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Is this a graphics card issue?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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September 14, 2009 6:25:10 PM

When I start up my P.C. it runs fine for awhile then the mouse stops working and then everything gets choppy (sound and display) then freezes. If I restart it, it then works fine (just doesnt crash again). What does that sound like? Also, it seems to think I want to enable multi-displays but I was pretty sure that's only if you actually have more than one monitor... Help!

abit KN9
Windows XP Media Center Edition
2.20gig AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core
Dual NVIDIA GeForce 7900GS
19"Princeton VL 1916 [Monitor]

More about : graphics card issue

September 14, 2009 6:31:51 PM

sounds like a software problem does it happen on a particular program or game ?
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a c 147 U Graphics card
September 14, 2009 6:33:10 PM

does it happen every time you boot your pc?
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September 14, 2009 6:48:00 PM

Yes everytime I boot up it crashes like clockwork in that fashion. And it happens on every game / application. Is my hardware installed wrong or something?
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a c 147 U Graphics card
September 14, 2009 7:07:47 PM

maybe your system file corrupted so you might want to use restore point or simply reformat the disk. have you installed any program before this problem occur?

other possible problem might come from overheating issue since you're running SLI (since SLI setup produce more heat than single setup).
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a c 273 U Graphics card
September 14, 2009 7:13:58 PM

It also consumes more power and the PSU has yet to be mentioned.
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September 14, 2009 7:15:07 PM

I'm pretty sure I've tried running each individually before and had the same problem, so I dont think its overheating, but It was like 6 months ago. If I didn't have to leave for work I'd try it again right now. Oh well I'll just do it when I return, but I appreciate the prompt response, I think this is my new favorite forum :p 
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September 14, 2009 7:20:33 PM

It could be the power supply im gonna check it real quick... hehe, rectangle like box somewhere near the top usually right?
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September 14, 2009 7:26:40 PM

LC-A420ATX 12v. 420 watts I assume, is that enough for my rig?
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a c 273 U Graphics card
September 14, 2009 7:31:13 PM

Maybe not, I've had a pair of 7900GT's kill a couple of 500w PSU's.
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September 14, 2009 7:35:29 PM

I just read from one source that you need 400w for ONE 7900... can you reccommend any cheap but ofc awesome PSU's? Think ebay would be a good bet? Darn I gtg to work I'll try and log on from there, but again ty all for the help
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a c 273 U Graphics card
September 14, 2009 7:48:19 PM

I like Corsairs PSU's and whilst they are not exactly cheap peace of mind is invaluable.
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a c 147 U Graphics card
September 14, 2009 7:53:10 PM

i have a friend running single 7900GS. from his experience even cheap 500w psu are not up to the task. so get some good quality psu and save yourself from trouble. since you're running on SLI setup you may want to consider 600w and above psu.

you also may want to check your card individually to make sure your card is not faulty.
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September 14, 2009 8:50:14 PM

Thanks guys, looks like I have a little homework to do. I'll be back with the results sooner than later hopefully.
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a c 147 U Graphics card
September 14, 2009 8:52:32 PM

well good luck :) 
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September 15, 2009 9:18:29 AM

kewl lets us know
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a c 199 U Graphics card
September 15, 2009 5:13:36 PM

Ouch, that's an Apevia Turbolink PSU.
Depending on your budget, a single HD4670 may offer better performance than your pair of 7900GS cards in SLI (it's five tiers higher than just one). It will also sip power (no PCIE connector needed), and lower the heat in your case.
You could run up to a HD4850 on an Antec Earthwatts 380 PSU. Assuming your instability does not continue (likely due to damage from that PSU sending who-knows-what sort of voltages through each time as it overloaded), check out the Antec Truepower New 550W PSU for the two cards you have.
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September 19, 2009 6:03:23 PM

So I just grabbed a TX850 from corsair for $99 bucks not too bad, installed it and now i realized there is no connector for the smaller four pin conncection on the motherboard, (i think its the 12v auxillory connector).
Gonna see if it powers on w/o the blue light flashing on front of case, And w/o the four pin connector.
So, ya it powers on, but monitor not showing any picture...
Am I blind does it have the 4 pin connector???
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a c 273 U Graphics card
September 19, 2009 6:30:42 PM

It should do, it's an eight pin that splits IIRC.
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September 19, 2009 6:42:56 PM

Haha you are right mousemonkey, I just returned to post that it appears to be an eight pin.
Good news, SLI enabled w/o a hitch!
Now to do some further testing via BF2's Project Reality. Very demanding app this game is, so it should be a decent test. Be back in a few hours w/ results.
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a c 273 U Graphics card
September 19, 2009 6:49:20 PM

Sweet, glad to hear you're up and running.
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a c 199 U Graphics card
September 19, 2009 7:38:05 PM

