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Krusty
05-17-04, 02:51 PM
I've been spending a good long while building a computer for my father. This was meant to be an amazing video editing/photoshopping/3d animating computer so I had to look for high quality, high performance components.

The system the card is used in
Anyways, I was planning on using RAID and was going to have several hard drives in this system so I opted for the Soyo Dragon2 v1.0 black label motherboard. It's a pentium 4 board using the i875p chipset and its got 2 raid controllers and can support up to 12 drives. To go along with this, I got a p4 3.0C, 1GB buffalo pc3200, 4 (yes 4) hard drives, a built by ATI radeon 9800pro 128MB, a matrox rt.x100 video editing card, and an antec truepower 430w to keep it all running smoothly.

The horror story
So I get all the parts, put the system together, and, of course a single part has to be busted. It was the 9800pro. To ensure that it was the card and not any other part in the system, I tested using my friends built by ATI 9800pro (bought from ATI) and a 9700pro he had sitting around. Both of those cards worked perfectly. Soo I RMA the video card back to newegg and keep the 9700pro in the system in the mean time. A week or two later, I get another build by ATI 9800pro 128MB from newegg. I toss it in the system, boot it up, and discover that this card, too, is DOA. So now I'm thinking that I may be crazy or something to be getting 2 dead cards in a row. I call up newegg and verify that they do indeed check to make sure the cards are dead when I RMA them and that my card must have been dead if they processed the RMA. So I decide to give it one more shot. I RMA the second video card. The new card has been sitting at my parents house for a couple weeks now and I came over today to install it.....and guess what....

THIS IS THE THIRD FRIGGIN 9800PRO VIDEO CARD THAT HAS ARRIVED DOA!!!

The inquiries for any help out there
I don't see what the problem can be. Considering I've ran old pentium 2 computers with 4 hard drives on a 250W psu, 430W should be more than adequate for this system. I'm low on molex connectors so the card is not on its own dedicated line, but it's only sharing it with a single hard drive that is rarely used and with a floppy drive. I have successfully used my friends 9800pro in this system with no problems. The first 9800pro I got would not display anything at all. The second 9800pro would display multi colored garbage to the screen constantly. The third 9800pro would switch off between displaying multi colored garbage and displaying nothing at all.

Is there, perhaps, some sort of difference between the built by ATI video cards that you order from newegg and the built by ATI cards that you order from ATI? Or am I just the most unlucky SOB in existance to get 3 dead video cards in a row?

I'm going to take this 9800pro down to my apartment to see if I can get it functioning in my system but I doubt it will work there either.

Sophisticated
05-17-04, 03:17 PM
instead of assuming it's the video card..think about this...the 9800 pro consumes alot of wattage plus you have a video editing card mayb you need a better PSU...seems like you dont have a problem spending cash so get a PC Power & Cooling 510(650w max) Deluxe....mayb your motherboard is messing things up because 3 in a row is ridiculous unless your unlucky and gettin ripped off

crimedog
05-17-04, 03:33 PM
I'd say you're super-duper unlucky. NewEgg would be to blame more than ATI, doa cards aren't common.

By any chance are you running around in your socks on a nice carpet before you handle them? j/k :p

i wouldn't worry about your psu just yet... but it can't hurt to upgrade :)

Krusty
05-17-04, 03:40 PM
Originally posted by Sophisticated
instead of assuming it's the video card..think about this...the 9800 pro consumes alot of wattage plus you have a video editing card mayb you need a better PSU...seems like you dont have a problem spending cash so get a PC Power & Cooling 510(650w max) Deluxe....mayb your motherboard is messing things up because 3 in a row is ridiculous unless your unlucky and gettin ripped off

The video editing card doesn't even require its own power source. It runs off of the power provided by the PCI slot. Also, it's the ONLY item in the PCI slot. I have 1 motherboard, 1 cpu, 4 hard drives, 2 optical drives, 1 floppy drive, 2 RAM sticks, 1 video editing card, and 1 video card. An Antec truepower 430 should be more than adequate, especially since the manual for the editing card recommended only a 300W psu for running the extra hard drives and the editing card.

Also, I was incorrect when I stated that a hard drive was on the same molex line as the video card. The line the video card is hooked up to has only a floppy drive sharing it.

snvpa
05-17-04, 03:44 PM
I would say you are seriously unlucky, maybe try and get a saphirre card, though it really shouldnt matter that might change your luck.

