GHz), 1 GB RAM, ASUS K8N-E Deluxe mobo using WinXP. Power supply is 300 Watts.
I installed the Nvidia drivers 93.71. Display is set at 1280x1024 (32 bit), 85 Herz. Though I've tried with lover refresh rates too.

Sometimes this happens when I'm playing the game (that's how I've usually tested the problem so far) but sometimes it happens when the PC is idle. Usually it happens about 5-15 minutes into the game, but a few times it didn't happen for 1-2 hours.
I've tried with different drivers from what I could find online on Nvidia's site. I tried with 78.01, 84.26, 91.31, 93.71, 96.02 and 97.78. Everytime result is the same. After installing some of the previous versions of Nvidia ForceWare and then trying ot get back to 97.78 I'd get the message that there are no drivers for this hardware. Gainward doesn't offer any support.
I thought it could be a power supply issue. But same thing happens with 400W PSU.
Before this card I had the same card I'm using now. Radeon 9250. And I've uninstalled all of its drivers through device manager and through add/remove programs so I don't think there is a problem with that.

I took some shots with my cam for you to see what does the screen looks like when it freezes.

What else can I try? Has anyone had a problem like this? Thanks.


June 15, 2007 2:46:31 PM

Judging from the screenshots provided it looks more like a hardware problem than a driver one. IMO your friend gave you a bad card.
June 15, 2007 3:13:46 PM

Quote:
Judging from the screenshots provided it looks more like a hardware problem than a driver one. IMO your friend gave you a bad card.

That's what I suspect as well. But he said that used to happen to him too until he found the right drivers. Doesn't know which ones anymore. So according to him the card works fine. At least until he took it out and gave it to me.
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June 15, 2007 3:27:04 PM

Those cards (5600) are quite old now so any nvidia drivers should be pretty stable with them. The other thing it could be is that your card is overclocked in the bios. You should ask your friend if he did that. Also this is an agp card right ? I know there are different agp specifications regarding voltage so maybe you should also check that out, that is what are the cards agp specs compared to your mobo agp specs.
June 15, 2007 4:06:24 PM

Quote:
Judging from the screenshots provided it looks more like a hardware problem than a driver one. IMO your friend gave you a bad card.

That's what I suspect as well. But he said that used to happen to him too until he found the right drivers. Doesn't know which ones anymore. So according to him the card works fine. At least until he took it out and gave it to me.

First off, did you actually see his computer screen when he was running this card? If not, the card probably has a problem, no matter what your friend says. Another possible problem is that the card is not compatable with your motherboard. Either way, you're probably better off with the Radeon 9250 as you know it works.

A last thing to try is to put the 5600 card into another computer and see if it works there. That might help determine whether or not the card itself is good. If it doesn't work in the other computer, then its probably dead. If it does work, then there is possibly a motherboard incompatibility.
June 15, 2007 4:21:45 PM

Quote:
Those cards (5600) are quite old now so any nvidia drivers should be pretty stable with them. The other thing it could be is that your card is overclocked in the bios. You should ask your friend if he did that. Also this is an agp card right ? I know there are different agp specifications regarding voltage so maybe you should also check that out, that is what are the cards agp specs compared to your mobo agp specs.


Overclocked in bios? My bios? I haven't changed any settings. Or you think my settings are too much for card's capabilities? Excuse me, but I don't have any experience in overclocking cards. Does the card itself contains bios and info that can be changed?
That's right, that's agp card. I know I can change voltage in my mobo's bios, but I'm really having hard time finding official specs not to mention manual for this card online. My friend only gave me the card. Can you find out for me on what voltage this card should work?
June 15, 2007 4:25:36 PM

Quote:
Judging from the screenshots provided it looks more like a hardware problem than a driver one. IMO your friend gave you a bad card.

That's what I suspect as well. But he said that used to happen to him too until he found the right drivers. Doesn't know which ones anymore. So according to him the card works fine. At least until he took it out and gave it to me.

