Radeon x1800 XT - black screen

By kitan
Oct 5, 2007
  1. Hello, I've been having this problem for approximately 6 months now; my display goes into a black screen at random intervals when I have a 3d applicant running. I've pretty much just let it pass in the past but recently I picked up a copy of Half Life 2 and its black screening 30-50 seconds into game play. When this happens, sound still plays in the background and I can send the system commands but screen remains blank. Only way for me to get out of this seems to be a forced reboot. I hope you guys can help, I'll try to be as cooperative as possible.

    CPU: AMD Athlon 64 FX-60 Dual Core Processor
    Ram: Two sticks of Kingston PC3200 (DDR400) SDRAM - 1 Gig each
    Video Card: SAPPHIRE Radeon x1800XT 256MB Pci-E x16
    PSU: Thermaltake TK2-500
    +12 V1 - 14a
    -12 V2 - 15a
    -12 V - 0.3a
    Monitor: Not too familiar with this one. Nokia Multigraph 445Xpro is the name.
    Hard Drives: Not sure how to figure out what this one is
    Optical Drive: As the same for this one
    Additional PCI cards: none
    Number of fans present: One on the case, one on the videocard and one on the processor.

    Video Card Driver: Catalyst Control Center v7.9
    Motherboard Driver: Not sure where to find this one but I updated it 2 weeks ago.

    I'm just not sure how to go about fixing this, I've actually asked for help here before but did not get any resolution, searched numerous forums for the answer but all entries seem to lead to a dead end.
  2. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 6,964   +355

    In your previous post you showed the output of the +12V rail as 9.06V. That is too low and would account for the behavior you are experiencing. It is supposed to be at or very close to 12V (naturally). The solution would be to get another power supply of equal or better quality.

    However, I've found Speedfan can be inaccurate. You should be more sure of the voltages before spending money on a power supply. Download and install the free version of Everest v2.20. See what it reports for voltages and compare it to what is reported in the BIOS. Find it here at Major Geeks.
  3. kitan

    kitan TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 18

    I went and downloaded everest but can't seem to figure out where it displays the voltage.


    Edit: Voltage Values:
    Debug Info F FF FF FF FF 00 FF 00 FF
    Debug Info T BF 1C 26 76
    Debug Info V 00 00 00 00 91

  4. pdyckman@comcas

    pdyckman@comcas TS Rookie Posts: 527

    If you previously listed your 12 volt output as approx. 9 volts...where did you get that figure? And would you look there again and verify that? I just Googled that GPU and the first thing that I would do is make sure that you have plenty of power and amperage. I don't think that 15 amps is gonna make it at all. Get a PSU with 30 to 40 amps on the 12 volt rail(s). Good Luck.
  5. kitan

    kitan TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 18

    Thanks for the response,

    I got the number from speedfan, it still says 9v on the 12 volt output. Okay so I guess the general consensus is I need to replace my PSU. I wouldn't mind some help picking one out if anyone has any suggestions, I really don't know what I'm suppose to be looking for. All the descriptions seem to say +12v@14a and the likes... none at 30-40. :p

    *goes searching*
  6. wow...power supplies seem to be a big issue as of late.

    i was finally taught what to look for a few days ago.

    you have to figure out what the 12v rails on the power supply give out in amps. and you can't really figure that out by looking at the 12v rail descriptions.

    take note of the total wattage. we'll be doing some math today kiddies.

    convert the 3.3v and 5v rail numbers into watts. you take the 3.3v and multiply by the amperage it gives. i.e. 3.3v@36A and 5v@30A.

    volts*amps=watts. what you want to do is multiply the numbers and add the results together.

    so that'd be (3.3*36) + (5*30) == 268.8

    subtract that from the total wattage. lets say, 600watts. 600-268.8=331.2

    divide that by 12v to convert it back to amps and at the same time tell you how much amperage is offered on the rail. that yields 27.6 amps total.

    the average number for the 12v rail for a decent gaming computer would be about 25 amps. so that power supply example i gave would be pretty good.

    now go! find a power supply that gives a decent amperage and avoid blank screens of death. =D
  7. kitan

    kitan TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 18

    Wow, that was a big help link!

    So according to the sticker on my PSU:



    My max amps would be 21~ but i'm only getting 9? Hope that isn't an abnormal thing, I assume its only receiving 9amps when its idle? Well, regardless, thanks for the quick responses guys. Guess I have some searching to do :D

    Edit - I'm currently eyeing :eek:
  8. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 6,964   +355

    15 amps may not be enough and could indeed be causing the problem but if the power supply is only putting out 9 volts on the 12 volt rail (albeit unconfirmed) that is a sign of a malfunctioning power supply. A malfunctioning power supply is different from an inadequate one. One you throw away, the other you can keep and use for a low end PC.

