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Possible 8800GT Problem???

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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June 16, 2014 6:14:47 PM

Hello, i recently bought a BFG 8800GT. My psu didnt have the required watts and connector for the card. So i bought a Thermaltake TR2-430 NP psu which has the required watts and connector. Everything seemed fine for about a week. I was playing Modern Warfare 2 on almost max settings with a constant 50 fps. Now just starting today, i have been getting 8 fps on lowest settings. My card has felt very hot, i could barely keep my hand on it. GPU-Z says its at 60c at idle, and when im gaming. Could it be my psu? Also i dont have much thermal paste on the cpu, im getting some tomorow. I guess i should list my crappy pc's specs: Dell dimension 4700, Pentium 4 560 3.6Ghz, 2gb ddr2 ram, BFG Tech 8800GT, Thermaltake TR2-430 NP. Any responses are helpful, because im stumped : /

More about : 8800gt problem

a c 107 U Graphics card
June 16, 2014 6:20:56 PM

8800gt ( bfg ) brand had some issues with over clocked cards. you can try and under clock the gpu's ram and processor ........... but seeing how the card is so old......... and the fact that nvidia was dumping bad ram on them ( production line faulty ram )............. good luck with it. should have purchased an R7-260x.. newer and faster.
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a b U Graphics card
June 16, 2014 6:24:05 PM

Try cleaning the GPU heatsink. I know the BFG 8800GT 512MB Single slot cards run extremely hot and the coolers suck on them. Clear out the dust in the cooler first and repost back if the heat is still High. That card will idle around 50 -55°C when cooled properly.
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June 16, 2014 6:32:15 PM

bgunner said:
Try cleaning the GPU heatsink. I know the BFG 8800GT 512MB Single slot cards run extremely hot and the coolers suck on them. Clear out the dust in the cooler first and repost back if the heat is still High. That card will idle around 50 -55°C when cooled properly.


Nope, the card is as clean as a whistle. I dont see what could have caused this problem....
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a b U Graphics card
June 16, 2014 7:15:10 PM

How has it been determined that the slowdown is the fault of your graphics card? Have you looked at temps for your processor yet? If your graphics card is going to malfunction, it will usually do so with pretty telltale signs. You can have driver errors because the hardware is flaking out, BSODS, random reboots, freezing, multi-colored and random seeming patterns of garbage or distortion on the display, and program crashes while running applications that utilize the 3D portion of the graphics card.

From your description, you've gone from reasonable frame rates down to paltry frame rates, but nothing other than that as a symptom. If the graphics card was causing that, I would initially suspect thermal throttling. An idle temperature of 60°C doesn't sound unreasonable at all for a single slot 8800GT, even if it's quite clean. The initial run, if anybody remembers was done with an inadequate sized fan in the cooler, and was later changed to a much larger fan which was both quieter and far more effective. A quick search on Google for BFG 8800GT shows that it has the smaller fan, so expect higher idle temps and noise. What's more important to know is the temperatures you're reaching under load.

To see your GPU temperature under load, if you don't already have a method, you should be able to use a utility such as GPU-Z which can show a graph over time of such things as temperature, and even log the numbers if you wish.

NVIDIA states on their page for the 8800GT that it's max temperature is 105°C, so you have plenty of headroom over 60 if you need, but whether it's going to run into thermal throttling at some point, I can't remember anymore. It's likely that in the 90°C and up range you could start to see throttling to try and control temperature.

It's also possibly that your CPU could be throttling due to high heat. I would check your processor temperature while you're investigating.

Do you have any programs installed that could be making use of the CUDA cores on your 8800GT? It's always possible that some software has inadvertently used some processing resources that are not being released for your game as they should. Modern web browsers would be an immediate suspicion, as most of them use some form of hardware acceleration, and yes, can easily interfere with your GPU's ability to get other tasks done, or done correctly. Make sure you're not running web browsers in the background, or other tasks that could possibly be accessing your GPU. On that note, even tuning software such as MSI Afterburner and FRAPS can cause random glitches and odd behavior from time to time. I would suggest to not even run this during your troubleshooting, as you could be causing your own issues without even knowing, outside of monitoring for temperature or GPU usage percentages.

