XPS 8700 and Sapphire Radeon HD 7870 OC Video Card

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XPS 8700 and Sapphire Radeon HD 7870 OC Video Card

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I had seen a thread on here indicating that the AMD Radeon 7870 was compatible with the XPS 8500, so I assumed that the Sapphire overclocked version of that card would work in my XPS 8700.  I inserted the card in my computer and connected the two 6-pin power connectors.  When I restarted the computer, it made five short beeps and then powered up (without the Dell splash screen, I believe).  Restarting it again (and hearing the same five beeps), I pressed F2 to get into BIOS, but it wouldn't let me get into BIOS.  The third time I restarted it, I just let it boot up and then after about half an hour of usage, the computer froze in a light blue screen (not BSOD). I powered down the unit and haven't turned it back on.  

I chatted with some Dell guy who said the five beeps signified that it was a video card compatibility issue, but he couldn't tell me any more than that, and kept pushing me to contact Dell sales to buy a compatible card (no thanks). 

Can anyone else verify what the five beeps mean?  I hate to have to send this card back to where I bought it, and I'm not sure that I can.  Would I get beeps if there is a driver issue that I'm missing?  Or do beeps always signify a hardware problem? Would I get a beep if my PSU were too weak?  Any other thoughts?  Does anyone have any good video cards that they know work on the XPS 8700?

Verified Answer
  • There has been many reported compatibility issues with certain video cards and the XPS 8300, 8500 and now the 8700. 

    Make sure you are uninstalling the drivers for the video cards before removing them and putting in a new card.  Make sure the power supply is unplugged and you have pressed and held the power button for at least 15 seconds.  You may also want to try removing the CMOS battery.  Then install the new video card, replace the battery and plug the power cord back in. 

    Also, Plug the monitor into the onboard graphics and restart.  Press F12 or F8 to enter the Boot Menu. Under the Boot Menu, there should be a setting "Change Boot Mode Setting". That setting will have the option to turn UEFI Secure Boot On or Off, change it to Off.  This is a common problem in Windows 8 that happens when trying to add another video card because of a conflict with Secure Boot and the new UEFI motherboards where you don't post or get beep codes. 

All Replies
  • Hi Plasticene,

    Thank you for bringing this to our notice. I have checked the system details for Dell XPS 8700 Desktop and 5 beep codes for this machine indicate “CMOS battery failure”. Re-seating the CMOS battery or replacing it can probably fix the problem. Before re-seating or replacing the CMOS battery please go through the Service Manual for safety instructions and accurate steps.

    As for compatibility of the Video cards we have the following Video Cards compatible with XPS 8700 machine:

    • Integrated (UMA) — Intel HD Graphics 4600
    • Discrete — nVidia GeForce GTX 660, 1.5GB GDDR5
    • Discrete — nVidia GeForce GTX 645, 1GB GDDR5
    • Discrete — Nvidia GeForce GTX 650Ti, 2GB GDDR5
    • Discrete — AMD Radeon HD 7570, 1GB GDDR5
    • Discrete — AMD Radeon HD 8870 2GB GDDR5 

    We have not tried “Sapphire overclocked version” of HD7870 with this machine. May be some other user in the forum can give you some useful tips on using this card.

    Hope this helps.

    Thanks & Regards
    Zohaib R
    #iworkfordell
    To know more about Dell Product Support, Drivers & Downloads, Order & Dispatch status -> choose
    your region US Customers; India Customers. For Dell support videos click Here.
  • I'm having the exact same problem with a GTX 660ti.

    The card, although not officially supported, meets all the requirements to run on the system but I am just receiving 5 beeps and an unresponsive machine and no ability to continue into BIOS.

    Card requires at least a 450w PSU (The PSU in the XPS8700 is a 460w) and the Dell PSUs are generally quite solid and do push the full amount of wattage (plus the NVIDIA requirements are always on the high side to compensate for poorer quality PSUs).

    Would also really like to know what's happening here.

  • Hi brwn,

    I have suggested re-seat/replace the CMOS battery for 5 beeps issue to ‘Plasticene’. Have you tried this step? Also, have you tried removing the Graphics Card and then trying to boot?

    Thanks & Regards
    Zohaib R
    #iworkfordell
    To know more about Dell Product Support, Drivers & Downloads, Order & Dispatch status -> choose
    your region US Customers; India Customers. For Dell support videos click Here.
  • I am also having this problem.  I ordered the Dell 8700 XPS with the HD Radeon 7570 thinking it was better than what I had.  After researching this after the fact, I found out that my nVidia GTX 480 was superior.

    When I replaced the video card (removed the ATI and insterted the nVidia) I got the 5 beeps.  I tried reseating the CMOS battery with no change, stilll beeps.  I put the 7570 back in and the machine booted right up.  

    The 480GTX is from an old Dell Dimension 9200, where it worked fine, so I just assumed it would work with the dell.  Do I have an incompatible graphics card in the nVidia with the 8700XPS.

    I find it hard to call it a gaming machine if you cannot replace the video card with one that isnt sold by Dell.  Very disappointed.

    Anyone have a work around or am I stuck with the 7570?

    Thanks!

