PowerColor X800 GTO - Problems

By pacman849
Oct 28, 2006
Topic Status:
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  1. Hi,

    This is my first post, and much like other people, it is because I have a problem :( I have a HP Pavilion t775.uk 3.0GHz PC which came with a X300 graphics card. Since my son loves playing games, I decided a few months ago to upgrade the graphics card to a X800 and bought a PowerColor X800 GTO 256Mb card.

    All seemed okay for a while, but we have noticed quite a number of instability issues since installing the card. The screen will quite often just go blank for a second or two (almost like changing video resolution settings) for no apparent reason, and it can happen at any time too, the PC need not be doing anything at the time. Other symptoms include hanging during games, the VPU recover restarting the graphics card on games including Sims 2, Eldar Scrolls Oblivion...two of my sons favorites; we also get PC crashes...the screen will freeze, the PC will hang for a few seconds and will then reboot. After a crash, a minidump is left, and the Microsoft On-Line crash analysis confirms the problem was with a video device driver.

    I have tried upgrading the PC to the latest Catalyst versions but to no avail, and I obviously dont want to turn off hardware acceleration, since that defeats the object of changing the card in the first place. I have started running out of ideas. Can anyone give me some advice?? Is ther an issue about running the HP t775.uk with an X800 GTO?? Is the PC just not up to the mark?? Is the card faulty, wrong slot, wrong IRQs, etc.etc. I have tried contacting PowerColor, but they have ignored my emails.

    Any help or advice you can give would be gratefully received.

    Thanks,

    Paul.
  2. zazazoom

    zazazoom Newcomer, in training Posts: 124

    Hey Paul, there could be a number of things causing this to happen, with those symtoms..it sounds to me like your card could be overheating...a several bunch of us change the stock cooler on the video card and buy a 3rd party cooler...from companies such as arctic cooler or zalman both which could be found on http://www.tigerdirect.ca or http://www.newegg.com
    I usually read the reviews from customers regarding performance, I think Arctic Cooler might be the best choice for your X800GTO

    Another is thing your psu..what kind of psu do you have? i highly recommend upgrading it, if it is under 400w...as new generation cards need alot of power.

    The cooling in your whole system could be a problem too..how many fans do you have? exhaust/intake?
    i suggest cleaning out your computer with compressed air as dust and other air particles could disrupt airflow.

    Well this is all I know..other people might know more so good luck!

    (Give alittle more information regarding your computer: psu,ram,cooling,devices)
  3. pacman849

    pacman849 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Thanks for the prompt reply...

    Hmm, perhaps the PSU is an issue then; I have only a 300W Bestec fitted, would that cause these kinds of symptoms?

    Also, the cooling might be an issue too, but I am not sure how to tell. The case is the standard HP case for the t775 model and there are two extractor fans... one small one on the PSU, and a primary standard 12v fan on the case; there isnt anywhere else to put a fan. The intake is an open mesh variety, with plenty of space for airflow.

    Any other ideas? I might invest in a new PSU...any idea how much I should pay, and are they all standard fittings?

    Cheers,
  4. pacman849

    pacman849 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    btw, system specs:-

    HP Pavilion t775.uk
    3.0GHz Pentium 4 with HT
    300W Bestec PSU
    1024Mb RAM
    ASUS mobo (not sure of model though)
    200Gb SATA Maxtor Hard Disk
    Realtek onboard 5.1 sound running to Creative Inspire 5.1 Speakers
    19" HP f1903 flatpanel screen

    hope this helps
  5. zazazoom

    zazazoom Newcomer, in training Posts: 124

    Ok, Your psu definitely needs to be changed!
    I know some ppl who have bad cooling in their cpus and just open the case and use a fan to keep it cool while gaming.

    For a new psu check out newegg...i usually buy based on customer reviews...basically ppl who've purchased the hardware already..you might wanna read on some and see whats best for your needs...like i'd recommend a 700w psu from OCZ but i think thats overkill with your system :p unless ure looking to build a new one..u could always keep that handy :)
    http://www.newegg.com/ProductSort/SubCategory.asp?SubCategory=58

    And I still recommend changing your GPU cooler for the Video Card...
    This is highly recommended...its a really good purchase i promise x9999
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16835186129
  6. pacman849

    pacman849 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Okay... so a new PSU is in order (I might choose something a bit smaller than 700w though :) ) I was thinking 450-500w??

