Brand new Radeon 9800 Pro problem, please help!
I recently purchased an ATI Radeon 9800 Pro with 256 and a 256 bus from Newegg, I'm not a hardcore PC gamer or anything, so the 9800 Pro offered enough to make World of Warcraft run better, which is basically why I bought it. Now, I had upgraded from an awful 9600 SE (which I received as an XMas gift 2 years ago and didn't realize till just recently that it only had a 64-bit bus), that gave me crappy FPS and no frills, but was very, very stable. I've played WoW for like almost 6 months now with no problems, added RAM about a month ago, no problem there, still very stable, the game literally never crashed one time during this card's life. Now, when I got the new card, I threw it in, and basically that's when the nightmare began. I installed the drivers on the CD and I can't exactly remember how well those worked right off, I don't even think I attempted to play the game with those drivers, I just got Catalyst 5.9 from ATI's site. Upon doing so, my computer continually crashed like crazy. It would get into Windows, and oddly enough when I started any application that would use the internet, the computer would freeze or reset, or the monitor would display jumbled graphics like someone threw up a box of crayons on the screen.
I messed around with this for about 2 more days, removing devices from the comp like an ATI tv card I don't use anymore, a Sony DVD burner I don't use anymore, etc.... I tried juggling the power cords around, etc. No dice for about 2 days, it got to the point where the system stopped recognizing the fact that the card was there. I finally got it to work for maybe 20 mins at a time in Warcraft, and then it would freeze after a non-uniform amount of time. I would be playing and sometimes the game would lock a bit and the cursor would still move and then the system would hardlock, other times it'd freeze and go into a sound loop, another time the monitor shut off and came up with the "monitor is working" message like when the pc is off but the monitor is on except it displayed "out of scan range", another time the monitor went black and the light, amber, and went into a sound loop, it would freeze a different way alternating between like 4 or 5 different ways. After reading different forums and trying things ranging from "turning vsync off" to "turning off fastwrite" to "turn up the voltage to the card to 1.6 or 1.7 in the bios" and playing with the refresh rate (my montior is a Dell P1110 btw, if that helps) in both the game and on the desktop, I thought I finally got the problem licked ---- or so I thought.
For the past 2-3 days the card started working with almost current drivers when I took everything apart on my comp, reseated everything and decided to throw the card on it's own power channel. Windows now works absolutely fine no matter what I'm doing, and Warcraft seemed to work, unfortunately I was playing tonight for about 45 min and it went into a sound loop, the monitor shut off to the pc off "monitor is working" screen and then shut down to the amber light (i.e. - shut off completely).
I'm at a loss for this. This game and more importantly, my system worked absolutely harmoniously for a long time and then now that I added this card, somehow it was basically messing up my whole system. It feels like I'm missing something obvious here, like all of these problems have something in common, but I'm asking for the expertise of this board because you all seem to know very much so what you're talking about =). Now, as I said before, the old card (and I'm sure you all know this) had no extra power requirement and this has a power cord to it, and my power supply is an Antec 300w, could it be that I don't have enough power? The owner's manual says that this card requires at least a 300w PSU to run effectively, but I don't want to spend like $80 on a power supply if that's not going to be the problem. I'm pulling my hair out over this, seeing as I spent $200 to play one game, lol. So anyone's wise help would be greatly appreciated, also sorry for the book, I just wanted to make sure I didn't leave anything out, often times I know with computers the problem's usually in the details.... I posted twice to the WoW forums with no real response so far, so....
My guess is either a power problem, or you've simply got a bad video card. It really depends on the rest of your system specs before anyone can say with any certanty if its a power issue though.
I reciently upgraded my gaming rig so I decided to put together a 2nd gaming rig with the parts I had left. I wanted to spend very little to no extra cash on the 2nd machine since I had already spent a pretty penny on my upgrade, so I was limited to a 300 watt antec that i've had laying around for this system. The Specs are:
Athlon64 3000+ (newcastle/s754) @ 2.2GHz
Radeon 9800 Pro (410/380)
2 2700RPM Drives
2 Optical drives
SB Live! card
Wireless PCI card
3 case fans
The Antec powers up that following system pretty nicely, however, after about an hour of playing BF2, the PSU fan spins to full speed and the air blowing out from it gets rather warm. While I don't get any errors, even after several hours, I do know i'm pushing it pretty hard judging by the heat. If your specs are similar, or MORE demanding than the ones i've listed, then there is a good chance it could be power related. If not though, i'd lean towards a bad card.
I had nearly the same thing happen with my old AIW 9800 Pro and a new power supply fixed it.
Don't worry about spending $70-100 for a good power supply. Buy it locally so that in the event there is a problem, you can return it.
In the meantime, you can always download a motherboard monitor so that you can watch the voltages on your power supply. Since it will log the temps every few seconds, you can play until your system crashes and then review the log file to see if any of the voltages went too low.
I had very similar problems on my fathers computer. The Power supply is most likely the issue. People have different results with the same power supply on more power draining systems. I had a Antec 300 on a system similar to RamonGTP's and the power supply fixed what seemed like a graphics card problem.
If you plug the old card back in and everything works fine, I'd go with a new power supply myself.
My friend I am going to try to convince you to save yourself a lot of headache. The 200 you spent on the 9800 was ill spent. Had you done your research, you would have found out that a AGP 6800-NU with 12pipes/5shaders and about even gpu/memory speeds; to a 9800pro, can be unlocked to 16p/6s and OCs like a Northwood with no effort at all. Additionally, it can also be bought for a nice $165. That about how much you will have left after the restocking fee from Newegg. Yes, i know, the 6800 DOES NOT have 256mb of ram, BUT it does have a 256-bit bus, it does potentialy have twice the pixel pipes and and 50% more shaders. And that my friend is some impresssive bandwidth. Approximately 1.7GB/s by a chart on HardOCP. Also, here is a comparison of a locked and unlocked 6800 vx, 6800GT, X800 models, 6600GT, 9800pro (it would be the 128mb verision however). http://firingsquad.com/hardware/gefo...king/page2.asp
I was in your exact shoes though. But I had to buy a card right away and without any research, i made a gut call and got a 9800 256MB for 189. I was appalled when did some research on my dads computer while windows was installing. I ended up waiting till 3AM thursday morning for my direct deposit paycheck to go thru. I ordered this card ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814140045 ) on the spot. Next evening, after work, i returned the 9800. I was without a computer for one day and two nights. Newegg is amazing. Alas, i was not a lucky one, mine did not unlock to the 16p/6s, although 4 of my friends who i told to order the card all were able to. I currently have mine overclocked with the core running 425 and the memory running smoothly at 875. no artifacts yet once. havent had the need to put it up anymore, im pretty much at the cards max capabilites. i run BF2 at 1024, high settings, 2xAA and high AF. My bottleneck right now is my RAM, i need another gig. i had the 9800 in my computer for 13 days and i returned it on the 14th and last day. I played BF2, but it didnt run nearly as well. While i can not attest to its performance in WoW, i must remind you the "bang-for-your-buck" ideology. even if you need to take a 15% restocking, its worth it.
Last edited by CaptHandsome; 09-29-2005 at 06:51 AM.