    G

  • There has been many reported compatibility issues with certain video cards and the XPS 8300, 8500 and now the 8700. 

    Make sure you are uninstalling the drivers for the video cards before removing them and putting in a new card.  Make sure the power supply is unplugged and you have pressed and held the power button for at least 15 seconds.  You may also want to try removing the CMOS battery.  Then install the new video card, replace the battery and plug the power cord back in. 

    Also, Plug the monitor into the onboard graphics and restart.  Press F12 or F8 to enter the Boot Menu. Under the Boot Menu, there should be a setting "Change Boot Mode Setting". That setting will have the option to turn UEFI Secure Boot On or Off, change it to Off.  This is a common problem in Windows 8 that happens when trying to add another video card because of a conflict with Secure Boot and the new UEFI motherboards where you don't post or get beep codes. 

  • Thank You Kelbear1!!  The Secure Boot Disable solves this issue on my front!!

  • Kelbear1's answer (disable secure boot) solved the problem for me as well--thanks for your help!  Of course, it sux that we have to disable secure boot, but I guess there are worse things.  I would also note that IE10 and certain programs have been crashing with the addition of this graphics card, though I think the download of the 13.6 beta version of the Catalyst Control Center from AMD's website may have solved the problem.  

  • As an update, I went out and downloaded updated Video Bios for the new card I had bought.  The newer Bios I downloaded was "UEFI Compatible" and supported the secure boot option for Windows 8.  I flashed the bios for the card, rebooted the machine once to allow the bios to load without forcing the secure boot option.  I then restarted the computer again and jumped into F2/Bios settings, and turned Secure Boot back on.  After saving/restarting, I got a successful boot, in Secure Boot Mode (which is faster), without any beeps.

    You may want to go to Sapphire's (not AMD) website and look for updated bios.  Just a quick look, and I don't see any updated Bios.  You may want to contact their support people and see if they have UEFI compatible Bios update for your card.

    Bottom line for Dell Support:  The answer to "5 beeps and then successfully boots into Windows" is that the new video card's Bios is not compatible with UEFI Secure Boot options (I imagine all cards sold by Dell are ensured to have the latest UEFI-compatible Bios, therefore no issues).  The fix is look at the manufacturer's website (in my case Gigabyte) to upgrade the video bios on the new graphics card.  As previously mentioned, secure boot (in the computer's Bios/F2) needs to be turned off to initially get a clean boot with the card installed.

    Good Luck!!

  • Thank you TCMILKMAN for your follow-ups.  I'm heavily researching getting a beefier GPU, and your posts have given me hope that it can be done.  Otherwise, like any reasonable person, why would I hold onto a machine that cannot be upgraded?

    What video card did you end up installing?  I think you mentioned it's a gigabit?  That would help me get a feeling for what people are finding successful outside of the officially sanctioned word from Dell support.

    So far, Dell has authorized the following Radeons.  According game-debate.com, they claim these devices are similar to other ones (listed below also)

    Dell Model, Corresponding model according to game debate?

    • Discrete — AMD Radeon HD 7570, 1GB GDDR5 ("It's a renamed Radeon HD 6570")
    • Discrete — AMD Radeon HD 8870 2GB GDDR5  ("Therefore, it's a renamed Radeon HD 7870"--really not sure about that one)
    I guess maybe I should be looking for a GPU that:
    1. fits under whatever power supply I have or am planning to have (dell advised against upgrading my PSU too much or else it might cause damage?)
    2. It has a UEFI Secure Boot compatible Bios (to avoid the five beep error)
    3. There seems to be some good space available inside the case for most cards, and
    4. I think I'd prefer to have HDMI and Display Ports personally?
    Would love to hear TCMILKMAN which video card you ended up with and if it's working well for you on the XPS 8700.
    Thanks for your advocacy--I may just keep this machine due to you...
  • Will this Graphics Card work on the XPS 8700

    • Chipset: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650
    • Video Memory: 1GB GDDR5
    • Memory Interface: 128-bit
    • Bus: PCI-Express 3.0 x16
    • Max. Resolution: 2560 x 1600
    • Connectors: VGA, DVI, HDMI

    Is the 650 the same as the GeForce GTX 645, 1GB GDDR5?

  • They are similar, but not exactly the same.  However, I would consider the GTX 650 Ti HERE as a better card than either of these two without much cost difference.  

  • I was wondering what graphics card you guys would recommend upgrading my dell XPS 8700 to.my goal is to play battlefield 4 on med/high settings.currently my specs are as follows

    Its stock as i just bought the rig but i struggle to run BF4 on medium settings

    Core i7 4770

    24 GB DDR3 

    2TB HDD

    32 GB SSD

    Nvidia GeForce GT 635 1GB GDDR5 

    Thank you for any and all advice and/or recommendations in advance.

  • If you want to get around 60 FPS, I would look at getting the GTX 660 or an HD 7870 depending on whether you want to go Nvidia or AMD.  Both are pretty much equal in performance so it just depends on the best deal you can find.  You can normally find better deals on the HD 7870.  Note that the GTX 660 will use less power, but both should work on your stock power supply.  

  • Thank you very much! I believe I just saw a Galaxy GTX 660Ti on sale for under two hundred dollars at best buy.will report back when I get one.