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GTX 660 SC, Black screen on startup, lagging games.

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 24, 2012 11:51:35 PM

**Included more info on whats happening on my last post.**

Hey guys, I thought I had made an account here before but apparently I've just been reading off in the shadows for years. I guess its about time I joined up since I have something going on that I don't think I should be having a problem with.


Basically, I recently decided it was time for a new video card. I had a GTS 250 for years and hardly had problems playing any games. I studied up on what my next upgrade should be, and it seemed like the 660 was the logical choice. But now I'm having trouble with a few things, and need some insight.

System specs:

Gigabyte 790X-UD4P
AMD Phenom X4 920 2.8ghz
4gb GSkill DDR2-800
eVGA GTX 660 SC
Enermax Liberty 500w
Windows 7 64b
2x SATA HDD.
1 IDE DVD drive

I know, I have some old stuff in here.

After putting the new card in, my screen will go black after an initial start up when its cold. It will go through BIOS and the Windows Loading screen will come up, then it goes black. Restart, and its fine. Also, all my games now have stuttering issues, no matter how high or low the graphics are. Far Cry 3 runs the same on lowest settings or highest settings, and my GTS ran smoother in all truth on high. Batman AC crashes repeatedly. Even frickin WoW lags.

All my temps stay below 50C, and from what I can see with the programs I have, none of my voltages are out of spec. 12v is within .3v. I was thinking the PSU isn't handling the card. It is supposed to be 5w less pull that the GTS, but I also didn't think about it being super clocked either.

I figure I have a major bottleneck somewhere, so please say so if that's the case. I figure the DDR2-800 isn't helping, but I don't know how much of an upgrade going to a x4 965 would be, and I have no choice with this mobo for memory. Its only DDR2. I don't have money for a full overhaul on the mobo components right now, but I won't mind some suggestions.
December 24, 2012 11:55:01 PM

Its not a bottleneck issue, even IF (this is not the case), the GPU was throttled, you would still get GTS250 level of performance.

It does sound like a PSU supply issue, got a spare PSU lying about? can you borrow one?
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December 24, 2012 11:59:18 PM

Not one equal to what I have now. I was thinking I could tune down the card to see if making it a normal 660 instead of a SC might help, but I've never dove that deep into clocking.
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December 25, 2012 12:01:04 AM

you can prolly run that on a 300w PSU.
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December 25, 2012 12:08:36 AM

Alright, lol. Well I guess I'll have to check the local stores and see whats available. If others concur it sounds like power I'll probably pick one up. This PSU has seen a few years of service now so it might be time to retire it.
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a c 540 U Graphics card
December 25, 2012 12:21:11 AM

Did you monitor the CPU and GPU loads when the problem was occurring?

If the CPU is running near 100% most of the time then you have a CPU bottleneck.

If the GPU is running at 100% most of the time then that is normal.

For a system using a single GeForce GTX 660 (non-Ti) graphics card NVIDIA specifies a minimum of a 450 Watt or greater power supply that has a combined +12 Volt continuous current rating of 24 Amps or greater and that has at least one 6-pin PCI Express supplementary power connector.

Your Enermax Liberty 500 Watt should have no problem powering your system configuration.
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December 25, 2012 12:31:02 AM

Alright, well that sounds like it might be the problem. I didn't think about the amperage, this ones 12v rail is only rated for 22 amps.

It shows it like this, though:

12v |12v
22a | 22a
---32a

What does that mean?
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a c 540 U Graphics card
December 25, 2012 12:35:56 AM

rebel2345 said:
Alright, well that sounds like it might be the problem. I didn't think about the amperage, this ones 12v rail is only rated for 22 amps.

It shows it like this, though:

12v |12v
22a | 22a
---32a

What does that mean?

There is a +12V1 and a +12V2 each with a 22A maximum output. The combined +12 Volt continuous current rating of that PSU is 32 Amps. That's more than what NVIDIA specifies as the minimum so you're fine.
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December 25, 2012 12:44:52 AM

Well crap. Alright, so if hardware doesn't seem to be a big issue, I guess I'm looking at software problems.

I already uninstalled and cleaned out my drivers with Driver Sweeper, and reinstalled fresh, as well as got the latest drivers for my mobo from AMD. I don't see a reason for the black screen on start up besides maybe failing PSU from what I've read. But the rest of it I've seen a lot of software causes for. So I may have to read more into that.

I keep thinking I may just be expecting too much from this rig but the lag on lowest settings definitely should not be a problem.
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December 25, 2012 11:55:17 PM

Sorry for the double post but I thought I might include more info.

Basicly on the cold start I just did, I normally have to restart to get the display to come up after the Windows load screen. Same thing again, black screen. But instead of a restart, I unplugged the screen from the card and put it back in, and the display came up. Now all my icons are stuffed in the corner instead of where I normally have them organized.

I also waited to see if the display would come up since I've seen people saying something similar, and that it would come up after about a minute. I waited 5 minutes, until just before my screen was going to turn itself off.

Like I said above, on Far Cry 3 and other games, I can turn the graphics down all the way and still lag. Batman AC will have lag spikes and crash.

I already tried Driver sweeper, it didn't change anything.

I'm wondering what my next step should be. I've heard PSU and Drivers can cause these issues. Which do you guys think is most likely? I'm poised to go buy a Corsair GS700 PSU in the morning, but if thats not the most likely cause, I'd like to know.

Edit: Got a friend of mine to come over with a fluke, tested the voltages and under 100% load, my voltages hung right at 12.10/12.11, and 5.03. Very stable. Soooo, I will probably just go ahead and reinstall windows tonight and get a fresh start.
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a c 540 U Graphics card
December 26, 2012 5:08:26 AM

I would start to suspect the graphics card.

I would try the graphics card in a different system to see if the problem follows the graphics card. If the problem does follow the graphics card then you'll have to begin the RMA process with EVGA.
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a c 171 U Graphics card
December 26, 2012 5:52:10 AM

ko888 said:
There is a +12V1 and a +12V2 each with a 22A maximum output. The combined +12 Volt continuous current rating of that PSU is 32 Amps. That's more than what NVIDIA specifies as the minimum so you're fine.

if its an old psu there could be leaky capacitors and it may not be able to output that power anymore. I have found its more common for 5v caps to leak and cause problems, the 12v rail may be fine. could be motheboard caps too.

And yes the cpu is a bottleneck for sure.
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December 26, 2012 1:09:26 PM

I have no other system to install it in to try. I think the easiest thing to do for now would be just a fresh install of windows, and if the problem persists I'll try and find a way to test the card.
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December 29, 2012 12:47:36 PM

I got a replacement card from where I bought it, and after another clean driver install, the issues persist. Black screen on start up, lag on games I didn't lag with a GTS 250.

If I can, I'll try another PSU and see what happens.


Although I will say, when I try to do a clean install on the drivers, I have Window's driver detection turned off and it still frickin' installed something. It does it so quick I can't do anything to stop it. Any tips on making sure I have a clean driver install?
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a c 540 U Graphics card
December 29, 2012 4:34:01 PM

Assuming your graphics card is installed in the blue PCIEX16_1 slot, is your motherboard BIOS setting for the display set as follows?

CMOS Setup Utility --> Advanced BIOS Features

Init Display First [PEG]
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December 30, 2012 10:44:58 PM

I changed that selection, didn't do anything. Still have a black screen on a cold start.
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