This is odd; a little help with a problem, please


Limp Gawd
Aug 15, 2004
I bought my sister a refurbished Dell XPS X8300 (specs below) off of ebay as an early Christmas gift. When I got it in, I discovered that the Radeon HD 6770 that came in the machine from Dell had been removed (it wasn't mentioned in the ebay ad; I found out about it by looking up the service tag).

I had a spare Gigabyte Radeon HD 6670 1gb, so I dropped it in, but got no video on either one or two monitors. I thought maybe the Dell 460w PSU couldn't handle the card (even though it fell well within the card's requirements), so I put an older Rosewill Green Series 630w PSU in it, but still had the same results. I went back to the stock PSU.

I dropped a spare really old Geforce 9400GT in it, and it worked well with both monitors. I then tried my Radeon HD 6950 2gb, but still got no video. I tried the 6670 again with the same results, so I put the 9400GT back in and gave it to my sister (who had been without a PC for 2 wks).

The trouble is, that 9400GT is going to really hold the system back in gaming. The WIndows Experience rating, even with the latest drivers, etc, is a paltry 4.9 due to the graphics.

What could be the problem with this? Could the motherboard have a semi-bad PCI-E slot that won't take a Radeon card, or perhaps one that requires more than a bare minimum of power? I would like to get the problem taken care of, because an i5 with a decent video card and 6gb of ram would last her for 3-4 years easily.


Dell XPS X8300 specs as received
CPU: i5-2310, 2.9ghz
Video: Intel 2nd Generation Core Family Integrated Graphics Controller
RAM: 6gb 1333mhz dual channel (2x 2gb, 2x 1gb)
HD: 1tb Western Digital Caviar Blue
Optical: DVD-RW
PSU: Dell 460w
OS: Win 7 64 Home Premium (clean install)

Items added by me
Video: old Geforce 9400GT 512mb
HD: 640gb Western Digital Caviar Blue
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I don't think the PSU is the issue. What are BIOS settings for PCI-E video?
I don't think the PSU is the issue. What are BIOS settings for PCI-E video?

Thanks for the reply. There were no video settings in the BIOS. I checked through every available screen and sub-screen twice to make sure I wasn't overlooking anything.
It's a super common problem with the 8300. You can try updating the BIOS to A07, however, that wasn't always successful for most.

In order to install the A07 BIOS update:

  1. Download the A06 BIOS from Dell's website here. Also download the A07 rom.
  2. Run the file (it will tell you "The BIOS version is same or lower that current BIOS version" and won't actually perform the update) but before you close, open a Run command and type %TEMP%
  3. Look for a folder containing the file afuwinx64.exe and other files (might be called "_971B.tmp")
  4. Copy all the contents of this folder to a location such as C:\Dell_BIOS
  5. Close the A06 BIOS update screen
  6. Copy A07.ROM to C:\Dell_BIOS
  7. Open a CMD window as Administrator and change directory to C:\Dell_BIOS
  8. If you are running 64bit Windows 7 or 8 run - afuwinx64.exe A07.ROM
  9. And you will be finished once it's done.

A couple of people said they were able to get non UEFI verisons (exact words) of the BIOS for their video card, and once they installed it their, 8300 would POST and run correctly. This @BIOS might help. Never used.

There may also be issues running 2.1 and 3.0 cards in the 2.0 PCI-E slot with this Dell, which may be why the 9400 (2.0) works, but the 6670 (2.1) and 6950 (2.1) do not.

Info here.

Hope this helps.
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