    I suppose I'm splitting hairs because either way a new power supply is called for but I wanted to point out the difference.
  9. its not that you're only getting 9 AMPS. you're only getting up to 9 VOLTS rather than the full 12 volts. which means you're only getting 3/4s of the power you should be getting. so rather than 21 amps, you're only seeing 15.75 amps. big difference.

    also, a side note: the average number of amps for a given system can vary almost as much as the number of configurations. the best way to determine the amperages you need is to check with the processor and video card requirements and make sure you meet, and overcompensate. so don't simply go with the average...i just listed between 22-25 because those are the most common amperages i've seen. so double check yourself, or get a massive amount of power :3. just for future reference.

    anyways. that antec you've spied does in fact look quite nice. 30.9 amps. that will do very nicely. it's a little bit over priced though.

    its very good quality and probably won't give you any problems. its just that i've seen a few slightly cheaper models that offer similar amperages. i saw a coolermaster 550watt that offered 32 amps. but people kept saying it was very very noisy so i ignored it. and another one i saw was 500 watts, and offered 27.83. considerably less amperage, but still pretty decent. it was 50 bucks.

    on the other hand, it's very hard to find a cheaper model that offers such high amperage/performance. i'd advise you to stick with what you found personally. if i had the money, i'd buy that antec. otherwise you risk buying a product that's DOA or loud. or something else ridiculous.
  10. kitan

    kitan TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 18

    Thanks for the help guys, I went through with that PSU with your assistance. We'll see if it fixes the problem in 2-3 days. Thanks again :DDD
  11. glad to be of service :D
  12. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,233   +234

    Come on people... If a system actually had 9 volts on the +12v line, many more things would be malfunctioning. I doubt if the computer would even boot.

    Anyway a new power supply is in order for kitan
  13. we never said speedfan was the most accurate of things. either way, there wasn't enough power. i'm just thankful nothing else WAS malfunctioning. got lucky.
  14. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 6,964   +355

    That's why I advised downloading and using Everest to see if there was indeed a problem on the +12V rail. It might not have been as bad as 9V but maybe it was low enough below 12 volts to cause a problem. It was worth checking and it costs nothing to do so.

    I know Speedfan can be inaccurate. It reports the power supply in my new PC as having less than 2 (two) volts on the +12V rail. That's is so obviously wrong otherwise I couldn't be typing this right now.
  15. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,233   +234

    Any software reporting program is at the mercy of the motherboard/system it is trying to pull data from... A little common sence is needed when troubleshooting computer systems, or anything else for that matter
  16. kitan

    kitan TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 18

    Hey again, the PSU came today but the problem still persists! :(

    Speedfan is still reading it as 9v on the +12v rail and i'm again, not 100% sure how to read everest's voltage meter but as far as I can tell:

    Voltage Values
    Debug Info F FF FF FF FF 00 FF 00 FF
    Debug Info T C0 20 24 75
    Debug Info V 00 00 00 00 91

    What other things could be causing the problem I'm having?
  17. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,233   +234

    This is a motherboard issue... Now what next? New motherboard?
  18. kitan

    kitan TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 18

    I really really really hope its not the mobo and if it is, I really really really hope I don't have to replace it :p

    Any ideas on how to check?
  19. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,233   +234

    So kitan,
    any progress on this? I've been on vacation
  20. kitan

    kitan TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 18

    I purchases a new videocard after testing with a friend's nvidia 5300 or something and it stopped crashing so I went through and bought a geforce 8800 gts. Great excuse to buy a video card right? :p

    Uhhhh, Company of Heroes, all the half life games, battlefield all work flawlessly. World of warcraft seem to be giving me texture issues but I suspect thats the actual program and not my system.

    Faulty card maybe? Speedfan is still showing me as receiving 9v on my 12v rail though. Shrug.
  21. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,233   +234

    Ok, did you download the 8800 drivers right from the NVIDIA website, or did you just install them from the supplied driver CD? If you used a CD, try downloading the latest 8800 drivers from the NVIDIA website
  22. kitan

    kitan TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 18

    They're from nvidia's website.
  23. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,233   +234

    Just thought I would ask... Good luck

    As far as the Speedfan readings, just ignore them for now
  24. zipperman

    zipperman TS Rookie Posts: 1,179   +7

    What i did

    My 3.3 was too low.I had terrible video.I have bought a new system with
    a 500 watt pws though.but lets discuss ATI .
    Do you have the Catylist Control Panel Installed ?
    If you go to ATI and locate your driver update it explains not usuing it.
    Just remove it,download the latest driver only.
    Restart PC and install the driver only,unless you feel you need the CCPanel.
    I am useing driver only for my X1600
    Do you have the x1800 installed now ? Someone mentions NVidea.
    Lets get this straight.:confused:
  25. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,233   +234

    "I went through and bought a geforce 8800 gts"...

    Catalyst Control Center is an ATI thing, not a Nvidia tool. A GFORCE 8800GTS is NVIDIA card, not ATI. This is not that confusing zipperman
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