Cyrix_2k
05-17-04, 03:59 PM
Try the card in your friends system FIRST. Myabe your system's killing the cards for some odd, unknown reason. Otherwise I'd have to say that you're VERY unlucky...

Krusty
05-17-04, 04:27 PM
Originally posted by Cyrix_2k
Try the card in your friends system FIRST. Myabe your system's killing the cards for some odd, unknown reason. Otherwise I'd have to say that you're VERY unlucky...

That one has definately crossed my mind. In hindsight, I wish I had taken this card over to my apartment to test it out there first. I'm begining to think this may possibly be the case.

This really shouldn't be the problem though because if it were killing every single 9800pro during POST, then you'd think both the 9700pro used in there for the past month and the 9800pro that belongs to my friend would have died as well.

Valk
05-17-04, 05:03 PM
hmmm. i wouldnt jump to assume that 430 would adequate for that setup at all. 4 hard drives and 2 optical drives alone is a severe drain.

I would troubleshoot backwards by starting the machine with only the most basic parts installed, video, processor, ram. if it starts, then keep adding stuff.
its possible your not seating the card properly but if you got other cards to work in it <_< thats definatly wierd.
for you to get three cards bunk doesnt seem very likely at all, unless newegg did test it, figured it wasnt defective and sent it back. or you nuked it.

Perre
05-17-04, 05:21 PM
It's rather obvious and maybe stupid, but are you sure that they won't find anything wrong with the card and maybe sending back the same one over and over again?

Just covering all the possibilities ;)

Krusty
05-17-04, 05:31 PM
Originally posted by Perre
It's rather obvious and maybe stupid, but are you sure that they won't find anything wrong with the card and maybe sending back the same one over and over again?

Just covering all the possibilities ;)

That's why I called them after getting the second dead card in a row. I thought that they might just send it back if they saw no problems with it. They said that, since the RMA went through, the item was found to be defective and was replaced.

Also, the packaging was different on the second one I got. In the first box, the cardboard was all weird and wrinkly. The second box was all crisp and clean.

Sophisticated
05-17-04, 05:45 PM
ok think about it krusty...if they recommend 300w PSU for the editing card and extra harddrives...how many extra harddrives do they mean what if only 2...you have 4.....and that 300w is for those things alone...your motherboard 9800pro which uses alot of power and other devices......i dont think 450w is not enough to be honest...think about it.....

Sophisticated
05-17-04, 05:46 PM
You also have to remember this is no ordinary computer your building.....your using things that consuming alot of power....as mentioned above you should start wonderin if its your motherboard or other devices thats killing your card then blaming the card itself

Krusty
05-17-04, 05:54 PM
Originally posted by Sophisticated
ok think about it krusty...if they recommend 300w PSU for the editing card and extra harddrives...how many extra harddrives do they mean what if only 2...you have 4.....and that 300w is for those things alone...your motherboard 9800pro which uses alot of power and other devices......i dont think 450w is not enough to be honest...think about it.....

The matrox card requires 2 of its own dedicated hard drives and a 2Ghz or faster processor.

So the minimum specs they would wind up having is 3 hard drives, a 2000+ or p4 2.0, and one optical drive. The manual says that the matrox card itself does not draw much power, but they recommend a 300W psu because the computer you are putting the card in will likely need to be a powerful computer.

With the 9700pro (which also requires its own power), the system runs 100% stable for days at a time, passes memtest86 with flying colors, passes a Sandra burn in for several hours, and passes a 3dmark2k3 loop for an hour or so. Additionally, of course, it runs photoshop, afterFX, and Premier flawlessly while actively using all 4 hard drives.

With the 9800pro and no case fans running (disconnected them while working inside the computer), the there will be no display on POST.

Krusty
05-17-04, 05:57 PM
Originally posted by Sophisticated
you should start wonderin if its your motherboard or other devices thats killing your card then blaming the card itself

That has crossed my mind as well. I'd think that, if a component is killing video cards, it would kill ALL video cards --especially two identical cards or a similar card such as the 9700pro.

I'm heading back down to my apartment tomorrow so I'll test it out in my rig and see if it still functions.

Oni
05-17-04, 06:45 PM
Rather than RMAing to NewEgg, try RMAing directly back to ATI and see if you get luckier.

