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JustAnEngineer
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Sigh. My Radeon HD3870X2 experience

Thu Jan 31, 2008 10:30 pm

So... I drive by my local FedEx this evening in a severe thunderstorm, wait for the last driver to return from her route with my package on her truck, have the nice ladies at the counter keep the place open an extra 15 minutes while I wait... and pick up my new Radeon HD3870X2 from Newegg. I then drive home through the torrential rain, carry the slightly-sodden box indoors, and prepare to install the new graphics card in my PC.

I switched off my power supply, loosened the thumbscrews on the Antec P160 case, and yanked out my old graphics card. Here's a shot of the new one with the old one:
http://i230.photobucket.com/albums/ee12 ... G_1864.jpg
The first observation is that it's pretty big, but not enormous. I've owned Voodoo5-5500 cards in the past. What the image doesn't show you is that this card and cooler are quite heavy. I'd guess that the Radeon HD3870X2 is about four times as heavy as the Radeon X1950Pro 512MB pictured with it.

I removed the slot cover adjacent to my PCIe X16 slot and checked the length of the Radeon HD3870X2 against the available space. It fit very nicely with just enough room between the end of the card and the hard-drive cage for a couple of cables that were routed there.

When I inserted the Radeon HD3870X2 into the PCIe X16 slot, I discovered that the cooler hit the SATA cables plugged into ports 2 and 1 on the MSI K8N Neo4 Platinum motherboard. I suppose that right-angle SATA cables might work, but I just moved my RAID drives from SATA 2 and 1 to SATA 4 and 3. No problem. My storage drive is plugged into one of the four additional SATA ports off of the SII controller, so I only use two of the four NVidia ports. With the SATA connectors out of the way, the new PCIe card seated in the slot as it should. The tiny MSI northbridge cooler is flat enough to fit under the graphics card cooler. I plugged in two 6-pin PCIe power connectors from the SeaSonic S12-600 power supply to the graphics card and a dual-link DVI cable for the UltraSharp 3007WFP into one of the Radeon HD3870X2's outputs.

I checked clearances again, switched on the power supply, and pressed the power button. All of the fans turned up normally. Three red LEDs on the end of the graphics card blinked once. One LED blinked a second time. There was no video on the monitor. :( I tried all possible different combinations of power connections, output ports and two monitors, but I never could get a picture out of it. Plugging in PCIe power to just the connector closer to the center of the HD3870X2 causes the fan to cycle from slow to fast as the red LEDs flash, but there never was any video. Either the brand-new Radeon HD3870X2 card is DOA or else it is incompatible with the MSI K8N Neo4 Platinum motherboard. I thought to try it with a DFI RS482 Infinity motherboard, but the Radeon HD3870X2 is about one inch too long to fit into the tiny ASUS TM-210 case that houses my second PC. Sigh.
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themattman
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Re: Sigh. My Radeon HD3870X2 experience

Thu Jan 31, 2008 10:46 pm

That is a real mood killer :(

It would take some work, but I guess you could take the mobo(and everything else) out of the case so the card would fit.
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2x4
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Re: Sigh. My Radeon HD3870X2 experience

Thu Jan 31, 2008 11:14 pm

next time you should buy geforce :D
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Re: Sigh. My Radeon HD3870X2 experience

Thu Jan 31, 2008 11:25 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:
in a severe thunderstorm


That's one of those deals where the precipitation coming down ISN'T white, right? I'd kill to trade for one of those (as I get ready to shovel for the second - and likely not final - time tonight).

Err... wait. The tornado sirens were going nuts a few weeks ago (in JANUARY), I was waiting things out in the basement, and one of the tornados stopped less than a mile from my town. Perhaps I should take that back :lol:
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Re: Sigh. My Radeon HD3870X2 experience

Thu Jan 31, 2008 11:27 pm

Throw in your old x1950. If the computer doesn't boot up, you know its your motherboard. If it does, then you know it's your new vid card. Although I'm sure you've done that already. :D
No matter how bad the new homepage sucks or how bungled the new management is...

