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Videocard Keeps Stalling My Computer! Help!

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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July 6, 2009 11:27:53 PM

I had assembled a new computer about a year ago and it worked well without any issues but the problem arrived when I bought a Palit 9800 GT Sonic videocard six months later! I was using my built-in onboard graphics before that and it worked fine!
I often had trouble switching on my computer. The power light keeps blinking and never get power up! I tried switching on and off several times but it still does not work and I had to re-slot the videocard to power-up my computer again and I had to do this everytime after shutting down my computer! At times when I'm lucky and my computer manages to start without any issues but just after using my computer for a couple of minutes, my computer stalls again and I had to re-slot my videocard! I brought my videocard to the manufacturer for testing and it was working excellently during the test and the guy told me the problem could be with my pci express slot on my mobo!
Soon I grew sick of the problem and began using my computer without the videocard and only with the onboard graphics and it started to work fine again! But I simply can't live without the videocard as I'm an avid gamer and I need the card to play my games so I re-inserted the card and sure enough the problem returns and I had to re-slot the videocard everytime when I fail to boot up my computer or when it stalls half-way when I'm working on my computer! Soon, more problems arrive when my internet wireless card failed to be detected at times and I had to re-slot the card again to make it work! It could not had been with my PSU as I had bought a new PSU on the same day I bought my videocard! It was 500W for your info and it should be enough for my videocard to work! Could the root of the problem be with my mobo? I need answers! My hard-drive is beginning to feel the brink of it as repeating improper shutting down of my computer is causing my hard-drive to record bad registry files and I will need to do a clean-up of my hard-drive to clear up the corrupted registry files! I don't want my hard-drive to fail just because of the videocard issue! I had simply too much important data stored on it including all my work projects which accumulated to Gigabytes! Help!
July 6, 2009 11:37:39 PM

Oops, I forgot to post my Computer Specs:

Motherboard: Biostar Nvidia Geforce 6100 NF61S Micro AM2 SE
PSU: Aerocool Horsepower 500W
CPU: AMD Athlon X2 6000+
Memory: 2 GB
Hard-drive: Samsung 250 GB SATA2 Hard-drive
CD-Drive: Samsung 40X DVD Writer Drive
Videocard: Nvidia Palit 9800GT Sonic
Additional Card: Linksys Wireless G PCI Adapter
a b U Graphics card
July 7, 2009 12:55:00 AM

If it is at all possible to try your old psu - even a 300W psu - try that to eliminate a bad psu as part of the problem. You could pull the wireless adapter and the power cable from the DVD to give you a bit extra margin.
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July 7, 2009 1:47:16 AM

Hmmmm.... PSU is of an unknown brand..... very suspect. And it sounds very much like a PSU issue. Maybe not that it isn't powerful enough, but it sounds like it's putting out dirty voltages (ie its 12v line might be outputting 10.4v).

Try a different PSU, if it works, then you need a different PSU. If it doesn't.... well, we can try other things. Might have to RMA the card.
July 7, 2009 3:55:09 AM

The only backup PSU I had is a 300W PSU which isn't powerful enough to boot up the videocard! The 500W PSU which I had bought isn't of an unknown brand! In fact, it's a rather expensive excellent brand! Check this site out to have an idea of what my PSU looks like with the exception that mine is 500W!
http://www.pureoverclock.com/article692.html
Initially, when I sent my videocard for RMA but it got rejected as tests found that the videocard is working fine! I had spoken to the store owner whom I bought the PSU from and he told me that 500W should be just enough to power up my system including the videocard which requires 450W of power! Therefore, I really had no clue to what was wrong although I suspect it could be the PSU! I don't want to waste another hundred buck just to get a new and more powerful PSU and dump the 500W PSU in the trash and eventually found out that the problem does not lie in the PSU at all! In the worst case scenario, I might have to send my computer to a qualified technical to figure out the problem!
July 7, 2009 4:10:33 AM

It's not just the total output in wattage of the PSU, but also the amps on the +12v rail. I would say that your video card is lacking sufficient juice to push it, and that's why you're not booting. I've been through a very similar circumstance more than once when people don't realize what they're required to have when buying a newer video card. What does it list for the +12v rail on your PSU?
July 7, 2009 4:35:49 AM

DC Output: +12V1
MAX Output Current: 18A

DC Output: +12V1
MAX Output Current: 18A

MAX Combined Wattage(for both +12V): 432W(36A)
a b U Graphics card
July 7, 2009 4:44:58 AM

Do you *know* that the old psu will not boot up the card? They don't use max wattage at idle. Your vid card uses 105W max - max when pushed in 3D.

