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PSU Issue with newly installed GPU HD 6950

Last response: in Components
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June 18, 2012 3:33:30 AM

I'm not 100% positive with the exact problem, but the PSU is my best guess. Here's what happened:

1. I recently upgraded from my old HD 5770 to an HD 6950. After I installed the 6950, my screen started showing a bunch of red, green and blue fuzz over the screen. This didn't happen until after I logged in and windows was loading up the template etc.

2. I used driver sweeper and cleared everything from the 5770 and got the new drivers from the AMD site. After installing the new drivers for the 6950, the card appeared to work fine. But alas, only a day or two later and on a boot up one morning, it happend again - that blue, green and red fuzz.

3. I thought it was the gpu, so I decided to pack it up for an RMA and re-install my 5770. Note, the 5770 has never given me troubles.

4. I got the 5770 installed, everything was good to go. I powered up and found that the fan on the card was running at full speed, at least it seemed like it. Very loud, so I imagine it was at 100%. My monitor was picking up no signal. Additionally, the fan on my CPU was not running.

5. So I uninstalled the 5770 and decided to use the onboard graphics. I took out the card, of course. Everything got hooked up and then on power-up, the same problem - monitor has no signal. However, the fans on the CPU run fine.

6. I decided to attempt to get some kind of single by re-installing the 6950. Hoping for a least a fuzzy screen to look at, the 6950 ended up doing the same thing as the 5770. The fans were running at full speed and no monitor signal.

Specs:

Intel Quad Core i7 3.4 ghz
Radeon HD 5770 (upgraded to HD 6950)
Rosewill 650w 12v PSU
G.Skill Ares DDR3 8gb x2
Intel DZ68DB Mobo
Rosewill THOR V2 Gaming ATX Full Tower

Note that everything listed is barely a few months old, except for the PSU & the 5770. The PSU & old gpu are I think near 2+ years.

Quite a delima at hand cause I think I only have like 15 days left to RMA the 6950 card, and I don't get paid for any new upgrades until near the end of that time. I really need to figure out this issue before I end up loosing cash D=
a c 76 ) Power supply
June 18, 2012 3:41:35 AM

My best guess is that it's the PSU or mobo. Do you have another PSU, even a low wattage one just to test with (just long enough to see if it will work)?
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June 18, 2012 4:08:19 AM

I have an older one, but I think it's only a 300w and I'm not sure it has all the required connections.

If so, what am I testing exactly? Should I just test to try and get the onboard graphics working? I'm not sure either of the cards would do any good with that old of a psu.

Also, is there something I'm missing about the onboard graphics? I uninstall GPUs and obviously move my VGA monitor over to the onboard connection from my mobo. Should it then work? There's nothing else that has to be messed with?

I find it really odd that the CPU fan doesn't run when either of the GPUs are installed. With them out, it runs fine but either way I do it, no monitor signal. Hence why I thought it was the PSU.

Is it possible that the 6950 just killed my psu?
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a c 76 ) Power supply
June 18, 2012 4:12:35 AM

Nickafur said:
I have an older one, but I think it's only a 300w and I'm not sure it has all the required connections.

If so, what am I testing exactly? Should I just test to try and get the onboard graphics working? I'm not sure either of the cards would do any good with that old of a psu.

Also, is there something I'm missing about the onboard graphics? I uninstall GPUs and obviously move my VGA monitor over to the oboard connection from my mobo. Should it then work? There's nothing else that has to be messed with?


Yeah, just try it without either one of the GPU's installed. Without one of them installed, it should default back to the iGPU. If it doesn't at least make a POST beep, I'd say the mobo is the culprit.

There's really nothing else I would think it could be, except maybe the RAM, but I VERY highly doubt that, especially with the symptoms involved.

And I suppose it's possible that the 6950 killed the old PSU, but it shouldn't have. 650W is plenty for that card, although that PSU may not have been the greatest to begin with. Older Rosewill's were of suspect quality.
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June 18, 2012 5:23:35 AM

Okay. So I tried with the older PSU and only using the onboard graphics. The fans ran fine, but still no monitor signal.

So let's take your word and assume it's the motherboard. How does this affect the screen visuals going into a blue, red & green fuzz after the GPU upgrade. This has never happened before, still, the 6950 killed the mobo in essence?

Also, how does the mobo affect the change of fan functionality and the intensity when a GPU is installed?
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a c 76 ) Power supply
June 18, 2012 5:30:04 AM

I'm just going on a hunch, to be honest, but if it IS the mobo, it could literally be anything. There's nothing else that makes sense, though.

The original card is known to be good, and it won't work with it now, and the PSU swap didn't change anything, so it's doubtful that it's the PSU.

So I guess you can see where I'm coming from. There's really nothing that we haven't ruled out but the mobo. I guess the 6950 did have a part in it, but that's very strange, I must say.
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June 18, 2012 6:04:21 AM

Perhaps I have to pick a new mobo then.

Assuming the motherboard is the issue, should I then keep the 6950 gpu?

Also, a little off topic, but if I do get a new motherboard, does that mean I have to wipe my main drive and reinstall the os?
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a c 76 ) Power supply
June 18, 2012 6:22:09 AM

I THINK the main problem is the mobo, but what worries me is that it didn't happen until you got the 6950. That worries me because we can't be sure that the card itself wasn't the cause of the problem in the first place and MAY happen again. Could just be one of those things; a freak occurrence, but man, it's so hard to know.

This is just a crazy problem. If the 5770 still worked like it was supposed to, and/or the iGPU worked, this would be easy, but with BOTH not working now...

For the iGPU, try clearing the CMOS. It might be trying to initialize the PCIe slot first and wouldn't show anything through the onboard graphics in that case. If THAT works, that narrows it down to the PCIe slot being bad, at least.

If you get the same model mobo, you shouldn't really need to do anything. If it's a different make, you should at least do a repair install. A reformat is better, but a repair install should be OK in this case.
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June 18, 2012 7:46:35 AM

I attempted to clear the CMOS using two methods. First I tried a reset using the pins, that didn't do anything. Finally I did the battery method and still no change.
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a c 76 ) Power supply
June 18, 2012 7:47:59 AM

Well damn. That was my last resort thing to do, unfortunately.
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June 18, 2012 11:36:25 AM

I'm still doing the good old process of elimination to check other hardware.

I reinstalled the 6950 to test the HDMI connections. Testing it on my tv brought nothing to the screen, however, now the CPU fan is running with the card installed. The card's fans still run at 100%, or so it seems, but no signals.

It's odd because if I hadn't uninstalled it and just removed and reinstalled the drivers, I get this feeling I would still be able to get a signal.

Another theory is it could be the CCC (catalyst control center). I've read that someone had artifact troubles when unlocking the card. I can recall that the artifacts I was getting (the GRB fuzz/bunch of tiny dots on the screen), did only happen some time after unlocking the gpu. Note that I've used this new gpu for at least 10 days now, having to reinstall the driver twice to fix the artifact issue. I've played many games etc.

I didn't unlock the card each time either. I wouldn't do it until a couple of days in only because I wanted to read the GPUs temp. Still, before unlocking it, it ran fine.

Thoughts?
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a c 76 ) Power supply
June 18, 2012 8:07:30 PM

Generally, artifacting means that the card is defective (unlocked or not). Could be why it was sold as a 6950.

That still doesn't explain why nothing else works now, though.
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June 19, 2012 3:29:21 AM

My current plan is to RMA the 6950 and then buy a new motherboard. I'll then reformat my HDD before I actually install the new motherboard, just to be safe. We'll see how that works.

Is it possible this problem could be the cpu? I'd hate to think it died so soon, but would a defective cpu prevent me from getting into bios or even my monitor not getting a signal?
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a c 76 ) Power supply
June 19, 2012 3:32:06 AM

Nah, I wouldn't think that it's the CPU. A dead (or dying) CPU could certainly cause the system to not boot, of course, but that's a VERY rare occurrence.
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June 19, 2012 4:22:45 AM

Well, considering how the artifacts did only happen when the 6950 drivers were installed, and how it didn't do anything until after I unlocked the card, perhaps it is just the gpu.

This is gonna suck if I find it wasn't the mobo. I'll keep this thread going until everything is back to normal.

Also, here's the board I'm planning to get:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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a c 76 ) Power supply
June 19, 2012 4:27:19 AM

Well, I don't love the LE boards (having a P8Z68-V LE myself, I know that they're a bit neutered, but I didn't really realize that until after I got it), but it's a good quality board.
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June 19, 2012 4:30:03 AM

Sorry if this is going off topic, but it's all relative.

I'm actually kinda confused about PCIe 3.0. I've been reading that Ivy Bridge CPUs are required, but if I recall correctly, mine is a sandy bridge? I don't know why that matters. My CPU says it's LGA1155, which is this board. It should work...
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a c 76 ) Power supply
June 19, 2012 4:32:43 AM

Nickafur said:
Sorry if this is going off topic, but it's all relative.

I'm actually kinda confused about PCIe 3.0. I've been reading that Ivy Bridge CPUs are required, but if I recall correctly, mine is a sandy bridge? I don't know why that matters. My CPU says it's LGA1155, which is this board. It should work...


Yeah, for PCIe 3.0 to work, you NEED an Ivy CPU. SB CPU's don't have that ability, no matter if the board is capable or not.
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June 19, 2012 4:51:23 AM

The first board doesn't have a 2.0 at all. Not sure I'd want that. =/

I'm looking around and even looking at you suggestion, all of these boards have the worst setup for 2.0 slots. My GPUs are going to cut off either come connectors or sata slots.

I would like a board with both 3.0 and 2.0, like the asus... but I need one where the 2.0 slot is further away from anything, so the GPU doesn't cut crap off.
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a c 76 ) Power supply
June 19, 2012 4:55:10 AM

Nickafur said:
The first board doesn't have a 2.0 at all. Not sure I'd want that. =/

I'm looking around and even looking at you suggestion, all of these boards have the worst setup for 2.0 slots. My GPUs are going to cut off either come connectors or sata slots.

I would like a board with both 3.0 and 2.0, like the asus... but I need one where the 2.0 slot is further away from anything, so the GPU doesn't cut crap off.


The Extreme4 has 2 3.0 slots and that's all you need. A 2.0 card WILL absolutely work in a 3.0 slot (especially since it won't be 3.0 anyway without an Ivy CPU. Even if you DID have an Ivy CPU, it would STILL work. Totally backwards compatible).
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June 19, 2012 4:58:23 AM

What about a 3.0 gpu? Having the sandy bridge wouldn't ruin it?

Interesting thought. Maybe that's what sparked the issue in the first place?
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a c 76 ) Power supply
June 19, 2012 4:59:59 AM

Nickafur said:
What about a 3.0 gpu? Having the sandy bridge wouldn't ruin it?

Interesting thought. Maybe that's what sparked the issue in the first place?


Nope. A 3.0 card works very happily in a 2.0 slot (or 3.0 slot at 2.0), just not at 3.0 bandwidth.

Not sure what caused the problem, but 2.0 vs. 3.0 didn't have anything to do with it.
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a c 76 ) Power supply
June 19, 2012 5:11:14 AM

Yeah, that board is fine. Fun fact: ASRock used to be an entity of Asus, although not anymore. The quality and reliability are just fine though. Asus is my preferred choice, and I will always buy Asus, but I actually don't mind Gigabyte.
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June 19, 2012 5:24:29 AM

Thanks for all of your help.

I'll keep you posted on the issue and see if we can solve this.
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a c 76 ) Power supply
June 19, 2012 5:27:29 AM

You're very welcome, and I definitely hope that this fixes it. An RMA on the GPU AND a new mobo, HAS to fix it, right? LOL
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June 19, 2012 5:49:10 AM

I have an ASRock board and the only problem I have is memory support on it, make sure your memory is on the QVL list, just go to the ASRock website and find the motherboard you want to get. If your RAM is not there, you'll most likely be fine, but be cautious of any potential bad performance, and make sure you get BIOS updates if it relates to improving your RAM's performance. This problem however, persists in other motherboards too.

I am a safe ASRock customer from now on and I will only buy from ASRock because they offer the best quality per dollar. They give you the best for your money spent. ASUS, ASRock, gigabyte, and MSI are the only brands I go with, if it's not ASRock. I never seen any crappy performance from my ASRock board with so far, but one of my RAM sticks died somehow, idk if it was from the board because I got RAM that newly came out and wasn't on my motherboard's QVL list. Maybe the RAM was a dud.
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June 19, 2012 8:31:07 AM

Recently found this discussion:

http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1659879

granted it didn't happen the same way, and it deals with an older radeon card, it's still the same symptom - fans at 100% and no signal.

