Over the course of the last several days, I have been encountering many problems with my "newly" acquired eVGA GeForce 7800GT. I say "newly" because in reality, I have owned a 7800GT for nearly two years now; last month I encountered an unsolvable video error. I assumed the problem lied with my video card, so I RMA'ed it and got a replacement. (Turns out it was my MB, so I RMA'ed it and got a replacement as well.) I was hoping that the installation of said parts would be smooth and simple, but since day 1, I have been having many problems.
I encountered many BSOD's and artifact problems, but through many restarts and many reinstallations and tweakings, I have reduced my many problems down to one: major artifacting in 3d applications (specifically, games such as Battlefield 2 and Unreal Tourny 3). I have the latest drivers (WinXP 169.28), installed them all properly (after first uninstalling the old drivers), and I've boosted the fan speed on the GPU to 100% without overclocking the GPU itself. Everything on my computer works fine EXCEPT when I try to play games. They run smoothly for about 10 to 15 minutes, and then the artifacts begin to creep up. I have been using nTune and NVIDIA Monitor to see what has been going on, and my GPU has never gotten above 63` Celsius while playing these games. (I've only been getting the BSOD [nv4_disp] when nTune craps out on me randomly).
I have tried everything I can think of short of flashing the BIOS (which I don't think would help anyway). I have upgraded and downgraded to different versions of the drivers, I have reseated the card in the slot, and I even tried reseating the heatsink on the GPU. I tried Underclocking the card, to no avail, and I know it is getting more than enough power (power has never been an issue). Remember, I've been using a 7800GT for two years now, and it has worked great until I got this new one. Would it be possible if someone here can help me track down the REAL source of this problem? I would appreciate it very much.
My current setup:
CPU: AMD Athlon 64 3700+ San Diego running at 2.5 GHz
MB/RAM: MSI K8N Neo4 Platinum nForce 4 (Newegg does not carry this product anymore). FSB (according to Sandra) is running at 2x 1000MHz. Can support up to 4GB of PC3200. Currently running with 1 GB of Corsair ValueSelect PC3200 (VS1GB400C3). RAM timing @ 200MHz is 3-3-3-8.
GPU: eVGA GeForce 7800GT 256MB (the eVGA GPU cores come factory overclocked at 445 MHz, and the memory speeds come OC'ed at 1070 MHz. I believe the standard for 7800GT (not sure about this) is 400 MHz core and 1000MHz memory.)
PSU: Mad Dog Multimedia: Techi Toyz SurePower 500W ATX Power Supply. I have had it for about 3 years and it has worked wonderfully since the first day.
Well right up front i will say this is just an observation of mine and may well be complete crap.
I have a rig that has a X1650 in it and have stopped seeing any benefits in the drivers since about 7.7/7.8 (thats july /august last year if you didnt know how the ATI drivers are labeled) in fact i started getting small problems and reverted to 7.8 from 7.10. It seems that there is more concentration on improving the newer cards which makes sence i guess.
Dont know if the Nvidia drivers work the same way seems they could well be similar but i have seen a few posts recently about the older series cards going wrong after driver updates and wondered if something similar was happening with the Nvidia drivers.
Just thought i would share it with you incase it proves founded, you could try reverting to a driver version you knew worked well, at this point it cant hurt and if nothing else you will have ruled something else out.
Thanks for the tip, mac, but that thought did in fact cross my mind. I installed the drivers that came with my card, but nothing changed. I submitted an RMA request, so hopefully it will be accepted and I can get this out of my hair.