TechSpot

Needs More Juice

By Scolaire
Feb 8, 2008
  1. I've been using a Nvidia Geforce 6800GT in my pc, ever since they were cutting-edge:eek: and when I installed it, even though I hooked it up to my psu, I knew the card was only just getting enough power (recommended power is 350w, my psu is only 305w). As a result, it's always run pretty hot, but it never gave me any serious problems. Until a few weeks ago. I started getting artifacts on my bootup screens and sometimes power to the monitor would cut, and I'd have to use the reset button. This became more and more frequent unitl now it's nearly a given that it'll happen when I (try to) start up my pc. Finally, after what I think was a random loss of total power, my pc rebooted with a message from the graphics card which went something along the lines of
    "The nvidia card is not getting enough power and has rebooted with lower settings to reduce power consumption" or something to that effect.
    My question is: why now? Has my power input suddenly been reduced even further, or do you think the graphics card may have been slowly damaged by use and abuse?
    Is there any point in trying to fix this as is or do you think replacements are necessary?
    I should probably add that I opened up the pc, took out the graphics card, de-dusted it, checked all the connections and put it back in. It booted up for me this time....
    Any suggestions?
     
  2. kirock

    kirock TS Rookie Posts: 1,221

    It's your PSU...you're killing it...I'm suprised it lasted this long! For $30-40 go buy a decent Thermaltake or Antec. Your 6800 is probably just fine.
     
  3. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,431   +28

    I suppose it's a Dell with the 305W stock PSU. It's supposed to be pretty sturdy with a 22A rating on the +12V rail but I guess your system's overloaded it.
    The Antec Earthwatts series is an excellent PSU line that's available for real cheap on Newegg. I recommend the 430W variant.
     
  4. Scolaire

    Scolaire TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 39

    :eek: I never even thought of that, but yep I suppose it makes sense!
    Yep that's the one. New psu it is then. Will any psu work with my system or are there differences in sizes/connections/other stuff?
     
  5. kirock

    kirock TS Rookie Posts: 1,221

    There is different ratings of total watts and amps on each voltage output, but the connections, standard voltages and the size(dimensions) of each psu are the same. Get the one Rage recommended.
     
  6. Scolaire

    Scolaire TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 39

    Hi again,
    Rather than start a new thread, I thought I'd update this one. So...
    I got the psu Rage recommended, the Antec Earthwatts 430w, and it's working (I'm typing this from the pc in question), but, my graphics card gave me artifacts on startup and stopped working at the windows loading screen four times before it worked, and then I got a message saying that it wasn't receiving sufficient power, so it's lowered its performance. I'm kinda back where I started, 'cept now I can rule out that the psu has insufficient power... can't I? 17A on the 12v rail should be ok for a 6800gt, shouldn't it? (in case you ask, yes I have the direct-to-psu and the monitor connector connected:D) Time for a new graphics card?:(
     
  7. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,431   +28

    Have you tried another 4-pin power connector? Also, try running the PC without your CD and/or floppy drives connected and see if you still get the same problem.
     
  8. Scolaire

    Scolaire TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 39

    I'm using the stock connector that comes out of the psu right now (it can reach!) but with the old psu I was using a bunch of molex cables strung together. So that might eliminate that.
    Funny you should mention that, I actually don't have the cd drive plugged in atm (don't have a floppy drive :() because Dell's p7 connection seems to be smaller than the p7 connector on the Antec. Gotta love them dell boys... This card should be working with 430w and 17A on the 12v rail, shouldn't it?
     
  9. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,431   +28

    Yes, the amount of power provided by that PSU is enough for an 8800GT, so I don't see how you'd have problems with a 6800GT.
     
  10. Scolaire

    Scolaire TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 39

    So it's the card then. Thanks Rage and Kirock, I'd have been going around scratching my head without your help. I suppose it's new card time then. Any idea what I can do (if anything) with that non-standard p7 connector?
     
  11. Scolaire

    Scolaire TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 39

    Hi again. Hope you don't mind the bump:eek:. I'm set on replacing the 6800gt now (it is nearly 2 years old after all), so I suppose I'm just looking for suggestions. I don't want/need anything crazy, I only have a Pentium 4 3GHz in the pc so anything great will probably be bottlenecked. I just want to play stuff like Half Life 2 and maybe Stalker (when the exams are over of course:D). I don't really know what constitutes good anymore, in terms of graphics cards... Are Radeon 2600 pros any good? Would that psu be able to run them?
     
  12. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,431   +28

    The 8600GTS is an excellent replacement for that card.
     
  13. kirock

    kirock TS Rookie Posts: 1,221

    How much do you want to spend? (rubs hands maniacally)
     
  14. Scolaire

    Scolaire TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 39

    Just gave my dad €200 (about $300) to cover it. Bear in mind, though, that we get ripped off in Ireland so a $200 card in the US will cost at least $250 here. Hopefully I'll order it this weekend. Happy to hear any suggestions, not that I don't like Rage's, I just like to have options:)
     
  15. Rio

    Rio TS Rookie Posts: 26

    PCI-e or AGP?

    Although everyone is saying how fantastic the 8800GT's are, there are even more issues attached so i'd avoid one of those.

    The 8600GTS like Rage reccomended is a great card.

    If you're on an AGP box, the Radeon X1650 Pro is a good card, although i think that is an old one, but that series keeps improving.

    If you have some time, do some research before you buy. There are many comparisons on the internet for most cards and performance graphs are helpful. Also, see how many problems people are having on forums with that card, if there are many driver issues and crashes etc, trying to steer clear.

    Rio.
     
  16. Scolaire

    Scolaire TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 39

    I've got a PCI-E slot. Looking around reviews and stuff, and the general consensus is that the 8600 series is low-end in terms of dx10. There's a Radeon HD 3850 and an Asustek 8800gs inside my price range on the site I'll probably buy from, elara.ie. If I give my Dad another €20 I could get a 9600gt but I think it'd be underpowered with my PSU (430w, 34A on 2 12v rails). Question is, would I be able to run a Radeon 3850 or an 8800gs with my PSU? I'm leaning towards the Radeon atm.
     
  17. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,431   +28

    Your PSU provides a combined output of 30A from both +12V rails, which is enough for an 8800GT, so the 9600GT will run just fine on it.
     
  18. Scolaire

    Scolaire TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 39

    Hi again Rage,
    From what I've been looking at, the Radeon HD 3870 512mb beats the 9600GT, and I can see one here
    for €146 ($225, not bad for Europe). Would my PSU handle this? Would you recommend it?
     
  19. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,431   +28

    They're about equal, with the HD 3870 being a cooler-running option thanks to its dual-slot cooler design. Also, an OC will give the latter a solid advantage over the NVIDIA card.
     
  20. Scolaire

    Scolaire TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 39

    Thanks again. I think I'll go with the Radeon so. Fingers crossed this finally solves the problem.
     
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