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Can't get a Signal

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August 20, 2009 11:29:00 PM

So, yesterday my PC crashed whilst I was playing Lord of the Rings Online. I built this rig last July, and have been using it quite a bit.

I at first believed that the graphics card had merely died. But I am starting to suspect otherwise.

Here is my current build

Mobo
Memory = 4 GB's of Corsair DDR2 800
OS = Vista Premium 64 Bit
HD = Western Digital 7200rpm 500GB
Processor = Intel Wolfdale E8400 3.0ghz
PSU = 650W Corsair PSU, 2 6-Pins
Case = Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower
GPU = ATI Radeon 4850

I attempted hooking up my old AGP card A Radeon Radeon 9250 , but that didn't produce a signal either. Now I am concerned either the Mobo or PSU may have fried.

However, I can't seem to determine what is wrong. The mobo lights up, all of the fans spins, ranging from the case fan, cpu fan, psu fan, and gpu fan. All the LED's light up.

What originally made me believe it was the GPU was the fact that on the back of the 4850, there are now two permanent red lights on. I did some research, and found that these only light up when there is a failure with the system, one in reference to power and the other temp.

I would appreciate any help I could get. Thank you!

More about : signal

a b B Homebuilt system
August 20, 2009 11:32:07 PM

The red lights seem to indicate a power failure. Corsair PSU's are very high quality, but even the best components can still fail.

I would also try to eliminate the RAM as the possible problem by trying each stick of RAM by itself in the first RAM slot.
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August 20, 2009 11:41:28 PM

Heh, apologies. Seems the 9250 is actually PCI, not AGP as I thought it was. Indeed, your right, my mobo has no AGP slots.

I shall go check the RAM now. But I have a question about the PSU failing. If indeed this had happened, wouldn't none of the fans/lights turn on? The green LED I had thought to indicate power flow on the mobo is on, but I could be wrong about it's purpose.

I did indeed run through the check list, even though I have had this system up and running for almost a year and a half with no problems.

Will Edit with results. Thank you for the apt responses! Keep em coming please!

Edit 1 - I tried swapping the RAM around in the first slot, didn't take. However, I noticed something odd. I can turn the pc off with the on/off switch on the case, but it won't turn off with that same switch. I can hold down the button for 5-10 secs and nothing happens, I have to unplug it/switch it off to stop the flow of power.
a b B Homebuilt system
August 20, 2009 11:46:39 PM

There are various rails on the PSU, the standby power and the LEDs tend to be powered off of a different rail than most of the other components, your PSU also may not be able to provide quiet enough power anymore. Do you have another system that you can check parts in?
August 20, 2009 11:50:18 PM

My older rig is a piece or garbage. It doesn't have a PCI-E slot, and has a 350W PSU. Keep in mind I attempted running a much less demanding card, and it still wouldn't detect a signal. Is there any way to test my PSU that I could do without purchasing any new parts of equipment, or taking my rig to a shop?
August 21, 2009 3:55:23 PM

I swapped out my 350W PSU With my 650W one, only hooking up the mobo, gpu and HD to the PSU, and found that everything acted the same. So I am inclined to be believe it is no longer the PSU.

I am under the assumption it is either the Mobo or GPU now. So, if I go about replacing them both, what do people think I should swap in my system? I am a little worried about buying a new mobo, since I don't want to buy one that is basically only going to last me a year until I have to switch to a different CPU socket, but I don't exactly have tons of money at my disposal.

I could spend around 500 bucks on swapping out parts, although the mobo and gpu are mandatory new ones. Should I consider getting faster memory, or a Quad core/i7 processor?
August 21, 2009 4:16:42 PM

In the $500 range, I would suggest AMD X3 720. i7 just won't be possible on that budget. Assuming you can reuse your HDD, case, and PSU, here's my list.

Combo:
OCZ Platinum 2GB (2 x 1GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2000 (PC3 16000) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model OCZ3P2000EB2GK - Retail
AMD Phenom II X3 720 2.8GHz Socket AM3 95W Triple-Core Black Processor Model HDZ720WFGIBOX - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...