First off, did you actually see his computer screen when he was running this card? If not, the card probably has a problem, no matter what your friend says. Another possible problem is that the card is not compatable with your motherboard. Either way, you're probably better off with the Radeon 9250 as you know it works.

A last thing to try is to put the 5600 card into another computer and see if it works there. That might help determine whether or not the card itself is good. If it doesn't work in the other computer, then its probably dead. If it does work, then there is possibly a motherboard incompatibility.

Look, I got to believe my friend. It's not like he wants to cheat me. It was a present cause he got himself a new PC.
Do you think I could update my chipset on my motherboard? I'm just worried I'll mess something up. How do I update that? How do I find if I already have the latest update on? Thanks.
June 15, 2007 5:15:06 PM

Quote:
Look, I got to believe my friend. It's not like he wants to cheat me. It was a present cause he got himself a new PC.
Do you think I could update my chipset on my motherboard? I'm just worried I'll mess something up. How do I update that? How do I find if I already have the latest update on? Thanks.


Ok, so no doubt is given to your friend. I wan't thinking of him cheating you, as you earlier said that he gave you the card. The card may still have had a problem and he found a way to work around it. Also, perhaps he has a different motherboard that allowed changes that your motherboard does not.

That leaves the source of the problem with your hardware. According to what I've read, the K8NE-Deluxe motherboard gives only 1.5v to the AGP card, no other setting allowed. If the 5600 card uses more, then it may not work no matter what you do. There is a review with detailed instructions concerning your motherboard at:

www.cluboverclocker.com/reviews/motherboards/asus/k8ned...

On the last page, you will find notes concerning AGP card settings and problems. I hope this helps.
July 1, 2007 6:48:21 AM

It's been a while. And I haven't tried anything yet. I contacted Gainward to get a confirmation on temperature sensor. But what do you think average temperature should be on FX 5600? I'm definitely considering buying a Zalman's VGA cooler if not for the heat then for the noise this stock fan makes. I should also buy a case fan cause I don't have any. I guess this is the first step to take - lowering the whole temp of the inside of the case.
As for overclocking of the card - I've never done it and I don't know if the card is overclocked already. How do I check that and get it back to factory settings?
July 1, 2007 11:09:15 PM

Case fans are good. In intake fan at the front, an exaust out the rear, and an exhuast out the top will lead to significant reductions in inside case temperatures. These fans alone may help greatly with overheating problems concerning the video card and other components.

I don't know what temp the FX 5600 should be, nor can I say for sure that the Zalman cooler will help. Tom's did a review of VGA coolers and found the Zalman to be mediocre. Better coolers were the KuFormula VF1 plus a fan, the Thermalright V1 Ultra, and the Thermalright HR-03 with a fan.
July 4, 2007 3:48:34 PM

I bought a case fan as an exhaust out the rear and a Zalman VF700Cu for my FX 5600 card. I'm trying the card on a another computer right now which has Win2k and a old 633 Mhz processor. The thing is - the card is acting the same. Sometimes it shows that garbled screen when in bios sometimes not until windows starts. But usually during the windows log in.
It's obviously not a heat problem. I should eliminate overclocking. How do I enter settings to change that? I have Riva or I could download something else. Help please!
July 4, 2007 4:04:13 PM

Since the card is doing the same thing on a different computer, the card is probably bad. Its possible that it got inadvertently damaged when it was moved from your friend's machine to yours, or got a static electricity shock, or something else. But since the same problems are occuring on more than one machine, then everything points to the card as the source of the problem.
July 4, 2007 4:12:13 PM

That's why I want to eliminate the problem of overclocking. Some people have told me that if I change settings to stock it could fix the problem. But how do I exactly do that?
July 4, 2007 4:22:46 PM

Overclocking is done through software such as Ntune or RivaTuner. Unless you are running the software and have overclocked the card in your machine, then it is not overclocked.

