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Old 09-14-09, 07:18 PM   #49
ticket
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Default Re: Pure video = VDPAU ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AaronP View Post
My guess is that you either just got a bad card and should return it for a replacement, or there is some incompatibility between the new card and the BIOS on your system. It might be worth checking Dell's web site to see if there is an updated BIOS version available.
Thank you Aaron. I am currently in dialogue with PNY to see if they can help. Are there any known board / chipset incompatibilities with 8400GS PCI cards? Do they require a specific class of CPU / frontside bus/ etc?
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Old 09-14-09, 09:40 PM   #50
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Default Re: Pure video = VDPAU ?

No, I don't know of any specific requirements or incompatibilities.
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Old 09-16-09, 05:57 PM   #51
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Default Re: Pure video = VDPAU ?

Ok, I managed to flash my BIOS from A01 to the last issued one by Dell for this machine, which is A07.

I will attempt to plug in the 8400GS card tomorrow to see if that has fixed anything.

If not, I will try and get the card checked out on another computer, if I can find one.



PS. PNY have graciously responded to my emails and also said "No we don't have any chipset or mobo incompatibilities reports. "

Last edited by ticket; 09-16-09 at 06:00 PM. Reason: PS
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Old 09-17-09, 06:10 PM   #52
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Default Re: Pure video = VDPAU ?

Well today I had the opportunity to plug the 8400GS card into a different machine - a Dell Dimension XPS Gen4, 3.6GHz P4, running Windows XP SP3.

I loaded the machine with the latest nVidia drivers for Windows XP, and set the BIOS to make the PCI slot the primary adaptor (the default was the existing 6800 PCIE).

On power-up, I saw the 8400GS announce itself in text, then the Dell BIOS splash screen, and then the splash screen for Windows XP appeared. All good, it got a bit further. After that, the screen went blank and the system froze.

I am sending the 8400GS card back for a replacement - clearly this card is faulty, or it only works with the PNY drivers - which isn't an option for me.

I'll post what happens when the replacement eventually arrives.
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Old 10-02-09, 06:25 PM   #53
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Default Re: Pure video = VDPAU ?

The 8400GS card I returned was confirmed to be faulty by the reseller.

The replacement has now arrived.

Unfortunately testing the replacement in the Dell Precision 340 1.5GHz
PC (and with the latest A07 BIOS) produces exactly the same problem: - PC
fails to boot, and the presence of the card interferes with the PC power management - the front power button power cycles (reboots), instead of power on/off.

Next week I will try the replacement card in the Dell Dimension XPS
3.6GHz. I will let you know how this goes.

I think it unlikely for me to get two bad cards. Either the reseller
got a bad batch, or the PNY 8400GS card is not compatible with Dell
motherboards or P4 processors.

Do I need to use different BIOS interrupt settings for this card?

The 8400GS card has a pair of exposed pins next to the video DVI
connector, labelled J6. Anyone know what these pins are used for?
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Old 10-07-09, 05:57 PM   #54
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Default Re: Pure video = VDPAU ?

Surprise, the replacement 8400GS card worked when plugged into the Dell Dimension XPS, using latest nVidia drivers (and windows XP).

I tried plugging it back into the Dell Precision 340. I managed to cure the strange power management behaviour by turning off some options in the BIOS (maybe using S1 instead of S3 did it).

But the problem remains - the system gets to the point where grub has is loading the OS and the message "Starting up ..." appears, after which the graphics mode should get enabled, but instead the system freezes in the text mode.

And with the card in, I can't enter the BIOS - pressing F2 in the BIOS splash screen results in a blank screen & frozen computer.

Same happend when trying to use a live CD - I tried knoppix and Linux Mint. Doesn't get past the ISOLINUX text message.

I managed to salvage an xorg log from when the 8400 card was fitted, and when using the failsafe xorg.conf. It reads exactly the same as the log for when the 6200 was fitted, except it cuts short (files are attached). It looks like it was perhaps trying to set a graphics mode and refresh frequency on the monitor and failing. Strange that an older 6200 card could manage this Herculean feat, though.

Any clues from the logs?
Attached Files
File Type: txt Xorg.0.log.6200.txt (32.4 KB, 102 views)
File Type: txt Xorg.0.log.old.8400.txt (33.5 KB, 101 views)
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Old 10-08-09, 04:21 AM   #55
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Default Re: Pure video = VDPAU ?

Can you tell me whats the rating of your PSU? The newer 8400 card will draw more power than your older 6200 so it might be that when the card goes to graphic mode, it fails to draw the requisite current from your PSU.
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Old 10-08-09, 05:41 PM   #56
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Default Re: Pure video = VDPAU ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arup View Post
Can you tell me whats the rating of your PSU? The newer 8400 card will draw more power than your older 6200 so it might be that when the card goes to graphic mode, it fails to draw the requisite current from your PSU.
Yes, I replaced the original Dell PSU with a brand new Corsair 400W unit. According to the Corsair spec, it can deliver up to 30amps on a 12 volt rail, and 20 amps on the 3.3 and 5 volt rails. Was a bugger to fit - I had to hack away some of the rear chassis.

