First ...to all of you who posted information concerning the recent problem I had with my nVidia GeForce2 GTS card; you have my thanks. The "help" was much appreciated.
Secondly, I apologize for all the exclamation marks! Bad 'Net manners, I know.
As you may recall, I was having difficulty with system lockups when attempting to run 3D applications. The computer would freeze, the monitor screen would go black, and it took several attempts, (not to mention around an hour) before the video card would initialize and allow the system to POST.
phsstpok mentioned the possibility of this being a problem with the power supply. This is because of the many devices I had installed in the computer, AND because a computer with an AMD processor and/or AMD or VIA chipset + a GeForce card requires at least 20 amps for the 3.3v line. The power supply I had installed (300 watt - Antec PP-303x) at maximum load could supply no more than 14 amps for this line. I have since found out that this is typical of 300 watt power supplies.
(See previously posted thread for complete hardware specifications for my system.)
phsstpok was absolutely correct. Today, I installed a 400 watt power supply that was capable at maximum load of 28 amps for the 3.3v line. This gave my power supply some additional overhead ... as it is not now being strained to the maximum capacity when the AGP card and slot demand more power. This not only "fixed" the problem with the video card and 3D applications, but the power supply runs cooler.
I would suggest, if you have an AMD mobo and a GeForce card, that you check the rated specifications on the side of your power supply. "Pushing" the power supply past the rated limits can weaken it. If you have been experiencing crashes when playing graphic-intensive games and/or blue screens and a loss of video signal ... your power supply might be inadequate for your purposes.
To prepare for this, I upgraded the BIOS, the video card drivers, the sound card drivers, and installed a fresh copy of the VIA 4-in-1 chipset drivers (version 4.28). I had to rule out the chance that this conflict was caused by software, and I felt that upgrading the drivers would lessen this possibility. (Good standard rule of thumb ... get the latest drivers and BIOS for your motherboard.)
I mention this, because many people are having difficulty locating fast, stable drivers for GeForce2 GTS (and Ultra) cards installed in an AMD or VIA mobo. Not all Detonator 3.x drivers work with these chipsets ... some are meant for use only with Intel motherboards.
Currently, I am running the Det 6.50 drivers. This is a Gateway version of the Detonator 3.x drivers that has been altered to allow the video card to be overclocked. With this driver set, if you have previously enabled the HardWare Adjustments Clock Frequency tab in the Registry ... the Display Properties Extension driver (nvcpl.dll) will be upgraded to version 4.12.01.0649. nVidia's version will remove the overclocking hack from the Registry, and also will not work with CoolBits.
I will be happy to email these drivers to anyone who requests them. I assure you, the installation is painless, and these drivers are much faster than the older Det 6.31's. And they will not interfere with your overclocking options.
Again ... many thanks for the help, especially to phsstpok, who accurately diagnosed the problem, and included links that helped me make an informed choice when replacing the power supply. This is the first, and only time that I ever needed help from a forum ...I am pleased to see that my decision to come here for help was not only the right thing to do ... it was the best thing to do.
I outlined the Big Lie about power supplies on another post, I think in the other components section. It boils down to this-some manufacturers overrate their power supplies more than others. Antec seems to be among the worst for doing this. Read the individual amp ratings for each votage before buying a power supply, it is usually listed both on the supply and the manufacturers website.
You're welcome. Glad it worked out. (Now, if I would only take my own advice. My system has been stable for 4 months but my power supply has inadequate ratings). Which PSU did you end up buying/using?
As for the 6.50 drivers. nVidia now has them posted as their reference drivers. I don't know if they allow the overclocking tweak. Personally, I use Geforce Tweak 2.6.1 which allows overclocking with <b>ALL</b> Geforce drivers even if you can't overclock in the Display Properties. Has a lot of nice features too. Get Geforce Tweak <A HREF="http://www.guru3d.com/" target="_new">here</A>.
I ended up buying another Antec Power supply, the PP403X 400 watt. I really would have preferred getting the power supply from PC Power and Cooling, but the price difference was considerable. I got the Antec for about 83 dollars, but the PC P&C 425 watt was 230 dollars. It's really, nice, with dual fans, and built to last for 100,000 hours ... but the price was too steep for me at this time.
As for the video card drivers, I've read several times that the 6.50 reference drivers from nVidia will remove the overclocking option. Not everyone has got the GeForce Tweaking Utility, or is really capable of understanding all the options (since some of them are undocumented, or complex) ... so I offered to email the drivers I am currently using, because these will not remove the manually applied Registry "hack".
I do have a copy of the GeForce Tweaking utility ... I'm willing to pass it around if anyone wishes to have it.