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new gpu or new power supply?

Casey

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My main system is an AMD Athlon II with 12Gb ram. It works quite nicely aside from the original hard drive failing.

A couple years ago a friend gifted me with some spare parts, including an EVGA GeForce gtx560 Ti. Problem was the sucker pulls 30 amps on boot up. The system only came with a 330w power supply, which was fine using the on board video. (ATI Radeon 3000 chipset)

Finally plumped down money for an EVGA 550w power supply, the card ran fine with that, and my video scores skyrocketed. Big shock, I know. Later I saw a 2Tb hard drive on sale & installed that.

The problem arose when the replacement primary drive died. Not wanting to buy a refurb drive again, I bought a 2nd 2Tb drive (apparently that's the base drive these days) and blew $20 on a Win 7 Pro disk so I wouldn't be locked in to the original hardware.

Anway, the first time I powered it up with both drives in it wouldn't boot. After mucking with it I yanked the GPU card and went back to the internal Radeon 3000 adapter.. It booted fine, then.
That's where I'm at right now, and the internal adapter handles HD quite nicely, but it gags on 4k video. I don't have many 4k clips, and I'm not a gamer, so this isn't a huge issue, but it's annoying.
I can get a more powerful p/s (New Egg has an EVGA 600w on sale for $56 right now) for $60 - $80. Or I can invest in a low end GPU card.

My question is: will I have to spend $60 - $80 to get a decent GPU that can handle 4k video, or will a $20 card do the job?

As I said, I'm not much of a gamer (Quake II & Asteroids), but the 4k situation is irksome. Sooner or later I'll need to upgrade the video on this system.

Suggestions?
 

tradde

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To me it doesn't make sense to upgrade from a 550w to 600w supply. What if down the road you add something else and then find the current PS
doesn't handle it? But it's your $$ and only you know what you plan for the future.
 

bakemono

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Where's the 30 amp number come from? Most of the power is drawn from a 12V supply so 30 amps would be extraordinary. According to wiki the 560Ti is rated 210W which is a fairly demanding card to be sure but I'm still not convinced that it should be a problem for a 550W PSU. That's on top of a 60W CPU and a pair of 20W disk drives. Plenty of headroom isn't there? My system is an Athlon II with two disks, GTX 650Ti (only 110W according to wiki), and a 550W PSU. I used to have a 380W supply and the only reason I put this one in is because it had a quieter fan.

Not sure about Radeon cards, but for nVidia anything from the Kepler 6xx series and later (beware of older GPUs that got rebadged to a 6xx number) is supposed to decode 4K video in hardware. The other thing you could do is pop out the Athlon dual core and put in a Phenom II quad core and then 4K can play using software decoding in VLC.
 

Casey

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I got that from EVGA; it's part of their info page about that card. 30 amps.

As tradde pointed out, 600w may not be the best investment if I add a more powerful cpu later. A Phenom II quad core is in long term plans for an upgrade.
Strong personal preference for MPC HT. I prefer the interface Sue me. :)

Thanks for the advice on the cards.
 

GiGaBiTe

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The GTX 560 Ti is not a high demand video card. At max draw, it's only shown to pull 170W. I've had higher demand video cards on similar power supplies with no issues, so I suspect you have a faulty power supply or some other hardware issue.

Since you didn't make a complete spec list on your computer, it's harder to know what the problem could be. There are dozens of Athlon II parts with 1-4 cores and 20-125 W TDPs. It could also be a BIOS issue, old BIOS revisions on some motherboards don't tolerate more modern video cards and require an update.
 

Casey

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Asus Essentio cm1730. Originally with a 1Tb hard drive, 330w power supply, and 4Gb of ram. Now with two 2Tb hard drives, 12Gb of ram, and 550w power supply. As I said, it booted fine with the 560 before I installed the 2nd hard drive, and would boot when I removed the video card. Specs from the EVGA site:
Requirements

500 or greater power supply with a minimum of 30 Amp on the +12 volt rail. PCI Express, PCI Express 2.0 or PCI Express 3.0 compliant motherboard with one graphics slot.

