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The Buzzsaw

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 25, 2008 4:21:53 PM

My best friend has a 9800XT and we were wondering what you guys think.

Everytime it starts up, well it sounds like a saw. Sometimes the screen will go blank before windows and we have to reboot.

Is it on its way out?

More about : buzzsaw

March 25, 2008 4:25:33 PM

fan?
March 25, 2008 5:10:39 PM

The only moving part on the card that I can think of is the fan. If its failing (which it sounds like it is), you are probably overheating the card, which might explain the crashes.

Power down and unplug the computer.
Check to see if any cables have fallen and are resting on the fan. If not, remove the card and blow any dust/debris from the fan area. Will the fan spin smoothly if you spin it with your finger?

Plug it back in and fire it up. See if that solves your problem. If your still getting the noise you may need to replace the fan.
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March 25, 2008 5:32:10 PM

Yep I agree with the preecher, clear it away, clean it out, and see if that helps.

Replacing the fan is easy if it's dying, but maybe not worth it for such an aging card, depends the cost of replacement.
March 25, 2008 6:02:10 PM

It's probably the fan; cleaning it out like everyone else said might help.

You also might want to consider getting a new GPU :) 
March 25, 2008 11:42:27 PM

I just suggest a new GPU if he doesn't want an overall system rebuild.

For him he has a AGP 8x so here is a card that will drastically imrpove performance over what he has now:

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/ite...

I am sure you can find a better price but thats one nice card really.

Don't get me wrong though. I loved my 9800XT to death until someone stole it from my car..... dam dirty theifs...
March 26, 2008 10:57:22 PM

Alright, we cleaned it out(it was rather dusty) but that didn't fix the problem. It did not make any noise when we manually spun it so we are confused. He would just get a better GPU, but he has a shuttle and it only has a 250 w psu which wont cut it for that card. I tryed to give him my old X800 XT, but it wont fit. We are in a bind, he wants a new comp, but I don't think he has the money for it.
March 27, 2008 1:26:32 AM

This would be the absolute fastest GPU you could put into an AGP slot (that I am aware of). Your friend's PSU cannot handle it:
SAPPHIRE 100228L Radeon HD 3850 512MB

This card would be a good price/performance compromise as far as AGP cards go. Your friend's PSU should be able to run it provided that the 12V rail is strong enough:
HIS Hightech H26XF512ANP Radeon HD 2600XT 512MB *Edit* Nevermind, that card apparently has issues.

In all honesty I would recommend that your friend just save up for a new computer. AGP is dead :( 
March 27, 2008 3:08:11 AM

IMO get an X1600 series card on AGP, as long as it's not an X1650XT it should be fine on the PSU side of the equation and then give you support for SM3.0 in the process.

An HD2400Pro should also be within your power envelope;

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

While these are not the best parts, for what you're trying to do I think these are your only realistic options.

You could of course replace the fan, but that needs you to be confident in your termal grease and plastic clip removal replacement abilities.

Edit - Even though I like that HD26000 i don't think he could run an HD2600Pro on that rig let alone XT, but if he could it'd be a sweet add on. If he has a local supplier with a good return policy it may be worth the effort of trying it out.
March 27, 2008 11:34:11 AM

True about the PSU, but the HD2600 is pretty light on power consumption, so it might work...

I'll go out on a limb here and state that if the PSU could run an X800XT (questionable, but he OP seems to think so), it could handle an HD2600XT. Power figures on the X800XT are hard to find though, so I can't really back that statement up. It's more like an educated guess/assumption.
March 27, 2008 12:21:24 PM

I think the 9800xt's had a pretty high power consumptions, as well.

Most likely, the reason it made no noise when you manually spun the fan is it doesn't get "wobbily" until it is going really fast.

The x1650 series of cards will give similar (a little better...) performance as the 9800xt did and the PSU should be able to handle it. I am not sure what CPU he has, but most likely anything higher than a 2600 series card would be overkill. Since it isn't a card you would bring to a new PC (because it is AGP), I wouldn't spend a lot of $$$. You could even go as far as searching ebay for another 9800 series card, or even a nvidia 6600/7600 series card. I bet if you looked hard enough on Ebay, you could find one for $20-$30.
March 27, 2008 2:49:24 PM

Yeah, it's iffy, I'm not sure about the X800XT as it was truly a power hungry animal, and while the R9800XT was pretty power hungry too, I would say it is that extra step.

The HD2600 is probably within that envelope of the X800XT, but once again that is a guess, remember the X800XL was on that fine line for PCIe where it was with/without an external connector, but on AGP required the extra power, so that XL would be just under the 75W draw mark, whereas the 800XT required power in addition to the PCIe slot. So the X800XT would definitely require more than an R9800XT.

Here's the power draw figures I pulled from Xbit Labs;

X800 series;
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/video/display/gpu-cons...