    Also, I checked out the Zalman coolers, but cannot see which would be right for the PowerColor X800 GTO; the original one has a sophisticated looking bezel on the fan which I guess is designed to improve airflow. Surely, PowerColor should ship their graphics cards with adequate cooling?? Seems strange to buy a card with cooling fan, to then have to bin the fan and get a new one? :confused: arent the fans that come with the cards fit for purpose?? And besides, if I remove the integral fan on the graphics card, how do you fit the new fan...that is, what would you fit it to, if it is a different fitting, are they sold to fit specific cards?

    Sorry for all the questions....as you can tell, this is new teritory for me :)

    Paul.
  7. zazazoom

    zazazoom Newcomer, in training Posts: 124

    go for 500-550...www.ncix.com has some good deals :) i saw the oCZ 700w for 123$ CD..that is pretty cheap..i think they're sellling it for alot more on newegg
    unfortunately most stock coolers blow extreme a**...i wish i knew why..but if u check out that link...to the arctic cooler rev.5 there's about 240 reviews..and a bunch of people with the same card you have who have switched to it :)
    I have a zalman on my X800XT AIW ...i unscrewed my stock fan..using a small screw driver..(oh yeah..u should have an antistatic strap on you or touch your psu while ure removing the fan.. you might short something on your computer :p
    as for the arctic i'm unsure how to install it..but i don't think it should be difficult following the instructions...
    with all that u need some thermal paste..once you remove the fan from your GPU you'll notice some gewy stuff..u'll need acetone to remove that..using a cloth...then applying a new batch...(arctic silver highly recommended http://www.arcticsilver.com/arctic_silver_instructions.htm)
    anywho we should do this step by step..as there are many other people who can help you here....we should start with your psu
  8. pacman849

    pacman849 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    PSU change made no difference

    Well, I went down to PC World this morning and picked up a new Jeantech 500w PSU. I fitted it just a moment ago, having completely cleaned out all the dust etc. from the PC (it now looks as good as new!); and having removed the graphics card dusted it (compressed air can) and re-seated it. I then turned on the PC and within a few seconds of having logged on, the screen gave one of its characteristic flashes (went black a moment, then resumed); so this does not bode well. The graphics card was under no load at all, and thus I assume could not have been too hot, and the side cover was off, so nothing else was too hot either. There is plenty of juice in the 500w PSU, so now what :(. I am considering changing the cooling fan on the GPU for an Artic Cooler, but since the problem started again without any load, am sure this will fix nothing.

    Any other ideas guys!! Is there some configurational thing in Catalyst I should have set, that isn't? I am running 6.9.

    Thanks in advance.

    Paul.
  9. pacman849

    pacman849 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Power for the GPU

    Another thought; the PowerColor X800 GTO does not have a separate power connector, and draws its power from the PCI slot on the mobo; is there a chance the mobo cannot provide the PCI slot with sufficient power to run the card properly? If so, how can I tell? I ask, because the new Jeantech PSU has a separate power lead for the PCI-E which has nowhere to go, since the old PSU did not have one...I can only assume the mobo provides the power to the PCI from it's normal 5 & 12 volt bus bars.

    Thoughts? :suspiciou
  10. Mirob

    Mirob TechSpot Paladin Posts: 841

    Try Driver Cleaner Pro. Fist download and install it. Then go to add/remove programs and unistall all ATi stuff. Next reboot into safe mode and run drivercleaner to remove all ATi files. Last reboot and reinstall the ATi's new cats again.
  11. pacman849

    pacman849 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Cat Uninstaller

    Hi Mirob,

    Shouldnt the Catalyst Uninstaller program remove the drivers etc? I always run this first to remove the drivers and Catalyst Control Center and then reboot into standard VGA, before installing the new version of Catalyst. What will Driver Cleaner Pro do for me instead?

