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 Post subject: Graphics card/Ram Confusion, please help!
 Post Posted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 11:00 pm 
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Hi all, Ive had some recent posts and couldnt figure out how to delete them, but i want to sum it all up here and ask for any help or advice you can give.

First off, I have an xps630i with:
3gb ram (2 1gb sticks and 2 512mb sticks)
Computer had an nvidia 8800GT 512mb graphics card, which is now toast.
Replaced this with an nvidia 8500gt 1gb graphics card.
Intel Core 2 duo processor.
Samsung 500gb HD.
Windows 7 x64 bit.


The problem all started when one morning I turned my computer on and instead of starting up, I just kept hearing the tower making the beep codes. I tried swapping the ram around to no avail, then replaced the CMOS battery to no avail, and then tried swapping my graphics card with an extra one i had given to me by someone who said they had problems with it but were not specific. Anyways, I replaced the card and of course, the computer started up fine, but now my computer was only showing 1.5gb ram instead of the usual 3gb ram.

On startup no matter what I do, upon hitting f2 I see that my computer has not started in dual memory mode for the ram, but in single. No matter How I arrange the cards, this is always the case. I can start the computer with just 1 of the 4 cards in the first DIMM slot and it starts fine. I know the ram is still good. It seems that the graphics card is for some reason keeping the computer from booting into dual memory mode. But how is this possible? Did I mess something up in replacing the cmos battery? I have no other graphics cards to try and see if my ram goes back to normal and have tried many different positionings of the ram sticks. The current configuration of my ram is as follows:

| | | |
| | | |
| | | |

1gb 512mb 1gb 512 mb

When I try putting the 1gb side by side the computer will not pass post.


Also, i have 2 extra 512mb sticks lying around, and ive tried booting with all the ram cards installed as 512mb and taking the 1gb sticks out of the mix. The cards are all the same exact stats and are 5300. For some reason with 4 512mb cards the computer boots into dual memory mode, but instead of showing 2gb ram, shows 1gb.

Its almost as if no matter how i configure my ram cards, only 1 set of ram slots is reading the cards.

Could a graphics card really cause this? Please help!


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 Post subject: Re: Graphics card/Ram Confusion, please help!
 Post Posted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 11:18 pm 
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Your only option is to try new hardware and test it. There is no other way to diagnose it. A new graphics card would be a start. If that fails, then your motherboard may be defective. Just make sure your memory sticks are in the matching slots (same sticks = same color slot).

I would at least try running the video card in the other PCIE 8x slot and see what happens.

I have never seen a graphics card cause this myself. But if it has known problems, then its possible. Before spending a lot of money on a new card, just go down to the computer store and get a simple and cheap PCIE video card to test. If everything runs ok, then buy yourself a nicer video card of your choosing. There are a lot of threads here about upgrading the video card, so browse around and see what fits your needs.

If the motherboard needs to be replaced......then you are SOL in finding a replacement. They are hard to come by, even aftermarket ones.

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 Post subject: Re: Graphics card/Ram Confusion, please help!
 Post Posted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 1:49 am 
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Quote:
If the motherboard needs to be replaced......then you are SOL in finding a replacement. They are hard to come by, even aftermarket ones.


On the other hand, if the motherboard needs to be replaced (and you feel comfortable doing it yourself), you have the opportunity of getting a far, far, nicer motherboard than the Dellified, less-than-stellar nForce 650 in there now. I'm speaking for myself of course, but getting rid of the tacky mobo and pitiful Master I/O Board are primary reasons why I plan to upgrade soon.

Of course, that comes with a bit of a price tag (less than $500 for an excellent mobo, 8GB of DDR3 RAM, and an i5 2500k CPU--even less if you want less RAM and a bit slower CPU), but you would then have a very nice, fast, reliable system.

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 Post subject: Re: Graphics card/Ram Confusion, please help!
 Post Posted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 2:52 am 
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So you mean to tell me if my mobo ever does go bad i will more than likely have to spend around 5-800 bucks to repair my computer? If so that really sucks, as i spent about 1300 on the whole tower. Honestly if it came to that I would probably just build my own PC...Ive heard its not that hard to do and I already have a basic knowledge of computers...who knows hopefully this will hold up a few more years though. :p

I appreciate the replies though guys and I think youre right, hardware is the only way to diagnose this. The problem just seemed wierd to me and I mainly was wondering if anyone had experienced anything similar with this computer.


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 Post subject: Re: Graphics card/Ram Confusion, please help!
 Post Posted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 2:24 pm 
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You don't have to go the Sandy Bridge route if your motherboard goes bad--there are still a stack of 775-socket motherboards out there which would let you keep your current CPU and RAM (costing you just the price of the motherboard--less than $100):

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductLi ... =LGA%20775

However, if you go to the trouble of replacing your motherboard, it may be worth a little more investment going with a P67 mobo, CPU, and DDR3 RAM to give you another 2-3 years (at least) of speedy, reliable computing.

If you build your own system, you'd likely be buying another case, etc. which would be just as expensive instead of keeping what you've already paid for (your 630i case, hard drives, optical drives, etc.)

The bottom line is it's up to you to figure out how much you want to spend, and what you want to spend it on--is your system speed fine with you? Do you want to upgrade everything all at once, or do one component at a time, etc.?

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 Post subject: Re: Graphics card/Ram Confusion, please help!
 Post Posted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 6:18 pm 
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Oh nice I see, thanks for the link ill save that just in case. :]

While having a quad core processor and more memory, etc. would be fantastic, I really dont need anything more than my current setup. The only thing I am planning on upgrading is the graphics card of course, and getting 6-8gb ram. Everything else I'm fine with, but you're right, if I'm going to go through the trouble of swapping mobo's, I may as well upgrade a bit in the process. I appreciate the fast reply.


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