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Dead video cards or PCI-E slots?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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July 5, 2012 1:42:12 PM

Hi everyone

I just built a new computer last week and tried installing an Nvidia 480GTX. The motherboard is a GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-UD3H. OS is Windows 7 Ultimate.

Using a DVI cable in both DVI ports, I got no signal. I tried another DVI cable and still no signal.
Plugging in for Ivy Bridge integrated graphics did get me a signal. So the cables weren't the issue.

Here are some other things I did.

1. I checked the card to see if it was snapped in the slot. Yes it was snapped in and aligned. To be sure, I removed it and slid it back in so I could hear the clicks. I did this another two or three times later on.
2. I set the UEFI to read PEG first. No signal and the UEFI automatically reverted back to AUTO setting.
3. I disabled integrated graphics. No signal.
4. I reset the board to default settings/optimized settings. No signal.
5. I uninstalled drivers for the integrated graphics. No signal.
6. I checked the power cables, 6 and a 6+2 and I plugged in another set of PCI-E cables (6 and 8) in the modular PSU to test. Fan spins on the card. Still no signal.
7. I tried installing Nvidia drivers. Doesn't work without a graphics card present.
8. I tried scanning for hardware changes in the OS. Nothing.
9. I plugged the card into the second PCI-E slot and did all the checks again. No signal.
10. I ordered another 480GTX. Did all the same things. No signal.

I also followed the default instructions in the motherboard manual as well as the instructions from EVGA. All they really tell you to do is plug the card in, plug in power, plug in display cable, and the card should magically be detected, then install drivers.

Now it's a possibility I got two dead graphics cards in a row. I can't test them on another computer because my last desktop had a Pentium 4 Northwood and an ancient ASUS motherboard with AGP slots. :(  I had been using laptops until now.

So I think maybe the PCI-E slots are dead? Thanks to Amazon, I ordered another motherboard which is coming in tomorrow to test for that.

Anyone else ever have problems like this? Am I missing anything? I feel like I've tested as much as I can. Is there anything I haven't done yet? When you power and plug a graphics card in, the computer should automatically detect that there's a hardware change or a card in the slot right? Anyway, thanks for reading, I would appreciate any responses.


Chris
July 5, 2012 1:50:25 PM

We need to know you system specs, specifically the PSU
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July 5, 2012 1:54:53 PM

System specs

Corsair Enthusiast TX V2 Series 750-Watt Modular
Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H
Intel Core i5 3570K
Corsair Vengeance Blue 16 GB DDR3 SDRAM
EVGA GeForce GTX480
Corsair Force Series GT 120 GB SSD
Western Digital 1 TB Caviar Blue
Samsung SH-222BB/BEBE 22X SATA DVDRW
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a b Î Nvidia
July 5, 2012 3:24:30 PM

Could be the power supply, could be the slot, could be the video card in combination with those. Best thing to do is try the video cards in another system that will run them.

And try a different power supply with your system if the cards work in another system. A BIOS update may help.
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July 5, 2012 3:55:25 PM

^this. Nothing should prevent you from running it looking at your specs. so *something* is likely broken.

Drivers won't help, it should work without them, and it should work at boot. I'd lean toward the motherboard, but try a BIOS update, and if at all possible swap PSUs
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July 7, 2012 12:32:34 AM

I just got my new motherboard in today. Dismantled and set everything back up. The card still isn't detected in slot 1 or slot 2. I also tested the second GTX480, and that doesn't work either. I did the same procedures, left it on auto, then disabled integrated, forced it to use PEG first, etc.

I still don't have any hardware changes detected. I really hope Gigabyte didn't design a popular board like this so the user has to tinker around this much just to get a graphics card detected. According to the manuals, it should all be plug and play as far as getting a computer to detect a card.

It seems more and more likely now maybe the graphics cards are the problem. What are the chances that two motherboards have defective PCI-E slots?
I upgraded my BIOS to the most recent version (F11) over the internet with the @BIOS utility. That didn't change anything either.

What would be wrong with the power supply by the way? There aren't any power problems with the computer so far and the fans have been spinning on the cards. There's 2 PCI-E 6+2 connectors that are wired to the unit, and another two I can add on to the modular part of the power supply. I tried all the connectors so far, and then connected the connectors to a splitter and even a 6 to 8 pin adapter to test more cable connections.

I will hopefully be testing both graphics cards at a friend's house this weekend. If I got two dead cards in a row, I will certainly be amazed at my bad luck. Has this happened to anyone else on here before?

Thanks for suggestions so far.
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July 9, 2012 11:39:03 PM

I tested both GTX480's on a friend's old computer and they both worked on an old 600w supply.

Here's a screenshot from CPUID Hardware Monitor. What do you guys think?
It is the power supply right? Specifically the 12V rail causing the graphics card to not be recognized.

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