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Do I need a new power supply?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 28, 2012 3:16:02 PM

I recently upgraded my video card from a Radeon HD 4890 to a Radeon HD 6870. I swapped out the cards last night. Booted my system up and everything seemed to be working fine. But when I started DiRT 3, my system shut off. The game actually ran for a few minutes. I tested this on a number of titles, and a some times I received an error message regard DirectX, but usually the system would just shut off. Because the DirectX error message, I reinstalled the AMD Catalyst drivers, but the same issues occurred.

So I think I need a higher power supply, except when buying the Radeo HD 6870, I read the power consumption was the same as my current card, and actually favorable using Newegg's power supply calculator. I'm a little disappointed because my power supply is only a year old.

Any advice?

My other components:
GIGABYTE GA-EP45-DS3L LGA 775 Intel P45 ATX Intel Motherboard
Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 cpu
8 GB DDR2 800 memory
1 2TB 5900 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" hard drive
2 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" hard drives
Raidmax 600w 80 Plus Bronze power supply

More about : power supply

a c 277 U Graphics card
a c 147 ) Power supply
March 28, 2012 3:52:33 PM

Both cards require the same power, namely two pci-e power connectors, and 500w.
http://www.amd.com/us/products/desktop/graphics/amd-rad...
http://www.amd.com/us/products/desktop/graphics/ati-rad...

The rest of your system components are normal.

Raidmax quality is considered as iffy, depending on the specific model.
Can you provide a link to it?

Regardless, since it operated the 4850 without issue, I do not think the psu is the problem.

It is possible that the power requirements are a touch higher, and the psu is not that good so that a marginal psu would cause a problem.
Can you test your pc with a stronger and quality psu first before going out and buying a new one?

It is also possible that your new 6870 is defective. Unusual, but it does happen.
I would return it.
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a b U Graphics card
March 28, 2012 4:21:20 PM

Sounds like a bad video card to me. This is the kind of thing you'd expect to see from a bad overclock, but if your card is stock you shouldn't be getting these problems. Have you checked your GPU's temperatures while gaming? Might give a clue as to what's going on.
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a b U Graphics card
a b ) Power supply
March 28, 2012 4:53:31 PM

So you uninstalled the 4890 drivers completely, rebooted with the new card and proceeded to load the latest 6870 driver from ATI.com right?

Or you just "Swapped the cards and booted right up" as you say?
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a b U Graphics card
a b ) Power supply
March 28, 2012 4:54:50 PM

Use driversweeper, clean out anything in your system that says "AMD or ATI or Catalyst", then reboot and load the latest drivers that you'll already have downloaded to your desktop.
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a c 191 U Graphics card
a b ) Power supply
March 28, 2012 5:02:23 PM

If you're getting DX errors, I'd suggest you first update the video drivers like this:

Download and install Driversweeper.
Download the latest drivers from the AMD site but do not install yet.
Uninstall your existing drivers including the CCC.
Restart into Safe Mode and run Driversweeper from there to clear out any bits left over.
Restart normally.
Install the downloaded drivers.
It's not usually required to do the above but it will make sure you have a good driver install and reduces the likelyhood of an old install upsetting things.

And then:
Next, pop over to the Microsoft site and update your DX install, DirectX does not autoupdate along with Windows and you might have a corrupt file causing the DX error/s.

It may be the PSU-as Geofelt says, Raidmax has a less than stellar reputation, but I'm not sure it's your problem, after all it ran the more power hungry HD4890 with no problems.
It could also be the card, duds are not unknown but I'd first get the system software sorted before getting involved with an RMA.
As a side note: AMD cards install their own sound drivers it may also pay you to check that side of things, I've had issues with driver conflicts between sound and video software before.

EDIT: Geekapproved got there a little faster than me :) 
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March 28, 2012 5:22:23 PM

Initially, I swapped and rebooted without uninstalling the drivers. Then I tried uninstalling, shutting down and then reinstalled the drivers. But I didn't know about Driversweeper, so will try that tonight.

