Question Swapping Graphics Cards, No Output

Jrminot

Reputable
Jan 6, 2016
15
1
4,515
0
Hello All,

A friend of mine gave me his old Gaming Laptop. It is an Alienware desktop, still trying to figure out what model it is. Some of his components were direct upgrades to my desktop, so I removed the geforce 1070 graphics card and the intel i7 processor and swapped them out with my geforce 970 and intel i5 processor.

I have a little bit of experience building desktops, so I more or less knew what I was doing. I removed the heat syncs, used rubbing alcohol to clean the old thermal paste off, swapped the CPUs, applied new thermal paste, replaced the heat syncs, and then swapped out the graphics cards.

His 1070 didn't use the same 2x 6 pin connector that mine did, but the cable in his case had the cable there to do it.

After I got it all setup, when I boot the old alienware, all the fans spin up, I heard drive activity, and the monitors turn on, and then they turn back off shortly after that.

I suspect that the graphics card can't fully seat into the slot but I want to get a second opinion before I try to start cutting metal to make it fit:

View: https://imgur.com/s17d4Fd
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
Hello All,

A friend of mine gave me his old Gaming Laptop. It is an Alienware desktop
Those are mutually exclusive things. It can't be a laptop AND a desktop. Obviously though, it's a desktop.

Get a better picture of the model of the motherboard, or at least get the full model and post that here including the revision which I can see part of next to the model but not all of it.

Also, you can't just say "i7" or "i5" They are not all compatible, by a long shot. Even if they fit the same socket, there are many generations that will "fit" but will not be compatible based on the motherboard model and chipset, or the generation of the CPU.

What EXACT models of CPU are we talking about here?

While it's POSSIBLE you are right about the graphics card not being fully seated, it is MUCH more likely that since these Dell systems are largely proprietary, that we are talking about there being differences in the pinouts or wiring, or that the CPUs are simply not compatible with the other system. That is the MOST likely reason, and hopefully you didn't ruin anything by swapping them out, but if they are not compatible, I wouldn't hold my breath on that.

You cannot, for example, take a 7th Gen Intel CPU and put it in a 5th Gen Intel motherboard, or an 8th Gen Intel motherboard, and visa versa. Generally speaking Intel almost never has had more than two generations that shared compatibility with CPU models and when they did, there were ALWAYS BIOS update requirements for them to work, so that is a possibility as well even if the CPU model IS compatible. Chances are good though that unless they are from within the same generation that they are not compatible.
 
Last edited:

Jrminot

Reputable
Jan 6, 2016
15
1
4,515
0
Those are mutually exclusive things. It can't be a laptop AND a desktop. Obviously though, it's a desktop.

Get a better picture of the model of the motherboard, or at least get the full model and post that here including the revision which I can see part of next to the model but not all of it.

Also, you can't just say "i7" or "i5" They are not all compatible, by a long shot. Even if they fit the same socket, there are many generations that will "fit" but will not be compatible based on the motherboard model and chipset, or the generation of the CPU.

What EXACT models of CPU are we talking about here?

While it's POSSIBLE you are right about the graphics card not being fully seated, it is MUCH more likely that since these Dell systems are largely proprietary, that we are talking about there being differences in the pinouts or wiring, or that the CPUs are simply not compatible with the other system. That is the MOST likely reason, and hopefully you didn't ruin anything by swapping them out, but if they are not compatible, I wouldn't hold my breath on that.

You cannot, for example, take a 7th Gen Intel CPU and put it in a 5th Gen Intel motherboard, or an 8th Gen Intel motherboard, and visa versa. Generally speaking Intel almost never has had more than two generations that shared compatibility with CPU models and when they did, there were ALWAYS BIOS update requirements for them to work, so that is a possibility as well even if the CPU model IS compatible. Chances are good though that unless they are from within the same generation that they are not compatible.
Thanks for the reply.