SAPPHIRE 100247L Radeon HD 4870 512MB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GIGABYTE GA-MA770T-UD3P AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Grand total $418 shipped. You can even save a bit more by getting a DDR2 mobo and re-using your RAM. Also trying your old GPU in the new system or going with another 4850. I'd replace everything your budget allows. Its possible your PSU did go bad, and took the rest of the system with it.
August 21, 2009 4:20:49 PM

Well, I could spend more then 500, max around 800, but I don't want to if I don't have to. I am trying now to weigh the pro's and con's of switching parts out. Is it worth it to switch to the i7 for the current price tag? or Should I shell out only a couple hundred now, and wait a year or two and then do a total system re-haul?

Doing a theoretical i7 build would be helpful as well as a non i-7 build.
August 21, 2009 4:55:59 PM

i7. Again assuming you can re-use the other parts.

Combo:
OCZ Platinum 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Voltage Desktop Memory Model OCZ3P1600LV6GK - Retail
GIGABYTE GA-EX58-UD3R LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

Intel Core i7 920 Nehalem 2.66GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

SAPPHIRE 100245HDMI Radeon HD 4850 512MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Grand total $696 shipped, using the 4850 instead of the 4870. Not too bad really.

What else do you play besides LoTR online? What else is the computer used for? An i7 rig could be total overkill.
August 21, 2009 5:01:03 PM

Well, I play LotRO, WoW, Fallout 3, Mas Effect, Oblivion, Modern Warfare, and some RTS'S. I hope to be able to play most MMO's on the market on higher settings, IE Aion, The old Republic, as well as upcoming AAA titles such as Modern Warfare 2, Arkham Asylum, Dragon Age Origins, Mass Effect 2, Diablo3 and such.

I also watch a lot of high def stuff through my pc, as well as do some basic Photoshop and coral painting stuff.
August 21, 2009 5:38:11 PM

Based on that, here's what I would do. This replaces everything but your HDD, case and periperals. Safest thing unless you want to try and troubleshoot more to figure out exactly what happened. But again, if it was a psu problem, it could have affected other components.

Combo:
AMD Phenom II X4 955 Black Edition Deneb 3.2GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor Model HDZ955FBGIBOX - Retail
HIS H487FN1GP Radeon HD 4870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?Ite...

OCZ Reaper HPC 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model OCZ3RPR16004GK - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

CORSAIR CMPSU-650TX 650W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Compatible with Core i7 Power Supply - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

GIGABYTE GA-MA770T-UD3P AM3 AMD 770 ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This will be a rock solid system and nice upgrade overall. Will also give you a decent upgrade path being AM3 and DDR3 memory. Total is $621.51 shipped. A little over the $500 mark, but well under $800. Cheaper than you can do with an i7 build, and you won't notice a difference in gaming.

Oh, and I goofed on my first config with the X3 720. I spec'd 2X1GB RAM instead of 2X2.
August 21, 2009 5:45:41 PM

The PSU you linked is actually the one I own right now. Assuming it isn't dead, I am figuring I can just re-use it.

Going on that, the price drops to 530-ish. Maybe I should go with an upgraded mobo?
August 21, 2009 5:55:51 PM

Nothing wrong with that mobo unless you think you may go Crossfire at some point. I'd stick with Gigabyte or Asus, both good quality boards. Here's a different Gigabyte board with the 2nd PCIe slot.


GIGABYTE GA-MA790XT-UD4P AM3 DDR3 AMD 790X ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Only about $40 more. I listed it with the PSU just in case it was the culprit. Its always easier to spend someone else's money, but IMO its safest to replace everything. To me, $70 is worth it. Not sure if the 650tx will handle 2 4870 1gb cards. I "think" it will though. But again, IMO if you don't plan to Crossfire, I see no reason to spend more on a mobo.
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