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Troubleshooting VisionTek Radeon X1950 PRO


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#1
Webslinger64

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Hey all...I just installed a VisionTek Radeon X1950 PRO into my computer. It replaced a ASUS GeForce n6600 graphics card. Here's my situation:
I just tried out the X1950 PRO on Unreal Tournament 2004 and the video is jerky. The n6600 seemed to run game play video much more smoothly. I don't understand why that would be as the X1950 PRO is a much better video card than the n6600. In fact it's 7 steps up on the following link:

http://www.tomshardw...ard,2118-7.html

and ranked 39th vs. 106th for the n6600 on this link:

http://whirlpool.net...ki/?tag=rmp_vds

There was no installation CD for the X1950 PRO, so I d/l the drivers from here:

http://www.visiontek..._XP_driver.html

From that link I d/l and installed Full Driver 41.2MB and Dot Net Framework 23.1MB. I installed the Dot Net Framework first, then the Full Driver.

So, I'm wondering if it could be one of a few different things.

First, was the Dot Net Framework a necessary d/l and install? The VisionTek website indicated "Required component for Full Driver Package " for the Dot Net Framework. I'm just not sure if that's genuine or not.

Second, when exploring the VisionTek website for the correct drivers, there are actually two options I could have possibly selected. The first one was "X1950 PRO AGP", the second choice was "Radeon X1900 Series". Since my computer only has an AGP slot and no PCI-E, I selected "X1950 PRO AGP". I'm wondering if I should have selected "Radeon X1900 Series". In fact, I'm wondering if both selections would have been appropriate?

Third, there is a control panel for the video card and I'm wondering if there are specific settings I need to tweak in order for it to look like it should.

Lastly, my AGP slot is 4X and version 2.0. I know the X1950 PRO is a 8X version 3.0 I believe, but was also under the impressions that this video card would work fine for me except that it would work at AGP 4X rather than AGP 8X.

Any thoughts, help, recommendations, are greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

Intel Pentium 4 3.06GHz HT 533MHz/512K
2GB RAM
160GB Hard Drive
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#2
makai

makai

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Hey Greg,

What happened to the 2600XT? LOL! Gee, I just never know what to expect from you. In any case... hope you're doing fine!

According to ATI (AMD), Netframwork 2.0 is required so the Catalyst control center will not give you an error. So, it is required if you run the full driver package. If you just installed the driver, you probably wouldn't need it.

The VisionTek driver is an older driver. ATI has version 9.2 for the X1950 PRO HERE.

There is always "tweaking" you can do in the driver control panel, but everything is more or less up to the user to experiment with. If you just leave it on "Application controlled", you should be fine for most things. Hopefully someone with more experience will chime in with recommended settings.
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#3
Webslinger64

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Heya Makai,

Yeah, I had a shot at both the HD2600 XT and the X1950 PRO. Went with the X1950 PRO because it was rated a better card on the two websites I indicated in my original post. I really expected a lot more than what I got with the card. That's why I posted.

The GeForece n6600 I had in my computer worked pretty good. For the most part it provided great clarity. The only time I experienced any problems was when the game became very busy with lots of detailed scenery and lots of players moving in a small, confined area. Then the frame rate would dip below 40 fps, even down to the low 20's and that was definitely noticeable.

This new card reacts differently to the same scenario. But rather than very low frame rates, it just becomes sluggish like it's trying to catch up. Kind of like seeing an old movie on TV where you see the actors lips move then hear the dialogue a split second afterwords.

If it can't be corrected, I'm probably gonna reinstall the n6600 and sell the X1950 PRO. But I wanted to post here first to see if anybody might know a solution.

Hopefully so!
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#4
makai

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Back in the day, Nvidia 6800 Ultra's ate a lot of power (480W minimum... a lot more recommended). The X1950 is above that, and while the power requirements seem low (450 Watt) it might be you're not supplying enough power to the card. Some forums recommending 30A on +12v. How many amps does your PSU supply on the +12 rail? Not recommending you purchase a new PSU (I know you just did recently), as it may not fix the problem, but something to consider. Of course I stand by my opinion on your comp... and you know what that is! :)
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#5
Webslinger64

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Back in the day, Nvidia 6800 Ultra's ate a lot of power (480W minimum... a lot more recommended). The X1950 is above that, and while the power requirements seem low (450 Watt) it might be you're not supplying enough power to the card. Some forums recommending 30A on +12v. How many amps does your PSU supply on the +12 rail? Not recommending you purchase a new PSU (I know you just did recently), as it may not fix the problem, but something to consider. Of course I stand by my opinion on your comp... and you know what that is! :)


Oh I know, I know...I'm nothing but an upgrade monster reaching for the stars for a computer that's not worth the time or expense, but I do agree with your assessment :). If it had not been for the fact that I had the option of getting either the HD2600 XT or X1950 PRO for FREE, then I wouldn't have bothered. Actually, for the X1950 PRO I traded a lift ticket for the video card. I ski enough as it is.

So, here's what I have for a PSU. Thermaltake XP550 NP 430W PSU with 18A on +12v rail. Now, before you point that finger at me and say, "I told you so...", I did ask the guy I got the video card from what PSU he was using with the card. He said it was a 450W PSU and that the card always worked fine for him. However, I don't know the amperage he had on +12v rail. I just e-mailed him to ask.

