View Full Version : ASUS Ti4200 128MB - Blackout Problem

07-19-04, 04:56 PM
Good Day,

I know I'm probably going to answer my own question in this forum, however I needed confirmation from those of you that have the technical and real world experience.

I'll first provide my specs (or lack thereof :)

Athlon XP 2000+ (runs at standard 1700mhz)
Gigabyte GA-7 VAX
PC 2700 512MB RAM
PCI Sound Blaster 32
Enermax 350 Watt Power Supply
Asus Ti 4200 128MB
Direct X 9.0b
ASUS 56.72 Drivers

The problem is a complete system blackout where (and this can happen in the first 5 seconds or 3 minutes+) I can be in the game, it loads up fine, intro movie runs fine, menu comes up. In game engine is where the problems occur. I'll provide a list of games that work and those that do not work. Essentially, the screen goes completely black and the light next to the monitor power button goes from solid green to blinking yellow. I then have to reboot the system completely.

Here are games that run no problem for hours on end with no problems:

Medal of Honor
Return to Castle Wolfenstein
Madden Football Series
NBA Live Series
Call of Duty
Serious Sam 1 & 2
Quake III

Games (and benchmarking apps) that do not work:

3d Mark 2001 (Blacks out 30 seconds in)
3d Mark 2003 (Blacks out as soon as the engine loads)
3d Mark 2000 (Reboots the computer halfway through)
PC Mark 2004 (Reboots the computer when it gets to the graphics tests)
Unreal Tournament 2003
Harry Potter Prizoner of Azkaban
Joint Operations Typhoon Rising
Spiderman 2 (edit: actually the first time I loaded and ran this game it played fine the entire 30 mins I was playing it, now it's like the others)
Will Rock

There's a bunch more, but you see where I'm going.

What's odd is that the games and apps that do falter WHEN they are running for whatever time period, run beautifully at high frame rates. The fps I get from 3d Mark 2001 and 2000 at 1024 x 768 are really good.

I have done the following concerning the problem.

Removed the heatsink from the Vid Card and got the old dried up conductive stuff off and placed new arctic silver on (I did this for both my cpu and other chips and actually went from 60+Celcius to the low 40's. Thought I would garner the same result from the Video Card.

Realized that the fan on the card wasnt working and placed a generic (interim) system fan over the heatsink to blow the heat away from the heatsink. Then placed a fan on top speed blowing right on the card.

Realized in bios that my AGP was set to 2x when it could be set to 4x, made the change and now the AGP is the same as the Card (4x)

Accessible Ram to AGP in bios was set to 128 (I upped this to 256, then reverted back when NO GAMES would run)

My problem is this. I contacted ASUS concerning this and instead of troubleshooting told me something about an RMA and to send it in. It's the ONLY card I have at the moment and I do all of my work on this system. I cant just pack up and mail the card out. So I was hoping before I have to invest what little money I have on another card, someone would have some suggestions.

Thank you all in advance for considering a response to the problem.


Steve A
07-20-04, 04:04 PM
Hi Erik

I'm afraid I cannot answer your question directly but it is interesting to read your post as I have been experiencing a very similar issue to you with similar hardware, in particular the same PSU. I ended up exchanging my original nVidia 5900XT card when the manufacturer suggested an RMA for an ATI 9800 Pro and the problem has not gone away. So even though I did not initally suspect the PSU, since it was a name brand that I often see recommended, with plenty amps on the 12V rail (allegedly), now that I have effectively ruled out the video card, my strong feeling is that the PSU needs an upgrade. It may well be a similar situation in your case which would mean that sending your card back might prove fruitless.

I can't be sure until I bite the bullet with the PSU but I thought you might find my findings helpful in the meantime. If anyone else can say definitively that a PSU upgrade will do the job given these circumstances, I too would be interested to hear from them.

Good luck


Asus A7V266E/Athlon XP2400/512MB/2x Maxtor 160GB HD/Enermax 350W PSU/Terratec 2496 Audio

07-22-04, 03:45 PM
Hi Steve,

Thanks for your insight. I really should have checked back here sooner. I just purchased a new Radeon 9700 Pro while the Ti4200 was in RMA.

