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Issues with an HD 6670 and problems with Upgrading

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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July 21, 2012 6:16:11 AM

I have a 9 month old desktop. It is a Dell XPS 9100

Specs:
CPU: Intel Core i7-930 @2.8 Ghz (no overclock here)
Motherboard: standard X58-05DN3X Chipset
Memory: 12 GB (3 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory
Hard Drive: 1.5 Tb low end junk
Power Supply: 525W But I cannot tell much from the outside.
Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (64-bit)
GPU: Radeon HD 6670

Anyways, the video card is terrible. It managed to work with me for about 6 months (using very slight overclock via the CCC) until I started to get color line crashes (not BSoDs, just the entire screen would turn to a random color with vertical line patters discernible). After 2 months of this I still cannot figure it out. Anyways, I get dell to come fix the issue, but they put in another 6670 that said refurbished. Unsurprisingly, the crashes got worse.

I lowered the graphics on my games and resolutions to well established acceptable benchmarks, but the problem continues. Drivers are good, Catalyst Control Center is good. I checked for dust, fan not working etc, but still no discernible issues. Stress tests even passed, bizarrely enough. There does not seem to be a power issue either since the card is only PCIe x16 powered (no 2x3 pins required).

So I naturally have started to look for a replacement. My chipset and case will allow for a nice long double slot card. However, with a 525W Psu, I am looking at a GTX 560 Ti or an HD 7850. That being said, there does seem to be a significant issue: My PSU does not seem to have an extra 2x3 pin power cable that is free.

I tried to rather carefully scrounge around in the case to find a loose end, but to no avail. I did find one plugged into the Mainboard, but I have no idea what it is connected to and did not want to just remove it. I can provide pictures is it might help.

Anyways, long story short: I need help figuring out

1) whats wrong with my GPU and
2) if I need to upgrade, then to what?

Edit: It is also not a temp problem. The card crashes while well under 60 C.

Best solution

July 21, 2012 6:20:18 AM

have you tried uninstalling the current gpu drivers and reinstalling new ones? if the replacement gpu is doing the same thing it makes you think that its not the card thats the problem (unless dell gave you another bad card)

as far as an upgrade goes you picked a really good card to upgrade to...the 7850 would be a great upgrade for you...major improvement in performance....as far as the no pcie power cord being available you could always get a molex to six pin pcie cable....an example is what comes with this card.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

your psu should have at least one extra molex connector available
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July 21, 2012 6:30:10 AM

drums101 said:
have you tried uninstalling the current gpu drivers and reinstalling new ones? if the replacement gpu is doing the same thing it makes you think that its not the card thats the problem (unless dell gave you another bad card)

as far as an upgrade goes you picked a really good card to upgrade to...the 7850 would be a great upgrade for you...major improvement in performance....as far as the no pcie power cord being available you could always get a molex to six pin pcie cable....an example is what comes with this card.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

your psu should have at least one extra molex connector available



I did reinstall the drivers after the replacement. The problem continued. I do think however that Dell may have given me a bad card since the card is refurbished.

If I did get the 7850, which is what I am leaning towards anyways, even though the 560 looks pretty nice too, I am slightly worried about the power issue since Dell's construction of the PC has the entire PSU encased in a metal box, thus preventing me from plugging anything in without removing the entire PSU first. Being a computer noob, I worry that this might cause damage to the mainboard.

Thanks for the reply!
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July 21, 2012 6:54:17 AM

every psu is enclosed in a metal box...there should be some cables coming out of the box that have connectors on the end the graphics card cable that I showed you in the link would connect to one of the leads coming out of the metal box and then into your new gpu.....you do not have to remove the psu for this to work

http://www.itinfoonline.com/?p=156

the link has a picture of a psu....the wires in the top left are the leads the metal box is the psu itself and the white things on the end of the leads are the connectors (the molex connector is what you will use...its the one that is flat with four holes in it)

and i would go with the 7850 over the 560 any day..much newer tech too
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July 21, 2012 2:55:47 PM

drums101 said:
every psu is enclosed in a metal box...there should be some cables coming out of the box that have connectors on the end the graphics card cable that I showed you in the link would connect to one of the leads coming out of the metal box and then into your new gpu.....you do not have to remove the psu for this to work

http://www.itinfoonline.com/?p=156

the link has a picture of a psu....the wires in the top left are the leads the metal box is the psu itself and the white things on the end of the leads are the connectors (the molex connector is what you will use...its the one that is flat with four holes in it)

and i would go with the 7850 over the 560 any day..much newer tech too



Hmmm. I opened the case again for another look and I could not find any open cables. I will call Dell to ask today.
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July 21, 2012 8:31:16 PM

there should be usually dell leaves at least one molex (the 4 pin flat ones) open...they usually cover the end with like a black dust cover that just pops off....if not you could always get a molex splitter and steal power from your dvd drive or something.
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July 21, 2012 10:12:22 PM

Alright. thanks for the tips. They were very helpful! I will likely get a splitter since I really do need a new video card.
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July 25, 2012 7:09:10 AM

James_Locke said:


1) whats wrong with my GPU and
2) if I need to upgrade, then to what?

Edit: It is also not a temp problem. The card crashes while well under 60 C.

have the same card and "had" the same problem (home built). What worked for me:
1. Reverted to CCC 11.11 that came with the card (sapphire)
2. Dis engaged GPU core OC (OC'ing the gpu core gave trouble)... so kept it to 800 MHz...Or just disable overdrive
3. Memory OC worked for the entire range available

pointer> I found no improvement in MW3 after OC'ing. Default card settings gave 40-50 fps with 4AA, high settings at 1600x900 (my monitor limit)

OC'ing improved FurMark and card does not crash under stress tests its only when i play MW3 (only game I have) that it bails out on me if Oc'ed through overdrive

7850 will be a huge improvement
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July 29, 2012 12:00:12 AM

Best answer selected by James_Locke.
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