    Cheers,

    Paul.
  12. Mirob

    Mirob TechSpot Paladin Posts: 841

    It will leave some files behind. It useuly is good enough but drivercleaner has fixed some problems for me before. I think it's worth a shot.:stickout:
  13. zazazoom

    zazazoom Newcomer, in training Posts: 124

    yeah forgot to tell you...what mirob did..run it in safe mode when uninstalling the drivers with drivercleaner.
    i'm glad you changed your psu! whatever u don't go back to your old one..now the problem is still occuring...how far into the game can you play until it hangs..?
    what confuses me is that you say it turns black..for a few seconds like its changing resolutions.
    that happens once when my comp is done booting up...
    wait still sharkfood sees your thread he's God of trouble shooting. (IMO=))
     
  14. cfitzarl

    cfitzarl TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,520   +9

    Try to run a program named "Speedfan" and you will see your temperatures inside the computer (from available sensors).
  15. pacman849

    pacman849 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Thanks guys, I'll give some of these things a go. The trouble is that the hang/crash/blanking screen occur sporadically, so it might go for a few days, then start up doin it again. The fan speed checking s/w sounds good, I'll see what it reports under 'normal ops'.

    Cheers,

    Will report back soon.

    Paul.
  16. cfitzarl

    cfitzarl TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,520   +9

    You could always return/rma the card and get a new one to test out as well.
  17. zazazoom

    zazazoom Newcomer, in training Posts: 124

    yo Paul, just get a program called AtiTool...its highly recommended and its free to download.
    I'm not sure if the GTO X800's have a built in fan speed changer..but its what i use for mine :)...anyway...usually when a card has overheating issues..it'll take awhile for the card to act up because the card needs to get really hot first...then it starts to do weird things...your problem happens at any given point. try the driver installation thingy first and make sure your installing the updated CCC 6.9
  18. cfitzarl

    cfitzarl TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,520   +9

    An easier solution would be to buy a cooler, but I would probably do the same thing you just recommened.
  19. wolfram

    wolfram TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,605   +9

    I had the same Powercolor card, and it does not have any temp sensor, and there's no way to adjust fan's speed.

    And BTW, the ATI Silencer 5 rev.2 does not fit the powercolor X800 card, unless you want to do some modding.
    The Arctic's cooler has 5 mounting holes, and the powercolor has only two mounting holes....
  20. cfitzarl

    cfitzarl TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,520   +9

    So should he just send the card back (if possible)? That would be my first thought.
  21. wolfram

    wolfram TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,605   +9

    Probably yes. Maybe a defective card. These things happen with computers...
  22. zazazoom

    zazazoom Newcomer, in training Posts: 124

    isn't there anything else we can get him to try before he RMA's it. RMA is a pain in the ****~! but if all fails u should rma
  23. cfitzarl

    cfitzarl TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,520   +9

    Well, it would be a good idea to do so. I mean, you'll be getting a brand new card. Since the cooler you were looking at doesn't fit, there is no current solution. And before you spend more money on the card, you might as well find out if it is the card itself making the problems.
  24. pacman849

    pacman849 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Rma?

    I have not come across the term RMA before. I cant send the card back to the shop I got it from, cos it isn't there any more, and I tried sending emails to PowerColor support and got no replies. Is RMA a process to follow? If so, how does that work?

    WRT heat problems, I think it cant help that my case gets too hot inside. The best onboard cooling in the world isnt going to help the GPU if it is only dragging hot air over the chip; does anyone know a way of improving the cooling in the case? I have started leaving the side off the PC at the moment, to get rid of the hot air; the only air extraction is a standard 12cm fan on the back of the case, and the 8cm fan that comes with the Jeantech PSU...by adding a more powerful PSU, I have probably increased the heat in the case now...and that cant help. Without having to replace the case, is there some clever way of improving the cooling of the air inside?

    Cheers,

    Paul.
  25. pacman849

    pacman849 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    RMA and Cooling

    Yeah, I guessed that would be the way. I downloaded ATItool a while back, but couldn't find anything useful to do with it :( And lucky I didnt order that Artic Cooler yet, thanks for the heads up, saved me some cash/effort there :grinthumb

    So, now I have these things to consider:-

    1. How does RMA work, and can I use it in the UK?
    2. How do I improve the cooling within the case?
    3. How do I improve the cooling on the PowerColor X800 GTO?

    Any help here would be useful.

    Thanks for all the help so far guys.:approve:

    Paul.
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