Now my fears have been to some extent justified by your post. You have the same PSU that I do and we're both having the same troubles. I wonder what's going to happen if I try the Radeon 9700 Pro (which has to be connected to the PSU).

Is there anyone out there that can provide us with some confirmation that this may be a possible power supply issue? Would a 550W PSU be the answer.

I mean if we look at the evidence:

We both have athlons
We have different Motherboards
It's not the Monitor (I just switched out monitors today and same problem)
We both have the Enermax 350W

Steve, if someone can confirm that there's a better than 50% possibility that it's the power supply, then I'll go ahead and grab a 450-550watt and see what happens. The new card will be here Mon-Tues of next week so I'd like to get it before then.

Someone on here has to know :)

07-22-04, 08:16 PM

Take a look at this:


Steve A
07-24-04, 09:35 AM
Hi Erik

Thanks for the link. Unfortunately it didn't work for me... also I can confirm that the PSU isn't the problem either - at least not in my case. I've just tried an Antec 480 TrueBlue and the problem is exactly the same - i.e. reboots as soon as maps load. I've got a horrible feeling I have a chipset that just isn't going to play with a modern graphics card. I'm hunting around various VIA forums and if I find anything useful, I'll report further.

Did you the patch work fro you?

07-26-04, 09:02 PM
Hi Steve,

The patch itself didnt work, but get this.

Here's an email I sent to a friend over the weekend.

BTW, if you dont have or know where to get Smart Doctor, let me know.

It seems that motherboards with the VIA chipset have drivers that
allow the chipset to handle memory in a way that makes it more
efficient. However, the 4 in 1 Via drivers that allows this to happen
are great for your actual computer RAM (DDR 2700 and up) However it
screws up your Nvidia AND SOMETIMES your ATI cards. Well at the bottom
of the post, there was a link that allows you to download a patch that
removes this 'Memory Efficiency" component and your card will run

So I download it and I run it and run 3d mark 2000 and 2001se and both
blank out within seconds of running.

So I go back to that forum thread and continue to read. Another
member goes well the patch itself didnt work, but if you take the card
from its stock speeds (250 Core 445 Memory) down all the way to 225
Core and 338 Memory, everything should be fine. And Im thinking ok
let me do this, but now im running a min clock speed on the
card. That's not a fix.

Well, I lower the clock speeds and run the patch again, reboot and run
3d mark 2000 first at 1024 x 768 and get close to 10,000 on my 3dmark
score. I go to the resultbrowser and log in and my old 3dmark number
on the same card from 3 years ago is 9,400. So then I run 3dmark
2001se and it runs everything and I end up with (i forget the score)
but again, it's higher than my number from when i first bought the
card. So I'm thinking to myself. I just lowered the clock on
both memory and core, it ran both tests like butter and the scores
were HIGHER than 2 years ago when the card was actually working.

So I go ok...I go into my properties set Image settings to max
quality, set AA to 4.5x and Anisotropic to 8x and then run 3dmark
2001se at 1280x1024 at 4.5x AA and 8x Anis and I never once dipped
below 35fps.

The whole thing ran like butter. So I put in Tiger Woods 2004 with
all settings at full bore and it ran like butter. WITH NO FAN!!! well I have a case fan underneath the card, not sure how much this is helping.

Anyway, thought you would get a good chuckle out of all of this.

But I have a 3+ year old card running overclocked
Ti4200 scores with underclocked settings. Go figure

So for those that have the same plight, that was the fix and with no degredation of speed on the card. I will mention this. 3dMark 2003 still blacks out, but at least I can get through the initial air combat test. The following test with the guys going down the elevator at 1024x768 sits around 5fps and then blacks out.

However, I've thrown the following at it and things have been zipping.
Unreal 2003
Madden 2004
NBA Live 2004
Tiger Woods 2004
Joint Operations Typhoon Rising

They ran fine. I dont have specific fps but all is well. It seems when you crank the clock speeds down that's the ticket. I have an ASUS card and have smart doctor. You just run that, bring the clock settings down, click "Set and Test" and then try a game out.

Worth a shot at least until you get a non via card.