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Faulty PSU or faulty Graphics card?

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May 26, 2008 8:45:27 PM

Hey guys,

I've been having a few problems recently but I am unable to pinpoint the problem. If anyone can help me I would really appreciate it.

I have just recently built my new PC and everything seems to be stable in stress tests and benchmarks but I have noticed that I have a really low score on 3DMark06. I have an XFX 8800GTX XXX graphics card and I only seem to be hitting around 3380 in 3DMark06 with everything on default. I have installed the latest drivers for this card on Vista x64 and I have also tried resetting the driver using RivaTuner.

There was a topic I was reading about a very similar situation to this and the problem was solved with a new PSU: http://www.bjorn3d.com/forum/showthread.php?t=18783&pag...

Another reason I think the PSU might be a problem is that when I switch my PC on it will start up for like 2 seconds (the noise of the fans + the lights on the front) but then it will stop. After 10 seconds or so it will start up again and will be running as normal. The PSU in question is the XClio StablePower 1000W.

I doubt it is the motherboard as everything else seems to be working as expected (haven't had a single crash or BSOD) but theres always a chance.

Do you think it could be a graphics card or PSU problem?

Thank you very much for your help - As I said it is very much appreciated :p 


(Below are the rest of my system specs in case it helps)

Intel Core 2 Duo E8500
4GB Corsair XMS2 Dominator 1066
ASUS Maximus Formula
May 26, 2008 8:52:37 PM

I forgot to mention I have already updated the BIOS to the latest version.
May 26, 2008 9:04:08 PM

Have you got another graphic card you could try? It might show then, make sure your CPU clock speed is set correct, infact all of your setting in the bios.

Have you taken individual rails from the PSU to power the graphic card?

Related resources
May 26, 2008 9:10:17 PM

I don't have another graphics card to try unfortunately. I have made sure that all my options are set correctly in the BIOS.

Sorry for the stupid question, but what do you mean by taking individual rails from the PSU to power the graphics card?

I currently have 2 PCI-E connectors plugged into it.

Thanks
a c 84 U Graphics card
May 26, 2008 9:22:30 PM

download cpu-Z and gpu-Z just to make sure everything is running at correct clocks.. and coretemp or realtemp to see hows the temps.

The cpu may be throttling down because of heat if the heatsink isn't properly mounted.

Those 8800 series cards have onboard warning siren thats supposed to go off if the card isn't getting the power it needs.
May 26, 2008 9:30:30 PM

I have checked CPU-Z, Coretemp, and Realtemp which all appear to be right. I'm not too sure about GPU-Z though, here are links to the screenshots:

http://img236.imageshack.us/img236/3986/graphics1vc2.jp...
http://img59.imageshack.us/img59/7047/graphics2bs8.jpg

So the 8800 series are meant to make a noise if there aren't powered correctly? I read in that topic I posted above that there is a problem with Vista giving out a power warning for the 8800. Could you possibly look at my screenshots and let me know if they look right?

Could someone also let me know if the startup problem I mentioned above points to a PSU/motherboard problem?

Thank you very much for helping.
a c 84 U Graphics card
May 26, 2008 9:49:48 PM

yeah those look good

just unplug the pcie power connectors and boot up, you should get pretty loud high pitched noice, really unpleasent :p 

so how high were the temps at load?
a c 84 U Graphics card
May 26, 2008 9:50:49 PM

and could you give the detailed 3dmark scores? cpu, sm2 and sm3...
May 26, 2008 9:59:46 PM

The temps at load for the CPU were maxed at about 68C (after about 14 hour stress test) but I've heard staying under 72 is safe for my chip with a decent overclock (got it from 3.16 to 4 ghz, stable in everything).

The graphics gets up to about 70 or so if I remember correctly. There is good airflow in my case and my heatsink is seatly correctly after 2 attempts so I doubt it could be a heat issue.

My brother should be getting a Corsair 750W PSU in a couple of days - should I test that in my system?

I've read a couple of reviews that my current PSU does not work too well with the 8800 but they could have been faulty ones.

Any ideas about the startup problem?

Thank you so much for your help.
May 26, 2008 10:07:17 PM

yeah, if ur system isnt whining then u are getting enough power. ive never heard of that psu brand. check the xtremesystems psu tier list. http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?t=108088 the psu u have is a tier 5. it is not recommended and is a horrible powersupply. its the powersupply for sure. get a tier 2 or a tier 1 psu. an antec or a corsair or a pc power and cooling is good.
a c 84 U Graphics card
May 26, 2008 10:08:09 PM

ok, the temps are good then...

testing the corsair sounds like a good plan.

