ATI HD4850 Black Screen - Amber Light on Monitor

Hey everyone,

Been reading Tom's for a while, but never posted till today. Here is the situation and I seriously hope someone can help me figure this out.

I recently bought a brand new PC on Newegg.

System specs are:

Intel Core 2 Duo CPU E7400 2.8ghz / 2.8ghz
Windows 7 64-bit

I also bought a slightly used OEM video card version of an HD 4850 with 1gb RAM.

I also upgraded my PSU to a Cooler Master Extreme Power Plus 500W.

The system itself runs incredibly. No problems at all. The issue started when I installed that video card. Now I should say that I am trying to determine if the issue is just coincindental or if there really is something wrong that I should be looking into, hardware-wise. Please keep in mind that I am not the most technically saavy.

The specific problem is this: I run a game, for a few minutes... maybe an hour, maybe an evening. Eventually, I will experience a hard lockup which results in an amber light on the monitor, while the sound from the game continues over the speaker for a few seconds, and then goes into a rapid loop. The only option I have is to shut the system down manually. I will use three examples.

1. BIOSHOCK - full detail settings at 1280 x 1024 (my monitor's native resolution)

If I don't play this game in a window, it WILL cause the above problem within 30 minutes.

2. TRINE - full details settings at 1280 x 1024

This one seemed to work fine for me till I got to a stopping point. I started it up later and got the same problem as above.

3. COD - Modern Warfare 2 - full detail settings at 1280 x 1024

NO PROBLEMS AT ALL (and I played this game in two sittings of about 4 hours each)

Some say this is a PSU problem - others say a driver problem (I am using the n ewest Catalyst drivers from ATI), others say over-heating, others say it is bad ram, or simply a bad video card. With all these options, I don't even know where to start. I can return this card for a full refund if I want to, but I don't want to return a card that is perfectly fine if it is in fact, perfectly fine.

I will give you three more pieces of information that may help.

1. I am using a VGA monitor, and this card has two DVI-I outputs on it so I have a small adpater thingie for it.

2. When I run the CRYSIS demo, during the intro screens, and even sometimes while navigating menus, I can hear a slight squeal coming from either the card, or something else... This squeal has happened only twice to me but consistently, on both the Crysis demo and the demo for Risen.

3. My power supply says it is a 500w. But I am not truly sure if that is what I am getting or if this card is getting what it needs. The PSU box says it has DC output as follows:

+3.3V - 22A, +5V - 25A, +12V - 18A, +12V - 18A, -12V - 0.5A, +5Vsb - 2.5A

Here is the link on newegg for the PSU:

I have tried a few things, by the way, to try to deduce the issue. The number one thing was swap out both the PSU and the video card into another computer I have. I took that old computers x1950 video and PSU and put it in the new computer. I then experienced no problems at all playing Trine on EITHER system. As soon as I put the two pieces back in their respective computers, the issue was back. The old computer is using Windows 7 - 32-bit. The reason I only tried Trine is because that one locks up on loading every time at the space spot, rather than having to play 30 minutes on bioshock.

Well that's about it I guess. I guess I am just trying to figure out what the actual problem is before I start spending all sorts of money on this system. And I really do hope someone can help me out.


EDIT: Just wanted to mention that I just left Trine paused for about an hour or so, and when I came back, I attempted to Alt Tab out of it. I noticed it wouldn't work, so I tried CTRL Esc, and it just locked up, no video, looping sound. Yeaahoo!
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More about hd4850 black screen amber light monitor
  1. No replies? :(
  2. 1. Overheating --> use GPU-Z / HWMonitor to check temps
    2. Bad RAM --> use memtest86+ & switch the sticks around
    3. Driver Problem --> try driversweeper & full-reinstall the drivers
    4. Bad Card --> try it in another PC
  3. So far I have tested the heat - played trine for a while and never went above 71 degrees C. Bioshock shows a max of 69 degrees.

    Also, I had already tried the card in another computer and the lockups seemed to go away. At that time, I was able to consistently get trine to lock up in the same spot. It didn't happen on the other computer. And the old video card I swapped it out for in my new computer didn't lock either.
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