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Help! Do I need a new Video Card?


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#1
Dominicjs1

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I have the specs of my computer listed in my profile I think, but in case not, here's a brief rundown of the specs. It's a Dell Workstation 670, dual Intel Xeon processors, 2 x 250 gig hard drive, 3.2GHz, 2 G Ram, Dual Dell 19" digital flat screen monitors, and the graphics card is a Nvidia FX 1400 (PNY 1400 128 MB). Software is Windows XP Service Pack 2, and I use this computer to run Avid Xpress, a video editing program and I need to use it for a project.

Anyway, the screen (both screens) freezes up, at first by the appearance of random white lines about a half inch long that appear and dissapear, then they remain and the screen freezes, or the screens freeze altogether without the lines. Everytime I try to reboot it after this happens, the shorter it takes for the screens to freeze and the less time I have to trouble shoot with my meager intelligence.

I've tried to trouble shoot through rebooting and windows.

At first I thought it might be a virus in the harddrive so I erased everything and rebooted windows, it still happened. Windows XP said it was a problem with the video card driver, so I went on the Nvidia website, downloaded the updated driver and reinstalled. The white squigglys and the freezing screen still happens with a single screen display and dual display.

I had a friend who is fairly good with PC trouble shooting problems look at it and he rebooted several times and still the same result. He recommended you guys, patron saints of ignorant people with PC problems.

So here I am. The video card (PNY Technologies Quadro FX 1400 128MB PCIe) runs anywhere from $410 at Tiger Direct - $500 at Dell for a new card, so I'm [bleep] up a creek without a paddle. Before I buy a new video card, which Windows seems to be inferring that that is the problem - I just want to ask you experts, is it the video card? Is this a dust issue? I have no f'n clue.

Also, if I buy a new card, is Tiger Direct reputable and reliable?

I sincerely thank you all for your services here on this website.


Dominic
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#2
Whiskeyman

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I have never had a problem with Tiger Direct.

First thing I would do is reseat the video card.

With that hardware are you still using the Dell power supply? It may be too weak to run all of that.
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#3
The Skeptic

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To follow up on whiskeyman:

What is the output of your power supply unit (measured in watt). You can remove the side cover of the box and look at the sticker on the psu.

Does the computer freeze when idling (no applications running)?
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#4
Dominicjs1

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It says 650 W Max.


How do I change/increase the Max Power supply to see if that is the problem?

After restarting the computer and letting it idle in a single display for about 5 minutes, I didn't notice any recognizable perforated white dash lines. But when I adjusted the screen's resolution the perforated white dash marks appear. And using dual monitors increases how quickly the white lines appear.

The video cards core Slowdown Threshhold is 127 C, GPU Core is at 53 C, and Ambient Temp is 37 C. I have no idea if that is relevant, but I didn't know.

Also, reseating the video card? I'm admittedly a moron with Techonology - is that simply unscrewing it, then screwing it back in?

dsaxproductions@hotmail.com

Edited by Dominicjs1, 07 March 2007 - 06:13 PM.

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#5
Whiskeyman

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First, what is the brand of the power supply? Just because it is rated 650W doesn't mean it puts that out. Some cheap power supplies mis-represent the true output.

Second, reseating the video card means pulling it out of the slot then putting it back in. Make sure it seats correctly.

As for PMs. They are perfectly acceptable. They help me remember to check into a topic I replied to. I usually have several tabs opened to the many tech boards I belong to and sometimes don't notice a reply.

Let me know the brand.
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#6
Dominicjs1

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The brand - I can't decipher. The sticker which has the 650 W max, is under the main flip open carriage of the PCU. It has three brand labels on this sticker, Dell, then CCC, the N and the rest is in gibberish, chinese or japanese.
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#7
The Skeptic

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Could you check and report the refresh rate of your monitor? right-click dektop > properties > settings > advanced > monitor. Look for refresh
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#8
Whiskeyman

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Seeing as this is a factory setup from Dell I would check to see if the warranty is still good and check out Dell support to see if other Dell owners have experienced this problem.

http://support.dell.com/
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#9
HPDV8315LOVER

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Most computer usually come with only 250 watts Power supplies.
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#10
Vaillant

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Well the Dimension line generally came with 250 watt'ers, but seeing how this is a workstation, I'm willing to bet that it Is indeed a Dell housebrand PSU, and that it Is anywhere around 550, 600, or the 650 as stated...

That being said, we can elaborate on several points here.

1st : with the reformat, we know it isnt a driver problem

2nd : the temps appear to be in order, and well within tolerance. Does you video card have a fan on it, and if so, is it spinning correctly? a dead GPU fan could cause problems.

3rd : I'd suggest trying this video card in another PC, or alternately another video card in This PC. Let's check if there is indeed hardware damage somewhere, either with the card, or the PCIe slot.

4th : if your motherboard has another 16x PCIe slot, put the graphics card in that one, and see if this problem still happens.

I'd say run through the entire PC with a good dust sweep, and yes to try the reseating trick.

Good luck.
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