CPL.Luke
05-17-04, 07:12 PM
well does the 9700 pro consume less power? maybe your friend got super lucky and got a card that can run on a less stable power supply or lower power. its just anouther possibility, when you get your next one just test it out first on anouther system.

druidelder
05-17-04, 07:19 PM
Is the BBAti 9800Pro that you borrowed from your friend the same card that you have been dealing with? Same memory bit width, same memory, everything the same, or is it slightly different? If they are the same, then I would guess really bad luck, but if they are different, there could be some odd incompatibility.

Occassionally I have run into similar problems where a particular mobo and a specific card won't work together. I built a machine for a friend once and we RMA'd the mobo, vid card, and RAM twice each before we discovered that the 8500 AIW 128MB just wouldn't work in that mobo (possibly version specific) for some reason. 8500 AIW DV worked, 8500 worked, but it just didn't like the 128MB 8500 AIW.

Hurk
05-17-04, 07:27 PM
This isn't an ATI problem. This is something with the system. I don't know what the RMA process is for you Americans, but I'm close to the ATI headquarters and RMA is the best from ATI than with any other company I have dealt with, but like Oni said, I'd deal with them.


Anyways, I might have missed this, but did you try all 3 in other systems? Did they do the same thing, if you did?

Dukemurmur
05-17-04, 07:32 PM
hmm i think that it is ur board 4 some reason...since u seem to have MAJOR cash just get eh x800pro or XT......also go to ur local BB and try a card from them if it works keep it and "bring back" the newegg card....

Krusty
05-17-04, 07:46 PM
Originally posted by druidelder
Is the BBAti 9800Pro that you borrowed from your friend the same card that you have been dealing with? Same memory bit width, same memory, everything the same, or is it slightly different? If they are the same, then I would guess really bad luck, but if they are different, there could be some odd incompatibility.

AFAIK, the cards are identical. They are both retail built by ATI 9800pro 128MB. The only difference is that he bought his from ATI and I bought mine from newegg.


Originally posted by Hurk
Anyways, I might have missed this, but did you try all 3 in other systems? Did they do the same thing, if you did?

Nope. Haven't tried them in any other systems. Only the first card was installed when I was near another compatible computer. That was my friends computer. Since I had just finished building it for him like 2 hours prior, he said I couldn't test the dead card in his computer because he didn't want me cursing it or letting out the blue smoke. Instead, we tested his card in my system and his card worked. I'm taking this card over to my apartment this week to test it out and make sure it is dead.

Originally posted by Dukemurmur
hmm i think that it is ur board 4 some reason...since u seem to have MAJOR cash just get eh x800pro or XT......also go to ur local BB and try a card from them if it works keep it and "bring back" the newegg card....

I think I'm actually a little annoyed by that comment. First off, it's not MY system. Second off, it was my job to build the system to my fathers specifications, not to waste money on useless upgrades (I was originally planning on getting a 9200 but my dad said to spend a bit more to get the directx9 compatibility just in case). And third, I would think that the fact that so much money was spent on the system so far would mean there is significantly less money to spend on a different video card.

As for the "returning" to best buy, I had thought about it, but figured I would go the legal route and use neweggs RMA process instead. The newegg guys told me just to fax them the shipping recipt and they'd reimburse me for the cost of shipping as well.

Krusty
05-17-04, 07:48 PM
anyways, I think I concluded I'll just keep the 9700pro in his system. He likely won't need the extra juice the 9800pro offers anyways.

Now I just need to get the refund for this stupid thing.

johan851
05-17-04, 07:53 PM
also go to ur local BB and try a card from them if it works keep it and "bring back" the newegg card....
This is called illegal. It is also unethical. Let's not be doing that. Hope I never buy a video card from you...

I think he'll be just fine with a 9700 Pro, especially if you only bought something higher for the DX9 capability.

I think it's possible that you actually got 3 dead cards in a row. Everything seems to point to it. And that would make you...yes...the unluckiest man alive.

Dukemurmur
05-17-04, 09:17 PM
no lol srry that was taken wrong what i mean i go to BB and get a card from them if that card works keep it from BB and the return the card from newegg TO newegg. NOT TO buy a card from BB then if it works give them back the newegg one that WOULD B WRONG!!! And i was just figureing that if u spent that much and wanted a 9800pro that u where going best of the best so i just figured that u "wern't sure" of the X800pro/xt so yeah srry bout that man....

