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HELP: Is my current GPU (Radeon X300) causing these problems?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
This may be TL;DR material, so if you want the juicy stuff, skip to READ THIS. The exact model of the X300 is right down thurr in bold. All of my current system info is in my sig or profile.

Background

In August '06 I bought a cheap SystemaxPC. I still run on their original MSI mobo and Connect3d Radeon X300 128MB (DDR1) discrete GPU and have run XP Pro x32 the whole time, always updated. Upgraded from 512MB to 2GB DDR2 and everything ran the same (smoothly) but faster. CS:S lagged and had bad FPS on big maps, but I accepted this due to the X300's junk specs.

Last November I moved the PC from the Systemax box to a CM Scout for better cooling. The mobo was warped so badly that even after fighting with it, I could only mount it to four of the six standoffs. At the same time, I installed the 4800+ (ADO4800IAA5DD), which I purchased used from an eBay seller with extremely high rep. Then getting the X300's backplate squeezed behind the edge of the mobo was very tight, which also concerned me. I also could not figure out how to properly attach the restart button connector or the front panel on/off switch for the fan LEDs. I don't know if these last parts about those two connection are important. Everything booted up fine and worked normally.

Then the problems started...

Issues
  • READ THIS. The number one issue: screen freeze, followed by a solid black screen, or alternating black and multi-color pixelated nonsense, sometimes followed by brief loss of signal. Signal comes back in a few seconds, but any new rendering—like a right-click menu—takes a couple seconds. Web browsing becomes choppy because it takes nearly a full second to refresh the page when scrolling vertically. However, scrolling in forms such as this post editing text box is still smooth. I can still shut down/restart normally via the menus, which I do because this level of performance is too irritating to deal with for long.

    This is the most common issue and I now average three instances a day. They occur after no consistent length of uptime—sometimes in under one hour, sometimes over twelve. There is no consistent triggering action or component temperature that I have noticed. The only possibly consistent variable is that it seems to happen while I am using a browser (both Chrome and Firefox, latest updates on each). But I use a browser 95% of the time I am on my PC. I do believe it has happened at other times outside browsing, I just don't clearly remember the instances.
  • Full screen video streaming (Flash and Silverlight); image freezes or pixelates, goes black, audio continues for some time, often until shut down. Cannot shutdown using Windows Key > U > U. Must force the PC to turn off by holding the power button down.
  • Incorrectly colored horizontal lines of a single RGB color (I've usually noticed green) about 80px wide will appear on web pages, but scrolling them out of view and then scrolling back eliminates them. Sometimes there is just one; today I saw three in a column, each directly above the other, separated by about 40-50px. /READ THIS.
  • Once, the screen froze, then went solid medium gray. The cursor could move, but there was only black blocks and outlines around the activity monitor windows of the Task Manager I opened via CTRL+ALT+DEL. Soon after, the screen went solid black, except for the perfectly operating cursor. When I happened to scroll over the Minimize/Restore-Maximize/Close buttons of the Task Manager, they suddenly appeared in their normal full 32-bit color, as did tiny pieces of the taskbar when I moused over them. IIRC, I initiated a shut down by repeatedly pressing the power button, after keyboard commands failed, and suddenly there was the normal full screen, full-color "Windows is shutting down..." XP shut down screen, and the PC turned off "normally."

Other Notes
  • I have tried installing CCC and the latest drivers, but the X300 is legacy, and the CCC and new drivers did not solve these issues. I uninstalled CCC and rolled the drivers back to 8.231.0.0 which are dated February 21, 2006. This also had no effect.
  • Lowering my resolution to the minimum also did not resolve this. I tried this because at the same time that I switched cases, I also got the ViewSonic and started running at 1280x1024, where before I'd been running 1024x768 on a CRT, so I was worried the extra pixels were at fault. The LCD is doing the upscaling when I lower the card rez, right?
  • An MSI error screen pops up for less than second on each boot advising me that the motherboard does not recognize the revision of my CPU and to check my BIOS vendor for updates. I installed MSI's Live Updater 5, which in part searches for BIOS updates and none were found (LU5 was listed under downloads on MSI's support page for my mobo). My CPU revision seems to be a mystery, because according to cpu-world.com's database my rev of the 4800+ should have 1MB of Level 2 Cache and run at 2.5GHz. However, CPU-Z shows that though I do have 1MB of L2, I'm clocking in at 2.4GHz.

[The main issue happened to me in the middle of writing this. Got the rough scrolling (except for in text boxes, like the one I'm composing this in) and slow rendering going on. Can still operate the system; almost thought I lost thirty minutes of typing.]

I hope somebody can help with this and/or point out if it is a mobo, CPU, PSU, or other type issue than GPU.

