Friday, March 21, 2008

8800GT running on a DFI Lanpary UT nF4...

Yesterday my remaining XFX GeForce 7900GT (I was running two in SLI) started displaying graphical artefacts when using 3D applications. This meant I was in the market for a new video, but which one?

After some searching I found the best buy to be a GeForce 8800GT with a dual slot cooler. So I headed over to my local computer store and bought myself a Galaxy 8800GT. Athlough I did this knowing the card might not work with my current motherboard, a DFI Lanparty UT nF4 SLI-DR Expert. The reason being that it only has version 1.0a PCIe slots (from the information I've found).

Once I was back in front of my computer I removed the old nVidia video drivers, shut down the system and bagged the old XFX 7900GT. I then proceeded to installed the new Galaxy 8800GT in the first PCIe slot (which was running at 16x) and fired the system up. To my disappointment the only thing that happened was the sound of one long beep followed by three short beeps, informing me that the system had a video error. I double checked the connections of the two 6-pin PCIe power cables (which were fine) and made sure the video card was seated firmly in the PCIe slot (which it was). I then powered on the system again only to be greeted with the same sequence of error beeps. At this point I was thinking that a) it wasn't compatible with my system, b) my 535 watt Enermax power supply wasn't providing enough power or c) the card was DOA.

After checking the system would still boot with my old 7900GT I then tested the 8800GT again but this time using PCIe slot number 4, the second 16x slot (running at 2x). To my relief the system booted up and everything was working like normal. So it would seem that the first PCIe slot is incompatible with my 8800GT, but the fourth (second 16x slot) is fine. The only problem with this arrangement is that the fourth slot is limited to a maximum of 8x bandwidth, not the full 16x which the first PCIe slot provides (insert sad panda here).

So if you're have having problems running a GeForce 8800GT on a DFI Lanparty UT nF4 SLI-DR Expert, try installing it into the fourth PCIe slot (the second 16x). Just remember to set the bandwidth to SLI mode in the bios (8-0-4-8).

I've sent an email to DFI support detailing the problem. Hopefully they get back to me.

1 comment:

AstrO said...

Update: This turned out to be a problem with the Galaxy 8800GT. Whenever it was used in the first slot of either a Crossfire or SLI supported motherboard it would display the problems listed above. Once the card was replaced by Galaxy with a different revision, it worked perfectly (and still does).