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Re: Sigh. My Radeon HD3870X2 experience

Fri Feb 01, 2008 1:55 am

I ran into a somewhat similar situation recently where the new card gave me nothing.
Just as I was about to get suicidal I thought to plug in the TV out, and I could see the desktop on the TV!

It's worth a try.
 
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Re: Sigh. My Radeon HD3870X2 experience

Fri Feb 01, 2008 4:28 am

2x4 wrote:
next time you should buy geforce :D


Yes, because a Nvidia video card has NEVER arrived DOA at anyone's place before, right?
 
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Re: Sigh. My Radeon HD3870X2 experience

Fri Feb 01, 2008 4:30 am

Just a guess, did you try plugging the monitor to a different port?
 
JustAnEngineer
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Re: Sigh. My Radeon HD3870X2 experience

Fri Feb 01, 2008 6:58 am

I tried the UltraSharp 3007WFP and the UltraSharp 2001FP monitor on each of the Radeon HD3870X2's DVI outputs. I am posting this message while using the Radeon X1950Pro in the same system.
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Re: Sigh. My Radeon HD3870X2 experience

Fri Feb 01, 2008 7:53 am

DOA, dude.

We're crying for you :cry:
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Re: Sigh. My Radeon HD3870X2 experience

Fri Feb 01, 2008 5:13 pm

i guess on the bright side, you get a brand new card to look forward to all over again.

believe it or not, even though its not the best buy even according to my chart in the other thread, i'm actually thinking about buying one of these.
.. i'm currently too busy at work to have time to game anyways.. but as soon as i have some time .. probably march or april, i'm gonna have to buy something and then grab a copy of Crysis. i'm hoping the G100 is out by then.. but if its not.. then i might actually purchase one of these monsters. although.. I keep going back and forth on that. the GTS 512 is actually quite a bit better of a buy... especially since my main reason for a new video card is a single game.. that the X2 can barely beat the GTS at .
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JustAnEngineer
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Re: Sigh. My Radeon HD3870X2 experience

Fri Feb 01, 2008 9:49 pm

It appears to be a compatibility issue.

I removed all of the screws from my second PC and dragged the parts halfway out of the case onto the table for testing. Other than the ASUS TM-210 case being too small, the Radeon HD3870X2 appears to be working perfectly with the DFI Infinity RS482 motherboard. Go figure.

What about my NForce4 Ultra motherboard should keep it from working while the RS482 motherboard works flawlessly? I didn't really intend to install this powerful gaming card into my living room PC when I placed my order.
 
MaxTheLimit
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Re: Sigh. My Radeon HD3870X2 experience

Fri Feb 01, 2008 9:59 pm

I don't suppose there is any BIOS updates that might mention an issue like this being addressed?

EDIT: Nope don't see anything.
Last edited by MaxTheLimit on Fri Feb 01, 2008 10:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
JustAnEngineer
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Re: Sigh. My Radeon HD3870X2 experience

Fri Feb 01, 2008 10:01 pm

My MSI K8N Neo4 Platinum 1.0 board has the most up-to-date 1.D BIOS.
 
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Re: Sigh. My Radeon HD3870X2 experience

Fri Feb 01, 2008 10:24 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:
What about my NForce4 Ultra motherboard should keep it from working while the RS482 motherboard works flawlessly? I didn't really intend to install this powerful gaming card into my living room PC when I placed my order.

Maybe there's an issue with the PCIe. Apparently the G92-based chips aren't working with boards based on PCIe1.0 (only 1.1) -- generally speaking this is fixed by upgrading the mobo to the newest BIOS. It's possible there's a similar issue with your 3870X2 (I know it's not really PCIe2.0, but some of its internals are, so...).
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Re: Sigh. My Radeon HD3870X2 experience