Sophisticated
05-17-04, 10:03 PM
Originally posted by Dukemurmur
hmm i think that it is ur board 4 some reason...since u seem to have MAJOR cash just get eh x800pro or XT......also go to ur local BB and try a card from them if it works keep it and "bring back" the newegg card....


if it is his board killing these card why in the worl would he waste that much money on a x800 and kill that one to

IYIENACE
05-17-04, 10:55 PM
I would agree w/ others, there is either something affecting the card on startup or you have just had a string of ****** luck. :(
I buy loads of stuff from NewEgg and they have always been fantastic to deal with.
As for the PS I ran my system @ 3.6G w/ everything in my sig on the factory Antec 350 with zero problems.

I would seriously look elsewhere for the problem. :-/

Krusty
05-17-04, 11:20 PM
So on a 350W psu, you had a 3.6Ghz processor, higher bus speed, overclocked 9800pro, audigy sound card, 3 hard drives, and an optical drive, yes? I'd say that should pretty much eliminate the possibility of an underpowered power supply.

IYIENACE
05-17-04, 11:26 PM
Originally posted by Krusty
So on a 350W psu, you had a 3.6Ghz processor, higher bus speed, overclocked 9800pro, audigy sound card, 3 hard drives, and an optical drive, yes? I'd say that should pretty much eliminate the possibility of an underpowered power supply.

Yessir - that's exactly what I had. Plus a card reader and an Aerogate II and 120mm fans. :p

Th0r
05-18-04, 08:30 AM
2 things more likey to cause this problem...

Bad PSU or a Bad Motherboard...

have you tried pulling everything out by leaving everything to the barebone requirements?

Do:
Motherboard
CPU
Video card
512MB Ram
1xhard Drive
Floppy Drives

Take out:
3xHard drives
Second Video Card
Optical Drives

try all that... Maybe get hold of another PSU.. 450Watts or higher i think.. because think about it... All those rails being used can put a serious drain on everything...

Sophisticated
05-18-04, 09:17 AM
EXACTLY what im tryna say

bdomz
05-18-04, 10:09 AM
man sorry to hear about your bad luck, I've had 4 ATI cards in the last couple years and they have all run without a hitch, even the refurbished one runs perfectly.
good luck!

germanjulian
05-18-04, 10:32 AM
funny how people bitch and moan and dont test. after the 2nd card I would have taken it to a friends house. or tried booting the computer without the maxtor pci card (maybe they dont like each other) and only 2 hd's and no cdrom.

testing doesnt take long. writting up how poo ati is does.
I dont moan and bitch at M$ constantly just because my g/f installed some spyware by mistake. I spend at least 2 hours to 3 hours by myself working on a solution before I writte here if I have a problem.
you only rma'ed and tried another card in your dads system. thats not testing and eliminating the problem.
test it proper. I doubt that you have 3 dead cards. I mean comon they are not that fragile. I chipped a athlon xp, dropped my 9800 pro and all works

Wicked Klown
05-18-04, 11:39 AM
If I remember right ATI recommands at least a 400watt PSU for the card. I could be wrong but sounds like your taxing your PSU.

Sophisticated
05-18-04, 12:25 PM
so about that new PSU ive recommended i think im on the right track...
PC Power & Cooling 510(650w max) Deluxe will do the job!!

Wicked Klown
05-18-04, 12:44 PM
I'm running the 510 Deluxe with my rig. Which has 4HDDs, 2 opticals, 2 sticks ram, 2500 OCed to 2200 1.80vcore. a nice BBA 9800Pro and 11 fans. With my old TTGI 520 watt I would get random restarts and such.

J2T
05-18-04, 01:39 PM
Originally posted by Klownin79
If I remember right ATI recommands at least a 400watt PSU for the card. I could be wrong but sounds like your taxing your PSU.

ATI recommends at least a 300W PSU, but it still could be the problem with all of the other power hungry components.

