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Graphics Card help -- PSU trouble?

By alaex_51
Jul 14, 2006
  1. Hey guys,

    I have had this problem for a long time with my PC now, and it has been preventing me from putting in any decent graphics cards. What has been happening is, I've put a graphics card in, played a game, then after around 10 mins of gaming, the screen freezes and the sound just goes over and over and over. I've had to reset my PC many times because of this problem, and I'm wondering what is causing it. However, when I only use onboard graphics or low-end graphics cards, everything is fine. I can game for ages and nothing will happen. For example, here's me specs when it WILL crash :

    AMD Sempron 3000+ 1.8Ghz
    768mb Kingston Memory
    (not sure about the motherboard)
    250/300w PSU... I think its 300w max
    Ati Radeon 9550
    80gb Seagate HDD

    Take out the Radeon 9550, and it works fine. For example, I used a Radeon 9200SE and it worked perfectly, no problems.

    Also, when I used the higher-end graphics cards, and sometimes even with the lower-end ones, it gave me an alert during games that "Your gpu was not responding to driver commands. It has been reset..." etc. This gave me the idea that not enough power was running to the cards..

    This is just an Acer T135 that I have moved to a new case and stuck some more RAM into. All I need now is to be able to put higher-end graphics cards in, like the nVidia 6 and 7 series, and I'll be completely happy.

    Please help. What do you think the problem is? It isn't temperature...my case has a huge fan at the front and two fans at the side, blowing air directly onto where the graphics cards are, so it surely isn't. I think it's the power supply. Anyone think they know what it is?
     
  2. paranoid guy

    paranoid guy TS Rookie Posts: 420

    Ok, can you give us the exact wattage of your psu and can you open up the pc, take a look at the psu sticker and tell us the amps on the 12v rail? Also, if you know what temperature things are running at can you tell us that too? Might as well rule it out as a possibility.
     
  3. alaex_51

    alaex_51 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 23

    Ok, I'll open up the case, and check the PSU sticker, but I'm not sure about the temperature.
     
  4. paranoid guy

    paranoid guy TS Rookie Posts: 420

    Don't worrry about the temps it sounds like a psu problem.
     
  5. alaex_51

    alaex_51 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 23

    i'll be back, gonna turn this thing off before I check..
     
  6. alaex_51

    alaex_51 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 23

    Right, heres the entire sticker... (the '==' symbols are the closest i could get to what they actually looked like)

    AC INPUT : 220V -240V ~/3.5A 50Hz
    DC OUTPUT : +5V == /20A MAX -12V == /0.5A MAX +12V1 == /10A MAX
    +5V (5B) == /2A MAX =3.3V ==/20A MAX +12V2 == /13A MAX

    Combined Power on +3.3V and +5V rails shall not exceed 130W.
    Combined Power on 12V1 and 12V2 rails Shall not exceed 20A.
    At ambient 25 degrees C Total Power Output shall not exceed 300W.
    At ambient 50 degrees C Total Power Output shall not exceed 270W.
     
  7. alaex_51

    alaex_51 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 23

    the '=' in front of the '3.3V' in the 3rd line is supposed to be a '+' sign.
     
  8. paranoid guy

    paranoid guy TS Rookie Posts: 420

    Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. You need a new psu. You can get a decent one pretty cheap. I saw rage_3k_moiz recommend thi s one in another thread, looks good.
    Out of curiousity what was the brand of that psu?
     
  9. alaex_51

    alaex_51 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 23

    Dude, you've just made me so happy! Finally I have a clear-cut solution to this problem. Don't worry about it, I'm happy to get a new PSU. Whatever it takes to sort this out. It's good news!

    It was a Liteon PSU. What was the wattage of it? *slaps self* I thought it was 300W max, but maybe I'm wrong..
     
  10. paranoid guy

    paranoid guy TS Rookie Posts: 420

    It's 300w max (yeah right we say) but most new(er) graphics cards are powered from the 12v rail, so you'd need about 16amps mimumum on the 12v1 rail to not be pushing the psu to frying point.
     
  11. alaex_51

    alaex_51 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 23

    Geez, I really do have a pretty awful PSU....6A off the minimum for the 12V1 rail....

    I've been looking at some on www.ebuyer.com, you can get good PC components for decent prices there.
     
  12. alaex_51

    alaex_51 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 23

    And is that why the ATi alerts were telling me that my 'GPU was not responding to driver commands', because there was way too little power running to it? Sorry about all the questions, just I'm really curious about everything that was happening before.
     
  13. paranoid guy

    paranoid guy TS Rookie Posts: 420

    If you want, post the link here before you buy a psu and someone can tell you if it's a good deal or not.
     
  14. alaex_51

    alaex_51 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 23

    Ok, I'll do that, I guess I'll buy one in around a week, I'm going away tomorrow for a week, so I'll do it when I get back.
     
  15. alaex_51

    alaex_51 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 23

    Do you think a new PSU will definitely solve the crashing problems with graphics cards? that's the only problem I've had with my computer since I bought it.
     
  16. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,431   +28

    Yeah it will. Try getting a good brand, like Coolmax, Antec, Fortron FSP, OCZ or Thermaltake. Avoid HiPro and Q-tec. They might look cool but they're garbage when it comes to performance.
     
  17. alaex_51

    alaex_51 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 23

    Cool, hmmm, I've been looking for them on ebuyer, and a lot of the reviews say that they come with '1 x PCI -e 6-pin connector' -- If I'm using an AGP motherboard, will that make a difference, or would I have to use a converter...
     
  18. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,431   +28

    The PSU will come with Molex connectors(the same connectors that supply power to the other peripherals like the HDD and the DVD drive). One of these can be used on ur card since AGP cards have Molex connectors. Check out the page for more details on this.
    http://www.wikihow.com/Connect-A-Video-Card-Power-Cable-Correctly
     
  19. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,431   +28

    U won't need the PCi-E connector so it will be an added convenience than a nuisance, in case u ever wanna upgrade ur mobo and card to a PCI-E one.
     
  20. alaex_51

    alaex_51 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 23

    Thanks, for a moment there I thought I'd have to find a PSU that had an AGP connector, but now I know :) .
     
  21. alaex_51

    alaex_51 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 23

    Although, on most modern graphics cards, do you still have to connect them up to the power supply? Most graphics cards I've had haven't had molex connectors ON them.
     
  22. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,431   +28

    Yeah check out the link in my previous post. It shows a Radeon 9800 with a Molex connector. Most modern cards need loads of power and the power in the slot isn't enough, hence the need for a dedicated PSU connector. Dunno about ur card though. If it doesn't have a Molex connector, it doesn't need one then.
     
  23. alaex_51

    alaex_51 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 23

    Ok, I guess it just depends on the card. Thanks for all the help guys, I'll be back on this forum in a week, when I'll be buying a new PSU, and most likely a new graphics card.

    Thanks guys, and talk to you in a week.
     
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