Beep beeeeep bang!
August 31, 2008 8:59 AM   Subscribe

Please help me put a friends PC together. Right now I'm getting error codes.

I have the following hardware:
a] ASUS P5N-E motherboard.
b] ASUS EAH 4870 graphics card.
c] Arctic Power 700w PSU.

The problem I have right now is that I'm getting a "1 long 3 short" beep code, which after Googling turns out to be a problem with the video. I figure that I need to connect the 6 pin jack from the PSU to one of the adapters on the graphics card itself. But, I'm not 100% sure that this is correct (only 99%), and I'm not sure which one it has to be. The PSU only comes with one 6 pin jack, whereas the graphics card itself has two adapters. The manual that came with the card was useless - it only showed how to insert the card into the relevant slot.

I'm a bit nervous about potentially frying something, as it's not my kit, and it's going to be very expensive to replace. Can you confirm that a] I'm doing the right thing in connecting a 6-pin jack from the PSU to the graphics card, and b] which adapter it should go into (and whether or not it matters)?
posted by Solomon to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: My guess is you need power to both connectors. If that's right, you'll need an adapter to connect the other 6-pin jack:
see this.
posted by drmarcj at 9:05 AM on August 31, 2008

Best answer: Yes, the 6-pin jack is a PCI-E power supply specifically for high-power graphics cards.

Your problem here is not "which port on the graphics card do I need to connect it to", it's "The PSU only has one 6-pin cable and the card needs two" - you need to connect 6-pin power cables to both connectors on the card.

There are a couple of ways to do this, but the simplest is get hold of a 4-pin Molex (that's the old Hard Drive connector) to 6-pin PCI-E adaptor - somewhere like Maplins should sell them - one like this, in fact.
posted by Nice Guy Mike at 9:14 AM on August 31, 2008

Best answer: Also, if your video card has two 6-pin power connections it also wants those to come from 2 different 12v rails, make sure both connections come from separate lines out of the power supply.
posted by Cosine at 12:20 PM on August 31, 2008

Best answer: The 4870 definitely requires both pci-e 6 pin power plugs to be powered. The power draw of the card is about 10W more than a single 6 pin cable + the pci-e slot itself can provide, so it requires both to be connected, and will not function until they are as a safety feature.

I'm rather suprised you didn't get a double molex to 6 pin adapter or two in the cables than came with the card. The simplest option, and one that will work well enough is to buy the molex to 6 pin adapter linked above; or you can replace the power supply for one with two 6 pin leads, if that's more convenient.

Don't worry about frying it; the 6 pin leads are used solely for powering high-end graphic cards.
posted by ArkhanJG at 3:29 PM on August 31, 2008

ATI cards used to have a very helpful splash page that would appear on POST whenever you made a mistake with the power connections. If I recall, it explained exactly what the problem was and what you had to do. Maybe they got rid of that helpful screen, but maybe it is a different problem...

So, other things to play with, none particularly likely really..
There are BIOS settings for primary and secondary graphics card, the board might prefer to be in one or the other of the two PCI-E x16 slots, and there is that dual-video/single-video adapter to play with.
posted by Chuckles at 4:49 PM on August 31, 2008

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