The PNY 8400GS PCI card takes all its power from the PCI connector - there is no other power supply connector on the card.

It could be that the motherboard PCI connector doesn't like to handle the power being consumed by the 8400. When the card goes into graphics mode, maybe the sudden increase in power consumption is too much. The PSU can handle it, but maybe the motherboard can't. Pure speculation from me.
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Old 10-09-09, 05:17 PM   #57
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Default Re: Pure video = VDPAU ?

Looks like I am not alone with this 8400GS issue:

"Cannot get a PNY 8400GS to work in a Dell Dimension 8250"
http://forums.nvidia.com/index.php?s...dpost&p=512367

also:
"8400gs won't turn on after boot"
http://forums.nvidia.com/index.php?s...dpost&p=546638


The clincher is being unable to enter the BIOS when the 8400GS card is present. On hitting F2, the screen goes blank and the computer freezes (or at least doesn't respond).

Could the card flip to using an invalid vertical frequency when it switches video modes?

Last edited by ticket; 10-09-09 at 06:08 PM. Reason: another link
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Old 10-10-09, 12:45 AM   #58
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Default Re: Pure video = VDPAU ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ticket View Post
Yes, I replaced the original Dell PSU with a brand new Corsair 400W unit. According to the Corsair spec, it can deliver up to 30amps on a 12 volt rail, and 20 amps on the 3.3 and 5 volt rails. Was a bugger to fit - I had to hack away some of the rear chassis.

The PNY 8400GS PCI card takes all its power from the PCI connector - there is no other power supply connector on the card.

It could be that the motherboard PCI connector doesn't like to handle the power being consumed by the 8400. When the card goes into graphics mode, maybe the sudden increase in power consumption is too much. The PSU can handle it, but maybe the motherboard can't. Pure speculation from me.
It could be motherboard issue, years back my dual CPU ASUS P2BDS had the same issue, AGP voltage would drop significantly with a GeForce in slot, it would hover around 3.18V and any load would make the system reboot. Next time get a 500W PSU, enough leeway for peripherals. I have the same card, actually a 8400GS running on a Intel motherboard with quad core and using a Antec 550W. So far absolutely no issues.
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Old 10-11-09, 12:12 PM   #59
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Default Re: Pure video = VDPAU ?

I tried inserting the following boot options in Ubuntu while in grub:

vga=normal ( also tried vga=318 )
noacpi
agp=off

in various combinations, and also trying with the recovery boot options as well, all to no avail (and removing 'quiet' and 'splash' to see what might be going on). After hitting 'b' to boot, the system reports it is booting from the selected disk, prints "Starting up ..." and after that, nothing. No disk activity seen and system is hung.

The most telling fault with this card & machine is that one cannot enter the bios by pressing F2. If you try that, you get a blank screen.

I conclude the problem is an electrical motherboard incompatibility.
I found that the PCI 2.1 and 2.2 specs say:

Quote:
The maximum power allowed for any PCI board is 25 watts, and represents the total power drawn from all power rails provided at the connector (+5V, +3.3V, +Vi/o, +12V, -12V, +3.3Vaux).
But the PNY engineer told me the idle power draw for the 8400GS card is 31 watts! So it is not even compliant with the PCI electrical standard.

I did notice the heatsink of the 8400 got noticeably more warmer than that of the 6200, despite having done no real work!

So this card is going back. The PNY 8400GS just isn't going to work with this machine. Dunno how it managed to work with other Motherboards - perhaps their PCI connectors are more beefy?

For what it is worth, these guys have had similar problems:

http://forums.nvidia.com/index.php?s...t=#entry564828

http://forums.nvidia.com/index.php?s...ded&pid=430511

http://www.hawkee.com/shop/review/308828/

http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/show...57&postcount=1

http://en.community.dell.com/forums/t/19247838.aspx

http://www.techsupportforum.com/hard...0-gs-help.html

http://www.computing.net/answers/har...ver/55396.html

http://www.techimo.com/forum/technic...hics-card.html

So this leaves me with staring at the empty AGP connector on this PC and wondering if ATI will ever provide a linux driver that accelerates HD decoding ...
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Old 11-21-09, 04:18 PM   #60
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Default Re: Pure video = VDPAU ?

FWIW

EVGA 8400GS PCI works on cheap HP ML110 G5 E2160, 365W stock PSU. (openSUSE, Ubuntu Jaunty) GPU sits on 62degC doing nothing.

Main problem is no easy blu-ray decrypter for Linux yet - it's i the works.

So now running Win7 + upgraded CPU to E8400. Nvidia System Monitor crashes Windows Media Center. Occasional slight pause with HD content playback appears to be a software issue, since rest of system is not working hard. Curious to find a tool to monitor PCI bus bandwidth usage, since that is the possible limiting factor.

Shark007 codecs resolved some playback issues.

Last edited by cheongi; 11-21-09 at 04:21 PM. Reason: added
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