So I upgraded my PSU to an Antec 430 watt ATX (a friend with a recording studio had an extra) and hooked up my new eVGA 6800GT (AGP).
I noticed I have thin vertical lines of red/green artifacts when I play video ONLY. Not in games (so far). Tried different news and gaming sites and all video had the same issue.
As far as games go, I'm not as pleased with the performance as I'd hoped so far. Still chugging on COD2 (variance from 1fps to 20fps) in DX9. And HL2 and Brothers in Arms also stick at points and are not as smooth. Settings are not pushed either. Pretty much that's at the default optimal settings.
Not sure if the board's holding it up or not, or if it's still needing more power.
Another possiblity I'm afraid might be the Athlon XP 3200+ 2.2GHz.
The 6800GT box says it needs a HD power supply not attached to anything else, but I don't really see how that's possible when the PSU has five 4-pin connectors (3 on 1 line, 2 on another) and, due to distance from each other, I can't get the 2 optical devices and the HD on one line. I have to share the graphics card with the HD.
I haven't yet tried the Bios update though I have loaded and reloaded the nVidia drivers several times. Call me chicken, but I've not done a Bios update before and I'm just a little timid at the moment. Thought I'd allow my wife to enjoy her Ipod software I bought her for Christmas for a few days before I mess up my system! lol
I'll probably do it in a couple days. In the meantime, the driver update hasn't really made a noticeable difference. Some of the prob could be a cooling issue. The card runs hot and the HP mid-tower case doesn't allow much room for modding. The artifact prob seems to increase with higher temps. But I still get some at average temps in the 50's which seems a bit low to be dealing with it. Temperature increases can go up 15 degrees within the first 30 seconds of video play or gaming. At idle before use, the case is about 44 degrees. Within a relatively short period it can increase to 130 degrees. That's 10 over the performance threshold. It seems that unless this issue is solved I'm operating in the red most of the time.
The artifacts are: stationary blackened pixels (random dots) in the distance while playing COD2 and on the HL2 initial loading screen. The HL2 ones disappear when the game is fully loaded. COD2's usually are fixed by restarting the level or by changing the AF setting.
But I'm still getting the blinking verticle lines of red and white dots while playing video. Tried this with a number of video clips from various sites as well as DVD playback. Gets worse with higher temps.
As far as the heat issue goes, water cooling isn't worth the expense right now. And with my two optical drives I have no room for a front fan. One option may be to bore a hole in the case cover on the side and attach a second fan there.
Even if the chipset update helps with the anomalies, the heat/cooling issue may prove to be a real kink if I can't find a way to sufficiently lower the case temps. I'm assuming there is a possibility there is a defect with the card too.
If I can't find a practical way to resolve the issue, I've given serious consideration to returning the card and holding out until I can do a total overhaul with new case, mobo, and pcu that are pci-e ready.
This may sound silly but have you tried running the pc without the side panel on, ensuring that there is a practically limitless amount of air accesable to the fans cooling the hardware. I doubt its something wrong with the powersupply, systems tend to crash if they have insufficient power supplying them but a simple test is too see what the video output is when the hardrive is retrieving information at the start of the game. Obviously when the hard-drive is thrashing it requires more power and so in theory if there was any problem with power to your video card you should notice it then...if you get my meaning. Use a simple program like motherboard monitor or when these artifacts occour reboot the system into the BIOS and check the tempretures there. It probably is something to do with the tempreture since artifacts are commonly produced when a video card is overclocked where it is producing more heat than usual. I spose you could use SaSandra to identify any potential bottlenecks in transfer rates contained in your system. Also an additional test is to run the 3D demo which came on a CD-ROM with your graphics card, if this doesn't run well then there is something definetly wrong with the system. Hope this can be at least some help.