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Old 03-24-2011, 10:06 PM   #1
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Default HD 5670 or PSU?

I know enough about computers to break them, but apparently not enough to fix them.

I moved the MOBO and HDD from my gateway LX6810 to an 'Ultra X-Blaster Black ATX Mid-Tower Case & Diablotek PHD 650W ATX Power Supply Bundle' that I had laying around. I moved it because when I installed the oft recommended Radeon 5670 video card in the gateway case with its 400W PSU I received a boot error after the POST that implied insufficient power. Sorry I can't quote that for you. I also preferred the great airflow of the ULTRA case.

The video card performed wonderfully for about three hours, running Dragon Age II at full specs (DX11, 1680x1050 res, High Graphics Quality). Then the screen flickered and I received a message saying that the driver had suffered a catastrophic failure and recovered.

After that failure the amount of time that the card would run that game or Fallout: New Vegas without issue has been reduced to minutes, Fallout hasn't caused the card to fail but shows major screen glitching. I have turned down the graphics quality as low as it goes, same result.

I suspected overheating so I watched the Catalyst Control Center and saw that the card never goes over 35 deg. It idles at about 30. I double checked with GPU-z same temps. Additionally I put a finger to the card, it feels cool. I didn't take any temp info before the first several failures.

My machine runs the Nvidia GT 120 that came with the gateway without issue, both games run fine. Also the Radeon seems to run with just the operating system fine.

Some important info to note is that this case and PSU originally held an AMD athalon X2 MOBO and nvidia GTX 8600. The 8600 suffered similar symptoms after running for a year (on almost 24/7/365). I assumed the 8600 had failed originally, but now that I have two card with similar symptoms I am beginning to question the PSU.

I have not updated the BIOS version, but I have an exhaust fan on the back of the case. heat does not appear to be an issue for any component in the build according to speedfan.

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Old 03-25-2011, 06:56 AM   #2
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Default Re: HD 5670 or PSU?

It is very possible, and very common for a PSU to take other components with it when it's on it's way out. And unfortunately, more often than not one of the other components that it kills is the GPU. Equally, the problem could lie with the PCIX bus if both cards exhibited the same symptoms.

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Old 03-25-2011, 11:02 AM   #3
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Default Re: HD 5670 or PSU?

I suspect the power supply. Read this review of yours - I linked to the conclusions on the last page but you can navigate to read the entire article if you choose:

Diablotek PHD 650W review

Can you try your card in another rig to test it?

If you find that it is the PSU, this would be a good inexpensive replacement with good headroom:

Corsiar Builder Series 600w - $45 AR plus $3 shipping
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139019&cm_re=corsair_po wer_supply-_-17-139-019-_-Product
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Old 03-25-2011, 08:43 PM   #4
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Default Re: HD 5670 or PSU?

I think I found the review you meant to point to. After reading that I am fairly convinced it's the PSU, my lowend VGA would probably run fine on a 3-350w system but the 5670 should require a bit more, right? That would explain why the gt 120 works fine while the HD 5670 doesn't.

I will probably try and test a minimal build with my 400w PSU, if that doesn't work I think I am going to RMA the video card, just in case it was damaged, and buy a new PSU anyway. Although I want one I can upgrade with so I will probably go up to an tx850w Corsair. Thanks for your help and advice.

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