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Replaced my graphics card, driving me crazy.

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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April 8, 2012 10:46:58 AM

Hello people,
Recently my 8800GT died, and I suspected it was because of the PSU not working properly. So, I not only bought a
Sapphire Radeon HD 6850 to replace the 8800GT, but I also bought a Seasonic S12ii 520W PSU.

The rest of my system is this:
Intel Q6600
2x2GB ram
Asus p5n-e Sli

Anyway, when I plug in the 8800GT, which according to several tests I've ran has no card memory anymore (so that's probably what died?) I do get a signal, and the screen is normal, except it has almost horizontal lines over it (white or different colours) and I can't put the resolution higher than 800x600. I also can't run 3d software, like games. As far as I can tell, all other components of the rig work fine (RAM/CPU).

The situation with the 8800GT plugged into the new Seasonic PSU is exactly the same, so I think it's definitely the 8800GT being broken. So, I plug in the Sapphire 6850HD. When I turn my system on, I can hear my system booting up to windows just fine (the beeps are the same as when the 8800GT still worked.), except my screen is black and there's no signal to the monitor.

So, bummer. I switch the cards, and turn on my pc. It boots normally, except with the lines and low res. I delete all drivers having to do with the Nvidia card, and install the AMD Catalyst drivers. I turn off my pc, put in the 6850 again and boot. I get a normal screen, albeit low res. It seems to be working. After some fiddling with the drivers the resolution is where it needs to be and I can run 3D applications (Sins of a Solar Empire).

So everything's good, right? No!

I turn my PC of and after some time, on again, and there's again no signal. Hadn't I just fixed this?

There's two things I've changed since the magical working 6850 state.

1.) I installed Nvidia PhysX so I could run Mass Effect 2 with my new AMD card. Could this have installed or reactivated any of the old Nvidia drivers, that are now interfering with my HD 6850 working properly? I switched the cards and with the 8800GT removed the PhysX program. There weren't any other Nvidia programs installed. This didn't help.

2.) Thinking I was done, I tie-wrapped all the PSU cables I didn't need together and did a little cable management. Everything does have power (the 6850 too! the fan is moving!). I also fixed my card into the case with some screws (throught the holes that are meant for that, mind you..).

Anyway, it didn't work.

So, I think it's either a software problem (drivers interfering) or a hardware problem (the card is not slotted properly).
The hardware problem is something I've checked over and over, so I'm guessing it's a software problem.

Problem is, I can't install anything or access my bios, except with the half-working 8800GT. Should I wipe my drive and reinstall Windows?

At first I thought my new card was faulty, but it worked for a while, I even played Mass Effect 2 for 20 minutes just to test.

a b U Graphics card
April 8, 2012 11:42:32 AM

your initial boot sequence, ie your option to enter bios etc is completely driverless

if you arent seeing this screen its something else. can you access a card that is known to work? borrow a friends?

i think id just rma it and hope to god its not the motherboard
April 8, 2012 2:15:22 PM

Anomaly_14 said:
Hello people,
Recently my 8800GT died, and I suspected it was because of the PSU not working properly. So, I not only bought a
Sapphire Radeon HD 6850 to replace the 8800GT, but I also bought a Seasonic S12ii 520W PSU.

The rest of my system is this:
Intel Q6600
2x2GB ram
Asus p5n-e Sli

Anyway, when I plug in the 8800GT, which according to several tests I've ran has no card memory anymore (so that's probably what died?) I do get a signal, and the screen is normal, except it has almost horizontal lines over it (white or different colours) and I can't put the resolution higher than 800x600. I also can't run 3d software, like games. As far as I can tell, all other components of the rig work fine (RAM/CPU).

The situation with the 8800GT plugged into the new Seasonic PSU is exactly the same, so I think it's definitely the 8800GT being broken. So, I plug in the Sapphire 6850HD. When I turn my system on, I can hear my system booting up to windows just fine (the beeps are the same as when the 8800GT still worked.), except my screen is black and there's no signal to the monitor.

So, bummer. I switch the cards, and turn on my pc. It boots normally, except with the lines and low res. I delete all drivers having to do with the Nvidia card, and install the AMD Catalyst drivers. I turn off my pc, put in the 6850 again and boot. I get a normal screen, albeit low res. It seems to be working. After some fiddling with the drivers the resolution is where it needs to be and I can run 3D applications (Sins of a Solar Empire).

So everything's good, right? No!

I turn my PC of and after some time, on again, and there's again no signal. Hadn't I just fixed this?

There's two things I've changed since the magical working 6850 state.

1.) I installed Nvidia PhysX so I could run Mass Effect 2 with my new AMD card. Could this have installed or reactivated any of the old Nvidia drivers, that are now interfering with my HD 6850 working properly? I switched the cards and with the 8800GT removed the PhysX program. There weren't any other Nvidia programs installed. This didn't help.