Krusty
05-18-04, 02:53 PM
Originally posted by germanjulian
funny how people bitch and moan and dont test. after the 2nd card I would have taken it to a friends house. or tried booting the computer without the maxtor pci card (maybe they dont like each other) and only 2 hd's and no cdrom.

testing doesnt take long. writting up how poo ati is does.
I dont moan and bitch at M$ constantly just because my g/f installed some spyware by mistake. I spend at least 2 hours to 3 hours by myself working on a solution before I writte here if I have a problem.
you only rma'ed and tried another card in your dads system. thats not testing and eliminating the problem.
test it proper. I doubt that you have 3 dead cards. I mean comon they are not that fragile. I chipped a athlon xp, dropped my 9800 pro and all works

The matrox card was not put in the system until windows was up and running and fully updated. I had tested with a 450W psu the first week after I had built the system. I thought the psu may have been the problem so I grabbed another one at best buy. It didn't fix the problem. My friend wound up buying the spare psu off of me because he thought it was so wonderfully quiet compared to his Enermax. The OS was also installed and fully updated with only 2 of the hard drives installed. After I got the RAID array up and running, I put the other two drives in.

So, basically, The system was run with only 2 hard drives and no matrox card and was already tested with a second power supply. I really find it hard to believe that the psu is at fault when someone was able to run a rather taxing system on a 350W psu.

The only thing I can think of that may cause the problem is some random incompatibility issue with the motherboard. I'm still leaning more toward the horrible bad luck considering my friends 9800pro and this 9700pro worked fine in the system.

Sophisticated
05-18-04, 03:16 PM
you have more power hungry components then the person that you say wus taxing a 350w PSU.....so keep that out of it......its either your board not liking what your giving it or you do not have enough poweer plain and simple

Krusty
05-18-04, 03:21 PM
Originally posted by Sophisticated
you have more power hungry components then the person that you say wus taxing a 350w PSU.....so keep that out of it......its either your board not liking what your giving it or you do not have enough poweer plain and simple

That guy had a 3.6Ghz processor and 3 hard drives, 2 of which were raptors. He also had a 9800pro and a sound blaster audigy. He was also running his bus speed at 240.

When this system was built, it had only 2 hard drives and no pci devices, was running at 3Ghz, and wouldn't even POST. How do I have more power hungry components?

Sophisticated
05-18-04, 04:11 PM
go read the power ratings to all your components and go find out....forget what they are recommending because obviously we cant go by this right now

Krusty
05-21-04, 12:28 AM
Well...this thing appears to be working fine in my rig. I guess this means I get the 9800pro and my dad gets to keep the 9700pro.

So the difference between the 9700pro and 9800pro either makes the motherboard hate it or the power supply just can't keep up with it. At least I know the cards aren't dead now.

yazz88
05-21-04, 04:51 AM
You got a DOA from newegg twice, and again you bought from them? Did you ever think about ordering from somone else?

t1mex
05-21-04, 06:44 AM
Originally posted by yazz88
You got a DOA from newegg twice, and again you bought from them? Did you ever think about ordering from somone else?

I don't think this is the issue at all. They replaced his card twice, and offered to reimburse for shipping. In my eyes, that would be MORE of a reason to buy from newegg again.

So Krusty, you are saying that one of the "dead" cards from this other computer works in your computer? That would seem to signal incompatibility, or possibly a bad setting in the BIOS (maybe over/under-volting, or wrong AGP bus speed.) I still find it very strange that one ATi 9800 Pro would work, and another wouldn't.

Krusty
05-21-04, 12:08 PM
I'm still confused about that as well. I most definately tested my friends 9800pro at the same time I tested the first 9800pro.

Perhaps it really is a power issue and this is the possible reason why:

When I was building and testing the system, I did not have 2 of the hard drives installed and I did not have the matrox card installed. When I tested the first video card, I got no display at all. When I tested my friends card, it worked fine.

So, at the time I was building it, one card didn't display and one card worked fine. When I tested the other 2 cards, they appeard to be broken in a different way. They displayed junk to the screen instead of displaying nothing at all. During this testing, I had the other 2 drives and the matrox card installed.

Soo...perhaps the first card I got actually was broken. I was testing it with less components in the computer though so my friends card worked fine. Then I put the other components in the system and tested the other 2 ATI cards that I recieved via RMA. Those were actually fully functional cards but I did not have enough power to run them so they appeared to be broken and I appeared to be angry.

Tumbler 00
05-22-04, 03:55 AM
Not sayin it's power-supply , try this link though.

http://www.jscustompcs.com/power_supply/

Intresting thing is 9700p = 9800p ... 54 watts .

Turd Furguson
05-22-04, 09:40 AM
Just a thought. Try setting the AGP to 1 or 2x and put the 9800Pro back in. Could be that the AGP is cranky with the 9800pro when it runs at 8x.

