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4870s: 1 works, 1 doesn't PLEASE HELP!?

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#1
Hey guys n gals...

Pithy version: I purchased 2 4870 cards to run in crossfire in 2009. From the time I got it, one worked but the other didn't. Gave up on it, but couldn't throw it out. Now I'm needing the performance difference, but don't have the cash to buy anything else.

When I put the bad card in by itself, the PC doesn't start, and I get a black screen with red flashing letters that says, "you have not connected one of your video card power connectors to the power supply".

I'm 110% sure everything is plugged in, and since I have 2 of these cards and the other works fine, I'm confident it isn't my 650W PSU.

I flashed the bios with a 128K version, still no change.

I did notice that it is only showing 32 bit bandwidth instead of 256 like the other one.

I feel like this is a fixable thing, I'm just completely stumped, and the only thing I can find for an answer is PSU related, which won't solve my problem.

What do you think? (Thanks!)

Gigabyte EP45-DQ6 Mobo
2.86 quad core
6 GB 9600 OCZ DDR2
650W 80+ PSU
And trying to run 2 4870s in crossfire, but 1 won't work even in stand alone :cry:
 

Aquinus

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#2
Could we get a picture of the PCI-E plug on the bad 4870? How does the connector itself look, still completely soldered and whatnot? 650-watt is a little low for two 4870 IMHO but it not undo-able.

I did notice that it is only showing 32 bit bandwidth instead of 256 like the other one.
...but I thought it wouldn't boot with it in the computer, so how do you know that it is only showing 32-bit and not 256-bit memory bus? The card honestly sounds physically broken to me if it's saying there isn't any external power but it is plugged in. Are you using a regular PCI-E 6-pin power or are you using a MOLEX to PCI-E adapter because it seems unlikely that a 650-watt PSU will have 4 PCI-E connectors, but I could be wrong.
 
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#3

Aquinus

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#4
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#5
warranty/connections/boot

Great questions

Warranty/why I didn't address it when it happened: I purchased both devices refurbished, with a 15 day warranty. I didn't assemble the new rig until after the warranty had already expired. :banghead:

Connections: I'll see what I can do, but imagine a brand new card's connections. I checked solder points, even smells of a short on the board, but nothing there. Every micrometer of this board looks brand new. I also used 2 PCI-E 6-Pin native power connectors, and tried with the 2 MOLEX to 6-pin, with no changes.

Boot: I booted the computer with the working card in order to flash the bios on the bad card (I used ATIFlash in DOS... even put the same BIOS on both cards, which probably wasn't very smart, but thankfully the working card still works - Used the ASUS BIOS). I then used TPU's GPU-Z 0.6.6 to view the cards. (I attached screenshots of the two cards)

The only thing I can think is that the BIOS I put on there are 128K BIOS, but were only updated using 64K of it.
 

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#6
1GB Card???

So, I have 1 blue board and 1 red board (the red board is the one not working).

Though the cover says, "Sapphire" on both, I believe the red board indicates that it is a Diamond board, the 1GB board. Perhaps it's been flashed with the wrong BIOS during the refurb process.

I'm going to reflash the BIOS with a Diamond BIOS, and see what happens and let you guys know how it works out.
 
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#7
the color of the PCB does not normally dictate brand. I've had red sapphire 4850 pcbs
 
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#8
That didn't work...

Though the Bus stayed the same, I did see a change in the bandwidth. Still not even close to what it should be though.

The main thing is getting that buswidth to change. That's what's kicking my butt.
 

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qubit

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#9
This is nothing to do with the bios, as you've seen. I don't understand why when a card malfunctions, people immediately want to flash the bios? This never solves anything.

Your card isn't seeing the PCI-E power. Reasons range from dodgy soldering on the power pins to a blown fuse (they don't even look like fuses) to something funny with the VRMs. Basically, the chances of getting that card working are close to zero. Shame you didn't check it before that quicky warranty expired as you're SOL now.
 
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#10
BIOS Flash

I understand the BIOS flash isn't a standard fix, but the reason for the BIOS flash is because this was one of the first cards to use 128K BIOS, and though you can load a 128K BIOS to the card, it can, for weird reasons, only recognize 64K, thus only showing 1 channel or 32bit, instead of the 8 channel or 256bit.
 

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#11
I understand the BIOS flash isn't a standard fix, but the reason for the BIOS flash is because this was one of the first cards to use 128K BIOS, and though you can load a 128K BIOS to the card, it can, for weird reasons, only recognize 64K, thus only showing 1 channel or 32bit, instead of the 8 channel or 256bit.
I think you're confused, dude. How does the size of the bios make any difference? The card has a hardware fault because it can't see the pci-e power, so no amount of bios flashing is gonna fix it. Most likely it's soldering or one of those funny looking fuses that don't look like fuses, if you can identify them (can anyone help with this?) and perhaps replace it or bridge it.

I can empathize with your frustration here, seriously I do, but unfortunately, the chance of getting it working is slim. I suggest selling the other one for whatever you can get and investing in a modern card. Even a low end one will have that kind of rendering power now, so won't be all that expensive. Shit happens, so all one can do is move on.

I'm surprised that it functions enough to even allow the bios flash. I learned something today!
 
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#12
SKUs n' PNs

Blue (good) = SKU 11133-00 PN 188-01E85-001SA (B)
Red (bad) = SKU 21133-00 PN 102-B50701-10-AT

Both 512MB
 
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#13
bios/power

As I understand it, the limited BIOS is what causes the fault. The power can be there, but since the card is "retarded", it says it's not. I could be wrong here, but that's what I've understood so far from other forums.
 
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#14
short/open

My secondary thought would be that if there would be bad soldering, assuming to the extent it would create a short, a short is only a short for as long as it takes to create an open (milliseconds or microseconds in most cases). Once that happens, there would be an electrical smell, and the component would cease working all together (99% of the time).

I think, if anything, the idea of a blown fuse may be worth looking into. I have a pretty solid electronics background, so I'm not afraid to replace components on a board. If I can find and test the fuse, figure out the specs on it, I'll see if I can order one and replace it.

Anyone have any other ideas?
 
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#16
Fate cannot be denied

Alas, I have given up hope of resurrection. I guess Jesus really is the only one who can be raised from the dead...

Thanks for the input guys. At least we tried.
 

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#17
Sometimes its always good to bite the bullet for a new card. I have had to do it quite a few times when older hardware fails.
 

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#18
Alas, I have given up hope of resurrection. I guess Jesus really is the only one who can be raised from the dead...

Thanks for the input guys. At least we tried.
Yeah, it's a bummer. What will you do now? I suggest getting a modern mid range card if you want a nice upgrade without breaking the bank. It should be helped by the sale of the working card too, for whatever you can get for it.
 
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#19
I think you should be looking for a second-hand one. I don't know where in the world you are located, but at home I can easily get one for 50-60 euros. If you still insist on making a CrossFire config. If not, sell the current one, add some and get yourself a new card.