Sat Feb 02, 2008 1:10 pm

Exactly the same problem!! I also waited in the rain at the post office to pick up my sapp hd3870x2 and raced home. Took out my 1650 pro's and then realised some hdd shuffling was in order, got the card in and then thought do i plug in 1 6pin plug or 2...i plugged in 1 to the 6pin jack and powered up, the card powered up to full speed but no display. so i tried with the 6pin plug in the 8pin jack and got a display saying that my graphics card power wasnt right! so i tried with 6pin plug in the 6pin jack and an 8pin plug in the 8pin jack and got a display but the fan on the card spun really slowly barely giving any airflow! balls it i let it boot and installed the software off the disc, everything installed ok accept the display driver so had to download it of the ati site seperate. still the cooling system isnt running any faster. stuck crisis on and cranked settings to high and res to 1440x900 and it ran but no change in the cooling system, worried that the card will overheat i removed it and stuck the old cards back in. Any idea's?

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Re: Sigh. My Radeon HD3870X2 experience

Sat Feb 02, 2008 1:27 pm

JustAnEngineer wrote:
My MSI K8N Neo4 Platinum 1.0 board has the most up-to-date 1.D BIOS.


May have to wait for another update to come along.

If I recall some boards needed a bios update for the GX2 to run.
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Re: Sigh. My Radeon HD3870X2 experience

Sun Feb 03, 2008 7:13 am

manahelm wrote:
still the cooling system isnt running any faster. Any idea's?


ATI cards it seems have low rpm's set on the fan out of the box.
Example. My 1950 Pro runs at 40%
I use ATI Tray Tools to set fan speed when gaming.
As these cards are brand new, check to see if they are supported, but try ATI Tray Tools or Riva Tuner.
http://www.guru3d.com/article/atitraytools/189/
http://www.guru3d.com/index.php?page=rivatuner
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Re: Sigh. My Radeon HD3870X2 experience

Sun Feb 03, 2008 7:41 am

Is it possible to adjust PCIe voltage on your motherboard. Perhaps try bumping it up a notch?

I'm sure you've checked already, but is it possible the card isn't seated properly? I had a similar experience when I fitted a large Arctic Cooling cooler to a 9800XT a few years back. Although I'd managed to close the clip at the end of the AGP slot, when I looked really closely with a torch I'd actually broken the clip because the new cooler was being held off by one of the USB headers on the motherboard. One small mod to the USB header and a repair to the AGP clip later, and everything was fine. Might be worth a further careful check to be absolutely certain that there's nothing on the board that could be fouling the new card.
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Re: Sigh. My Radeon HD3870X2 experience

Mon Feb 04, 2008 10:06 am

ive tried reseating the card and altering pcie voltages but no joy, i also tried the ati tray tools but the fan part of the overclocking section said that there is no supporting hardware. the card obv has some sort of power fault power fault, shame i dont have a second motherboard to try it with:(. dabs who dont have any info(where i bought it) and the ati support level 2 tech was crap and didnt even try to come up with any solutions and told me to send it back doa so its going back tomorrow(tues). if any 1 else has any ideas untill then let me no any ill try them. thanks for your help!
 
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Re: Sigh. My Radeon HD3870X2 experience

Mon Feb 04, 2008 11:57 am

JAE, are you going to return the 3870x2 or get a new mobo or keep it in the living room PC?
 
JustAnEngineer
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Re: Sigh. My Radeon HD3870X2 experience

Mon Feb 04, 2008 8:40 pm

I'm still using the Radeon HD3870X2 with my motherboard and other components draped over the side of the case. :oops:

The fan spins up noisily for just a moment when booting, but then it becomes almost inaudible, even while playing 3D games. Temperature doesn't seem to be a problem.

I've ordered another ATX case so that I can transplant my micro-ATX RS482 motherboard into something large enough to hold the Radeon HD3870X2.
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manahelm
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Re: Sigh. My Radeon HD3870X2 experience

Tue Feb 05, 2008 7:20 am

i managed to test the card on a different mb and got exactly the same results as with mine. JAE, what temp on the catalyst control centre is the card running at? when i had it running i watched the temp on ccc and it went from 40degs to 60degs in 5mins!
 
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Re: Sigh. My Radeon HD3870X2 experience

Tue Feb 05, 2008 7:42 am

Most video cards will go from 40-60C in less than 5 mins when gaming....

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