Video Card Problems - Long Post Bear With Me Please!

Ok. Here is my story...

I started with a Pentium 4 3.4 Prescott, the older version (550 I think) with an Intel 915PBL board and an ATI x700 PCI-E graphics card. The fan on the ATI eventually exploded, and I mean literally exploded. When the video crashed, I opened my case, only to find the fan from the video card actually hanging outside the card, help on by a small piece of metal. I ended up picking up a PNY 7900GS PCI-E to replace it and for the most part, there were no problems…UNTIL!

A couple months later, when I suddenly had my video crash out on me after having artifacts on the screen. These artifacts were mutli colored lines going up and down, surrounding the cursor and other objects on my desktop. I rebooted and things seemed ok, then they happened again. Had the same problem with in-game. Artifacts on the screen, followed by a hard lock, followed by a “no video” signal on the monitor. The only way out was a powerdown and reboot. In the following weeks, I tried a couple different things, including opening the case and having a house fan blowing directly onto the inside of the case. Eventually, I admitted defeat and exchanged the card for ANTHER identical card. I plugged it in, and lo and behold, the EXACT same thing started happening. SOOOO, to make a long story short, I figured it was either the PCI-E slot on the MOBO or improper power from the power supply.

Fast forward a couple months. I just finished building the following rig (Saturday):

Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 320GB
Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 Conroe 2.4GHz
Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-965P-DS3
OS: Microsoft Windows XP Professional
Case: COOLER MASTER Centurion 5 Mid Tower Computer Case
Power Supply: Rosewill RP550-2 ATX 2.01 550W Power Supply
CPU Cooler: ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro
RAM: CORSAIR XMS2 2GB DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) (5-5-5-12)
Video: PNY 7900GS PCI-E

Keep in mind, this is a brand new system. The only thing that I moved from my old box is the video card, and hell if I didn't have the exact same thing happen. EXACTLY.

So, did I get 2 consecutive broken video cards with the exact same problem, or am I really doing something wrong and somehow crapped up BOTH of these cards in the exact same way on 2 different computers?

Also, since I am obviously going to be returning this second card, unless someone here tells me that I should try something else (drivers are updated, bios updated already), what one would you guys recommend for a single card, video solution that won't cause my new computer to crash out every so often?

Thanks in advance!

- pilto
5 answers Last reply
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  1. Oh, forgot 1 thing. The RAM was also in the P4 machine while I waited for the rest of the parts to come in for my new C2D system. BUT, I ran memtest and no errors ever came back on it. So I lied earlier when I said that the video card was the only thing that was in both machines. BUT, I did pull the extra sticks from my P4 Machine and still had the problem, so I THINK it's NOT the RAM, but I guess anything is possible.
  2. Sounds like they sent you the same card back :)

    How much have you got to spend?
  3. Why not try to borrow a card from a friend to see if it works in the new system? The two cards you are having problems with have both been used in your old system... that's really the only common link. If a friend's card works in your new PC (it should) I think you have your answer... two bad cards... both POSSIBLY damaged by your previous PC.
  4. First off, you post may seem long, but you detailed the problems pretty well and better yet, included your system specs.

    My first guess is that your psu is bad. Without sufficient power, the video cards will do all sorts of crazy things. Rosewill PSUs do not have a good reputation, either for longevity or consistent performance. Since you have tried different cards and gotten the same results and you have tested the ram, my first suggestion would then be to replace the psu with a quality one, Antec, Seasonic, Enermax, Thermaltake, or the like. You might consider getting one in the 600-700wt class as well, especially if you plan on upgrading the video card in the future. The extra cost should be minor and would probably prevent some future hastles.

    The second possibility is the motherboard has gone bad. A bad psu could kill a motherboard, so back to that consideration.

    A third possibility is that the video card from your first computer was already damaged by a malfunction and when you moved it to the new computer, you took the problem with you.

    A forth possibility that I see is just incredibly bad luck.

    I may be missing something, but this is what comes to mind at the moment.

    *Edit* Reverse what I listed as first and thrid possibilities.
  5. there is a possibility that your vga card's fan is defected, and so the card gets overheated. try to monitor the temps.
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