New AGP graphics card: fan is turning but monitor is black

By zoudude
Jun 14, 2010
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  1. I recently bought a new graphics card to update an old desktop (Dell Optiplex GX270 Mini Tower) with the hope of a mediocre home theater PC. After much research, I bought a HIS ATI HD4350 512MB DDR3 graphics card. However, I'm having trouble getting it to display video.

    The power supply is just the factory Dell 250W max unit (14A on +12V). The graphics card company recommends a 300W supply, but everywhere I have read has said that my power supply should EASILY handle this graphics card. I have read about several people using much less (watts and amps) and having no problems. I wish I had an extra power supply to test the computer with, but I don't have one. So this is the next step unless there is something I'm missing (hopefully).

    So basically what is happening is that the computer has no problems if I use the integrated graphics and associated VGA output. However, once I put the AGP card into the slot, the monitor acts like it is not getting a signal from either the graphics card or the factor VGA port. The rest of the computer is getting plenty of power and I'm pretty sure that it is fully booting into windows, but the monitor is blank. As far as the card, the fan is spinning and it seems to be getting power but there is just not video output. I've tried the VGA, DVI, and HDMI inputs. I've adjusted the AGP aperture in bios and nothing changed. I've also tried disconnecting everything but the PSU, fan, hard drive, and video card, but this made no difference. I have tried uninstalling the integrated graphics driver, as well as having the most recent one installed. I don't have another computer with an AGP slot to try the card in. I'm at a loss for what could be going on, since it seems to be getting power.

    Here is my info from CPU-Z:

    CPU: Intel P4 (Northwood), Socket 478 mPGA, 2.60Ghz, 200MHz bus speed, 800MHz rated FSB, L1 Cache 8 KB, L2 512 KB
    Motherboard: Dell 0H1290, Intel i865 chipset, Bios Dell A07 (updated to this and it didn't help)
    Memory: 2GB DDR Dual Channel
    Graphics: Intel 82865G Integrated Graphics Controller
    OS: Windows XP SP3
    DirectX 9.0C

    Any ideas? If I can't get it working soon, I need to ship it back to Newegg to meet the return policy, so I'd appreciate some quick help. Thanks!
  2. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,682   +153

    The specs for this card show that 300 watts is the minimum spec for a power supply. Make sure the first video device in the bios is set for AGP and not PCI video
  3. zoudude

    zoudude Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Thanks for the reply. I know the card recommends a 300W power supply, but I have read about many people using similar power supplies without any problems (and not just the max wattage, but also the 12V amps). Is this a typical presentation for an inadequate power supply? I would think that the fan on the card would not be running if it was not getting adequate power.

    Also, the only display options in BIOS are "Auto" and "Onboard". I have tried both without success. I have also tried adjusting the AGP aperture and that didn't help. Anything else I should look for in BIOS?

    I can't help but think that there is some setting that I need to change to get this working. Because the card is being recognized (no VGA output via integrated graphics if AGP card is installed) and appears to be running well except for actually outputting video. It literally seems like the monitor is not even sensing the connection, as the light on the monitor just stays orange after connecting it to the card.

    Should I have the drivers installed before installing the card?

    Any thoughts or other suggestions?
  4. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,682   +153

    "Should I have the drivers installed before installing the card?"... Can you borrow another AGP card to test the computer with? Just because the video card fan runs, this doesn't mean the video card is good. The bios video "auto" setting is the correct one. Dell power supplies are barely adequate for the basic Dell system itself
  5. zoudude

    zoudude Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    No, I don't have access to another AGP graphics card. I also don't have a bigger power supply to try. If I have to buy anything else, I want to know it will fix the problem though. Is there anything else I could try?
  6. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,682   +153

    "Any ideas? If I can't get it working soon, I need to ship it back to Newegg to meet the return policy, so I'd appreciate some quick help. Thanks!"...

    No friend with extra computer parts? then I'm afraid you will have to return the card before the warranty runs out. With the video bios set to auto, an AGP card should display correctly. It is also possible that the AGP socket on the motherboard is bad
  7. cartera

    cartera TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 140   +14

    It might be to do with your dell bios settings, give this a try you may have to improvise a bit because i would of though dell have changed the bios a bit since i used a dell!
    • Install your graphics cards drivers on your machine and install your new card but continue running your screen off your mobo
    • start up your machine and while it is loading press F2 to enter your system bios.
    • scroll down the menu and click on a title that is called integrated devices - find a title called onboard video buffer or something similar
    • you should have two options onboard and auto - select auto and then boot your computer as normal
    • Now go to Start and open up control panel, navigate to performance and maintenance and select system, now go to hardware and open device manager
    • under device manager you should have display adapters, under display adapters you should have two possible selections, one will be your new card and one will be your onboard graphics
    • right click on your intel graphics and select disable
    • once disabled shut down your computer and attach your screen to your graphics card output
    • Restart computer and you should be good to go!
  8. zoudude

    zoudude Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    I can't get past the first point in your post, because once my AGP card is installed, the screen will not show video, regardless of BIOS (auto vs. onboard graphics) or whether the VGA cable is plugged in the graphics card or the integrated slot.
  9. zoudude

    zoudude Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    I bought a new power supply (Cosair TX650) and it did not help at all.

    The thing that I do not understand is why BIOS is not allowing me to use integrated graphics (via factory VGA port) when the card is installed and BIOS display set to "onboard". Why would it be doing this?

    Any other ideas? Could the system just not be compatible with the card? Is that possible?
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