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Old 11-30-04, 01:36 AM   #1
NickElm
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Default Visual artifacts with new FX 5900XT card, none with Geforce 4?

A month or so ago, my ATI Radeon 9700 card fatally crashed in the middle of a gaming session. The screen filled with random-colored flickering pixels. When I rebooted, the screen had random visual artifacts all over, both in text mode as well as in Windows. I swapped in my old Geforce 4 Ti 4200 and things worked perfectly. Figuring it was a cooling problem, I tried with a new fan, but this did not work either. The ATI card showed the same visual artifacts in another computer, so I concluded that there was a problem with the card and that I needed a new one.

Today I (finally) received my replacement card, an Nvidia Geforce 5900 XT. To my dismay, upon plugging in the card into my computer, the same visual artifacts appeared (purplish big pixels in regular arrays or lines across the screen) when I booted the computer again. Now, it refuses to boot altogether and just sits there with a black screen. Argh. Something is definitely wrong, and I can't for my life figure out why.

If anyone has any advice to offer in this regard, I would be most grateful.

Random thoughts:
1. My PSU has a 300W output, could this be the problem? I have seen a few other people posting here with similar problems, and the recommendation seems to be to get a 400W+ PSU. How certain can I be of this, and why did it work before and not now when no hardware additions were made?

2. My BIOS is does not allow me to configure the AGP settings. Using Sandra I get the following information:

AGP Capabilities
Version : 2.00
Command Queue Length : 32
Fast-Writes Enabled : No
Fast-Writes Support : Yes
Side Band Enabled : Yes
Data Transfer Modes Support : 1x 2x 4x
Current Data Transfer Rate : 4x

Is there some way I can configure the AGP settings when my BIOS does not seem to let me? The Nvidia driver said that the FX 5900 was using AGP 8x mode, but according to this, 8x is not supported by my mobo?

3. The GA-7VAXFS card supposedly has AGP 8x support, but maybe I need to upgrade my BIOS? (I am a bit reluctant due to the fact that I cannot seem to find my exact mobo on Gigabyte's site and thus I am not sure about flashing the BIOS.)

Computer setup: (Please tell me if I missed something.)
Model : AMD Athlon(tm) XP 3000+
Speed : 2.17GHz
Bus(es) : ISA AGP PCI IMB USB FireWire/1394 i2c/SMBus
MP Support : 1 CPU(s)
System BIOS : Award Software International, Inc. F7
System : Fujitsu Siemens GA-7VAXFS
Mainboard : Gigabyte Technology Co., Ltd. GA-7VAXFS
Model : Giga-Byte Technology VT8377 Apollo KT400/A/600 CPU to PCI Bridge
Front Side Bus Speed : 2x 167MHz (334MHz data rate)
Total Memory : 1GB DDR-SDRAM
Memory Bus Speed : 2x 167MHz (334MHz data rate)
Adapter : NVIDIA GeForce4 Ti 4200
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Old 11-30-04, 08:57 PM   #2
Daneel Olivaw
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Default Re: Visual artifacts with new FX 5900XT card, none with Geforce 4?

How long did the 9700 work correctly? (months, days, weeks?)
Test the 5900 somewhere else.

You could be extremely unlucky and have 2 randomly damaged vid cards but looks like a damaged mobo to me... possibly the ti4200 requires less voltage and is unaffected, but your mobo may be frying agp 8x cards. (worst case scenario)

Maybe you should turn off sideband and fw, maybe nothing's wrong and its just a setting that not as it should be.
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Old 12-01-04, 04:27 AM   #3
NickElm
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Default Re: Visual artifacts with new FX 5900XT card, none with Geforce 4?

First of all, thanks for your response. Since posting, I have upgraded my PSU to a 450W unit, and the problem persists; in fact, now the computer refuses to boot altogether with the FX 5900 installed; it still works fine with the Geforce 4.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daneel Olivaw
How long did the 9700 work correctly? (months, days, weeks?)
Test the 5900 somewhere else.
My 9700 worked approximately 1.5 years without flaw before the fatal failure. I will try the 5900 in my other computer today and see if it makes any difference.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daneel Olivaw
You could be extremely unlucky and have 2 randomly damaged vid cards but looks like a damaged mobo to me... possibly the ti4200 requires less voltage and is unaffected, but your mobo may be frying agp 8x cards. (worst case scenario)
Hmm, I see. The new 5900 just arrived, so if it does not work in my other computer, then I am hoping I can send it back and get a replacement. And then I will obviously replace my motherboard before I try again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daneel Olivaw
Maybe you should turn off sideband and fw, maybe nothing's wrong and its just a setting that not as it should be.
I wish I could, but my motherboard is some silly OEM version of a standard Gigabyte motherboard and the BIOS does not give me control over the AGP settings. I tried finding a newer version of the BIOS, but to no avail; the actual mobo is not listed at all on Gigabyte's website and I am not yet desperate enough to try and flash a BIOS that "sounds similar" (I have a GA-7VAXFS, the closest I can find is GA-7VAX).

Anyway, thanks for your response! I will investigate further.
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Old 12-01-04, 03:58 PM   #4
Daneel Olivaw
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Default Re: Visual artifacts with new FX 5900XT card, none with Geforce 4?

Well, I had a Gigabyte GA-6VTXE-A which was compatible to a GA-6VTXE but not GA-6VTX... as I recall... so you're right to be careful.

BTw, I have no idea what's really happening to your cards I'm shooting in the dark. Tell me what happens next.
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