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Problems with my 7950 GT

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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September 18, 2008 11:44:12 AM


Hello, first time poster here, from Sweden. Lurked a few times before, but now that im in a serious bind I have to throw the problem out here and hope to find some answers. (And if I should post in a Swedish forum that im more familiar with, id probably be trolled and laughed at by 16-year old WoW-kids about how old and sucky my computer is, rather than receiving any help.)


I have a computer thats about 2 years old now:

Mobo: Asus P5W DH Deluxe,I975X,Socket-775,ATX,
SATAIIx7, Dual-GbLAN, DDR2, 2xPCI-Ex16


Mem: Corsair TWIN2X 5400 DDR2, 2048MB PC5400


GFX: Asus GeForce 7950GT 512MB GDDR3, HDCP


CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 2.4GHz Socket
LGA775, 4MB


I've had constant problems with my GFX card. At first, the DV-cables stopped working and now im running an analog cable run through an adapter into the DV-ports of the card. This solved the issue for about a year.

Recently, when I updated the drivers to the latest from nVidia: 175.19_geforce_winxp_32bit, the graphics went completley bananas. My screen flashes in a mapping of square things in all the colours of the rainbow. I've detected that it loggs into windows still, since my wireless kicks in.

So I solve this by rolling them back from windows safe-mode.


And now, today, the computer starts and gives me a BIOS-beep: 1 long, 3 short. Im assuming this is the code for troubles with the graphics-departement. I pull the card out, plug it back in, and atleast I can log into windows and start surfing the web. The drivers, however, are f-ed up. I cannot install new ones or old ones. They simply do not stick. Whenever I try this it either just runs of like water on a goose, or it goes back into that seizure-inducing blinking where I have to go into safemode.


Its very confusing, just like my explenation of the problem probably is.


I've heard that the P5W-card does not tango well with the 7950 or nVidia in general. But it has worked sufficiently the last years, to now plummet into barely working at all. (3d graphics in games and such wont work at all).


Im leaning toward that the card has actually broke in some way, or that I am just in a serious need of reinstalling windows (havent done that in about 1½ year).


Does anyone have any ideas or just any tips on how to proceed? Or just a point in the right direction, be it reinstalling c: or throwing my old **** 7950 out the damned window... Also, what kind of card I should by, that matches with the rest of my current setup.

Thankful for almost any answer.

/J

More about : problems 7950

September 18, 2008 12:02:34 PM

It could be the PSU thats starting to show strain or it's the GFX card thats starting to corrupt (usually the memory chips). You could try a format and new drivers. Or test it in another pc?
If you want a new gfx card, anything above a 8800GT should run nicely if your PSU is capable.
September 18, 2008 12:05:26 PM

blackwidow_rsa said:
It could be the PSU thats starting to show strain or it's the GFX card thats starting to corrupt (usually the memory chips). You could try a format and new drivers. Or test it in another pc?
If you want a new gfx card, anything above a 8800GT should run nicely if your PSU is capable.


I've got a Hiper PSU ATX 580W. Hopefully this can support a newer GFX with the rest of my setup
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a c 171 U Graphics card
September 18, 2008 12:29:38 PM

Hiper? Blah.

Due to its age and it never really worked well to begin with, I'd start by replacing the video card. 4670, 9600GT/GSO, 8800GT, 3870/3850, etc would all be more powerful and not very expensive cards to get. Hiper isn't the best brand, so you might want to consider checking out your PSU first. (software, volt meter) I'd start with either of those before moving on to bad memory, etc.
a b U Graphics card
September 18, 2008 12:32:43 PM

Not sure about the Hyper brand but a 580w PSU should be more than enough power for your rig even with a new GPU.

I would recommend reinstalling Xp as your first step.
As you can not remove and replace the drivers, it will need to be done anyways before upgrading your components.
If a new instillation of Xp and fresh drivers fixes your issues, that would be great!

If it does not, as it probably won't, I would suspect that your GPU is failing.
The beep codes you describe are normally for either GPU or RAM related issues.
As your issues are with the graphics, it is safe to assume that your system is having issues with the GPU.
As your DVI ports are not working properly, I would assume that your card is failing.

Try the GPU in the other PCIe 16x slot and see if it works there.
If it does, your motherboard's primary PCIe slot is either damaged or filled with dust.
Try it in a friends system, if you can.
If it works 100%, it is probably something else failing.

If/when you decide to upgrade your system, I would recommend an ATI 4850.
Your Mb may be a few generations old but your CPU is still pretty powerful and should have plenty of power for a newer card.
a c 130 U Graphics card
September 18, 2008 12:41:44 PM


Run Memtest or some other Ram testing utility first, according to my list 1 long and 3 short is Memory test failure, the list i have is generic and it would help if you knew which Bios you were running, then you could type it in to the web and get a definite answer as to what its trying to tell you.