Two available 6-pin PCIe power dongles

Windows 10 32/64bit, Windows 8 32/64bit, Windows 7 32/64bit, Windows Vista 32/64bit, Windows XP 32/64bit.

I am running Windows 7 Pro. I haven't checked the BIOS in a long time. Assumed it was not being updated as the system is several years old. I'll have to check that.
 

Agent Orange

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Asus Essentio cm1730. Originally with a 1Tb hard drive, 330w power supply, and 4Gb of ram. Now with two 2Tb hard drives, 12Gb of ram, and 550w power supply. As I said, it booted fine with the 560 before I installed the 2nd hard drive, and would boot when I removed the video card. Specs from the EVGA site:
Requirements

500 or greater power supply with a minimum of 30 Amp on the +12 volt rail. PCI Express, PCI Express 2.0 or PCI Express 3.0 compliant motherboard with one graphics slot.

Two available 6-pin PCIe power dongles

Windows 10 32/64bit, Windows 8 32/64bit, Windows 7 32/64bit, Windows Vista 32/64bit, Windows XP 32/64bit.

I am running Windows 7 Pro. I haven't checked the BIOS in a long time. Assumed it was not being updated as the system is several years old. I'll have to check that.

You indicated that it dies with 2nd 2TB HD. Swap each 2TB HD in and out individually and see what happens. Also, what the name of the drives. If your present BIOS ever sees the 560 then I think it's okay.
 

GiGaBiTe

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Specs from the EVGA site:
Requirements

500 or greater power supply with a minimum of 30 Amp on the +12 volt rail. PCI Express, PCI Express 2.0 or PCI Express 3.0 compliant motherboard with one graphics slot.

Video card manufacturers usually quote power requirements based on an average system configuration, not the card itself. You have to dig around on Nvidia's website or Wikipedia to get the actual power consumption of a card.

Going by the physical design limits of two 6 pin PCIe power connectors and the PCIe slot itself, we can conclude that a GTX 560 Ti can never pull 30 amps from any rail. A 6 pin PCIe power cable can deliver 75 watts, and the card has two, so that's 150 watts. The PCIe slot itself can deliver a further 75 watts, for a total of 225 watts.

Nvidia quotes the 560 Ti at 170W, and there's a bit of draw from the GDDRx RAM on the card and the regulation circuitry, so it's going to probably be around 200W at full tilt.

I don't know what Evga 550W model you have, but the model I found on their website quotes 43 amps on the 12V rail, which is more than enough overhead for your entire system. I'm going to lean towards you having a bad power supply that can't output its rated load.
 

Casey

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I've seen both 170w & 250w quoted. Apparently the 170w is no load, and 250w is full load.

Haven't checked in a while, but 43 amps sounds familiar. I'm beginning to wonder if it's the power supply myself.
 

Casey

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Both drives are Seagate ST2000DM008-2FR102 drives. 2 terabytes each.

The 560 worked fine with just one of the two drives installed. It didn't choke until the 2nd drive was plugged in.

dxdiag shows BIOS date 04/13/11 16:46:35 Ver 4.01 (Asus cm1730 motherboard)
The Asus website shows the most recent BIOS for that motherboard to be v0801 03/29/2013. Seems it's time to update. ;) Not sure if that's the problem, but can't hurt to update.
 

Agent Orange

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Do you have any other video card you could drop in with those 2 HD's just to see what happens. Running out of ideas. Also, when you add that 2nd HD, are they both directly connected to the P/S? Is the Video card a 6/8 pin line direct from the P/S or is it an attachment from a 4 pin mylar dongle?
 
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Casey

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Do you have any other video card you could drop in with those 2 HD's just to see what happens. Running out of ideas. Also, when you add that 2nd HD, are they both directly connected to the P/S? Is the Video card a 6/8 pin line direct from the P/S or is it an attachment from a 4 pin mylar dongle?

BTW, downloaded all the latest drivers from the Asus website. According to EZUpdate, I already have the latest BIOS. Ah, well.

No other cards to hand except a couple of AGP cards. Yes, both drives are connected directly to the power supply. The GeForce gtx560 ti takes two 6 pin power connectors. It was one of the reasons I picked this unit, as many only have one 6 pin connector for a GPU.

