Is there something wrong with my new graphics card

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Hi all,

I'm running an Intel PIV 2.4 GHz at 2.7GHz on a Gigabyte 8SQ800 Ultra.
It's been rock solid for well over a year now. Over the weekend I
upgraded my MSI FX5200 to a Gigabyte 6600GT (GV-NX66T128D). Initially I
had no luck whatsoever getting it to run stable in 3D, and 2D had

I updated the BIOS on both graphics card and motherboard, updated to
the latest NVIDIA forceware drivers with no luck. Things improved when
I went back to a CPU clock of 2.4GHz. On a whim I tried underclocking
the AGP bus to 63MHz instead of the usual 66MHz. This worked a treat. I
could bring my CPU speed back up to 2.68GHz with no problems in a
couple of hours of playing, so long as my AGP bus is underclocked to
63. (I tried 64 and that isn't quite stable, where 63 is spot on).

So here's my question. Is the Gigabyte card a dud, and should I take it
back? Or is this just a question of incompatibility with old and new

One thing I have thought of doing is putting the card on my older
system (a 1.8 GHz AMD 1700+), but I think that system is a little more
particular (read less stable if things aren't just right) and I'm not
sure what that would prove. Don't really want to spend the time to be

By the way, with the stable config above my 3DMark05 is around 3200.
I've seen some lower figures (2800) but I'm not sure if that was when I
was fiddling with other settings or not.


Re: Is there something wrong with my new graphics card

On 1 May 2005 20:45:33 -0700, wrote:

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What problems exactly?
Specifics are relatively important in this context.

Are you sure that video card model (GV-NX66T128D) is
correct?  It appears to be a PCI-Express card but your board
isn't, uses AGP, or does Gigabyte reuse same model # for
both types of card interface?

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Did you double-check the motherboard's bios settings and/or
reset them to the defaults?

Sometimes boards will need some bios tweaks.  One thing to
try is setting it to AGP 4X instead of 8X.

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This would tend to suggest you have either an overheating or
power supply problem.  Well, that OR the system wasn't
actually stable all this time and only now the flaw was

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This would suggest a poor motherboard, perhaps northbridge
overheating, a bios bug or mis-setting, or power related.

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Doubtful, and it's probably not "incompatible" per se
either.  You have a problem that would likely be present
with different video cards of similar design (they're all
more alike than different) and power consumption.

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I'm a bit confused about "less stable if things aren't just
right".  Any system you put the card in that supports AGP4X
or higher should work fine.  That is only a general concept
though, I don't have that specific make/model or card and
certainly not that pariticular specimen.  Even so, if the
other system is subject to instabilities it would be good to
determine why.

Is this other system an XP1700 running @ 1.8GHz?  If so,
there might be your answer, it's overclocked too far or at
least within the context of power or heat-removal.

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I wouldn't worry about scores just yet, first get it running
at correct stock speed.  If all else fails search some
motherboard-brand specific web forums, though I don't know
which would tailor to Intel-on-Gigabyte boards.

Check the typical things, temperature of CPU, motherboard,
video card.  Check the voltages of power supply.  Use a PSU
lead dedicated to the video card, not connecting anything
else to same leads' plugs.  Err, does the card use a power
supply lead?  If not, perhaps the motherboard has some
instability, problems supplying power.  Gigabyte is one of
the manufacturers that seems to feel capacitor numbers and
sizes are optional components, often leaving over a
half-dozen > 470mfd capacitors off of the board.  Even so,
that isn't the most common of problems, might be ignored for
the time being.

Do you have a decent name-brand power supply of ample

Failing other alternatives you might want to try another
video card, returning/exchanging that one while you still
have the easier opportunity to return it to the seller
rather than several weeks->month-or-more wait sending it to
Gigabyte later if it turns out to be a card problem.

You might want to try underclocking the CPU a lot.  I mean,
take the FSB down as low as the board will go to greatly
reduce heat and the load on the power supply.  Leave the AGP
bus at spec, 66MHz.  You might even try taking the case
cover off and pointing a desk fan at the card.  Then see if
you can reproduce the same instability.  If the fan plus
lowering the FSB rather than AGP helps, it would tend to be
a power or cooling problem  (though cooling could mean
northbridge, video card, CPU, or even a combination of

Generally it is better to start out a post with a concise
listing of the system components, so others can be at
maximum effectiveness.  Since others can and do run these
cards we need to focus on as many variables potentially
unique to your system as possible.

Re: Is there something wrong with my new graphics card

Card model was incorrect (GV-N66T128D not GV-NX66T128D). I apologise
for not looking that up more carefully (I was posting in a hurry and
the second card is the PCI-e version of the first which is AGP)  See:

I believe it's actually PCI-e native with an AGP bridge.

Now as for the rest of the post, while I do appreciate your help, I'm
having trouble working out exactly what you're advising here. Do you
mean I should underclock the CPU as a solution, or just as part of the
diagnostic process?

At this point I do actually have the card stable, but it's stable with
the CPU overclocked and the AGP/PCI bus underclocked. We're not talking
large percentages either. (63 MHz on the AGP bus instead of 66MHz).
This appears to be my best option at this stage, since it doesn't seem
to sacrifice performance. (Exchanging the board is going to be
difficult unless I can prove it's faulty). If I had a lot of time and
money, I might do more formal diagnostics.

With regards to system components there's quite a bit more to list. For
example would the listing of the exact model of SBLive, or the USB
expansion card be of use? I only gave the motherboard, CPU and video
card (again I apologise that it was incorrect) because I believe
they're the main players in what I've described, but I must confess I
didn't pull the rest out because I did manage to get it stable.

Thanks for your time and response.

Re: Is there something wrong with my new graphics card

On 2 May 2005 00:18:08 -0700, wrote:

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Just to diagnose.

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Fair enough, you are the only one who has to be happy with
it and indeed it that's the only limitation it's not much of
a loss if any.

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Well other significant components would be things like the
case as it relates to airflow, the power supply
make/model/capacity.  Not only this, but a concise itemized
list of all major components so it can been see what the
expected power usage is relative to the power supply.
Knowing you have a USB card is not all that helpful but
knowing you have 4 (or however many) hard drives or a 2nd
video card, could be.

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