Laptop graphic card burnt test

Zakham

Estimable
Dec 29, 2015
6
0
4,520
1
Hi Tom's Hardware folks,

I've been looking around on the internet but can't find an exact answer.
I have been using a Dell M4600 for more than four years now and it recently had a significant problem. It shut down and then the screen remained black when I rebooted.

I tried using an external screen on the VGA port, and I get an image which has large vertical blue stripes on it, the BIOS work but Windows does not manager to "initialize". Booting in Safe Mode does however work, with the blue stripes.

In hindsight, I had problem with games for some times as they tended to crash often, and the PC also tended to shutdown for no reasons but I though it was because of my recent upgrade to Windows 10/SSD.

From this thread I deduct I can easily replace/upgrade my graphic card : http://www.tomsguide.com/answers/id-2773006/graphic-card-upgrade-laptop.html?xtor=EREC-8889
The previous card was a AMD FirePro M5950 Mobility Pro but it makes not sense to keep a "pro" card to play I guess.

From there I do not know how to proceed as I'm not certain the graphic card is defective (though quite likely) and I do not know how to test it.
Could there be a malfunction in the VGA socket ?
Aside from that, as the Laptop is already a bit old, I do not know if he is likely to remain stable in future (SSD is new though so I should lose my data).

Do you have any piece of advice ?

Thanks in advance!
Best regards,
Zakham
 

Chayan4400

Estimable
Apr 12, 2015
21
0
4,570
4
I wouldn't go for the 5100. On a laptop this old, €150 is too much to invest. I linked that thread simply to show that it is indeed possible to replace the GPU.

There's no need to reseat the CPU; if that came off the laptop wouldn't function at all. Try the GPU, and try to try a different port if possible.If still no, I'd recommend going to a Dell Service Centre and getting them to diagnose the issue. This is so you don't end up needlessly ordering a GPU if that isn't the issue. Do this before you reapply thermal compound because they may refuse to service it once it is replaced. When they diagnose the issue you can pick it up and then based on what is wrong you can decide whether try and get it working or to buy or build a new laptop or PC.
 

PTOWN GAMER

Estimable
Dec 5, 2015
34
0
4,610
6
i would not bother fixing it, cause the graphics card is stuck to the motherboard, you cant take it off.

And its 4 years old, you should get a new laptop.

But if you game i suggest you get a Custom Desktop A :)

and nope you wont lose your data cause you can take it out and put it into your new laptop :)
 

Zakham

Estimable
Dec 29, 2015
6
0
4,520
1
Hi Ptown Gamer,

Thanks for your first input! It's just sad to trash a machine when I could repair it, but I concur, this may not be the most "enjoyable" solution.

Do you think that the graphic card has a problem too? Are you sure the card is soldered?
I've looked around and it seems that it's more a PCI like slot, see here for a spare card : http://www.freelanddigital.com/product-p/p4r8t-r.htm

I also thought of making a Custom Desktop, with a Mini-ITX so it does not take too much space, but retailers seems to have no parts here in Switzerland :( it's going to take me ages. And I kinda fear the DOA.

Zakham

 

PTOWN GAMER

Estimable
Dec 5, 2015
34
0
4,610
6
hmm are you sure your laptop has a a PCIe slot, Cause mine doesnt, and i have opened it up to fix a broken cooling fan. And i didnt see a PCIE slot. I just saw the graphics Stuck on the motherboard.

I Use a custom PC for and PS4 for games anyways. But man if yours has a Pcie slot then lucky you.
laptops are easy to repair if you can order the parts. like for me i know the fan is replaceable so i did.
Man laptops dont come with PCIE slot anymore.

