Hi Guys, I'm a relative noob and need your help, as my computer is on the fritz:
Up until a few days ago, I was running the following (2.5 years old):
-AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+, 1gb Ram
-Sapphire Radeon X600 Pro, 128 mb, PCI-E
-Windows XP Pro, SP2
-few days ago, system froze, so I rebooted. Then every time XP would boot up, it would load the desktop, and right after the sys tray icons loaded, the thing would reboot. Then do the exact same thing over and over. I note I had ATI Catalyst on my sys tray, which may or may not be relevant.
-took the computer into a shop, and the tech said he disabled my drivers, and figured out that the problem was the video card. So he said that needed replacing. (not sure if he "enabled" the drivers back)
-I bought a Radeon HD 3650, 1gb PCI-E card and installed it myself. I note that it was Diamond chipset (?). Computer booted up fine, but I couldn't load the drivers on the cd (said the OS didn't let me have access to them or something...), and I couldn't even find the drivers on the dmmsupport.com website.....wth? The install CD didn't even have ATI Catalyst...oh well.
-so I didn't install the drivers and I'm running the HD 3650. Seems my refresh rate is very bad (when I scroll, the images on the screen are "blocky", and when I drag a window, the contents are blocky as well..not smooth at all). IE and Firefox are both very very sluggish (pages take ages to load, and it has nothing to do with my internet connection).
So my questions are:
-since my mobo is an nVidia chipset (I believe), do I have to get an nVidia video card? I note the Radeon HD is Diamond branded (??)
-is the Radeon HD 3650 compatible with my mobo at all? If not, is there some hardware interference making IE and Firefox sluggish?
-the tech guy that "disabled" my drivers, does this have anything to do with my problem?
-any other explanation for the sluggish performance of IE and Firefox? If I fould the right drivers, would that fix the problem, or is the HD 3650 just the wrong card to use on my system?
-any suggestions on another compatible card for my system? Does it have to be an nVidia card?
No you do not need an Nvidia Card. The HD3650 should work fine on your Asus motherboard. There are specific cases where some older PCI-e 1.0 motherboards don't support a new PCI-e 2.0 card, but they have usually been Via chipsets and get no video at all. I've used PCI-e 2.0 cards in a different NF4U mobo before without issues, so I don't think this is a problem for you.
The problem could be software or hardware related. It could be the tech disabled devices without uninstalling the drivers. Or, It could be he uninstalled more than just the Display drivers. Or, It could be your aged power supply is the problem. What power supply do you have? What are the specs on it's label?
If we eliminate that as the problem, then there are steps you'll need to take to uninstall/clean off old drivers and properly install the new ones. Not knowing what the tech did doesn't help so you may need to install your motherboards drivers first, then the new catalyst drivers directly from ATI's site (forget the CD or Diamonds site, go straight to ATI themselves). In device manager, are all devices working properly or are some flagged with a ? mark or an X ? Either way, you'll want to uninstall all ATI drivers from control panel at minimum, and install the catalyst 8.8's from ATI. Another problem you will face though is getting the HD3650's integrated HD audio drivers working as you have Win XP Service pack 2 not 3. You'll need to install SP3 first or use a hotfix driver for the audio.
We can walk you through this more, just check the PSU label first and give us info. Then check device manager and let us know what's flagged as disabled, unknown, or not working properly.
My apols for sneaking into this discussion, but I too (am a noob and) have the Asus A8N-E and would like to do a little cheap upgrade, however, the Asus tech support is kak IMO, as they appear to be unobtainable and the Asus forums haven't really helped.
I would like to keep the mobo (which I believe is Revision 2 and has bios 1008) and just upgrade the CPU and GFX card. I was initially thinking I'd like to pop the Athlon 64 X2 6000+ into this mobo, but nobody could confirm if it would take that chip, however, it appears that it will at least take the Athlon 64 X2 4800+ (which would be better than my current 2 year old 3700+ San Diego).
I'd also like to pop in either one of the latest NVidia 8800/9800 or Radeon 4850 GFX cards, but as they are PCI-E 2.0, I am not sure if they will work on this mobo.
If anyone knows whether I can successfully put these bits onto the Asus A8N-E, I'd be most grateful for some confirmation.
As my OS is currently XP SP2, assuming any of the above is possible, I'd also be most grateful if anyone could let me know if I would also need to do bios and/or driver updates/upgrades to get them to work properly.