The PC runs the stock OS, Windows 7 home premium, 64-bit. I have upgraded the memory to 16 GB, and the original 1 TB HD crashed while under warranty and I received a replacement 2 TB HD, otherwise, the PC is as it came out of the box. I want to install Adobe Desigh Standard, and I thought it would be prudent to install a dedicated video card. I wanted to stay with the stock 300W power supply, so I knew the card options would be limited to the lower end. I do no gaming on this PC, it's used for web browsing, YouTube, and MineCraft. I do run BOINC when the PC is not in active use.
I decided to go with an Nvidia GeForce 610 card - the first I tried was a Galaxy 610 2 GB DDR3 http://www.galaxytechus.com/usa/productview.aspx?id=184 . After a few days, the display would just go dead and the PC was totally non-responsive after a few minutes of hours after booting up. The only remedy was to power cycle the PC. It would reboot fine. I assumed I had a bum video card, and removed it to exchange for another one. BTW, the Nvidia driver I was using was 370.10. With the video card out, the PC runs flawlessly.
The second card I tried was a PNY 1GB 610 card http://www3.pny.com/GT-610-1024MB-PCIe-P3186C523.aspx , and this card is giving almost the same behavior. Usually one time, the display will go blank, then recover. Windows will report that the driver kernal crashed, but windows recovered. I am using the 310.90 driver. On subsequent crashes, the display just goes dead, no recourse, must power cycle. Each time I reboot, the time until crash decreases from many hours to a few hours. If I do a clean install of the Nvidia driver, it will improve the situation for maybe a day. I did a google search for the driver crash issue, and there is a Microsoft "FixIt" that I tried that adjusts the time-out interval for the video driver, as having this value too short may cause crashing. This really did not help.
So, I am looking for advice on how to proceed, either how to make the 610 work, or if this card is too advanced for my system to run reliably, recommendations on what card(s) to consider. I want to stay with the stock power supply, if possible, and keep the video card cost low.
Your system is new enough to handle any graphics card on the market, so it's not a matter of the GT610 being "too advanced". Unfortunately, the problem you're describing does sound like a failing power supply. Do you experience the same blackouts when the graphics card is not installed? Also, when was the last time you took a can of compressed air to the inside of your computer?
I do not experience the problem without the graphics card installed. I vacuum out the dust from the vents on the case about once a month, and when I upgraded the memory in December, I vacuumed out the case and removed as much dust as I could. I did not take a can of compressed air to remove all the dust from the cooling fins and fan vanes, however.
I had assumed I could run any card I wanted in this system, providing I had a beefy enough power supply for the higher end cards. I will try the deep clean with canned air first, and if I still have the issue, I will upgrade the power supply. What power supply brands do you recommend?
Other than cleaning and a new power supply, are there other thing I should look for?
Nothing comes to mind at the moment, but definitely go at it (in particular the interior of the power supply) with a can of compressed air. For the fins of fan blades and heat sinks, I have a spare soft bristled tooth brush that I use to loosen the dust that's accumulated and then clear it with the compressed air.
A GT 610 is really, really underpowered. An Intel HD 4000 performs at that level.
The first thing that comes to mind is the motherboard. With Dell's desktops there are problems
when you try to upgrade to a non-OEM videocard (that is, a video card not with the AMD or NVIDIA branding
but a retail brand that you bought from the market). The motherboard either doesn't recognize the card,
gives no video or just refuses to boot up.
I looked at the page you linked and it says that the mobo is manufactured by MSI, but I have a feeling
HP's BIOS is keeping you from using the Galaxy GT 610 (after all, Galaxy is not OEM). Try the HP forums to see
if anyone else is having troubles with that PC.
Lastly, it might be your power supply. OEM PCs usually skimp really hard at PSUs.
Good luck. That computer should have no problem with the likes of a GTX 660.
OK, so I purchased and installed a 500W power supply, put the 610 back in, and still have the problem. The monitor will be off (powersave), and when I wake the screen up, it will be fine for about a second, then goes off. Only recourse at that time is to reboot. Do I need to uninstall and/or disable the onboard graphics drivers? Really frustrated at this point.