Ok, doing some digging, it looks like the motherboard is an IPSKL-SC. I took out an Intel Core i7 6700 and put in an Intel Core i5 6500
 

Jrminot

Reputable
Jan 6, 2016
15
1
4,515
0
Right. Those are compatible with the same socket and chipsets.

So, are both systems not working after swapping hardware, or just one of them?
Just the IPSKL-SC system. I found out that I can remove the (not sure what it's called exactly) faceplate on the graphics card, which allowed me to test seating it better. That did not seem to solve the issue.

When I power on, everything starts spinning up, I get harddrive lights, fans on the Graphics card and case spin, monitor powers on, but then after a few seconds, monitor goes back into standby mode and shuts off.
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
Do you mean the backplate?

So, I'm assuming you DID connect the required auxiliary power cables to the graphics card and that you connected the video cables to the graphics card output, and not the motherboard output? Double check that.

In fact, double check EVERYTHING listed here:


If that fails to turn up anything, then I'd try doing a hard reset.

BIOS Hard Reset procedure

Power off the unit, switch the PSU off and unplug the PSU cord from either the wall or the power supply.

Remove the motherboard CMOS battery for five minutes. In some cases it may be necessary to remove the graphics card to access the CMOS battery.

During that five minutes, press the power button on the case, continuously, for 30 seconds. After the five minutes is up, reinstall the CMOS battery making sure to insert it with the correct side up just as it came out.

If you had to remove the graphics card you can now reinstall it, but remember to reconnect your power cables if there were any attached to it as well as your display cable.

Now, plug the power supply cable back in, switch the PSU back on and power up the system. It should display the POST screen and the options to enter CMOS/BIOS setup. Enter the bios setup program and reconfigure the boot settings for either the Windows boot manager or for legacy systems, the drive your OS is installed on if necessary.

Save settings and exit. If the system will POST and boot then you can move forward from there including going back into the bios and configuring any other custom settings you may need to configure such as Memory XMP, A-XMP or D.O.C.P profile settings, custom fan profile settings or other specific settings you may have previously had configured that were wiped out by resetting the CMOS.

In some cases it may be necessary when you go into the BIOS after a reset, to load the Optimal default or Default values and then save settings, to actually get the hardware tables to reset in the boot manager.

It is probably also worth mentioning that for anything that might require an attempt to DO a hard reset in the first place, IF the problem is related to a lack of video signal, it is a GOOD IDEA to try a different type of display as many systems will not work properly for some reason with displayport configurations. It is worth trying HDMI if you are having no display or lack of visual ability to enter the BIOS, or no signal messages.

Trying a different monitor as well, if possible, is also a good idea if there is a lack of display. It happens.
 

Jrminot

Reputable
Jan 6, 2016
15
1
4,515
0
OK, some more info.

I double checked everything you posted and performed several full resets. I found out the trouble system is an Alienware Aurora R5. I exhibited the following behaviors even after 3 CMOS/power resets, a couple of which I extended the times you recommended (hold down for 2 minutes), let sit without CMOS 20+ minutes, etc.

  1. With the graphics card in and both 6 pin connectors plugged in: Powers on, fans spin, no video output. After several seconds, the power light on the front of the system goes from blue to yellow and pulses 5 times, waits, and then repeats.
  2. If I plug in just 1 of the 6 pin connectors (on on the right looking from the top) I get video output after power on that says "Please power down and connect the PCIe Power Cable(s) for this graphics card.
  3. If I take out the graphics can and use a display port to plug into (what I assume is) the onboard graphics, the system powers on, waits, then shuts down, Then loops.
This makes me thing a power issue? I notice now (and can be seen in the picture I posted earlier) that there is a GPU_PWR slot on the board. The cable plugged into it appears to be an 8 pin, but I only see 4 cables coming from it. Also, the the original 1070 that was in the system was powered by 1x6 pin and 1x2 pin instead of the 2x6 that I am trying to use now.
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
Pull the CPU and check for bent pins on the motherboard. Even one bent pin can cause a variety of problems.

Pull every connection and reattach them.