A little scary because the guy said he got a new mobo and no solution.
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a c 76 ) Power supply
June 19, 2012 8:42:53 AM

What's different there is that he didn't get a new card. He tried the same card on the new mobo.
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June 19, 2012 11:04:15 PM

What about the possibility of my GPU and CPU having bottlenecking issues, and then perhaps my cpu took damage as a result?
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a c 76 ) Power supply
June 19, 2012 11:08:16 PM

Nickafur said:
What about the possibility of my GPU and CPU having bottlenecking issues, and then perhaps my cpu took damage as a result?


Nope. A 6950/70 wouldn't even come close to bottle necking a Sandy i7. You wold have to go tri or quad SLI/Crossfire to make it bottle neck. Even so, bottle necking CAN'T physically cause damage.

If anything, the card was the bottle neck, not the CPU.
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June 22, 2012 12:56:03 PM

Is it possible that the new ASrock mobo will help me diagnose the problem using the Debug LED? Or will that not work until I get into bios?
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Best solution

a c 76 ) Power supply
June 22, 2012 1:00:16 PM

I would imagine it should, if there's still a problem, yeah.
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June 29, 2012 4:45:33 AM

So, thanks to the new ASrock motherboard, I was able to narrow down the problem. Dr. Debug kept giving me memory related errors after I first had everything ready to go. So I did some switching and trying 1 memory stick at a time. I found that having both sticks in the proper slots wouldn't work. I tried with one of the sticks in the proper slot, still no go. Finally the last stick worked.

So I guess I had a bad ram stick.

Now... assuming that was the issue to begin with... Anyone know how 1 bad memory stick could cause artifacts on the screen followed by a failure to post? Perhaps it was the combination of the 6950 & the memory stick? Any ideas?

So far so good, and I'm actually loving this new motherboard.

I'll keep you posted if I run into any other errors.
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June 29, 2012 5:42:44 AM

Nickafur said:
So, thanks to the new ASrock motherboard, I was able to narrow down the problem. Dr. Debug kept giving me memory related errors after I first had everything ready to go. So I did some switching and trying 1 memory stick at a time. I found that having both sticks in the proper slots wouldn't work. I tried with one of the sticks in the proper slot, still no go. Finally the last stick worked.

So I guess I had a bad ram stick.

Now... assuming that was the issue to begin with... Anyone know how 1 bad memory stick could cause artifacts on the screen followed by a failure to post? Perhaps it was the combination of the 6950 & the memory stick? Any ideas?

So far so good, and I'm actually loving this new motherboard.

I'll keep you posted if I run into any other errors.


I had a RAM problem, never affected my gpu, idk how yours did. I have an ASRock motherboard as well.
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June 29, 2012 2:21:28 PM

Maybe it was the ram all along. =/

Anyways, after installing windows, everything is running rather slow. Boot-up take way longer than it should and even with the proper motherboard drivers installed + gpu drivers, it's still slow.

I'm guessing that last stick of ram is also turning bad?
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July 1, 2012 12:26:25 AM

This is a weird problem. It might be a cpu problem. Do you have access to another cpu? You might also have a driver problem, where you mix up drivers, making it into problems due to driver incompatibility. Re-install windows without putting any drivers, tell me if it is still slow that way. And also use your motherboard's graphics, not your gpu's.

I have G.Skill RAM too. RMA your bad stick at the gskill site.
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July 2, 2012 8:00:34 AM

I thought about the CPU overheating, but found that it kept a temperature of 49/50 Celsius, which is normal for where I live. It's hot down here... so getting a temp like that is really good, whereas 30secs outside and the pc would explode.

I do think the problem is the ram and not the cpu. The whole issue was I couldn't get a signal, got a new motherboard, messed with the ram and now I get a signal. Heck, I should have messed with the ram before I got a new mobo, that was clearly a terrible mistake. So looks like I possibly have two working motherboards now.
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July 5, 2012 7:48:56 AM

return the new motherboard then and test if your RAM works with your old one. Newegg has 30 day back guarantee, but you pay shipping and a 15% restocking fee I believe.
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July 17, 2012 1:15:52 AM

Best answer selected by Nickafur.
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