I have similar start up behaviour with Antec Sonata III (psu is antecs earth watts or something) and asus p5k-vm mobo. pressing the power button gives an instant short beep and fans spin a little, then everything goes silent for 3-4 seconds and then it boots up properly. other than that it has been rock solid for 8 months... so it is not probably fatal :D 
I think it might be somesort of prepost checkup, maybe the psu is doing some internal checking or something...
May 26, 2008 10:09:53 PM

u know, i bet it'll work with that corsair power supply. ive tried corsair tx750w power supply but the one i got was doa on me so i just returned it for a full refund.
May 26, 2008 10:11:20 PM


Tier E are PSUs (with corresponding wattage range) for people who wish for Power and Stability for the most powerful rigs today.
Tier 1 are the best-in-class PSUs representing the highest quality models in each PSU manufacturer`s model range.
Tier 2 offers almost as much power and stability as Tier 1 at comparable Wattage levels with better price/performance.
Tier 3 is ONLY Recommended if Price difference is present between Tier 3 and Tier 2 or due to availability issues with Tier 1/2 PSUs.
Tier 4 is recommended for stock or low power systems if Tier 3's are more expensive or are not available.
Tier 5 are NOT RECOMMENDED, but some brands have high/medium quality components in Tiers 2 through 4.

-----x-----x-----x-----x-----x-----x-----x-----

Will be posting here a list of PSU Companies and underneath them their Model names and what tier I believe they should belong to. Please let me know if you agree/disagree. NO PSU FROM THE OLD LIST WILL BE INCLUDED IN THE NEW LIST (Except for a few).

Enermax
Powertek
ABS
Enlight
Powmax
AcBel
E-POWER
Raidmax
AeroCool
ETASIS Electronics
Rosewill
Antec
FOXCONN
SeaSonic USA
APEVIA (Aspire)
FSP Group (Fortron Source)
sigma product
APEX (SUPERCASE/ALLIED)
GIGABYTE
Silverstone
Athena Power
HIPER
Sparkle Power Inc.
Athenatech Inc
HIPRO
Spec-Research
ATOP Technology
In Win
STARTECH
ATRIX
JPAC COMPUTER
Sunbeam
BFG Technologies
Just PC
TAGAN
BGears
Kingwin Inc.
Thermaltake
Broadway Com Corp
Linkworld Electronics
TOPOWER
COMPUCASE CORP.
Logisys Computer
TUNIQ
Cooler Master
MSI
Winsis
CoolMax
Mushkin
XClio
Corsair Memory, Inc.
NZXT
XIGMATEK
Dynapower USA
OCZ Technology, Inc.
XION
EAGLE TECH
PC Power & Cooling
Zalman Tech Co., Ltd



Tier E Brands - For Those With Rigs That Can Never Have Enough Power

Tier 1 Brands - The Most Powerful And Stable Components On The Market

Tier 2 Brands - Top Quality components With Top Notch Stability - For Those With Price/Availability Issues With Tier 1

Tier 3 Brands - High Quality and Stability, Second Only To Tier 2 Brands

Tier 4 - Not Recommend If Tier 3 PSU Available In Same Price/Wattage Range

Tier 5 - Other than the units listed above for any of these brands, NOT RECOMMENDED


-----x-----x-----x-----x-----x-----x-----x-----

Phase IV cometh.

Perkam
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*** OLD LIST ***


WHICH ONES TO BUY ??

Tier 1 can handle 4Ghz Conroe or 3Ghz AMD along with Oced Quad Crossfire/SLI With Ease.
Tier Z offers quality and power unequalled in its wattage range and is second only to other Zippy units.
Tier 2 offers almost as much power and stability as Tier 1 at Comparable Wattage levels with lower price/better availability.
Tier T offers the high quality components of Tier 2 with slightly less Rail stability due to Topower internals.
Tier 3 is ONLY Recommended if Price difference is present between Tier 3 and Tier 2 or due to availability issues with Tier 1/2 PSUs.
Tier 4 is recommended for stock or low power systems if Tier 3's are more expensive or are not available.
Tier 5 are NOT RECOMMENDED, but some brands have high/medium quality components in Tiers 2 through 4.

-----x-----x-----x-----x-----x-----x-----x-----

Tier 1 Brands - The Most Powerful And Stable Components On The Market
Enermax Galaxy
PCP&C TurboCool
PCP&C Silencer >610
Zippy/Emacs SSL
Zippy/Emacs GSM
Zippy/Emacs PSL
Silverstone ZF (Etasis 85/75/56)
Seventeam ST >600 (SSI, V2.91)
Silverstone OP/DA >700W

Tier Z - Less Powerful Than Tier 1 Zippy Units...but they're still Zippys
Zippy/Emacs HG2
Zippy/Emacs HP2