Pull the RAM and reseat it, assuming you have two DIMMs installed, make sure they are installed in the two DIMM slots with white locks, which are the A2 and B2 slots located in the 2nd and 4th positions over from the CPU socket.

IDK though. Do you know for sure that it ran with the GTX 1070 and i7 installed? If it did, then I'd suspect it almost has to be a bent pin on the motherboard as that graphics card has the same power requirement as the GTX 970.
 

Jrminot

Reputable
Jan 6, 2016
15
1
4,515
0
Pull the CPU and check for bent pins on the motherboard. Even one bent pin can cause a variety of problems.

Pull every connection and reattach them.

Pull the RAM and reseat it, assuming you have two DIMMs installed, make sure they are installed in the two DIMM slots with white locks, which are the A2 and B2 slots located in the 2nd and 4th positions over from the CPU socket.

IDK though. Do you know for sure that it ran with the GTX 1070 and i7 installed? If it did, then I'd suspect it almost has to be a bent pin on the motherboard as that graphics card has the same power requirement as the GTX 970.
Yeah it was running fine with those two installed. I need to grab some more thermal paste, I'll reseat everything today and see if that does anything.
 
Reactions: Darkbreeze

Jrminot

Reputable
Jan 6, 2016
15
1
4,515
0
Pull the CPU and check for bent pins on the motherboard. Even one bent pin can cause a variety of problems.

Pull every connection and reattach them.

Pull the RAM and reseat it, assuming you have two DIMMs installed, make sure they are installed in the two DIMM slots with white locks, which are the A2 and B2 slots located in the 2nd and 4th positions over from the CPU socket.

IDK though. Do you know for sure that it ran with the GTX 1070 and i7 installed? If it did, then I'd suspect it almost has to be a bent pin on the motherboard as that graphics card has the same power requirement as the GTX 970.
OK, took way longer than expected but I have an update.

I reseated the CPU and I'm not sure if that did it or I just figured out the right combo, but I now can get display out of the Motherboard at least. I had to fix up my boot and reinstall windows (something I needed to do anyways) and I'm now typing this from the trouble computer.

I still don't get any output from the graphics card. I just installed speccy and it even looks like it sees the graphics card:
Graphics
Monitor
Name DELL U2412M on Intel HD Graphics 530
Current Resolution 1920x1200 pixels
Work Resolution 1920x1160 pixels
State Enabled, Primary
Monitor Width 1920
Monitor Height 1200
Monitor BPP 32 bits per pixel
Monitor Frequency 59 Hz
Device \\.\DISPLAY5\Monitor0
Intel HD Graphics 530
Manufacturer Intel
Model HD Graphics 530
Device ID 8086-1912
Revision 7
Subvendor Dell (1028)
Current Performance Level Level 0
Current GPU Clock 0 MHz
Voltage 0.862 V
Driver version 27.20.100.8681
Count of performance levels : 1
Level 1 - "Perf Level 0"
GPU Clock 997 MHz
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970
Manufacturer NVIDIA
Model GeForce GTX 970
Device ID 10DE-13C2
Revision A2
Subvendor EVGA (3842)
Current Performance Level Level 0
Current GPU Clock 135 MHz
Current Memory Clock 324 MHz
Current Shader Clock 324 MHz
Voltage 0.862 V
Technology 28 nm
Bus Interface PCI Express x8
Temperature 35 °C
Driver version 26.21.14.3200
BIOS Version 84.04.36.00.70
Memory 4095 MB
Count of performance levels : 1
Level 1 - "Perf Level 0"
GPU Clock 135 MHz
Shader Clock 324 MHz
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
Well, looks like you are good to go now then. Sometimes that's all it takes, like I said, is taking things apart and putting them back together, apparently, no different than they were the first time. I've literally done this HUNDREDS of times on systems that weren't working, and had it fix the problem. Sometimes one connection or the other simply isn't making good contact or something is cocked, whatever. Glad it's sorted now for you though.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY