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New ATI HD 4870 - 3 red lights flash once and no boot (PC cuts out)

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July 17, 2009 10:36:23 AM

Hi,

I recently bought a brand new Sapphire ATI HD 4870 512mb graphics card but when I plug it into my computer and turn on, everything starts for half a second including 3 red lights on the graphics card which flash once and then the whole PC cuts out. Its as if someone has pulled the plug out as everything cuts out inc the HDD and CPU, like a car which wont start properly. Reading online I have only found posts about people with 3 red lights which stay on, mine however flash once and the computer cuts out. If I push the on button after it has cut out nothing happens, I have to turn the PSU off and on again for it to start again. Every time I turn the PC on it just dies after half a second!
I have inserted my old graphics card which is very old which takes no extra power and my computer boots up fine. I have also had a NVidia 250 gts in the past which worked fine on my computer and a HD 3650.

I have everything connected correctly including the ram and x2 PCI-e power cables connected to the card also it is firmly seated in the PCI-e slot.

At first I thought it might be my PSU not delivering enough power so I unplugged both my CD/DVD drives and only left the HDD and GPU plugged in however the same problem occurs.

I have a "winpower ATX-650" 650w PSU which should be fine considering the HD 4870 requires a 500w PSU.

Sapphire HD 4870 512mb graphics card:
http://www1.sapphiretech.com/us/products/products_overv...

My motherboard is an "ALiveDual-eSATA2" which has a PCI-e x16 slot and a AGP x8:
http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.asp?Model=ALIVEDUAL-E...

- Northbridge: NVIDIA® M1695
- Southbridge: NVIDIA® nForce3 250

Is it a lack of power from the PSU even though it is 650w or is it a problem with the graphics card? :S

I would appreciate any help what so ever because I have tried all I can and it is really frustrating me :( 
a c 130 U Graphics card
July 17, 2009 10:52:58 AM

Can you give us more info on the Power supply please, does it have the two PCIE cables or did you need to fit an adapter ? Also what power does it give to the +12v rails, either in watts or amps but preferably watts,
Posting exactly what is listed for what on the PSU sticker would be the best way around it having thought for a second.
Mactronix
July 17, 2009 11:58:42 AM

I am using the two pci-e cables that came with the graphics card that connect to the molex cables, as there aern't any pci-e cables that come out from the PSU. Nothing else is connected to the molex cables as the hardrive is connected using a sata power cable.

Im sure it says this on the sticker, but I will check when I get home:

Output:
+12V1 23A Max
+12V2 23A Max
+5V 40A Max

+3.3V 30A Max
-12V 0.8A Max
+5V/SB 3.0A Max
Related resources
a b U Graphics card
July 17, 2009 12:11:59 PM

from what i found by searching on google,Those psu's are of low quality,buy a good name brand psu and u should be fine.
July 17, 2009 12:25:02 PM

Earnie said:
from what i found by searching on google,Those psu's are of low quality,buy a good name brand psu and u should be fine.


Thank you for your help too Earnie, I agree that it is a low quality PSU as it was only £25 at the time. However it is 150w higher than the minimum requirements of the HD 4870 so I don't understand why it doesn't work.

If it is the PSU which isn't good enough can you recommend a good quality PSU which would be enough to power the card?
I can't buy an expensive one and would prefer to keep the watts as low as possible. ;) 
July 17, 2009 2:47:49 PM

is my PSu good enough for the HD4870?
a c 236 U Graphics card
July 17, 2009 3:15:12 PM

unrealed99 said:
is my PSu good enough for the HD4870?

Here are the official 4870 requirements:
http://www.amd.com/us/products/desktop/graphics/ati-rad...
You should be OK, assuming the psu is delivering the 75 watts per pci-e connector.

Can you test the 4870 on another system?
Consider the possibility that the 4870 is bad and needs to be replaced.
July 17, 2009 3:38:01 PM

I dont have another machine/ know someone with one that has a pci-e slot.
Maybe I can take it to a local computer shop and they might be willing to test it for me?

I don't want to send it back and then discover the same thing happens with another card. Maybe a NVidia 250 gts would be better suited in my computer?
a b U Graphics card
July 17, 2009 3:41:58 PM

The lights are supposed to come on when the computer starts. The computer is crashing for some reason, but the lights have nothing to do with it.

It is probably a power issue though. It could be a lot of things(MB ect.), but PSU seems most likely. I'd imagine your psu isnt giving enough power and it shuts down.
July 17, 2009 3:47:14 PM

thanks for the help, I think my motherboard or PSU is cutting the power as a safety feature but I dont know why. The fact that I cant even access the BIOS without putting a different card in is very strange.
a b U Graphics card
July 17, 2009 3:54:57 PM

The lights come on during the card's POST. At this time the fan is supposed to gun up to 100% and the card will be at or near full load. It will be drawing as much power at this time as it would during gaming etc. This draw at startup could easily kill the system if the PSU cannot handle it (or it is not connected properly), which is why a card that draws less power would work.
July 17, 2009 4:39:08 PM

that makes alot of sense, thank you daedalus685.

