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Discussion Starter #1
I'm upgrading my 4 y.o. C2D system to Windows 7 and part of the UG is a new video card. So I uninstall the drivers and remove the old card from system devices. Put in the new card, turn the power on, and nothing happens. No boot menu to either the new card or to the onboard video. No beeps to tell me it's booting. Don't even get to the BIOS menu.

Power down, and try it with the old video card and no card, and it boots with either (albeit to very basic VGA display).

Is the card either dead, or incompatible for some reason?

Computer uses DDR2 memory while the card uses DDR3. Is this a possible cause? The card is 512MB and is supposed to be able to use a further 512MB of RAM to make use of 1GB total for video memory. I upgraded the video card as I am getting a new RAW converter that harnesses GPU power.
 

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I think you have a BIOS set up issue.

I would remove the new Graphics card and boot back into the BIOS. Look for settings regarding Onboard graphics (turn off), shared memory and initial display (set to PCI-e).
 

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Power?

Additionally, make sure that you are providing sufficient power to the video card - as most now need to be directly wired to the PS.
 

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Good Point Norman. Definitely need power!
 

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Try resetting the BIOS back to defaults. I kind of doubt it's a BIOS issue but it is possible. First off, make sure the new card has PCIe power connected if required. That will be a 6 pin connector at the back of the card. There could even be two for a high powered card. Most cards will not let the system boot if it requires PCIe power and none is connected. Second, make sure the power supply is large enough. Many new cards specify a 650w or larger PS to operate. Even some of the mid-powered cards, like the nVidia 460, specify a fairly large PS.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Problem solved albeit not optimally.

BIOS was set to PCI-E card as that was what was coming out. No options for switching shared memory.

Card is fairly low-power as it has no fan (deliberately choose such cards) and no power connectors from PS (didn't even know such cards existed).

Work around was:

Took the Sapphire HD Radeon 4570 card out of the 2 y.o. Dell Vostro 220 (300W p/s) and put in this Powercolor 5450. Computer booted fine and didn't require manual installation of new drivers (in Vista x86) as the 4570 and 5450 drivers are the same. UG'd the HTPC to Win 7 x64 and it works fine.

Took the Sapphire 4570 and put it into the HP a1720n (4 y.o.) after taking out the nVidia 6200 card. The HP booted just fine and installed the Vista x86 drivers. Will UG to Win 7 x64 later.

Not sure what the incompatibility was. Both video cards were 512MB and I believe both use shared memory (as did the nVidia 6200 card which is 128MB).
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Final word from tech support at Tul (Powercolor manufacturer)

" This is mostly caused by that your Mainboard does not support newer AMD(ATI) VGA card, please contact your Mainboard and ask them for a BIOS update, thanks."
 

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BIOS updates can usually be downloaded from the motherboard maker's site. Be very careful to get the right version and follow update instructions carefully. A failed BIOS update can render the motherboard unusable.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Forgot to add that I had updated the BIOS, but the most recent version is still nearly 3 years old.

I guess most video card manufacturers expect you to have fairly current MB.
 

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Two or three year old BIOS versions are not uncommon. Even with newer motherboards, the BIOS is often a year or two old and more recent updates merely add new CPU processor support. As long as the physical bus and version are compatible, there should be few issues. Bleeding edge hardware probably has more compatibility issues than older stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I wouldn't call my hardware bleeding edge (presumably you are facetiously calling leading edge). The MB is an Asus board but appears to have the most current BIOS. The board first came out in 2006 and the most up-to-date Bios is 2008. The display card is a 5000 series ATI so it isn't that new. For what ever reasons, the 4000 series ATI card works but the 5000 won't. Both cards are PCI-E and I thought memory allocation conflicts are something of the prehistoric/primeval past.
 

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It's probably just a fluke, like something a little out of spec on the motherboard, video card or both. Stuff like this is not that common but it does happen occasionally. I've seen it happen more frequently with RAM but it can happen with any component.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I wonder if the older PC with the ASUS MB just doesn't like the 5450 with DDR3 memory (it has DDr2 DRAM). Both the 4570 and 5450 cards have 512MB.
 
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