I'm trying to remember if the card has 1Gb of memory or 2Gb. Would that make much of a difference? If memory serves (excuse the pun) it's DDR5. Here's a photo:

EVGAgtx560ti.jpg

It's a two slot GPU.

eBay has quite a few ATI Radeon 2Gb HD 7450 cards on sale for $38-$40 when I search for 2Gb cards.
 

Agent Orange

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BTW, downloaded all the latest drivers from the Asus website. According to EZUpdate, I already have the latest BIOS. Ah, well.

No other cards to hand except a couple of AGP cards. Yes, both drives are connected directly to the power supply. The GeForce gtx560 ti takes two 6 pin power connectors. It was one of the reasons I picked this unit, as many only have one 6 pin connector for a GPU.

I'm trying to remember if the card has 1Gb of memory or 2Gb. Would that make much of a difference? If memory serves (excuse the pun) it's DDR5. Here's a photo:

View attachment 64839

It's a two slot GPU.

eBay has quite a few ATI Radeon 2Gb HD 7450 cards on sale for $38-$40 when I search for 2Gb cards.

Try moving the 7450 to the other PCIe slot. I have a 7970 that act the same way in a Gigabyte board.
 

Casey

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I don't have a 7540; I was just remarking they seem to be quite common on eBay for just under $40. Not too bad for a 2Gb GPU. It would seem to be a low power consumption card as well.

...Still thinking about a new p/s first. Leaves me room for future CPU upgrade.
 

GiGaBiTe

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Casey

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The power supply is a couple years old. I doubt I could RMA it now. :-|

It sounds like a comparable GPU would cost me $60+, so I need to decide if I should buy that, or get a newer power supply; obviously not the $55 special on sale. ;)
 

bakemono

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Yeah, don't go by the amount of memory. One card with 2GB could easily be 10x faster than another one. Some vendors seem to specialize in squeezing revenue from stocks of old, slow GPUs by coupling them with lots of cheap, slow RAM (and a flashy box)

I tried to find out which AMD GPUs support 4K video but according to wiki it looks like only the recent, high-end models do: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unified_Video_Decoder

my recommended searches to score a decent nVidia card in the $40-or-less range would be:
GTX 650
GTX 660
GTX 750
GTX 950
GeForce 640 GDDR5
GeForce 740 GDDR5
GeForce 730 GDDR5
 

DeltaDon

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When you say it won't boot, do you mean to the desktop or not even allow you to get into the setup screen? If the later, have you tried a boot into safe mode? See if there's a driver issue by trying to go into safe mode.

Lastly, are all of the drives and the video card on one rail of a dual rail power supply or spread over two rails. Are both 6 pin connectors on the same rail? This is assuming that the supply you have has twin power rails. For example 550 watts, but the +12 output is split at say 10 amps and 10 amps on two rails vs. one rail of 15 - 20 amps. Total watts can be total BS on some power supplies and unless you look at what power is delivered to each output from your supply. You could be overloading a single output. In which case you need to move some devices to a second rail.
 

Casey

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When you say it won't boot, do you mean to the desktop or not even allow you to get into the setup screen? If the later, have you tried a boot into safe mode? See if there's a driver issue by trying to go into safe mode.

Lastly, are all of the drives and the video card on one rail of a dual rail power supply or spread over two rails. Are both 6 pin connectors on the same rail? This is assuming that the supply you have has twin power rails. For example 550 watts, but the +12 output is split at say 10 amps and 10 amps on two rails vs. one rail of 15 - 20 amps. Total watts can be total BS on some power supplies and unless you look at what power is delivered to each output from your supply. You could be overloading a single output. In which case you need to move some devices to a second rail.

I can't even get to CMOS then. Haven't had the time to try swapping out drives & the 560 yet.

Single rail 12v. It would seem the dual rail systems could only provide 20 amps on one rail. As I mentioned earlier, the spec calls for 30 amps. If I understand you correctly, you suggest I could with a dual rail system run one plug on one rail, and connect the second to the other.
 
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