Jump to content
Corsair Community

HX520 and Sapphire x1950 GT [AGP Version]


stuartambient

Recommended Posts

I am attempting to bump up an older system and purchased the Sapphire x1950GT agp version. I presently have a Vantec 420W psu in the system and could not provide enough power for the card to achieve any stability.

 

I searched out NewEgg psu's by best rating and saw that the HX620 and 520 both had had volume of reviewers and best overall scores. Perhaps I shouldn't give that much credibility to newegg user comments :D: Anyway, I ordered the HX520 yesterday and NOW i go back to the Sapphire forums and notice that the moderators are saying they have seen a high amount of users having problems using the card with the Corsair PSU's.

 

Here is a more recent comment I found:

Sapphire or ATI ain't got a problem with them, a LOT of end users have - that's the beef.

 

The 520W unit is rated at 40A @ 12V over THREE rails .. and it's a MAX value NOT sustained/continuous .. that works out to 13A Max per rail. That's from the spec sheet on the manufacturer's website.

 

Now in another post at the Sapphire post there has been admittedly people with successful setups using Corsair. I don't believe my system is demanding on power at this point. 3 IDE drives, 1 DVD, P4 Northwood.

 

So now I'm wondering what to do, with probably a limited time to cancel my order and choose something else or take my chances and hope for success. I did poke around here on the forums and found a few responses indicating that there was enough power in these PSU's to handle the card. However, aside from the "shoulds", I'm wondering if anyone actually is using a Sapphire 900 series card with success ?

 

I would appreciate any important comments or feedback. Thank you.

 

stuartambient

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wouldn't be too worried; the person who posted that comment on the Saphire site obviously hasn't a clue as to how to interpret power supply spec. data. In order to interpret power supply spec. data, one needs to know how the supply was designed. For example, the HX520 is actually based on a single whopper 40amp single rail that has 3 "rails" split off from it. Most of the high-end supplies are designed this way (at least until you hit monster supplies in say the 800watt range and up where you'll start to see usefull true independent +12volt rails capable of supplying what they're claiming for amperage on the spec sheets). The more important question to ask, if a supply is based on a single rail design, is how much can any single line/rail draw from the the single +12volt amperage pool. In the case of the HX520, that's up to but not over 36 amps (leaving some amperage for the other rails). I don't know what the other Saphire users are posting for problems associated with the x1950gt on the Saphire site, but I seriously doubt any of them are due to insufficient power from an HX520.

 

ps: there are some lower wattage supplies that are capable of supplying the amperage they're claiming with a split rail design, but they're all high-end units from reputable manufacturers judging from power supply reviews I've seen.

 

ps2: there are a few motherboards out there with early versions of a BIOS that have problems with bigger supplies. The problem revolves around the amount of time the board's BIOS has been programmed to wait for the power good signal from the supply to be returned when a system boots up. If the value for the wait time is too short, the system won't boot. The usual fix for this is to temporarily slap in a lesser back-up supply or temporarily borrow a supply and update the BIOS.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Don't worry. The guys over at the Sapphire Forums blame everything on PSUs, They seem to be fond of bashing Corsair and Seasonic PSUs too. So they don't have a clue.

 

I've had a Sapphire X1950 Pro AGP card, and I had trouble with it. And I wasn't running a Corsair or Seasonic PSU then.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 months later...

My Sapphire's problems made me buy a new power supply during trouble shooting and I picked my darling HX-620W (destiny?). Only to find out that I still have the same problem. After long research, I found out there isn't one problem with this particular 512MB AGP card but two:

1. The card (especially first version with fan closer to molex connectors) has poor thermal design (Sapphire of course blames ATI) and VRM modules get too hot and shut down. See Ultimate model by Sapphire that has a beefy heatsink just for couple VRMs. The weirdest was that this happened mostly during idle (fan slows down, poor contact on stock heatsink leads to overheating of the VRMs while my GPU was idling at "pleasant" 58 C (not even speaking it was reaching "perfectly stable" 85 C under load). My fix was Zalman VF-900 and temps dropped to 38/50, cut the stock heatsink right under the fan, so I could use the Zalman RAM heatsinks and used the cut piece w/ factory protrusions with some 3M thermal pad and bolt it with original screws. Don't forget to discard that ugly fan and that travesty, good for nothing stock heatsink.

2. The card is not stable at AGP 8x in this mobo (Via K9MM-V). Whether it's ATI, or VIA the bug is called "infinite loop error" and BSOD stop 0xEA. Same card is stable in my nforce2(which has AGP voltage setting which I had to 1.6v since my 6600GT), so my conclusion is the VIA mobo undervolts the AGP. No voltage settings so no fix other than drop through SMARTGART to AGP 4x. Small performance hit- mostly panning is affected. BTW the card works perfectly fine with 4 years old Antec 450W w/ Fuhhjyy capacitors ;) So No,it's not the power supply that has a problem with Sapphire

I'm sorry for the long story but this coincidence made me get my 620w friend for which I'm truly thankful. Corsair has been good to me and it's Sapphire's "engineers" that should go to school. That said I wouldn't trust their forums either.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For the record, the VRM problem on Sapphire cards has been widely experienced by people, unfortunately it seems like Sapphire itself did not want to acknowledge it.

 

Remember everyone who may wonder about this in the future: Before going off with bad advice about getting a new and possibly overspecced PSU, for heavens sake, DO investigate the problem further. Most of the time the problem lies elsewhere.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...