Question Black screen after swapping graphics cards (Nvidia and AMD), why is that?

oliwanekenobi

Prominent
Jul 25, 2019
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Hello everyone,
I have been scratching my head on a problem for some days now and I resort to turn to you for help.

Here is a short description of the problem: I have installed a new graphics card (Sapphire Nitro+ 5700 XT SE) and I get a black screen (no POST, no Windows login screen) at launch.

Here is my current system:
  • Intel i7-950
  • ASUS Rampage Gene II
  • Nvidia GTX 970 (MSI)
  • 8 GB RAM (noname)
  • Samsung EVO 850 (250 GB) + Crucial MX500 1TB
  • PSU Antec VPF 550W 80+Bronze
  • Case is about as basic as basic gets
  • Screen is IIyama ProLite XUB3493WQSU-B1
Yes, the hardware is old, especially on the Motherboard/CPU side.

Current situation:
Everything is running fine with my GTX: POST, login screen, gaming, etc.

My first try:
Being naïve, I tried to install the AMD drivers without having the AMD card in. Of course, it didn’t work. Remember that I don’t have an iGPU, so I didn’t want to uninstall the Nvidia drivers and have no display output at all. Anyway.

Recall of the problem:
Plugged in DisplayPort, I do not see POST, Windows login, etc with the AMD card, it is working fine with the GTX.

Hypotheses and how I tackled the problem so far:
  • GPU not correctly plugged in. I plugged it so many times that it is unlikely that I plugged it wrong every time. At any rate, I hear the ‘clac’ when the card is secured in the slot. I can screw the card to the case up to the end, so I would say that the card is securely fastened. The LEDs and fans run too.
  • Display cable not correctly plugged in or defective. The DisplayPort is correctly plugged in. When I pull on the cable, it does not unplug. I have the feeling it is the same for HDMI. The cables cannot be defective as I use the same ones with the GTX.
  • Defective display output. I tried all DP and HDMI ports and I get the same results. Unlikely that all four ports are defective, in my opinion.
  • Not enough power provided by my PSU. With 550W, it might not be enough for serious gaming, but for launch and idle, I don’t think it draws that much power. My PSU has two 2x6+2 power delivery plugs, so I figure it is made for such a card. I tried with plugging only one of the two power plugs and the card did not start, so I conclude that the PSU is fine. The LEDs are on and the fans run.
  • I did not change anything else on the system, so it cannot be from Windows. At any rate, I should be able to POST, regardless of the state of Windows. I tried again with the GTX (without the drivers) and Windows was working fine.
  • Actually, I tried this first. The reason may be drivers and softwares. With such an old motherboard, dealing with two sets of PSU may be impossible, so I first a) tried to install the AMD drivers when my GTX was plugged. Of course, it didn’t work, what was I expecting? I then b) downloaded DDU from Guru3D and followed the instructions: start Windows in Safe Mode, uninstall the AMD drivers, restart, uninstall the Nvidia drivers, restart, uninstall the Nvidia drivers once more, shut down. All this with LAN not plugged in and no WiFi. Still no output.
  • Incompatibility between my motherboard and GPU. Normally, PCI-E is retro- and forward-compatible, but there are a few cases where it doesn’t work. My BIOS is not up to date (I have the just previous version that differs of 4 months with the latest), so I will try to update the BIOS and try again. However, pcpartspicker tells me that there is no incompatibility.
  • Last possibility: defective PSU altogether. Unfortunately, I cannot it as I do not have another computer here to try it. I may ask the vendor to send me another card (also refurbished) so I can try it, but well, that’s a long shot.
So, tell me what you think might be the problem.

Thanks in advance!

Best,
 
Last edited:

Lutfij

Titan
Moderator
550W is the wattage while Antec is the brand, you will need to mention the series off of which the PSU comes from and it's age. The likely culprit here would be the PSU since I'm assuming it's more than a decade old...and the 5700XT populating a PC will require the PC gets at 550W of power from the PSU, so if you will, you're going to need more power.

The other thing I would look at is to see if a BIOS update is pending but a motherboard of that age will usually have a non UEFI BIOS which today's GPU's don't like.
 

oliwanekenobi

Prominent
Jul 25, 2019
5
0
510
0
550W is the wattage while Antec is the brand, you will need to mention the series off of which the PSU comes from and it's age. The likely culprit here would be the PSU since I'm assuming it's more than a decade old...and the 5700XT populating a PC will require the PC gets at 550W of power from the PSU, so if you will, you're going to need more power.

The other thing I would look at is to see if a BIOS update is pending but a motherboard of that age will usually have a non UEFI BIOS which today's GPU's don't like.
Sorry for not putting the complete description of the system. The PSU is Antec VPF550 80+ Bronze. I updated the original post. I bought the PSU in 2016, I believe. Safe of issues with the PSU, won't a PC even boot with a weak PSU if the power draw is low?

Would you recommend upgrading the whole system, then? PSU+MB+CPU+RAM?

Thanks again for your replies.
 

oliwanekenobi

Prominent
Jul 25, 2019
5
0
510
0
550W is the wattage while Antec is the brand, you will need to mention the series off of which the PSU comes from and it's age. The likely culprit here would be the PSU since I'm assuming it's more than a decade old...and the 5700XT populating a PC will require the PC gets at 550W of power from the PSU, so if you will, you're going to need more power.

The other thing I would look at is to see if a BIOS update is pending but a motherboard of that age will usually have a non UEFI BIOS which today's GPU's don't like.
Update: after updating the BIOS, I managed to enter the BIOS with the new card. Should I conclude that the card is therefore not defective as well as the PSU not being the problem either?

After digging deeper into why it could not work I have encountered a few posts that deal with incompatibility issues between an old motherboard and a new GPU (Legacy BIOS and UEFI GPU, a topic you touched in your reply). See here, here and here. From what I understand, Nvidia seems to have better support for legacy BIOSes.

What is your opinion on this?
 

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