I tell you what, before you throw it out, open it up and see if there is a PCIE slot, if there is then order that card you saw, and replace it, all done happy finish :)
 

Chayan4400

Estimable
Apr 12, 2015
21
0
4,570
4


Unfortunately, laptops don't work that way. There is no standard for them, so while you can upgrade the GPU on some, on most it is impossible as it is directly soldered to the motherboard. The good news is it is possible:

http://forum.notebookreview.com/threads/possible-gpu-upgrade-for-precision-m4600.772547/

From your problems though, I'd say it's a motherboard problem more than a GPU one, since Windows should boot regardless if the GPU works or not. EDIT: Disregard what I said before. I was wrong :). Your laptop is still very much a good PC. Have you tried reseating your GPU? If so, try reapplying the thermal compound on both the CPU and GPu. It's possible it may be an overheating problem. If that doesn't work, the next step would be replacing the GPU. It's quite cheap, so you might as well try. If even that doesn't fix it, it's most likely the motherboard and at this point you can either contact Dell for a replacement or accept that it's time for a new laptop or PC.

Don't worry about DOA. I've ordered a few components from the US already, and have a PSU and GTX 960 on order now. Everything works fine. Even if they didn't if you get it from local retailers they will almost always help you with the RMA or replace for free. I've done quite a few PC builds for people around the world; this one should be easy.If you do want to replace your laptop, tell us your budget, what you use your PC for and what the budget must include, and we'll get started :).
 

Chayan4400

Estimable
Apr 12, 2015
21
0
4,570
4


His computer is a workstation laptop that actually is still very much a good computer. It doesn't have a PCI-E slot, but the GPU does slot in as a proprietary (I think) card.
 

Zakham

Estimable
Dec 29, 2015
6
0
4,520
1
Damn, I was not expecting answers so fast! You guys are really great.

@Chayan4400, I've read the "external thread" that you sent, if I understood correctly, and if I really have to change the graphic card I may as well go for the AM FirePro M5100 (I have no clue how AMD give names).
I've found it for around 150€ here : http://www.aliexpress.com/ but I've never used this website and it comes from China, I've already ordered from China but TrustPilot does not really like the website so I may as well stick to eBay which I know better.

I did not try reseating my GPU, I don't have thermal paste here as I "quit" tinkering with PC since I'm in Switzerland but I can chip another 10$ in.

I guess I have to upgrade the BIOS too, it's A01 and it seems to be A16 now. I've been unlucky with BIOS updates so far but I'll be careful (it worked once on a shuttle though).

To sum it up, I should:
1. Reseat my GPU/CPU, clean my PC by replacing thermal paste (which is probably damn old now).
2. Upgrade the BIOS and try again.
3. If that does not work, buy a new M5100 card and seat it.
4. If that fails, build a new computer (I'll make a new thread :)).

That's the kind of "tests/procedure" I've been looking for, should I try to use other ports?
I don't have an HDMI screen though... Nevertheless, if you think it's worth trying I can bring the laptop at work.
 

Chayan4400

Estimable
Apr 12, 2015
21
0
4,570
4
I wouldn't go for the 5100. On a laptop this old, €150 is too much to invest. I linked that thread simply to show that it is indeed possible to replace the GPU.

There's no need to reseat the CPU; if that came off the laptop wouldn't function at all. Try the GPU, and try to try a different port if possible.If still no, I'd recommend going to a Dell Service Centre and getting them to diagnose the issue. This is so you don't end up needlessly ordering a GPU if that isn't the issue. Do this before you reapply thermal compound because they may refuse to service it once it is replaced. When they diagnose the issue you can pick it up and then based on what is wrong you can decide whether try and get it working or to buy or build a new laptop or PC.
 

PTOWN GAMER

Estimable
Dec 5, 2015
34
0
4,610
6


huh ive taken my CPU out of my laptop like 5 times, still works normal, Its like a regular desktop cpu, except it has a screw to open the socket instead of a lever.

 

Zakham

Estimable
Dec 29, 2015
6
0
4,520
1


Got it, it does make a lot more sense now. I'll check with Dell first how much of a diagnosis cost first, you never know. Thanks a lot, if I manage to find a solution (though it may take some time), I'll try to post it here for further reference.
 

Chayan4400

Estimable
Apr 12, 2015
21
0
4,570
4
huh ive taken my CPU out of my laptop like 5 times, still works normal, Its like a regular desktop cpu, except it has a screw to open the socket instead of a lever.
What I meant was if the CPU came loose the laptop would refuse to start. As I said before, there is no standard for laptops. While your laptop may have a removable CPU, those in an Ultrabook for example are generally soldered on.
 
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