Tier 2 Brands - Top Quality components With Top Notch Stability - For Those With Price/Availability Issues With Tier 1
Antec Neo HE
Akasa PowerGreen 80+
CoolMax CTG-750W/850W/1KW
Cooltek CT
Corsair HX
Enermax Liberty
Enermax Infiniti
Enhance ENP-GH
Fortron (FSP) GLN
Hiper Type-M >650W
Hiper Type-R >650W
iStarUSA PD2
iStarUSA PD3
OCZ GameXStream
OCZ EvoStream
PCP&C Silencer <610
Seasonic S12
Seasonic M12
Seasonic Energy Plus
SevenTeam ST <600
Silverstone EF
Silverstone OP/DA <700W
Supermicro/AbleCom
Thermaltake Toughpower >600W
Xclio GreatPower
Zalman ZM
Ultra X3
Ultra X-Pro

Tier T - High Quality PSUs Made With Topower Internals - Less Rail Stability Compared To Tier 2 But Still Better than Tier 3
Mushkin Enhanced
Tagan U95
Tagan U25
Tagan U15
Tagan U22
OCZ PowerStream

Tier 3 Brands - High Quality and Stability, Second Only To Tier 2 Brands
Acbel Polycom
AMS Mercury
Akasa PaxPower
Akasa PowerPlus (>500W Models)
Antec Phantom
Antec TruePower III
Antec True Power II
Antec True Control II
Antec Neopower 480W (Old Model)
Antec Smart Power 2.0
Athena Power Space Shuttle Series
Be Quiet Dark Power Pro
Channel Well
Enermax Maximum Plus
Enermax Noistaker II
Enermax Noisetaker
Enermax Whisper II
Enermax CoolerGiant
Enhance ENS-G
Epower Xscale
Fortron (FSP) GLC
Fortron (FSP) THN
Fortron AX
Fortron HLN
Fortron PFN/PN/PA
Seasonic Super Versatile
Silverstone F
Sparkle FSP
Spire Rocketeer V/VI
Sunbeam Nuuo
Thermaltake Purepower
Thermaltake Toughpower <600W

Tier 4 - Not Recommend With Tier 3 In same Price/Wattage Range
Aerocool
Asus Atlas
BFG
Coolermaster Real Power
Coolermaster iGreen
Delta
Enlight
E-Power
Futurepower
Hiper
HIPRO
Lite-On
Masscool
MGE XG
Mushkin HP
NorthQ 4775-500S/BU
OCZ Modstream
Scythe Kamariki
Sintek
Thermaltake TR2
TTGI/Superflower
Ultra Xfinity/X2

Tier 5 - Other than the units listed above for any of these brands, NOT RECOMMENDED
A-TOP Technology
APEX (SUPERCASE/ALLIED)
Aspire(Turbo Case)
ATADC
Athena Power
ATRIX
Broadway Com Corp
Cooler Master
Coolmax
Deer
Diablotek
Dynapower USA
EagleTech
FOXCONN
I-Star Computer Co. Ltd
In Win
JPAC COMPUTER
Just PC
Kingwin Inc.
Linkworld Electronics
Logisys Computer
MGE
MSI
NMEDIAPC
Norwood Micro/ CompUSA
NorthQ
NZXT
Powmax
Q-Tec
Raidmax
Rosewill
SFC
Shuttle
Skyhawk
Spire Coolers
Star Micro
STARTECH
TOPOWER TOP
Ultra X-Connect
Wintech
XClio
XION
YoungYear
Zebronics

-----x-----x-----x-----x-----x-----x-----x-----
May 26, 2008 10:27:04 PM

That list is quite interesting. I'm surprised to see XClio in Tier 5 as I thought they were quite good. I've also noticed that the XClio GreatPower is in Tier 2 but mine is a StablePower so that it probably the lower quality version.

Thanks for that list pcgamer12!

If the new PSU doesn't work I guess that narrows it down to either the graphics card itself or the motherboard.

Thank you for all your help Kari - I'm sure I'll be here again with results of the new PSU!

Thanks again :-)
May 26, 2008 10:38:19 PM

no problem, good luck
a c 84 U Graphics card
May 26, 2008 10:41:40 PM

no probs :) 
hope you'll get it all sorted out.
a c 84 U Graphics card
May 26, 2008 11:11:33 PM

psu related problems are usually a little difficult to pinpoint if you dont have a replacement unit handy (thus the 'dont skimp on the psu' phrase), but luckily your bro is getting the corsair...
May 28, 2008 6:35:20 PM

UPDATE:

I installed the new Corsair PSU just now and booted up successfully. My score on 3DMark06 with the old XClio PSU was around 3380 and the score with the new Corsair PSU is 12980!!! :D 

I noticed that 3DMark06 was running much smoother than previously, my framerates were tripled!!

I was doubtful that it would work but now that it has fixed the problem I am so happy!

Thank you so much for helping me in this topic!

Take care :) 
a c 84 U Graphics card
May 28, 2008 8:40:46 PM

Nice to hear you got your rig running properly.
Have fun! :) 
!