dicky graphics card - fixable?

Do you have a question? Post it now! No Registration Necessary.  Now with pictures!

Threaded View
Im trying to diagnose and maybe repair a dodgy AIW 9700 Pro for my brother.
Once its going it runs fine and dandy for as long as you want but when I
switch the PC off overnight and try to boot up in the morning my PC wont
start. The solution is to disconnect the power cable to the card and then my
machine will start up. Power down and reconnect the cable then the PC boots
up and everythings fine - til the next morning.

We suspect something like a short and the card draws too much current and
the PSU detects this and shuts off. Oddly it happens more in my system than
my brothers and my PSU is good quality Jeantech 450w unit whereas his a
cheaper 400w unit. Anyone come across this kind of fault before? Kony?

Re: dicky graphics card - fixable?


Quoted text here. Click to load it

Is it the reference design type of AIW 9700?  I ask because
there was a transisition phase at some point where ATI went
from mostly solid chip capacitors to electrolytics and the
electrolytics tend to be among the shorter lived parts on a
card, assuming the fan hadn't failed or the 'sink was
falling off or otherwise mismounted.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Well if that's the case you might check by putting a
multimeter on the card's input power pins and checking
resistance, but also by taking voltage readings as the
system is turned on and stabilizes, compared with and
without the power plug installed on the card.

Also use a strong light and magnifying glass to carefully
examine the card, you might see some signs of problems.
Also look for areas on the copper layers that are discolored
though this in itself isn't "necessarily" a sign of a
problem rather than persistent heat generation around
certain parts.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Well ironically enough sometimes a cheap unit will have
looser safety shutdown so it tolerates odd/problematic loads
better (at least until you exceed it's capacity or blow out
something weak in it).

I'd measure the voltages and find out which is being
(presumably) pulled too low.  Has to be 5V or 12V since
those are what's going into the card, then if you find
which, you might begin tracing the circuit on the card PCB.

I don't suppose the card is under warranty still?  If so
that'd be the obvious solution.

Keep in mind that if this "cheaper 400W" PSU is junk, it
might've been a contributing factor here, there are
certainly some pseudo-"400W" units out there that should not
run a semi-modern system _without_ a 9700 Pro in it, let
alone with one.  I'd think about getting a good replacement
power supply expected suitable for his system with high-end
card in it (since based on the 9700 Pro it would seem he's
the type to spend a fair amount on a video card, probably if
a new one is bought it would be even higher current
consumer), THEN after having the replacement psu, retry the
card with it.  

I'm not really looking to go into the age-old question of
"what's a Jeantech 450W like" but I'd suspect it could be
marginal for the card as well.  In other words, I'm
wondering if your psu might've never been able to run a
setup with this video card consistently, and his psu is now
degraded to the point where it can't do so reliably either.
One of the things leading to this suspicion is that the card
does still work once it's going, and also without the aux
power feed when it's downclocked internally as a result.

Re: dicky graphics card - fixable?

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Thanks for your help. I should have added my PSU is a 'deluxe' model - kind
of. Chrome plated with a temp controlled variable speed 120mm fan and it
weighs twice as much as the generic 400w it replaced. It doesnt have the
street cred of an Antec I know but it runs my system with the 9700 I usually
have in there no problem.

Site Timeline