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HD4890 Boot-time Power Up Stall? No Boot?

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a b U Graphics card
March 28, 2010 6:55:52 PM

I have a problem I've faced since day one with my XFX 489A-ZDEC HD4890, which I bought last July. I'm curious if anyone has a clue why it happens and/or if they've experienced the issue as well.

Whenever I boot my PC, the most prominent noise from within comes from the fan of my HD4890 spinning-up. The duration of the fan's initial high-speed burst can vary slightly, but usually lasts about 2 seconds. Sounds like a normal video initialization process, right? At least 95% of the time, my system simply will not boot. Instead, I have to wait for the card to do this "spin-up" a 2nd (or even a 3rd) time, which usually consists of a stronger fan spin with a longer duration - 3 or 4 seconds. The time it takes for the additional spin-up(s) to even occur can take anywhere from 30 seconds to a minute. In some rare cases, even longer. But, once the additional spin-up(s) occurs, the system still does not boot. I have to physically reset the system to get it to boot. Once I press reset, the longer duration spin-up occurs yet again, and the system will finally boot.

I've encountered this countless times since building this system, as I use it daily but do not leave it running 24/7. Frankly, I'm just plain sick of it.

Steps I've taken to see if it's the card or something else within the system include:
Card substitution. I installed an HIS HD4850 (485QT512) from another PC. Problem never occurs with that card in the system. I would have stuck the 4890 in the other PC, but it's only got a 430W PSU in it with a single PCIe 6-pin cable. Maybe that will be my next step.
Memory adjustments. One DIMM, alternative DIMM slots, and completely different memory. This had no effect.
Power cabling adjustments. I tried every conceivable power arrangement my Antec EA-750 allows. Again, no effect.
CPU swap. I installed a Phenom X2 7850 Kuma from a spare machine. Still, no effect.
Rebuilding the card. I tore it down, cleaned it thoroughly, re-applied thermal grease, and put it back together. This had no effect, other than my temperatures decreased.

Monitoring the card's lights. I'm separating this part because it seems as though something within the observations I've made may lead to an answer.

Never do the card's light stay lit to show any hint of an error. I get the typical 3-light blink that seems to repeat three times in about a second's time. This happens during the same fan spin-up cycle(s) I mentioned previously. If the system doesn't boot, the lights will repeatedly perform the same 3-light blink, with the occasional kick-in of the fan. It'll does this over and over again until finally, the stronger fan surge happens. On occasion, the system will actually boot without needing to be reset. However, if it does not, this is the exact moment I have to wait for in order for it to boot after a physical reset.

There's just something odd going on here, and it's really p*ssin me off. I've looked elsewhere for clues, but there just don't seem to be any. Once the system is running, it typically runs great. If you look at my Member Info, you'll see some of the OC my system's capable of. Error-free, mind you. It just seems to me something is awry with this card...
a c 189 U Graphics card
March 29, 2010 2:20:38 AM

So, what is your current PSU right now?
Make sure all the 6pin power connector cables are installed properly...
October 7, 2010 2:38:26 PM

I a, having similar problems with my xfx 4890 too, I can't seems to figure it out too. I am running it on a rosewell 530W psw. I would love some help badly too. I read some where that is power problem when the 3 lights stay on, but I never you to get this when I just bought this card and I have added anything to the pc.
a c 271 U Graphics card
October 7, 2010 2:56:17 PM

pc_Learner said:
I a, having similar problems with my xfx 4890 too, I can't seems to figure it out too. I am running it on a rosewell 530W psw. I would love some help badly too. I read some where that is power problem when the 3 lights stay on, but I never you to get this when I just bought this card and I have added anything to the pc.

Start a new thread, this one is six months old.
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