Video card upgrade on S2885 Thunder K8W?

Discussion in 'Tyan' started by wheelercode, Mar 12, 2006.

  1. wheelercode

    wheelercode Guest


    I've got the following setup:

    Motherboard: TYAN S2885 Thunder K8W
    Processors: 2x AMD Operon 248 2.19 GHz
    Video: NVIDIA Quadro FX3000 256MB AGP 8x
    Sound: Sound Blaster Audigy series

    with 2 gigs memory and an ample power supply, plus a TV capture card

    blazing smoothly until recently my video card took a nose dive while
    gaming (I was playing Battlefront 2 at that particular moment). All of
    a sudden the screen became polluted with bars of false colors and high
    speed polygon noise all over the scene. Finally the system just
    crashed and I was able to reboot only to find severe screen distortion
    on the desktop, when the system crashed again... fatally.

    So I went down and picked up a decent ATI x1300 256MB video card and
    rebooted with no problems, but anytime I tried to start a game the
    system crashes (no blue screen, just an instant video lockup, usually
    followed by an automatic shutdown, otherwise a necessary manual one).

    I returned the ATI card and bought an NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GS as it was
    a better card that more closely matched the series on the TYAN
    recommendation chart. Again, the system rebooted normally upon
    installation yet had severe problems when starting a game.

    The game would load all the way through splash screens, menus, etc...
    until finally a map was loaded and 3D rendering began. As soon as the
    first frame renders, the video freezes and either crashes (powers off)
    or just stays frozen.

    Anyone have any of the newer video cards running on the S2885?

    Thanks for any info.

    wheelercode, Mar 12, 2006
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  2. wheelercode

    Paul Guest

    I think we need proof it is an ample power supply :)
    You should have stated brand/model number for the supply, plus
    given a full hardware inventory (got a lot of hard drives ?).

    If it was my computer, I'd start with the basics. Obviously,
    you need to get the system on its feet again. It sounds like
    it will run OK as long as you don't do 3D. Get a copy of
    memtest86+ (, and make sure the memory has not
    failed on you. Memtest86+ is not a perfect memory tester,
    but it will find static "bad spots" in the memory.

    The second program I would get, is Prime95 ( There
    is some option, to set affinity with Prime95, but I prefer to
    just run the Linux version from my Knoppix boot CD. If you
    create separate launch directories, you can start multiple
    copies. Maybe the current version of Prime95 has more control
    over which core it runs on. I only have single CPU systems,
    so cannot help there. In any case, you want to run the
    "Torture Test" option, as it does a calculation with a known
    answer. When I run multiple copies, I give fixed memory
    allocations, so a large percentage of available memory
    gets tested. (Like four copies, each one with 25% of available

    While Prime95 has the system pegged, get a copy of whatever
    software can access your hardware monitor chip. SpeedFan is
    one such program ( Maybe Tyan provides a monitoring
    app. Look for PSU voltages that are more than 5% off from the
    nominal value. Unfortunately, monitor chips don't monitor all
    voltages, so you cannot see everything this way.

    It sounds like your problem is power related, and maybe the
    system will "fall over" while you are Prime testing.

    Is there a funny smell coming from the PSU ? Can you hear any
    abnormal noises coming from the PSU, or from the Vcore
    regulator(s) on the motherboard ? You need to use all your
    senses, to debug without the aid of expensive test equipment.

    Which of the three power connectors have you connected ?
    The EPS12V shows four pins as "12V3" in the manual, and if you
    connect a power supply that splits those pins into two groups,
    then the motherboard will be shorting the two outputs together.
    I hope your PSU is on the compatibility list, as documentation
    in this area, from a motherboard and PSU perspective, tends
    to leave a lot to be desired.

    Paul, Mar 15, 2006
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