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MCP61PM-GM mobo Pci Express problem.

Hello all

I have a MCP61PM-GM motherboard that isn't recognizing anything in the PCI Express 16  slot.  (Only one on the mobo)  I have tried two different cards.  I have checked, and it is an eMachines ET1161-03 computer motherboard made by ECS.  

The BIOS is Phoenix Award WorkstationBIOS v6.00 PG.
and the numbers are 07/31/2008-MCP61PM-GM-6A61KCDHC-00

This motherboard works flawless in all other respects.  I have Vista 32 on it and all of the latest drivers.  I recently updated them all.  They are mostly nVidia as it has the GeForce 6150SE/Nforce 430 single-chip MCP61S "chipset."

I wanted to upgrade the video for gaming and multimedia, and with a card that has HDMI on it so that I could move it to my greatroom and use it with my HD tv, and drop my HD cable as it's too costly.  Use NetFlix and online TV instead of cable, don't need all the extra channels anyway.

This PC came with 250 watt PSU, but I upgraded it to a 300 watt.  I've seen online that other people have had problems getting this mobo to recognize anything in the PCIx 16 slot.

I don't think the slot is bad, as the card fan powers on fine and there does seem to be a little delay and blank screen for a bit on the other onboard video at boot.  

Maybe need to update BIOS?  PSU need to be bigger?  

Any help appreciated.

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wgenglan
Asked:
wgenglan
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4 Solutions
 
xemaCommented:
Wich video card?
It may need an external power source as the slot can't provide enough power.
Also depending on the video card 300W may be too small
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wgenglanAuthor Commented:
I had tried a MSI N430 GT.  I had also tried a Gigabyte GT240 card.  I haven't seen
a connector for external power on either card, but maybe I overlooked one.  I'll check that,
and you may be right about the PSU, but 300W should work for the  430 GT though it is
the minimum requirement.  I do think a 350 would be better for the GT240 card, which was
better recommended.  I had put a 350W in, but for some reason, it wouldn't power on with
this mobo, but works fine on another.  I only had a 300W available besides the 350W, and
they were both the same brand and type (ATX).  

I'll report back in a little while about card power...
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wgenglanAuthor Commented:
I checked both cards again, and no connectors found on the cards.  Would there be a connector
on the mobo for power to the PCI Express slot?  I haven't seen that, but anything is possible.  I
didn't see one on the diagrams for the board I looked at on the Gateway site.  
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jamietonerCommented:
In the bios change the primary video adapter from onboard to pci-e.
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wgenglanAuthor Commented:
That was done, but no go.  I'm thinking I need a bios update, as the current one is 7/31/2008.

I've been checking for updates occasionally, but have yet to find one I can be sure is right.

I'm wary of BIOS flashing unless that is the answer.  I'd rather keep what I have working if I
can't get the add-on slot to work.  Other than that it has been trouble-free, and when it ain't broke, it don't need fixin'.
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xemaCommented:
Did some research
MSI N430 GT, PCI Express x16 2.0
Gigabyte GT240, PCI-E 2.0
MCP61PM-GM, One PCI Express ×16
your chip NVIDIA MCP61S
nVidia PCIe 2 support started with the MCP72
You need a PCIe V1.0 or 1.1 video card, your trying a V2.0 on a 1.x slot
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wgenglanAuthor Commented:
Yes, but the information on the box of the MSI N430GT says that the card is will work in either version of the slot, PCI-E v1.0 or PCI-E 2.0.  Check me on that.  I have the box, but maybe MSi is wrong, too.

After checking out the info on the Gigabyte card, the GT240 based one, I see that it's specs call for PCI-E v2.0, and for at least 450W power supply.  I knew it might be low power, but since I was unsure of the PCI-E version on my board, I had tried it first.  

Could I have damaged the PCI-E slot by trying it first?  Usually such damage shows up as major boot errors and entire mobo failures.  

I see now that I shouldn't  even expect that one to work if it isn't PCI-E V1.0 capable and my PSU is less than at least 400W.

If I had another PCI-E card that I knew was good and should work with V1.0, not require so much power, I could tell if the slot at least would work.  Failing that, I am somewhat shooting blind.

Still, according to everything on the box of the MSi card, I should at least get something.