You haven't mentioned if the 8 FPS is now a constant, or if it's after a certain amount of time of having the system power on and using 3D applications such as games. When the system is cold, such as after being off for several hours, do you regain your expected FPS in your game? It could be that your 8800GT is dumping too much heat into your computer chassis than can be adequately dealt with by the Dell's original cooling. As stated in this Tom's article, Intel states your computer's internal temperature must be at 38°C or less, or your processor may exceed it's thermal design limits.

I am leaning away from suspecting your power supply. In my experience with 8800GT cards, when inadequate power is fed to them, they tend to produce an audible beep. If you don't believe me, try booting your computer with the 6-pin PCI-e power connector disconnected from the card. :-) I would also suspect inadequate power would cause driver crashes and TDRs, as the GPU would likely be spitting out bad data left and right.

Other things you might look at: RAM usage when your system is running slowly, hard drive usage and free space, if other tasks are using large amounts of CPU cycles. Antivirus software? Disk defragmenting going on? Windows updates?
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a c 107 U Graphics card
June 16, 2014 7:24:35 PM

I took the assumption from "just recently bought"......... old tired card with a very troubled history.......... I had some of those. they were good when they worked............ but bfg had problems in their over clocked cards. I don't think anything was "cherry picked" just over clocked. then add on top of that the ram that had bubbles in them from the manufacturing process.......( thank you nvidia )..... can't find any articles but only looked for a few minutes......... they're out there. were lots of them at one time.
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a b U Graphics card
June 16, 2014 7:29:21 PM

I've gone through quite a few 8800GT cards, and any that have failed have been fully revived by a proper baking in the oven. I fail to see any concrete evidence yet that the 8800GT here is to blame. I'm not saying it's perfectly fine, but we haven't done much troubleshooting yet, it seems. The card may be old, but that is not an indication of how much it has been used during that time period.
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a c 107 U Graphics card
June 16, 2014 7:32:12 PM

whatever..........
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a b U Graphics card
June 16, 2014 7:43:12 PM

Swifty, instead of copping an attitude, maybe try reading the Tom's article about the P4 560. It has thermal issues. When Tom's used standard heat sink compound, the processor clearly throttled. The OP has mentioned a poor application of heat sink compound, and that more will be purchased tomorrow. In this particular case, I would investigate the cooling method Dell has chosen to implement for the CPU, and use a high quality heat sink compound rather than generic if replacement is done.

"If you decide to use a common thermal compound product, its thermal conductivity won't be good enough to cope with the thermal loss spawned by Intel's Pentium 4 top models 550 and 560. Users will end up having a 3.6 GHz processor that needs to throttle for thermal reasons." - Tom's
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a c 107 U Graphics card
June 16, 2014 7:47:52 PM

okay, whatever.............. got a little age here and had lots of hardware. the cards were really, really bad. nvidia knew the ram they were putting on them was bad and did nothing............. maybe it is something else. I'll watch the thread and see what happens. let's wait for OP to get back and see what he tried.

should I mention the PS?........ not the greatest are they?........... the builder used inexpensive parts......... one of them used.......... probably abused. price must have been good but..............................
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June 17, 2014 9:22:46 AM

Ok, there is liitle to no paste on my cpu. I have no programs or processes slowing down the gpu, i installed W7 last month. But i think my problem is coming from my P4. To test if it was, i played MW2 for a few minutes at about 7-14 fps, and then i quickly held the power button on my pc, ripped off the heatsink, and touched the processor- it was HOT. I almost burned my finger. And even though my P4 says on intels website that it can read thermal temps, i cant see any in CPU-Z. And yes ive heard the squeal the card puts out with out the connector, i thought i broke the card the first time i heard that :) . Also, its gotten to the point were i cant even play 360p video on Youtube. Thermal paste is definatley part of, if not all of the problem. (Oh yea BTW- the BFG "Overclocked" card, is only overclocked by 1Mhz -___- ) I will post back once i put on some thermal paste.
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a b U Graphics card
June 17, 2014 10:47:59 AM

Sounds like thermal throttling of the CPU. Make sure you use either an original thermal pad from Intel, or high grade thermal paste, or you'll continue to have heating issues.

CPU-Z doesn't report temperatures for your CPU. You might try Hardware Monitor instead.

Something being hot to the touch isn't the best practice for measuring temperatures in a PC unless of course your fingers have been properly calibrated. :-) Also, removing the cooler from your CPU can result in a need for the reapplication of thermal interface material. I wouldn't make a habit of removing the cooler often, unless you have plenty of heat sink compound around. Be sure to clean the mating surfaces of your CPU and it's heat sink before applying the new paste.
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June 17, 2014 1:12:31 PM

bigpinkdragon286 said:
Sounds like thermal throttling of the CPU. Make sure you use either an original thermal pad from Intel, or high grade thermal paste, or you'll continue to have heating issues.

CPU-Z doesn't report temperatures for your CPU. You might try Hardware Monitor instead.

Something being hot to the touch isn't the best practice for measuring temperatures in a PC unless of course your fingers have been properly calibrated. :-) Also, removing the cooler from your CPU can result in a need for the reapplication of thermal interface material. I wouldn't make a habit of removing the cooler often, unless you have plenty of heat sink compound around. Be sure to clean the mating surfaces of your CPU and it's heat sink before applying the new paste.


Yes, ive tried Hardware Monitor. All it shows is my HDD. So i went to my local Computer store for some thermal paste and they were closed. I will see if they are open tomorow. But i think we found the problem so no need for anymore suggestions :)  I will post back when i apply the paste to confirm the problem is fixed. Thanks.
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June 17, 2014 1:13:35 PM

Oh and one more thing: should i get arctic silver 5 or will any generic paste do the trick?
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a b U Graphics card
June 17, 2014 1:51:24 PM

Get a non electrical conductive paste if they have it. Arctic Silver 5 is good, not the best but good, but it is electrically conductive. this means if you put a little to much on, the paste could leak on to the motherboard and possible fry one or both the board and CPU. Arctic MX-4 is good and non conductive if they have it.
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June 17, 2014 2:14:58 PM

bgunner said:
Get a non electrical conductive paste if they have it. Arctic Silver 5 is good, not the best but good, but it is electrically conductive. this means if you put a little to much on, the paste could leak on to the motherboard and possible fry one or both the board and CPU. Arctic MX-4 is good and non conductive if they have it.



Ok thanks for the heads up, i will check to see if they have Arctic MX-4.
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a b U Graphics card
June 17, 2014 2:49:57 PM

Tom's concluded that generic paste will not do for your particular chip, as it runs too close to it's thermals to begin with, and with generic paste it throttles. Since you're trying to solve a problem, you might as well not skimp and do what you can to at least attempt to solve it properly. :-) Arctic Silver 5 should work fine, but as bgunner mentioned, it's not the best on the market. I wouldn't worry about conductivity of the paste. If you put so much on that it gets anywhere near the motherboard, you've already put enough on to act as an insulator and are going to have problems. Tom's recommends a chickpea sized application, in the very center of the CPU's heat spreader, which is plenty to self-spread from the force applied during the reinstallation of the heat sink.
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June 17, 2014 3:32:44 PM

Thermal Paste = Fixed. My dad has some thaat he let me use and it fixed the problem. My pc is also alot quieter now too. The paste i have on it now is some HVAC paste, so im obiously still gonna get some of the high quality stuff. But for now this will do. :)  Thanks everyone for helping me out!

Wow, its so cool that people go out of their way to help other people with their problems! :D 
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a b U Graphics card
June 17, 2014 3:41:16 PM

Glad to hear you got things working again. :-)
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a c 107 U Graphics card
June 17, 2014 3:45:50 PM

get back to us in a week.
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June 17, 2014 3:52:05 PM

swifty_morgan said:
get back to us in a week.


Will do.
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!