Screen Blacks suddenly - New GF4 - Overheating?

  Ironman556 23:30 10 Feb 2003

I've just bought and installed a new Albatron GeForce 4 Ti4200. I couldn't play some games, and others would black out during play, I fixed the problem initializing games by formatting and wiping the old ATI drivers. I now have a clean system, but have problems with the screen blacking on some games, which prompts the monitor to go into standby, as if there's no output from the card. This doesn't happen on all games, but does on one that came packaged with the card (Serious Sam), which I wouldn't expect. I've tried patching the games, downloading new drivers, moving the sound card to be on a separate IRQ to the graphics. I thought it may be a driver problem, but the other day it did it several times while I was working in Power Point. I also had a couple of browser windows open and a couple of other programs, if that makes a difference, but I've never had problems before with having loads of programs open.

It'll usually black after playing Lord Of The Rings for about 30-40 mins, the sound dies, and the only way to get my PC back again is to reboot, as the game has ctrl+alt+delete disabled. If I then start the game immidiately after re-boot it'll black again about 10 mins in, and the about 5 the next time. I managed to navigate my way blindly to shut down when it crashed in Power Point, so the computer still responds.

I also get a white screen 1/4 times while playing, and when this happens, I cannot switch the computer off using the power button, even though the BIOS is set to immidiate off.

I've not managed to find anything other than click here on this forum. Any ideas? The thread above suggest overheating, is this my graphics card or CPU struggling to keep up? I also wondered if the monitor could be blacking due to my 250W PSU, I get the occasional restart, but not very often. Or have I just got a dodgy card?

System: SB Live Value, GF4 Ti4200, 384MB SDRAM, AOC Spectrum 7Vlr monitor, Gigabyte 6 BXE with 2X AGP, 2HDD, 2 CDROMS, 250W PSU (I know the cdrom's & stuff aren't necessary, just in case it's a PSU problem) Win 98SE.

Thanks, Ironman. (Sorry for posting so many times recently)

  Pilch.... 00:09 11 Feb 2003

like it could be PSU

what chip is it you have?

  lacker 00:14 11 Feb 2003

250w psu sounds a little low on spec to me,could be its not man enough for the job.Only other thing make sure your graphics card is seating properly,it is possible its not quite fully home allowing one of the connectors to become 'hot'.

  grove34 00:16 11 Feb 2003

theres no way you can run that card with a psu so small , you got to get a bigger 1 , at least 400w.

  Ironman556 20:05 11 Feb 2003

I have a PIII 500, I know it's low, but I could run games requiring 700MHz on my old card. I'll check the card to see it's in properly. And then think about a new PSU.

I've been into the shop I bought the card from and they said it could be anything, suggested PSU, CPU & cooling and wanted to service the machine.

I've also been into another local shop, who said that gigabyte and GF had a problem with the voltage regulators on the AGP port, and when running GPU intensive games, the processor works too fast for the port and draws too much current, causing the computer to black out & lock up. The only fix for this is to put the card in a different motherboard. This sounds reasonable, but before even considering a new pc, I'd like to make sure I've covered everything I can. Unless the above is correct, is it worth trying another fan first? Or just to go with a higher PSU?

Thanks Ironman.

  Ironman556 19:55 13 Feb 2003

I'm going to go for a new PSU and fan, I should upgrade my PSU anyway I think, and the extra cooling can't hurt can it?. Trouble is I have no idea what I need or where I should buy from, other than knowing I need ATX. I'd like to be able to get both PSU & fan for around £30, but obviously if that's not enough to buy a decent one I'll pay a little more.

click here have a fan that slots into a PCI or ISA and extracts the air out the back for £5, are these worth it? I have 2 free PCI slots and 2 free ISA's. They also have a load of psu's and some standard case fans.

I've looked at click here too, but again they have a range of PSU's and fans, and I have no idea what I need.

If it's possible that I could get the components from Maplin's (click here), then that would be ideal, as I have a shop locally.

Is it worth considering PC World? They seem to have some very cheap components.

What are the PSU's with 2 fans for? I can't see how they'd be fitted. Are they for a hole in the top of the case, because I don't think I have one, or am I being thick? I do have a place for a 2nd fan in the back of my case though.

I'd like to be able to run the monitor from the PSU too as I am doing at the moment and have no spare wall sockets. I'm also unsure on the power rating I should get.

Any advice would be useful.

  Ironman556 20:50 17 Mar 2003

I've just put a 550W, 2 fan PSU in and the problem's got worse. I cannot use the computer with the new card because either the screen will black out and the PC will lock (I then need to hold the power button for 4 secs, it's set to instant off) or it'll just restart itself randomly.

I've put my old card back in and it runs fine, I've now been able to use the computer for a whole hour instead of 3 mins.

I'm pretty sure the card's not overheating now because I have an extra fan in the PSU and havn't been able to do anything to even make the graphics card think about doing some work (just used internet explorer, word etc.)

Any idea's please?

I'm about to email the manufacturers again and see if they have any advice better than upgrade the bios and reformat.

Thanks Ironman.

  Mango Grummit 21:47 17 Mar 2003

I think you are concentrating in the wrong place to find a solution to your problem. It seems to me that it is either a "games" problem or you have an underlying problem with your rig. Get your rig soak tested would be my advice.

Incidently -- have you noticed how people with dedicated games machines rarely have problems with games?

  hugh-265156 21:50 17 Mar 2003

i too have a rather weedy 250w psu and it runs a radeon 9000 and an extra fan no guessing you have the latest drivers for the card?i have had all the symptoms your describing and they have always been traced back to the drivers playing up.drivers from click here

  AndySD 21:57 17 Mar 2003

Go into the bios and see if there is any optoin on setting the AGP to 1X or 2X try both also try setting the memory available for use higher eg 64mb or 128mb if the option is there the Ti4200 should be set to 256.

  Ironman556 22:29 17 Mar 2003

Mango Grummit:

It started off as a problem only in games, now the new PSU is in it loack/restarts every 5 mins... can't do anything with the pc while the new card's in, but it runs perfectly on the old Rage 128.


Thanks, I've got the latest drivers, tried them both from Nvidia, Albatron & the drivers on the CD. I put the standard VGA driver on and it still crashed on that running on 256 colours.


I'll take a look through the BIOS and see what I can find, thanks.

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