Mactronix
September 18, 2008 12:42:01 PM

Your system is almost a carbon copy of what I was running about 2 years ago, P5W DH, E6600, 7950 and all. I had a BFG 7950GT, which worked without issue the entire time I had it. It sounds to me as if your 7950 has crapped the bed, I am sorry to say (but from your description, maybe it has been bad all along?). I eventually upgraded to a 8800GTX after the prices dropped a few times, and that card also worked without issue. So I am not sure there are really any nVidia/P5W DH Deluxe issues, other than not being able to utilize SLI due to the non nVidia chipset. However, you can go the ATI crossfire route with that board.

As for what you should get to replace it? Well, a Radeon 3870 would be a good upgrade from the 7950GT, and not too expensive either. I would suggest hitting the VGA charts, and just compare newer cards against the 7950 you are familiar with. You will find many options you can go to, just find the option that has the best price-point for you. Just make sure your PSU can handle whatever card you choose, as many of the newer cards are going to have higher power demands than your 7950 did.

Also, don't be in a hurry to chuck the 7950 in the trash bin when your shiny new card arrives. Depending on the manufacturer, VGA cards can have some pretty stout warranties. You may be able to RMA that card despite its age, and get a replacement that you can sell or just hold on to as a spare.

I hope you have better luck with your next card, whatever it may be!

-P
September 18, 2008 1:06:55 PM

A huge thanks for all the helpfull responses!

Im going to ahead and first of all wipe and reinstall my c: with a fresh install of windows XP (not gonna touch VISTA untill I get another 2 gigs of RAM). This way I will remove about all the ghosts and doubts about software issues there is. If this works with my 7950, then great.

And after speaking with alot of RL friends, it turns out one of my friends will give me a big discount and friend-price on his slightly used 8800 GTS 320MB. This will be my second option after reinstalling C:

I'll certainly be back to this bord if the problems persist. Maybe I dont hang around on good forums enough, but it actually made my day to just get some real, informative answers when asking a question on a board. Tragic, eh? :D 

/J
a c 130 U Graphics card
September 18, 2008 3:14:45 PM


No worries, Post back either way, if we know what it was in the end then we are better able to help others down the line.

Mactronix :) 
September 18, 2008 4:00:18 PM

Will do, mactronix. :) 


Im currently in the sweaty process of formatting my C:

I figured it would be easy as the last times i've done it, but it is not. I had a real hard time just formatting the damned thing. Partition Magic would not boot. It didnt recognize C: as a valid directory. So I formatted it via other means. This is not really the issue at this time though.


Just now, when I formatted the thing and ran the XP install, when it was running smoothly, another issue appears.

When the installationprogram rebooted the computer and came back, the screen yet again is completley unreadable. Its a shimmering mess of patterns and colours.

This leads to, that I cant direct the installationprocess.



I have to say, it does point toward something being extremely messed up with my GFX-card. It cant even show the images from a DOS-based installation of Windows XP.
September 18, 2008 4:16:18 PM

Another update:

I've gotten further in the installation by doing this:

I opened the balcony-door and let some fresh cool air inside. This seems to be a remedy for the problem, as the reboot now didnt cause the bugs that warped my screen-image into incomprehensible patterns.


This, in my rather small world of hardware knowledge, points toward that the issue is still with my GFX-card, and that the issue can be temporarily solved by cooling it down.


Could it be something else? I have good cooling inside my computer, a big-ass Zalman ontop of my CPU as well as the fan on the GFX-card being operational. I've never had heating-issues even during the last very hot summers either, so it shouldnt be that heat has been the issue all along, right?
a c 130 U Graphics card
September 18, 2008 4:41:52 PM

Im sorry to say it could be a lot of things, one of the reasons i suggested to run Mem test in the first place is that just going straight to reinstalling the OS can leave you where you are now. Namely still in a mess and wondering where to look next. Its too late now but i prefer to test everything that its possible to test while you know where you are before reinstalling the OS.

Run It with the side off, that way it gets more air if that is the cause and you can see what is going on, like is the gpu fan running, is it covered in dust. C;leaning a dusty GPU can work wonders.

Does it still give the beep code? Something is definitely very wrong if you cant even see dos messages. Im not 100% sure but i always thought that the dos messages were done by the CPU and not the GPU.

I think you should reset the motherboard as well if you haven't already.


Mactronix [Edit for spelling]
a c 106 U Graphics card
September 18, 2008 5:28:07 PM

Yup run Memtest. Also, go to Costco, buy a membership, get 4 pack of compressed Air, and clean out your system. If it's overheating it could have dust in the Fan and Heatsink, which will only kill your card faster if you don't clean it out soon. Anyone know if there is a Costco in Sweden :)  ?
September 18, 2008 6:19:42 PM

From all your descriptions of your issues , it sounds to me that your GFX card is toast .It sounds erily familiar to my Dell XPS laptop GFX card , a 7900 GO .From what i have been reading on the web is that 7xxx generation and part of 8xxx generation of Nvidia cards have defects , mainly they die with moderate heat .I have replaced 3 GFX in my laptop and still they die , even with fans at 100% and gpu core temp at 62 C load.Anyways I would say grab your friends GFX card just to test if that solves your issues , and if it does great , if not , look at your PSU or ram.


Hope you solve your computer issues , i know it drove me nuts..lol
Btw , Anyone want a slightly used Dell XPS laptop? for cheap? lol
!