Anyhow, we three suspect its a psu problem because it sounds like what we have heard before. Now knowing the vid card is good (*we* did not know that before) strengthens the suspicions.

Your psu may well be powerful enough, but it may not be working. Having another psu available is a way to test that thoery easily.

Its far more likely the problem is vid card or psu than mobo.
July 7, 2009 5:16:13 AM

The only backup PSU I've got is a 300W PSU which is obviously not powerful enough to boot up my vid card! I think sending my computer to a qualified technician to diagnose the problem may save more money than having to spend more than a hundred buck to get a more powerful PSU just to test it! Either way, thanks a lot for all your help! You guys had painted me a better picture of where the problem may lies which I will use to explain to the technician!
July 7, 2009 5:55:58 AM

Here's what we're trying to get at: TRY THE 300w PSU!!!!

See if the same thing happens.
July 7, 2009 6:01:45 AM

OK! I'll try it and let you know the results! But at the meantime, it's pretty late now! I need to get some sleep first and try it the following day!
July 7, 2009 1:18:24 PM

I think you were all right guys! I just tried with the 300W PSU this morning and incidentally, my computer boots up and loads everything faster than before including my wireless adapter which records close to maximum speed which is impossible with my 500W PSU! I also tried loading up some high-demand games and it works awesome and loads faster than before! I don't know if this excellent 300W PSU I had will be able to handle the combined load eventually as my vid card requires 450W but nevertheless it seems able to work just as fine and I will stick with it for the moment! Therefore, I guess I will have to waste some cash by dumping the may be faulty PSU! Should I continue to use this short-powered PSU and will 300W be too short to provide enough juice to power up everything including my vid card in the long run or it's a better idea to get another high-powered PSU?
a b U Graphics card
July 7, 2009 6:45:33 PM

Maybe. Your vid card max is 109W if I recall correctly and you are running a 125W cpu. So it depends on how hard you push the system, the quality and age of your 300W unit and what other hardware you're running. One way you can get a sense is to download CPUID Hardware Monitor, and watch the the +12V monitor.

As you load your PC (eg 3D game), you will need more power. If the psu can handle it, the +12V reading won't change much from what it was at idle. The spec calls for +/- 5%, which means a reading of 11.4 to 12.6V is within spec. A good psu running comfortably will remain quite close to +12V.

The greater the change from idle . . . the lower the voltage gets towards or beyond 11.4 . . . the more you run the risk of shutdown, failure, or even damage.

In any case, you are running very close to the max.
July 8, 2009 8:36:30 PM

After some time, my Nvdia display system constantly warns me about insufficient power to power up my vid card even though I had no problems booting up windows! I guess I had live without my vid card and only use the onboard Graphics for now until I have bought a new and more powerful PSU!
After checking the requirement of my vid card for which it says that a minimum power of 450W tith 12V current rating of 26A is required! Based on my final conclusions, I think that the problem is not due to a faulty PSU but in actual fact, the 500W PSU's 12V current rating of 18A is insufficient to power up my vid card! Guess I'll really have to get a new PSU with 12V current rating of 26A or more! It's a huge mistake for me to get a PSU before even reading the requirements of my vid card as I had no knowledge of the 12V 'thing' at that time!
a b U Graphics card
July 9, 2009 3:35:26 AM

NP, they don't make it easy . . . but *now* you know.

Lesson #2 is also important . . .buy a Corsair, Seasonic, Antec Earthwatts, or PC Power & Cooling psu. Or one that has been reviewed by a *quality* reviewer, not by one who liked the blue light. When you balk at the price, remember what you went through here.

Examples in the 400W to 500W range:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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