Nice, you'll be able to power much more capable GPUs with that. Good upgrade.
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September 19, 2009 8:08:09 PM

Well graphics look great like they should w/ SLI properly enabled, but I think I now have an overheating issue. Ran for about an hour and then everything powered off, had to wait a few minutes to restart, ran for about 15 seconds then powered off again. I'm afraid to boot up again. Is this an overheating issue now w/ the dual GPU's and new PSU?
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a c 199 U Graphics card
September 19, 2009 8:11:22 PM

Check temps. Does the behavior happen with the side of the case off and a common fan pointed inside?
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September 19, 2009 9:45:02 PM

speedfan reports no temps over 50. Ill see how long i can run the BF2 mod, hopefully i'll see the temps before it completely powers down again.
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September 19, 2009 10:11:22 PM

same problem. didnt run for more than 30 minutes before complete shutdown
didnt catch the temps...

Ran with open case and fan pointed at it, still runs less than 30 minutes before shutting itself off.
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a c 273 U Graphics card
September 19, 2009 10:13:14 PM

Sounds like a HSF could be clogged with dust, time to check all three of them.
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September 19, 2009 10:41:56 PM

Sounds like a plan there was quite a bit of dust inside last i checked, but considering i know absolutely positively nothing about HSF's, I dont know where to start...
the Fan connected to MoBo, or fan that i perceive to be connected to MoBo has dust in it that i can see and it was getting unreasonably hot (to the touch, dunno what the temp was) but how do I check / clean it w/o accidentally destroying it?
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a c 273 U Graphics card
September 19, 2009 10:52:50 PM

The CPU HSF can sometimes be uscrewed and removed whilst leaving the heatsink still attached to the board, the GPU HSF's can only be cleaned once the cards have been taken out and the shrouds (if fitted) are removed.
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September 19, 2009 11:20:05 PM

well i took the fan off the big 'coolermaster' i have and its riddled w/ dust but i dont really know how to clean it and when i googled it, it seems most people use rubbing alcohol while swabbing it w/ Q-tips, even dipping and or soaking it, then air drying it for days.
I'm not sure what soaking 'it' meant, I assume the entire HS+F. I dont really feel comfortable messing w/ the fans, especially the one attached to the MoBo I've never done it before...
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September 19, 2009 11:20:55 PM

PC wont run more than 2 minutes idle now before shutting off.
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September 19, 2009 11:58:35 PM

i cleaned a bunch of dust out of one of the fans, but before i start cleaning the gpu's fans i was just gonna post:
idle temp of gpu's and core is 50... seems kind of high, then it slowly climbs to 60 and shuts off. Are those normal temps?
Also, if I disable SLI, will it help?
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a c 273 U Graphics card
September 20, 2009 1:31:32 AM

I just use a little 1/2" paint brush to clean out the fins of HSF's and 50 - 60 idle is rather on the high side. And the second GPU will still run at idle temps if SLi is disabled.
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September 20, 2009 1:31:49 AM

Well i think i give up, i should just leave the PC building to someone more qualified.
Hopefully reverting back to the old PSU and disabling the second gfx card will put it back to its 'crashing but playable' state. I really hope i didn't permanently break something.
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a c 199 U Graphics card
September 20, 2009 1:45:10 AM

Use the NEW PSU! The old one is a disaster waiting to happen.
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September 20, 2009 2:19:45 AM

i would love to use the new psu and dual gfx cards, but it just shut downs after 30 mins, then after 15, then after 5 and so on until it wont even power on.
cant even browse the web w/o completely powering off.

i disabled SLI, reinstalled old psu, gonna see how that runs. Hopefully at least 'as well as' before... if that can be called 'well'.
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September 20, 2009 2:29:02 AM

Seems to sit at 56 degrees, apps or idle... Not completely powering off though.

I'm just frustrated at this point, worked on it for 12 hours, I'm over it, all i wanted to do was use two old GPU's instead of buying a new one and I guess thats what i get for trying to be cheap... anyone know of a good custom PC website?
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a c 199 U Graphics card
September 20, 2009 3:07:34 AM

A single HD4670 is around $80 now. A lot of THG readers like to shop at Newegg.com for their fast shipping and excellent customer service.
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September 20, 2009 8:13:16 PM

Ya newegg rocks. Love that site.
And so I basically killed my pc, cant even get xp to load let alone bios w/ any psu / gpu combination i have so let that be a lesson to everyone: if you're only 75% sure of what you're doing, don't do it. lol
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September 24, 2009 6:45:51 PM

solved, sort of. Still randomly crashes(just not as much), but will run with one gpu and the 420w psu... not sure why the 850w psu wont work, would run it for like 20 minutes, then it wouldnt start up at all or run for like 60 seconds.
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!