Question GTX 970 suddenly causing failure to boot?

Apr 6, 2021
I have an ASUS Prime X470-Pro motherboard with a Ryzen 5 3600. This PC is used mostly as an emulation and streaming box by the kids.

It has an EVGA GeForce GTX 970 4GB FTW edition in it and up until a couple of weeks ago had been working just fine. No crashes no hiccups. This is no longer the case. She won't boot.

The LEDs on the motherboard would light up when the power supply was on, but pressing the system power resulted in no boot. No beeps, no boops, nothing. The power supply fan would twitch like it was about to spin, but then nothing. Motherboard lights would stay on, no case fans would turn on and obviously no display activity. The case itself was pristine. No dust in there since it lives in an open cubby away from any foot traffic.

I initially thought it was the PSU, so I bought a new one. Same problem. Hit the case power and the PSU fan would twitch but not spin, and then nothing.

So I replaced the motherboard with an exact copy. No dice.

By process of elimination, it turns out the video card is the culprit. Without it installed, the PC will "boot" in the sense that all the fans start to spin and everything seems normal, but I just have no display output. Now unfortunately I don't have any extra video cards laying around the house and it's apparently impossible to purchase a halfway decent one for less than $2k right now, so I turn to you, oh enthusiasts, to see if there are any suggestions on possible fixes. I am willing to take the card apart and tinker, but my Googlefu is failing me. 99% of the threads I can find about "video card no boot!" involve people not having it plugged in correctly. A few say it was a BIOS issue, but this PC worked just fine a couple weeks ago and never in my 30 years of using custom-built PCs have I had a video card prevent a computer from booting. Clearly fried with pink screens and artifacts and crashes? Sure. Preventing boot? Never.

Unfortunately the Ryzen 5 3600 doesn't have any onboard graphics capability so I can't use that to even verify if the BIOS is up to date.

Anyone with some expertise in computer repair have a suggestion here? I'd also settle for a link to a reasonably priced card that will work hand in hand with a Ryzen 5 3600 to play some modernish PC couch co-op games on decent 1080p settings and have enough power to handle Wii U emulation. This is a PC that lives in the living room and won't be doing any serious gaming.

Thank you for reading my novel.


Welcome to the forums, newcomer!

How did you come to the conclusion that the GPU is the issue? To me it seems like the PSU might not be capable of delivering power to all components in your system.

Could you please list the specs to your system like so:

Include the PSU's you've tried in order to revive the system. Not just wattage but the make and model and if possible their age.
Apr 6, 2021
Thank you for the response. Here's what I have:

CPU: Ryzen 5 3600
Motherboard: ASUS Prime X470-Pro
Ram: Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2 X 8GB) DDR4 3600 (PC4-28800)
SSD/HDD: Kingston Digital 120GB SSDNow V300
PSU: (Prior working config: Antec EA-650 Earthwatts 650W 80 Plus CERT)
New PSU: (Same symptoms: GAMEMAX RGB850 850W Fully Modular 80+ Gold Certified)
Chassis: non-descript Corsair brand mid tower, I don't have an exact model. I also tried booting the system without it being mounted to the case, though. Same result.
OS: Windows 10 Professional, official license

I initially though Power Supply as well, which is why that was the first thing I tried to replace.

The reason I decided it must be the GPU was because I replaced both the power supply and motherboard only to have the same problem. I tried to boot without memory in it or any SATA devices installed too, and it wasn't until last night that I tried to boot with no GPU installed at all and then it behaved somewhat normally. Though again, since this CPU doesn't have on-board graphics capabilities I can't be certain. But instead of only having the PSU fan twitch and stop and otherwise no other fans spinning up, the full motherboard and case will spin up without the GPU installed. There's a small chance that I might have a 10 year old graphics card in a forgotten box in the basement somewhere, otherwise the only spare card I can try is a 2070 Super. Pulling that out of my primary rig doesn't excite me at all.

One thing I tried with the new PSU is to power the graphics card using a single cable with two PCIE connectors, and again with two separate PCIE cables coming from the PSU. No difference in result.

Here is the exact behavior: When I turn on the PSU toggle switch, the motherboard LEDs will do their glowy thing. When I press the case power button and the PSU fan will twitch like it wants to turn on, but it immediately stops and at no point do any of the other fans start to spin. Holding down the power button like you'd do to turn a computer off does nothing, I have to kill the toggle switch on the PSU and after 4 or 5 seconds the motherboard goes dark again.

When the GPU was taken out, pressing the case power button results in the PSU spinning and lighting up its own RGB display, and all the other case fans spin and light up like a normal boot. Pressing and holding down the case power button will properly shut the system down.