I will double check all the cables in great detail and if the problem occurs again then I shall have to consider buying a new PSU.

Do you have any considerations?
July 17, 2009 4:41:54 PM

i guess the sufficient watts and amps of my PSU dont really matter when its a low quality budget PSU
July 17, 2009 4:44:49 PM

geofelt said:
Here are the official 4870 requirements:
http://www.amd.com/us/products/desktop/graphics/ati-rad...
You should be OK, assuming the psu is delivering the 75 watts per pci-e connector.

Can you test the 4870 on another system?
Consider the possibility that the 4870 is bad and needs to be replaced.


I can try measuring the amps and volts of each 12v rail using a volt/ammeter and then work out if its supplying the desired 75w.
a c 130 U Graphics card
July 17, 2009 8:14:15 PM

The very fact that the PSU has not got the needed PCIE connectors and you are using two Molex addaptors has a five bell alarm going off in my head. It really sounds like teh PSU is cutting out due to over loading at start up as daedalus685 said.
You need a new PSU. It may list 2x23A but only a quality PSU could actually deliver that. I would bet that the wattage rating for the +12v rails dosent come close to providing that much power.

Mactronix
a b U Graphics card
July 17, 2009 8:44:43 PM

Also keep in mind that there is no telling which rail the molex are on :\ One rail is not nearly enough power.
a c 130 U Graphics card
July 17, 2009 9:02:31 PM

^ +1
Definatly not good

Mactronix
July 18, 2009 12:07:59 PM

Ive just check the sticker on my PSU and it says:

OUTPUT:
+12V 28A Max
+5V 40A Max

There are two 12V rails with molex cables on. But it still wont work.

Would a Nvidia 250 gts work on my machine which requires less power (450w PSU and only 1 pci-e cable),

I had a used 250 gts a while ago but it had green and pink dots on the screen which looked like artifacts which were permanent.
Could this have been PSU related or was it just a faulty card?

http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/page-266169_15_0.ht...
July 18, 2009 2:09:27 PM

also I have an AMD athlon 64(x2) 2.00ghz dual core cpu 3600+

could this be affecting the hd4870 and pci-e slot as it is slow?
a c 130 U Graphics card
July 18, 2009 2:42:06 PM

Your PSU isnt good enough thats the bottom line it dosent matter what else is in there your PSU just plain isnt good enough to run a 4870.
You say it has 2 23A 12v rails but then it says 28A max for the 12v rails. clearly thats just stupid. should one rail put out 23 amps of the total 28 available that leaves 5 for the other rail. It just dosent add up im afraid. Its a typical failing of a cheap PSU.

Mactronix
July 18, 2009 3:19:27 PM

ok thanks for your help, I dont know a decent PSU to get. I have looked at those certified by ATI as working with the 4870 but they are all around £80. :pfff: 

Do I really need a PSU this expensive or would I be able to get a decent one for £50 say? :pt1cable: 

July 18, 2009 4:11:57 PM

mactronix said:
Your PSU isnt good enough thats the bottom line it dosent matter what else is in there your PSU just plain isnt good enough to run a 4870.
You say it has 2 23A 12v rails but then it says 28A max for the 12v rails. clearly thats just stupid. should one rail put out 23 amps of the total 28 available that leaves 5 for the other rail. It just dosent add up im afraid. Its a typical failing of a cheap PSU.

Mactronix


thanks Mactronix

Would a OCZ Stealth XStream 600W PSU work with the hd4870?

it has "2 x 6 pin PCI Express power" and "+12V1(18A), +12V2(18A), +12V3(18A), +12V4(18A)"

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/OCZ-Stealth-XStream-600W-PSU_W0QQ...|66%3A2|39%3A1|72%3A1683|293%3A1|294%3A50
a c 130 U Graphics card
July 18, 2009 4:13:26 PM

No the ATI requirements are a bit over the top something like this http://www.ebuyer.com/product/120377 would be fine, Im sure there could be even better deals out there but thats the fists one I came across.

Mactronix
July 18, 2009 4:32:03 PM

mactronix said:
No the ATI requirements are a bit over the top something like this http://www.ebuyer.com/product/120377 would be fine, Im sure there could be even better deals out there but thats the fists one I came across.

Mactronix


thanks Mactronix for the quick reply :hello: 

Following your reccomendation I have read online that the "Antec EarthWatts 500W EA 500" delivers plenty of power and is more than capable of powering the card.

The link you sent is also a good price, and I will be pleased to get my hd 4870 working soon!

many thanks :D 
a c 130 U Graphics card
July 18, 2009 4:54:37 PM

Glad i could help

Mactronix
!