Problems with Sapphire graphics cards
I'm having problems with Sapphire's Radeon 9600 XT Ultimate graphics cards.
I recently decided to get a new graphics card, so I borrowed my friend's and as it worked fine, I bought one for myself. Howeever the card had some problems - in windows' startup it showed a couple of vertical blue lines but otherwise 2D graphics were ok. 3D graphics didn't work that well - lot of glitches, extra polygon mess etc. Note that this was on exactly the same setup that I tried my friend's same model card on (and had no problems whatsoever). I tried a lot of things to resolve the problem: updating the bios, new catalyst drivers from ati, new AGPt drivers from VIA, disabling agp fast write, limiting agp to 4x instead of 8x, raising the agp voltage and whatnot. After nothing of this worked, I went to BIOS and reset all the changes I had made - the result being that after boot, BIOS would run but after it the screen went blank.
At this point I gave up and took the card back to the shop. I was told that these things happen, most likely it's just a faulty card etc and I got a new one to replace it.
However, when I put in the new card, exactly the same thing happened. After boot, before windows startup everything is fine, but then screen goes black. From the hard drive's sounds I knew that windows DID start, I just got nothing on the screen - and after pressing Alt-F4 (and S from shutdown), the computer switched off as it should have. But when I tried to turn it on again, only the fans turned on and nothing happened.
I replaced the Sapphire card with an old one (nvidia riva2) and windows started with no problems whatsoever. But when I put in the Sapphire, the computer doesn't turn on. The card is somehow dead, and this was later confirmed when I tried the card in the aforementioned friend's setup and it had the same effect.
Now, does anyone know what the heck is going on ? Were the two cards I've tried BOTH faulty? Or was it just the first one and my system has somehow fried the second one - and if so, how come does the old Riva work fine ? Any ideas ?
I'm probably going back to the shop on monday to see if they'll replace the other card too. But before trying it, I'll start from scratch (format, reinstall windows etc)..
As a side note, I did add the other 512mb of memory at the same time as my first (bought) sapphire card. However, Memtest doesn't find any errors in the memory so it shouldn't be that..
Otherwise, my setup consists of:
Mainboard: MSI KT4 Ultra (VIA KT400 chipset)
Processor: Ahtlon XP 2000+
Memory: Total 1Gb of 333Mhz DDR
Hard drives: 2x Seagate barracuda, 80Gb (IDE)
edit: running on Windows XP Home