I'm thinking I may just need to get at least a 450W PS and then see what I get.  That may be a while, so anything else you guys can suggest in the meantime that would be safe to try?
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wgenglanAuthor Commented:
Okay, took a closer look at all of the power info concerning the MSI 430 card and my system, and here is what I found:

MSI spec calls for at least 22A on the +12V rail, and possibly as much as 36A, depending on the
system and components installed.  Either way, my PS, while 300W rated, only has a 10A rating on the +12V rail, so I will definitely need a new power supply before I test the MSI card again.  That it even looks like the system might be trying to detect it with what I have now, is almost miraculous.

So a PS is one of the options I am looking at.  
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nobusCommented:
you can always calculate the power you need here : http://www.antec.outervision.com/

as for the compatibility, wiki says :    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PCI_Express
PCIe 2.0 motherboard slots are fully backward compatible with PCIe v1.x cards. PCIe 2.0 cards are also generally backward compatible with PCIe 1.x motherboards, using the available bandwidth of PCI Express 1.1. Overall, graphic cards or motherboards designed for v2.0 will work with the other being v1.1 or v1.0.
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wgenglanAuthor Commented:
Thank you all.  I will try a new 450-500 W power supply with the MSI card, then maybe try the Gigabyte card if the MSI card works.  Just to see if both cards are good.

If nothing works, then I will probably wait till I get a new PC before moving one to my great room.  I could go ahead as the TV has a VGA input, but I've tested it and the quality is nowhere as good as an HDMI, of course.  

The PC I have is at least 5 years old now, so a new one probably is in order.
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nobusCommented:
tx for the feedback - what did the calculator give as result?  leave always at least 50 W margin, for other devices (usb..)
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wgenglanAuthor Commented:
nobus,  the calculator showed a minimum of 556 W with a couple extra cards installed.  I really can only install 1 PCIe x1 card more, and I included a couple to account for the onboard stuff, plus I included the onboard video as I will probably use dual monitor capability some.  The cpu I have is rated at no more than 89W with an idle of 82W I think.  

Update on the results of using new 550W power supply and video cards.  Both cards worked with the new power supply, and I decided to use the Gigabyte GT 240 card as it has better performance. I tried out a Tombraider Underworld demo at full settings, and it performed excellently.  No lag time anywhere, and all effects, anti-alias, max resolution, etc.

Checked the system health in BIOS setup and if anything the system was cooler with the new PSU. (37C system and 40C CPU.  Both fans about 1150 rpm more or less).

The new PSU is a Dynex.  Has a fan nearly as large as the big side of the PSU and is on the bottom, and draws a lot of air through it, but is very quiet.  I am not using anywhere near all of the connectors it has.  The +12  V rail has up to 34A capacity, so base on the card requirements, I should be good.

Anyway, I now know that with my system, I should absolutely use no less than a 500W PSU, with 550W being better.  

One last note for anyone with this mobo:  You absolutely must have BOTH 4 pin connectors plugged in to use the PCIe x16 slot.  At the main power there is a 24 pin socket and some PSU's are 20+4 plug setup, some just 20 pin with one 4 pin plug.  The CPU usually requires it's 4-pin plug, and to use the PCIe x 16 slot you must have a 24 pin power plug configuration.  So this requires 2 4-pin plugs in my case as I have the 20+4 power plug configuration.

Hope this all helps someone else down the line, and again thank you all for your help.
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nobusCommented:
>>  I should absolutely use no less than a 500W PSU, with 550W being better   <<   better even 600, or 650W
don't forget you can add devices later (usb - chargers - cards -drives) and that the PS output gets lower when aging -up to 30 % in some cases
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wgenglanAuthor Commented:
Thanks.  Right, on the 600+ W PSU, and as far as adding devices, other than upgrading the video, there really isn't much else I would need to add.  Of course, never say never...  

Considering that this system had a 250 Watt PSU originally, and it was working just fine, (for how long?)  I more than doubled the power capacity overall.  I would have to look at the individual voltage and amp ratings do a detailed comparison, but I leave that to others.  Feel free to continue this thread and add more info for future reference.  The learning never ends....
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nobusCommented:
well - the 250W unit may work for some time even if overloaded -but that depends on the model
and i gave you good reasons for leaving some "headroom"
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