Krusty
05-22-04, 12:27 PM
Originally posted by Tumbler 00
Not sayin it's power-supply , try this link though.

http://www.jscustompcs.com/power_supply/

Intresting thing is 9700p = 9800p ... 54 watts .

tee hee. That thing says I use 459W.

IYIENACE
05-22-04, 12:58 PM
Originally posted by Krusty


tee hee. That thing says I use 459W.

Wow mine is 448w and I was running it on the 350w? Maybe the PS upgrade was a better idea than I thought. :-/

El<(')>Maxi
05-23-04, 02:50 AM
Originally posted by Turd Furguson
Just a thought. Try setting the AGP to 1 or 2x and put the 9800Pro back in. Could be that the AGP is cranky with the 9800pro when it runs at 8x.

Don't ever set AGP to 1X on an AGP 3.0 card. You will kill it by overvolting the AGP slot. As for the ATI mystery, it sounds to me like the Antec powersupply while rated sufficiently, might not be delivering what it is rated at. I have had 2 Antecs(True 380 & True 430), that had similar problems and were RMA'd. I won't buy Antec again.

And I'm also not sure that the 9700 draws the same wattage as the 9800 as it's core runs @ 1.5v while the 9800 runs @1.7v

Runner30
05-23-04, 07:44 AM
Let me add my experience.

I have R9800Pro from Sapphire.

Recently tried to install home made ramsinks.
While wiping the memory chips surface I accidentally touched one of the ceramic capacitors.
Lately I discovered that it disconnected(I got memory errors).

I was lucky not to fry my card.

I was also lucky to have a family friend who is M.Sc. EE , also having great experience with fixing TV, videos etc.

He soldered the capacitor back.

He also found 2 MORE caps that were merely holding and fixed them too.

So every time we visit them I'm bringing a cake and a fine wine ( will do that til I cover the card cost :D :D )

I don't know what it says about Sapphire but I suggest testing somehow the card before buying it.

I'm almost 100% sure I couldn't RMA it with missing parts and get a new one for it.

hooah
05-23-04, 05:25 PM
I also had a problem with video corrution on a 9800 pro and ATI sent me no less then 3 RMA's to try and fix the problem before I RMA'd the motherboard. Always willing to help on phone and guide me through problem solving stuff. I'd have to say A+ customer service for me from ATI. Although i've never dealth with Nvidia so I couldn't say one is better then the other.

Silent Buddha
05-23-04, 09:36 PM
Never had a problem with ATI or newegg. Hope you have better luck.

-Dave

Alacritan
05-26-04, 12:15 PM
Originally posted by Dukemurmur
NOT TO buy a card from BB then if it works give them back the newegg one that WOULD B WRONG!!!

"Sellin' rocks WOULD B WRONG!!!" - Tron Carter

But seriously, that's quite a clever idea. Much easier and faster than sending it back and waiting for another.

computerpro3
05-26-04, 02:47 PM
Originally posted by Krusty
An Antec truepower 430 should be more than adequate, especially since the manual for the editing card recommended only a 300W psu for running the extra hard drives and the editing card.


haha no it shoudn't the antec 430 couldn't even run my system (though it is very power hungry). When I had the antec 430, I had to run two power supplies at once to be stable. You, my friend, need to get my current power supply, the pc power and cooling 510 deluxe.

GV2NIX
05-26-04, 07:21 PM
Originally posted by Tumbler 00
Not sayin it's power-supply , try this link though.

http://www.jscustompcs.com/power_supply/

Intresting thing is 9700p = 9800p ... 54 watts .


The only thing about this is that it doesn't take into account that certain devices draw exclusively or more heavily from different rails. I suppose this is a non-issue since the Antec TruePower 450W has pretty decent maximum currents for each rail, but it's just something that I thought of. The GooPSUlator would be a better tool, but the site appears to be down. At any rate, be sure and breakdown power consumption by voltages. Every device is different and we can't really see how that site is calculating wattage.

Krusty
05-30-04, 04:00 PM
Here's a very interesting addition to this topic. I just happened to be cruising around newegg and clicked on the details for my fathers Soyo p4i875p dragon2 v1.0 black label motherboard and noticed a rather interesting product review:

Didn't have ANY video output at all using brand new ATI Readon 9800 pro (not even POST data). Exchanged the card for a new one, still no video. Sending mobo in for exchange.

Looks like it's actually the motherboard that hates the video card.