I also contacted ATI/AMD via phone and talked with a tech support guy there. He indicated minimum PSU should be 450W. When I told him I had a 430W PSU, he said it all depended on how "loaded" my computer was. If not too bad then the 430W PSU should be o.k. When asked about amperage on the +12v rail, he said anything from 12A to 18A would be fine. I was actually surprised by that, but hey, he's the ATI tech right? :)

So, is my computer overloaded for the PSU installed? Hmm, well, you know my mobo, a 160GB hard drive, 2GB RAM, 2 DVD-ROM, several USB ports front and back (total of 6), video card, Sound Blaster 24-bit live, Keyboard, Mouse,and that's about it. Can't really think of anything else I should include in that itemization. The monitor and speakers are both plugged into a surge protector so I don't think they draw power from the PSU do they?

Anyway, despite all I've said, I tend to think it's an insufficient PSU. By the way, I did have a guy tell me it's not the amperage on the +12v rail that matters, but the total amperage of the PSU. So if the video card manufacturer recommends 28A, you don't necessarily have to have those 28A on the +12v rail. I did raise my eyebrows at that comment, but I haven't sought out a second opinion yet about that. Also, what about a PSU that has two +12v rails...lets say one rail has 16A the other 18A, so does that mean there's actually 34A on the +12v rail to draw from for this type of video card?

So whaddya think? Is a more powerful PSU needed in my case?

P.S. So is that what happens when you have an insufficient power supply for a power hungry video card...you get instability, sluggishness, etc.? I will say that this morning when I hopped on to UT2004 to check fps, during game play the monitor suddenly went dark and I could hear some clicking sounds coming from my speakers. I had to restart the computer for everything to return to normal. I then quickly changed out the X1950 PRO and reinstalled the n6600 for the time being cause I don't want to screw anything up permanently.

Edited by konakula29er, 10 March 2009 - 12:01 PM.

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#6
makai

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Pretty difficult to assess what's going on. Don't like that the screen went dark though. The clicking sound normally just means XP froze. Hmmm, too bad you don't have a higher spec'd machine to try the card in.

A higher wattage PSU may not fix the problem, so I can't recommend you buy one. However, if you are tempted to buy a new PSU, please do it with the intention of moving it to your new computer when you build. If you plan to have dual vid cards later, then spend the money up front and buy something with at least 60amps on 12volts. If only one vid card, then buy one with at least 50 amps. Either way, buy something that surpasses the vid cards in question. You don't want to second guess a PSU down the road if something goes awry as it is now.

I'm currently running THIS PSU, with only one vid card that has a recommendation of 18 amps min, and 22 amps recommended. However, I'm also running 2 HDDs, 2 DVD burners, a floopy drive, a Sound card, modem, 4 case fans with separate 3.5" bay controller, 2 chipset fans, a Zalman 9500AT CPU fan, and 2 external eSata drives in an enclosure. While the eSata drives do run off its own AC, it still draws minimal current from the MB. And, don't forget the CPU... the heat it generates comes from a lot of power dissipation. THIS PAGE lists others you could use for dual vid cards. Corsair has been getting very good writeups since they emerged a few years ago, and while they are a little more expensive, they are not a expensive as the vendor I used to use, Enermax. Corsair also has good energy effieciency ratings on their PSUs.

From what you listed, plus the CPU, your machine should be able to run fine with 18 Amps... with the only question mark being the X1950. I would read up on some forums and see what they have to say about what/what cannot run this vid card.

By the way...

Oh I know, I know...I'm nothing but an upgrade monster reaching for the stars for a computer that's not worth the time or expense... <snip>

I'm not cutting down your machine. If I mention anything, I'm only doing it because I know your machine specs. 533mhz FSB is very limiting, so what you're trying to accomplish may be next to impossible. I only feel that with all the problems you'll get trying to accomplish things, you could save for a better machine. Upgrading older machines is like charging things on your credit card... small chunks that soon add up. Trust me, I know all about it... I learned a lot repairing old ipods!

By the way, I did have a guy tell me it's not the amperage on the +12v rail that matters, but the total amperage of the PSU. So if the video card manufacturer recommends 28A, you don't necessarily have to have those 28A on the +12v rail.

Some vid card manufactures will actually specify requirements for the 12 volts... some may just specify the PSU wattage rating. All you get to go by is what the vid card manufacture says... but if they say minimum such and such on 12 volts, you best meet or better the requirement. Diamond, and HIS, who also makes the X1950 are recommending 30 amps on the 12volts. I'm sort of surprised Visiontek didn't also recommend something, it may have saved you some headache.

Also, what about a PSU that has two +12v rails...lets say one rail has 16A the other 18A, so does that mean there's actually 34A on the +12v rail to draw from for this type of video card?

A study/review, (can't find it now), showed that it didn't matter if there are separate 12v rails as long as the single rail was sufficiently powered/regulated. Manufactures started doing multi rails just because of newer CPUs and vid card requirements. Each rail is separately regulated, thus separate current ratings... so no, the current doesn't add up.

Edited by makai, 10 March 2009 - 06:22 PM.

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