I have an "older" computer that I wanted to upgrade the video card on. I opted for PNY's nVidia GTS 450, but I think my motherboard isn't compatible with the multi-core card. I'm not certain this is the issue, PNY's technical support hasn't gotten back to me yet, despite sending them an e-mail a couple days ago. But from what I've gathered from the FAQs, it seems to be the culprit--I get no video signal at all while the computer boots up, but I do when Windows boots up. I updated my BIOS, and still the same.
I'm having trouble making heads or tails of some of the newer boards--I've never shopped for my own motherboard before, though I have replaced other components in the past.
I need the same connectors I've currently got--anyone know of a current motherboard that's equivalent to Intel's D945GPM? What's most confusing me in my inexperience is the listing of power requirements in specs, and I'm having a hard time figuring out whether a board will work without having to purchase new power connectors or a new PSU.
I would get a new power supply first with 6 pin pci-e connector for your video card. Newegg has the antec BP550 + 550w modular for $44.99 after $20 rebate with free shipping. It's a quality brand with plenty of reserve for upgrades. Then try your new video card in the 16x pci-e slot of your old motherboard. It may work fine.
Hmm that sounds like a cheaper option. Though I did connect the card to power-the box included an adaptor for two four pin connectors to a six. Do you think having the six pin without an adaptor will fix the issue?
yes. I know your original power supply is inadequate for your new video card. Your standard ps is about 250w. The 550w will handle it better. I guarantee a new board won't handle the 450 any better without more power.
I don't have 250W--when I bought my computer 4 years ago, I got the lower end of top-of-the-line from Alienware. I've got a 480W PSU. However, I did add a second harddrive to the initial configuration, so this adapter did use up the last of my 4 pin power connectors. Given that I have a 480W supply, do you still think that's the issue?
Hard to say. IF you prefer to try the new board first, then do so. But don't be surprised if you have the same problems. You can use any number of g31 or g41 motherboards. Use cpuz to check your ram speed. If it's only 533, then you may need an older board. If it's 667 or 800 speed, then you can choose from many boards. Micro atx is probably the only size that will fit your case.
Thanks again--I'm going to solicit a few more opinions, but I'm thinking I will try the power supply first; it's probably cheaper, and a bit easier of a swap.
The main reason I was thinking it was the motherboard was because of this entry in nVidia's FAQ: Link. Different card, but I wasn't sure if the CUDA cores could have a similar problem; I bought my computer before they started using CUDA. Though I did update to the newest BIOS, which were released just a year ago.
You're right, my case can only accommodate MicroATX. And unfortunately my RAM speed is 533...so I guess I'll keep my fingers crossed that power is the issue. Again, thanks, I appreciate it.
Edit: Quick question about the power supply, since my knowledge there is weak. How similar to my current amp ratings would I need? The model you suggested is slightly lower on amps for most of the ratings, but slightly higher on a couple as well.
...I just did some troubleshooting with a friend and I think I can rule out power. The first troubleshooting step was to disconnect power from the HDDs, fans, etc, and see if I could get video on attempting to boot...nada. ...but I'm not certain I can confirm a motherboard issue. I'm feeling a bit over my head and may just return the card...the issue got worse.
The second thing I tried was putting the old card back in, going into the BIOS, and switching video from "auto" to "PCIE Card." Worked fine with the old card, so I powered down, pulled the plug, and swapped the GTS 450 in. This time I got intermittent video during boot...but nothing in Windows. At all. Swapped the cards again, back into the BIOS and returned the setting to default...swapped back again to the 450...and this time nothing. As far as I could tell, it's no longer even booting into Windows with the 450; the keyboard light went on, then off after a minute or two, back on, and repeat.
When I again switched back to my old card, I managed to break the PCIE lock. ): It's working fine again with the 7300, though.
Anyway...the reason I don't think I've confirmed a motherboard compatibility issue is that I noticed in the Device Manager, I get an exclamation point next to "PCI Device" under "Other Devices." I've noticed this in the past but ignored it because it wasn't affecting system performance in a way I could see--I edit video and play games, so I push it hard. This exclamation point came up regardless of which card I had in.
The interesting part, I think, is that the Device Manager does recognize whatever card I have in--under "Display Adapters" it currently displays, "NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GS." With the 450 in, it displays, "GTS 450." The only other PCI device I have is a Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS, which is also correctly identified under "Sound, Video, and Game Controllers." So it's seeing what's in the PCI slots, but for some reason is detecting an unknown PCI device.
The hardware's been great to me over the last 4 years, but I think Alienware (pre-Dell) did a subpar job of putting it all together. When I first got it, it arrived with the wrong video driver--it would only work with my old CRT, and not with the LCD that I'd purchased with it. So now I'm wondering if it wasn't so much the driver as something the newer driver was bypassing; last time I tried updating the 7300's drivers I lost some functionality and it behaved erratically.