2.) Thinking I was done, I tie-wrapped all the PSU cables I didn't need together and did a little cable management. Everything does have power (the 6850 too! the fan is moving!). I also fixed my card into the case with some screws (throught the holes that are meant for that, mind you..).

Anyway, it didn't work.

So, I think it's either a software problem (drivers interfering) or a hardware problem (the card is not slotted properly).
The hardware problem is something I've checked over and over, so I'm guessing it's a software problem.

Problem is, I can't install anything or access my bios, except with the half-working 8800GT. Should I wipe my drive and reinstall Windows?

At first I thought my new card was faulty, but it worked for a while, I even played Mass Effect 2 for 20 minutes just to test.

Did you have th e 8800gt installed as a dedicated PhysX card as PhysX doesn't work with AMD video cards. Nvidia Control panel installed to enable the 8800gt as the dedicated PhysX. Actually don't know if AMD card and dedicated PhysX card can be used in the same environment. So that could have caused your problems.
Related resources
a b U Graphics card
April 8, 2012 4:22:54 PM

I thought PhysX was Nvidia proprietary? That's probably your problem. Don't mix and match AMD and Nvidia.
a c 214 U Graphics card
April 8, 2012 4:41:56 PM

PhysX is a type of physics engine that Nvidia created that's used/required of many games.AMD cards support this.
a b U Graphics card
April 8, 2012 4:49:30 PM

I thought physx was supported on many nvidia cards - it can be simulated by your cpu and very few games actually use it.
-Bruce
a c 214 U Graphics card
April 8, 2012 6:26:00 PM

Are you talking about PhysX as in SLI?

PhysX is also a game engine.I have never used a Nvidia card on my PC and if I go to the Programs and features list, Nvidia PhysX is there.
April 8, 2012 6:59:53 PM

purple stank said:
Are you talking about PhysX as in SLI?

PhysX is also a game engine.I have never used a Nvidia card on my PC and if I go to the Programs and features list, Nvidia PhysX is there.

If you buy a PhysX enabled game it will install the PhysX program on your hard drive during installation of game. You can only use PhysX in the game if you have the proper hardware to support PhysX enabled games.
April 8, 2012 7:39:48 PM

Okay, I think I figured it out. My motherboard was faulty. Everything's working now, with another motherboard and CPU.
a c 214 U Graphics card
April 8, 2012 8:22:42 PM

Was going to be my second guess.Glad everything worked out for you.
a c 216 U Graphics card
April 8, 2012 9:18:43 PM

dish_moose said:
I thought physx was supported on many nvidia cards - it can be simulated by your cpu and very few games actually use it.
-Bruce


To try to clear up the confusion of PhysX, I'll add few more bits of information.

PhysX is supported by all computers. PhysX will normally run on the CPU, however, Nvidia and Agea cards can be used to accelerate PhysX.

There are a few games which offer advanced PhysX, in order to run these advanced options with reasonable FPS, you typically need GPU acceleration, which is not supported by AMD graphics cards. It will end up running on the CPU if you don't have a GPU with support, and that causes poor FPS.
May 18, 2012 2:10:54 PM

Hi guys. I hope I can steal this thread and add to it.
Anomaly_14, your mobo was not bad. I have the same exact issue!! Here's my system:

Intel Core 2 Duo E4300 1.8 ghz OC'd to 2.25ghz
Asus P5N-E SLI
4 Gb Corsair XMS 2 PC2 6400
Antec Sonata II 550W PSU
-I had two 7600GT's SLI'd before yesterday
Now I have the Sapphire Radeon HD 6850 (big ass card, btw)
Windows 7 32-bit

The exact same thing is happening as what Anomaly experienced, except my monitor has yet to display a picture yet. I have Googled "P5N-E SLI compatible with Radeon HD 6850" and come up with several instances of people in the same situation where they have a Radeon 5xxx or 6xxx on this particular motherboard and receive no signal (black screen).

So, that leads me to think it is not the motherboard that is bad, but that the card is not compatible with the mobo.

I have tried everything I have read so far:

Updated the BIOS from 0505 (Mar 2007) to 1406 (Nov 2009)
Removed the SLI Selector (even had it in Single and Dual mode)
Verified my BIOS UPNP was set to PCI-E
Removed all old Nvidia drivers and utilities and installed new Catalyst drivers
Made sure the card was seated properly with screws in place
6-pin additional power plugged into card
Tried the card in both PCI-E slots
Tried the DVI cable in both DVI slots
Made sure the PSU had the minimum req's for the card:
http://www.sapphiretech.com/presentation/product/?leg=&...

Any other things you guys could offer me to try? (Besides spending $500 extra on a new mobo, cpu, memory etc)

Thank you for your help.
!