Advice on whether I need a new card

I have a 3yr old Gateway GM5474 Desktop Computer:

Processor AMD Athlon™64 X2 6000+, 64-bit dual core processor
Operates at 3.0 GHz
2 x 1024 KB L2 cache
2000 MHz system bus
Chipset NVIDIA® GeForce® 6150SE
Video NVIDIA GeForce™ 8500GT 256 MB
Windows Vista Professional
Power Supply 400 watt
Add-in Card Slots
One PCI Express ×16 (graphics interface)
One PCI Express ×1
Two PCI conventional

Recently, it began having display problems. The Monitor at first went blank for a few minutes but came back after a while or after I rebooted. Then, it went black and didn't return on it's own. If I turned the monitor off and then on, the screen would display briefly and then go blank again, usually when I moved the mouse. If I did nothing, it would go dark after about 5 seconds.

I have had previous difficulties with the motherboard which was replaced once after there were problems with the fan and heat. (replacement by Fry's- after about a month. I won't bring it back to them again,)

I am capable of replacing the video card on my own, but not capable if diagnosing the problem. I assume that this is likely to be a video card problem and that the GeForce8500 needs to be replaced, but I am not sure.

If it needs to be replaced, I don't know what to replace it with.

I would like to spend less than $100 on the replacement - and my alternative would be to replace the entire computer - and move up to Windows7 and a larger hard drive, and I can do that for around $3-400 I think.

So, I would welcome your thoughts on the diagnosis (bad video card), and if that is correct, your recommendations on a replacement card fir less than $100.

I am not very technical, and the computer is really used for basic applications -Internet browsing, Office, videos, etc. nothing requiring great computing or video power. We are not into extreme games or anything requiring significant graphics power.

I appreciate your thoughts and recommendations,


Yes, I am new here.
6 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about advice card
  1. I think that chipset has onboard video as well.. take the card out, and plug your monitor into the VGA port coming out of the motherboard itself.. restart computer, see how it behaves then, if it acts the same, its probably motherboard related or possibly another component.. check the 8500 gt's capacitors over for ruptures or any burns on it, then get back to us

  2. The sticker that says ATTENTION is the onboard videos VGA port.. you want to test this video first before you make any assumptions about spending money on a replacement nvidia 8500gt

    but you must open the computer, and remove the nvidia 8500 gt graphics card from the computer for this to work.
  3. kd0frg said:

    The sticker that says ATTENTION is the onboard videos VGA port.. you want to test this video first before you make any assumptions about spending money on a replacement nvidia 8500gt

    but you must open the computer, and remove the nvidia 8500 gt graphics card from the computer for this to work.

    KD0frg >>>>> thanks so much for this advice.

    I've opened the computer, removed the graphics card, and plugged the monitor into the VGA port. Well, to my surprise, I had the same type of problem - with the monitor displaying the video image for a second or so, and then blanking. So, we had eliminated the graphics card as the culprit.

    I wondered whether there was a problem on the motherboard, but thought that perhaps the problem might have been with my Viewsonic VX1962wm monitor. So, I brought up an older, smaller monitor, plugged it in, et voila, it works fine.

    So, clearly, it appears that there was a problem with the monitor and not inside the computer or on the cards.

    I never understood why there had been a sticker over the VGA adapter on the computer until you showed me that picture and said that it was from the chipset on the mobo and that it would not work unless the graphics card is removed/disabled.

    So, now the question is, should I spend between $100 and $150 to replace the monitor (I see ads for 20 and 23' LED monitors for these prices) and reinstall the graphics card (which I assume is fine), or do I live with this older, analog 17 inch HP monitor? Hmmmm. I think its time to get a new monitor.

    But what about the old Viewsonic? In looking at threads regarding display problems, it appears that the problem is in either the inverter or the CCFL (light source). Is it worth trying to repair the monitor? How do I find the correct 19" CCFL?

    Thanks for your help. As I said, without your simple instructions, I would have been totally lost.



    One final question: the card that I removed from the system has no indication that it is an NVIDIA 8500GT. In fact there is a sticker that says "G86-GW" - which I would guess the GW is Gateway and the 86 might be the first two numbers of the Chipset - but it should be 85 not 86 if this is a G8500.... The PCB is labelled ASUS c403HRev:1.03. So, I am thinking this is an ASUS card with the NVIDIA chipset oem'd for Gateway.

    On another forum, I think I can confirm this - as they show a similar card and identify it as the GT8500.

    Why would it not have any indication of NVIDIA on the board?
  4. Best answer
    Ah nice that you figured out the problem, ive had about 3 view sonic CRT monitors fail on me.. "aka kds monitors.. korean data systems" .. not very good quality products in my opinion.

    Im currently using a HDTV as a monitor, a 1080p 32" LG to be precise. I have 2 other monitors, one is a HP 17" LCD, still running strong after about 4 years, and i also have a gateway 22" HD LCD monitor.. still going good after about 2 years - I've never tried an LED monitor.. it is not worth trying to repair the viewsonic in my opinion but i guess that depends on your situation?

    Do you have a vast supply of spare parts and electrical testing equipment as well as a schematic to the viewsonic? how skilled are you with electronics? *shrugs* no idea on this end, but i cant help you with that, as ive never messed with trying to repair one.

    The reason the PCB is an asus is probably some proprietary thing, it maybe isnt a reference board or something, at the time the deal musta been asus supplying gateway with their pcb for the 8500gt.. or maybe frys replaced it with an asus?

    Lookup the FCC ID number and it might point to being an nvidia board

    but all else aside, glad you got back up and running ^_^
  5. So, to close this discussion off, one lat piece of (soft of) good news. I discovered that the ViewSonic monitor has a 3 year warranty. I didn't know when, or where, I bought the monitor, but I thought it might be worthwhile calling ViewSonic support to see if they could help in any way.

    Well, from the serial number, it turns out that the monitor was manufactured in October 2008, so it is still under warranty. And even though I can't remember where I bought it, ViewSonic will repair it if I ship it to them. So, as long as the shipping and packing cost is less than the cost of a new monitor - (ok, as long as it is less than 50% of the cost of the new monitor) - its probably worth it for me to have it repaired/replaced by ViewSonic.

    So, right now, the old HP 17inch monitor will suffice for about 2 weeks and I am going to ship the ViewSonic in and have it repaired.

    When it comes back, I will put the graphics card back in the PC, get the ViewSonic back on the desk, and we should be up and running again.

    Could not have done it without your help.


    ps, sounds like you've got a fantastic display for your computer - a 32' HDTV. Does it fit on your desk?

  6. Best answer selected by Ericill.
Ask a new question

Read More

Graphics Cards Graphics Product