View Full Version : Help Needed with 2 new 6800 Ultra Cards

08-09-04, 08:50 AM
Hi All,

This is my first post although I have been lurking on here for a while. Here in the UK have been waiting for ages for a new 6800 Ultra to replace my 5900 ultra. Typically 2 preorders get dispatched from 2 web sites on the same day so I now have a Gainward 6800 Ultra (red PCB) and a BFG 6800 Ultra OC.

I have upgraded Graphics cards many times before an never had any issues. The BFG arrived first so followed the procedure on uninstalling drivers etc.. then changing over boards. Boot up into Safe mode install latest Nvidia and reboot. On startup with the BFG I noticed I don't get any Bios info (is this normal?). Then at Dell BIOS get lots of screen artifacts (looks similar to TV interference) which continues on the Windows logo. Once in windows get lots of artifacts, constant freezing, black screens (which recover) and sometimes complete crashes. I have tried the 76 and 77 drivers, both the same. Tried disabling my Audigy 2 with no change. Tried a normal CRT monitor and get the same.

With the Gainward I also get the same symptoms but it isn't quite as bad in terms of screen artifacts but still get the freezes, crashes etc.. On startup get an Nvidia Bios version then begins the artifacts at the Dell bios logo and windows.

I have tried to update my chipset drivers (Intel 850E) but not sure if I have done this correctly (also not sure how to find out current version etc.. ). Can't find how to disable fastwrites in the Bios so I installed Riva Tuner but can't find them in there either?!?

Are the artifacts on the bios screens indication of bad card memory? I have noticed that the 2D clocks are set to match the 3D, 410 MHz Gainward, 425Mhz BFG. Attempting to lower these results in instant crash as you move the slider.

Many thanks in advance for all your help. Don't mind which one I get to work if possible! Power is supplied by 2 dedicated lines. Sticking the 5900 Ultra back in and all is back to normal of course.


08-09-04, 09:32 AM
if anything, keep the bfg and rma it if it IS the cause, and either return the gainward or EBAY it. IMO of course.

08-09-04, 09:52 AM
thanks for replying. I am going to RMA one of the cards (or Ebay of course) as they are £400 each over here. These cards are particularly difficult to get hold of in Europe at the moment and with Doom3 out on Friday 13th muhahahahaha.... there is no chance I will get a replacement before then.

My main concern is that both cards are displaying similar if not the same symptoms which could indicate something with my PC. If there is any chance that I could get one of these cards to work then great otherwise there will be no Doom for me this coming weekend :cry:

08-09-04, 09:55 AM
got enough power for them?

08-09-04, 09:58 AM
Does your PSU have at least 18a on the +12 rail? You may also want to try a complete reformat and reinstall

08-09-04, 10:03 AM
Thanks for Replying Pingu. I thought about this as Dells have crappy 290W (stated 250w) PSU. So 2months ago, (when I ordered the card) I installed an Antec 550W PSU. Later Dells don't use specialists mobo connectors fortunately. I did have to fudge the case a little as the power plug hole didn't match the case but this had been working OK since then. Both power connectors are solely connected without any other attachements. I used one of the splitter cables to free up another spare from my second Hard Drive. Of course the other line was the one I used with my 5900 Ultra.

Looking at the intructions with the cards the BFG say to use 2 split cables (I presume as they supply 2 splitters), this can't be correct surely? I went with two dedicated anyway.

08-09-04, 10:10 AM
I think the Antec has 24A on the 12v rail but perhaps someone can confirm. I remember checking this before I bought the PSU.

Unfortunately I am only off work today and I will need to make a decision on the cards before Thursday (RMA deadline) so don't think will have time for full reinstall.

The AGP is only 4X could this be the issue? In the BFG docs it says to update the AGP mini port drivers any ideas how to do this? I looked on the Dell site for chipset updates but these were dated 2002 which is older than my PC.

Many thanks again for your help.