As an example, with my 8800 card, it has its native speed. Using RivaTuner, I can raise the speed (overclock) while its in my computer. But if I take the card out and put it into one of my other computers, then it runs at its stock speed again. Only if the card came from the factory with a hardware overclock will it keep the overclock. If it is hardware overclocked, you might use RivaTuner to underclock it, but I can't say for sure about that.
July 4, 2007 4:33:31 PM

Thanks. Now I think I understand it. Not so good news for me though.
Is there a software I could use to diagnose the card and that way know for sure what's wrong with it?
I still want to eliminate everything before throwing the card in the trash.
July 4, 2007 4:49:19 PM

First, you can use DXdiag. Click on "Run", type in "dxdiag" and that should bring up a screen. Go to "Display" and run "Test Direct Draw" and "Test Direct 3D". Another program is "Checkit Diagnostics". I think you can download that. There are probably others, but those are the two that I use.

The only other thing I could suggest is to try the card in a third computer. If it still has problems, than that pretty much confirms that it is a card issue, though I think the results from the second computer do that. Last, if your old card still works correctly in your computer but the newer one doesn't, then its not the computer, its the card.
a c 107 U Graphics card
July 4, 2007 4:54:20 PM

Look like a bad or overheating card to me. when video ram goes bad it looks like that too.

Have you checked to see if the heatsink/fan are clean? maybe its just too hot.
July 4, 2007 5:00:25 PM

He just installed a new heatsink fan, so that should be clean. You are right in that the Vram could be overheated or otherwise bad. I lost a card to that problem once. The GPU was fine, but the Vram went bad and the card ended up in the trash.
July 4, 2007 5:12:55 PM

I changed complete cooling solution for the card. Installed the ram heatsinks that came with Zalman's fan. And the card acts like I described after just seconds of working, so I'm eliminating the heat as a cause of a problem.
Thanks for suggestions on those diagnostic tools. I'll try that.
a c 107 U Graphics card
July 4, 2007 5:24:34 PM

Maybe you can underlclock the ram to see if it helps....try lets say 10-20 mhz and go from there.

Even when ram starts to go bad, it will still sometimes run at lower speeds.

As far as heat, u do know that a video card gets up to heat quick right. my 8800gtx is up to idle temp almost right away. If the heatsink is not making good contact it may be that as well, i've seen that before too.
July 4, 2007 5:36:24 PM

Quote:
Maybe you can underlclock the ram to see if it helps....try lets say 10-20 mhz and go from there.

Even when ram starts to go bad, it will still sometimes run at lower speeds.

As far as heat, u do know that a video card gets up to heat quick right. my 8800gtx is up to idle temp almost right away. If the heatsink is not making good contact it may be that as well, i've seen that before too.

I can't even get the card to show me windows properly. It's that scrambled. That's why I don't even know how to begin underclocking it. Thanks though.
I'm pretty sure I've nailed those heatsinks properly. You just stick them on. With Zalman VGA cooler i used the stock TIM.
July 4, 2007 6:50:51 PM

Quote:

It's obviously not a heat problem. I should eliminate overclocking. How do I enter settings to change that? I have Riva or I could download something else. Help please!

Try CoolBits. It's a registry setting that enables OCing in nVidia driver.
http://downloads.guru3d.com/download.php?det=815#downlo...
For working you need to have at least the 56.72 driver installed.

On non-COed 5600 Ultra the core clock is 350Mhz and memory is 350Mhz (700Mhz effective as it's DDR RAM)
There exist a factory OCed version with Core 400 and memory 400 (800 effective)
As I remember it the driver will show the bacis memory speed (350/400Mhz) after CoolBits has been enabled.

The 5600 Ultra gets pretty hot and it's at least as important with good cooling of the RAM as with the core.

For the hopefulls:
CoolBits does not work on GF8xxx series graphics cards.
!