Thank you all for the advice.
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a c 199 U Graphics card
a c 127 ) Power supply
March 28, 2012 5:37:47 PM

A machine that just shuts off is usually experiencing power problems, not driver issues. Since the OP has a Chokemax PSU, that seems all the more likely.
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a b U Graphics card
a b ) Power supply
March 28, 2012 5:52:49 PM

Ref PSU:
.. 600 Watts is more than enough. My I5-2500k OCed to 4.2 and w/6870 GPU = 350 Watts at the Wall!!
.. Brand. Raidmax is generally considered "Junk"; However I have heard that a few of their later models fall in the "OK" Catagory. Could not find a good, or Bad, review. But if you look at newegg users - It has a Higher 1/2 egg rating than it has for 4/5 egg rating, personnally I would never trust my PC to a PSU with that kind of rating. Added: Concur with JTT on Raidmax line of PSU. end added

You can look @ the Output voltages, primarily your +12 V rail. Download and install:
.. HWMonitor - to look at voltages (If way out in left field ie +10 OR +16 - IT IS NOT PROPERLY REPORTING, Find a different program)
.. Prime 95 - Loads CPU (and the +12V) also check CPU/Memory for stability. Must monitor temps, also, closely for first 15 Min. Only need 5 Min to look at voltage, for stability 4+ hours.
.. Furmark - Also loads the +12 V and checks GPU (Monitor GPU temps also).

.. If +12 V drops below 11.4 V, or +5 below 4.75V then do not use untill PSU is replaced.
Note For the +12V, I ditch any PSU that dropes below 11.6 V.
While the above check the DC output, it does NOT check the Noisc/voltage spikes on the Rail. For that that average user can only swap out to check (Checking for ripple/noise/spikes requires an Oscilliscope.

PS if Unable to find a good software Voltage/temp monitoring program, then a Cheap, EASY to use Digital multimeter can be used. 15 Bucks at walmart and just google "How to use a Voltmeter". The come in very handy around the House and car - NOT just for computer/electronics.
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a c 143 U Graphics card
a b ) Power supply
March 28, 2012 6:41:06 PM

Onus said:
A machine that just shuts off is usually experiencing power problems, not driver issues. Since the OP has a Chokemax PSU, that seems all the more likely.

Any software can cause a sudden shutdown or restart with the system. I remember that one click to my dictionary to start up was followed by a PC restart, and i remember IDM to cause a BSOD, during the installation of some drivers on my dell machines i was getting several shutdowns....it might be related to hardware and software...you can't be sure.
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a c 199 U Graphics card
a c 127 ) Power supply
March 28, 2012 10:11:33 PM

Software-caused shutdowns, even if the result of a bug, tend to be repeatable and happen following a similar if not exact sequence of actions; hardware shutdowns due to stress tend to be a little more random, and can sometimes be identified by whether or not the shutdowns happen more or less quickly depending on how much time components have had to heat up and/or cool down.
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March 29, 2012 1:38:24 PM

I reinstalled my drivers after using Driversweeper, and at first everything seemed okay. But then the issues started again and my system shut-off. Frustrated I decided to swap back my 4890 and to RMA the 6870 card. In removing the 6870 though, I was shocked at how hot it was. The card was scathing hot.

Inspecting it some more (I hadn't noticed when installing the card), I saw that the fan on the card wasn't centered in the case opening correctly. This was causing the fan blade to rub against the side of the opening and not let it spin freely.

After putting my 4890 back in the system, everything is back to normal. I am RMA'ed the new card and hopefully the replacement will be fine.

Thanks again for the advice and support. ... And to my original question, I guess I do need a new PSU. I hadn't realized Raidmax had such an iffy rep.
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a b U Graphics card
a b ) Power supply
March 29, 2012 1:58:36 PM

Running furmark and noting your GPU temps would have shown this very quickly. (See My recommendation regarding running furmark " and monitor gpu temp"
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a c 191 U Graphics card
a b ) Power supply
March 29, 2012 2:02:40 PM

Sorry 'bout the card, mate, but glad to hear you've found the problem.
As for PSU, Corsair, Silverstone, OCZ, FSP, Antec and Seasonic are all quality suppliers, good hunting!
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a c 199 U Graphics card
a c 127 ) Power supply
March 29, 2012 10:16:46 PM

I think all of us deserve a "Doh!" for not thinking of making sure all fans were running. Well, all's well that ends well.
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a c 191 U Graphics card
a b ) Power supply
March 30, 2012 6:07:06 PM

I happen to like the taste of Humble Pie, pass the salt and brown sauce...
DOH!
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!