08-09-04, 10:23 AM
Keep the BFG for sure. Lifetime warranty and OC'd to start with. As far as getting it to work, if you're seeing artifacts in the bios and screens before Windows starts up, I'm afraid not much tweaking in the OS is going to fix that. The only thing I could suggest is looking around these forums for the latest bios for your card. Update the bios and see if it fixes it, otherwise RMA the BFG and return the 2nd card. (or ebay)

08-09-04, 10:53 AM
thanks again.

I had another go with the Gainward and the symptoms are a lot less worse than the BFG although I still cannot even load FarCry as it crashes at the first video intro.

I wanted to check power so I removed the secondary connector, I still got artifacts and also the insufficient power message which I think downclocked the card to 400, 1000. The downclock = a lot less artifacts and windows seems to be working without freezes etc..

I am aware with the Gainward and all the bios problems so I am thinking of flashing. As for the BFG am I supposed to get BIOS info on power up because with my card I don't get anything? Like you said the BFG is overclocked more so perhaps this why the problems are worse than the gainward?

Thanks again.

08-09-04, 11:15 AM
Quick update. The problems are just as bad as ever. Still got the Gainward in but am getting freezes, blackouts within about a minute of booting up. No attempts to even load anything. Going to the clock frequencies causing instant blackout and crashes without doing anything.

Going to do a full uninstall of all drivers etc.. and put the BFG back in. Going to try and flash the BFG bios and see if that makes a difference. If that works will return the Gainward.

Is it possible to post a link to the latest BFG bios and give me instructions on how to do the flash. I get the command line stuff but need help creating the floppy. Sorry am such a newbie.

08-09-04, 12:22 PM
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I speak from experience. Like another reply said above, if you are seeing errors in the BIOS, your cards are busted. Bad memory or something. You better RMA those suckers, any tweaking you do at this point may potentially void the warranty.. BE CAREFUL!

The odd thing is that both cards are experiencing the same errors. Double check the way you handle your hardware... are you in a static prone environment? do you take the proper precautions before handling hardware? Were packages damaged when you received them? Did you order from the same reseller? They could be handling cards badly? Are these retail or OEM. All these questions should be addressed to attempt to find the source of this problem.

Good luck!

08-09-04, 12:30 PM
Yes, i would definatly try to Return the cards to the store where you bought them! They should take it back. You just have really really bad luck to get two non working boards. But defiantly return them to the store immediately.

However, if you still have any doubt, find another computer, even if its a friends and put them in, if you get corruption durning the boot process then assume the cards are just bad, you dont even have to let it load into windows (so your friends dont have to mess with drivers)

But definatly return them to the store and try to get a replacement, or your money back, no point in keeping bad cards.

08-09-04, 01:21 PM
thanks very much for the advice. Following a lot of the BIOS problems with Gainward I did follow instructions and flashed to the latest BIOS provided by their support. This had no effect what so ever so I am going to flash back to the backup I made and return the card to the web site I got it from.

As for the BFG I think I am just going to return that as well. No point risking my warranty etc.. as these cards are £400+ each. Returning to website is a pain in the a$$ but this is the first time I have ever had to do it so not too bad I suppose.

Not sure what to do now about getting a replacement. Won't get it for weeks I doubt and even then it could well be my PC and have to go thorugh this all again. Hopefully the old 5900 ultra won't play Doom too badly.

Thanks again for all of your help. I am off for a beer to drown my sorrows :cry:

08-09-04, 05:56 PM
WOAH !! I've just read this thread and I'm experiencing deja va.

I've currently got two BFG Geforce 6800 ultra's sat on my desk waiting to go back to the company I bought them from. When I tried them I got exactly the same problems i.e. massive screen coruption, lock-ups and random re-boots.

I'm also based in the UK.

My PC is a P4 3.4, Asus P4c800-E Deluxe, Audigy 2 ZS.

I'm also in the process of upgrading my 5900 ultra, which works perfectly when I put it back in the system.

Not sure if there's any clear common factors here or perhaps the cards making t over to the UK aren't very good quality at the moment but I'm planning on sending these back and waiting for a while. There are too many threads in too many forums from people having problems with 6800 cards (not just Ultra's either) . I'm beginning to think the design isn't very good.