Off to restart my computer once again!

Thanks for reading.

-dx
Edited by dxdn - 2/24/11 at 12:47pm
    
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post #2 of 7
Looks pretty much like GPU fail.
And its normal, the x300 is rather old already.
Try to borrow or find a spare GPU and temporarly substitute them, and see if the problem went away.
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post #3 of 7
PSU ? I´m guessing here, only it looks like a lightweight and might be struggling.
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post #4 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by mr soft View Post
PSU ? I´m guessing here, only it looks like a lightweight and might be struggling.
That PSU is single rail and any fault there would affect the CPU before the GPU. Although its still possible
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post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the suggestions . Sorry I didn't reply earlier. This is the fist time today I've had internet. I'm having to borrow my roommate's laptop because at six in the evening yesterday my PC totally died . The screen went all pixelly, then to a full white screen, and then the PC would not even run the BIOS.

I tried all configurations of disconnecting the hard drives, disk drive; eventually trying to see if it would boot to BIOS with the PSU, RAM, CPU, and mobo connected. It never would (I even went back and reinstalled the old Athlon 64 single core that came with the system, then tried it). I'm guessing this would mean a mobo fail, because all the fans (3 case, 1 on CPU cooler) came on full blast when the power was turned on, but the CPU fan never slowed down like it does once the BIOS kicks in (all the other fans are 1-speed). So it seemed like just dumb power running the fans.

I'm getting a new new mobo and CPU Monday for an early birthday present . I'm definitely thinking of replacing the PSU even if it powers those up, just because it's nearly five years old, and I'd like something new, in warranty, and most importantly , black to match my Scout case.

If you would, let me know what you think was the final cause of death of my current PC. Or point me to another forum more appropriate for the diagnosis?

Thanks again!

-dx
    
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post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by dxdn View Post
Thanks for the suggestions . Sorry I didn't reply earlier. This is the fist time today I've had internet. I'm having to borrow my roommate's laptop because at six in the evening yesterday my PC totally died . The screen went all pixelly, then to a full white screen, and then the PC would not even run the BIOS.

I tried all configurations of disconnecting the hard drives, disk drive; eventually trying to see if it would boot to BIOS with the PSU, RAM, CPU, and mobo connected. It never would (I even went back and reinstalled the old Athlon 64 single core that came with the system, then tried it). I'm guessing this would mean a mobo fail, because all the fans (3 case, 1 on CPU cooler) came on full blast when the power was turned on, but the CPU fan never slowed down like it does once the BIOS kicks in (all the other fans are 1-speed). So it seemed like just dumb power running the fans.

I'm getting a new new mobo and CPU Monday for an early birthday present . I'm definitely thinking of replacing the PSU even if it powers those up, just because it's nearly five years old, and I'd like something new, in warranty, and most importantly , black to match my Scout case.

If you would, let me know what you think was the final cause of death of my current PC. Or point me to another forum more appropriate for the diagnosis?

Thanks again!

-dx
Pixels and white screen? THats 100% GPU, I don't know why your mobo died, actually.
Let me see if I understand: You got the white screen, then took the GPU out and tried to boot with an Integrated GPU?? Is that correct?

Cause if you're trying to boot with the faulty GPU, it will never get to BIOS, even if mobo is OK!!

The GPU BIOS initializes firts, once it returns O.K., the mobo BIOS kicks in.
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post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ronnin426850 View Post
Pixels and white screen? THats 100% GPU, I don't know why your mobo died, actually.
Let me see if I understand: You got the white screen, then took the GPU out and tried to boot with an Integrated GPU?? Is that correct?

Cause if you're trying to boot with the faulty GPU, it will never get to BIOS, even if mobo is OK!!

The GPU BIOS initializes firts, once it returns O.K., the mobo BIOS kicks in.
Yeah. No IGP on this board. I thought it would run mobo BIOS first (therefore slowing the one intelligent fan on the CPU cooler) even without having any video solution . But I'm definitely a noob concerning boot order.

So if the GPU BIOS must launch before anything else, then I really don't know if the mobo crashed. The new mobo I have coming is the ASUS M4A785-M that has a Radeon HD4200 IGP (on the AMD 785G NB, if I understand correctly). So then I could test the GPU.

But I don't know if I'll even bother testing the X300; I think the the integrated 4200 might actually be faster than the discrete Radeon (which has a sticker on it claiming it to be the SE, but the Hardware Manager never identified that way).

I'm hoping that the integrated 4200 will be enough for my currently minimal graphics needs. I only occasionally frag bots on CS:S offline, and I've heard people say the 4200 can run that decently. Most of my activity is browsing, flash games, and photo editing, where I need RAM and CPU more than GPU.

Thanks!

-dx
    
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