X1600 series;
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/video/display/gpu-cons...

HD2600XT;
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/video/display/radeon-h...

So just about the same as an X800XL for all three (X1600XT not pro) not that much more for an HD2600 apparently ~5W, which is a bit surprising. The more surprising thing is the high power draw of the GF6600GT as much as an X800XL or HD2600XT. :heink: 

Now the question is how well does that PSU of his handle that power.
March 27, 2008 3:08:17 PM

So X-bit Labs gives us the power draw of the cards alone? Very nice!

If this were a newer 250W PSU it would probably work, but given its age I doubt that it has the 12V strength to run a modern GPU safely, even a power-sipping HD2600.

Oh, and I just read the user reviews of that HIS HD2600Xt that I recommended above...not good. I will retract that recommendation.
March 27, 2008 3:14:09 PM

Do what I did with my 9700 pro when it died.

Step 1: Remove old fan from heatsink
Step 2: Strap a 80mm fan to the side of it with zip ties.

Done!

FYI, that card still lives. Currently resides in my file storage box. Running strong for 7 years now. I gamed on it untill last fall. Ahh, the golden years for ATI....
March 27, 2008 3:26:59 PM

I sold my 9500 pro to my buddy for a few meals at taco bell during lunch break. it still serves him good on WoW to this day.
March 27, 2008 3:28:27 PM

Remember though, most NewEgg user reviews are by IDIOTS!

I've read so many of them where I've said to myself "Clean out your OLD Drivers!" , "It's your system that's a bottleneck idjit!" or "Not even a GF8800GTS will do that in Crysis!" kind of thing.
The best part is most of the people with n00b issues put themselves down as tech savy. Maybe when they selected 'high' they were talking baout their mental state at the time.

In general I give NewEgg reviews 0 weight, other than to find out what readers of Cnet or BestBuy shoppers might do with a product.

Anywhoo, just my personal pet peeves about NewEgg 'reviews'. :pfff: 
March 27, 2008 4:03:43 PM

I agree that Newegg user reviews are crap, but the main complaint about that card is the lack of driver support, which I can see as being a real problem since it's AGP.
March 27, 2008 5:35:45 PM

yeah, I can't speak with first hand knowledge of the quality of drivers for that card, but from what I have heard they are questionable.

Don't rule out a x1600 series card or a nvidia 7600 series. I am assuming, based on having a 9800xt, that the CPU isn't real new. Either of those cards would be an improvement over the 9800xt. If you can, get them with GDDr3 memory. That does bring up the issue of making sure you have sufficent power, but I don't think either card takes more than the x2600.
March 27, 2008 7:32:33 PM

Yeah I know early driver support was an issue (like most new cards) but not sure about nowadays.

The guy trying to get solid works running I would just tell him to go grab the FireGL mod, it works on the HD2600 cards like buttah.
March 27, 2008 8:26:25 PM

I think he his going to try and get a new comp, but he needs to save first. The X800 technically will run on the 250 PSU, but my friend is very paranoid.
March 27, 2008 8:38:58 PM

Dirty_Harry2 said:
I think he his going to try and get a new comp, but he needs to save first. The X800 technically will run on the 250 PSU, but my friend is very paranoid.


I don't know about that. I had a x800GTO that fried out because I was using a cheap model 400 watt PSU (low amps and quality). I am pretty sure it requires a good amount of amps on the 12v rail (which I am guessing a 250 PSU doesn't have). But, you never know. If there isn't much else in the PC, it POSSIBLY could work.
March 27, 2008 10:03:39 PM

One drop of plastic safe oil usually fixes a noisy fan like that. But it's not that simple. You need to take it apart, clean all the dust on the blades with q-tips and rubbing alcohol, and then peel a sticker to find the spindle. It may be a pain to get to, but I've fixed chipset and vga fans making that type noise loads of times with a single drop of oil.
March 31, 2008 7:33:25 PM

Alright guys, he is seeing white spots in game and it has crashed a few times. Its on its way out right?
March 31, 2008 7:51:11 PM

Are you talking about the 9800XT showing white spots, if yes is the fan still making that noise? Or are you talking about a new card?
March 31, 2008 9:25:30 PM

I am talking about the 9800XT, he has not installed the new card yet, but since that happened he is gonna risk it. He also has a 9700 Pro that should work, does that meet the power requirements?
April 1, 2008 12:11:33 AM

If the 9800xt worked, the 9700 will too. Performance should be similar too. Obviously a little slower, but not by much.
April 1, 2008 12:28:57 AM

So again, what do the white spots mean? I saw a guy on a similar post with his 9800 Pro and you guys said it was going out.
April 1, 2008 1:08:17 AM

grey/white snow is usually artifacts from the GPU core running too high/hot.

Underclocking the core alittle might make that go away. Also, removing the heatsink, cleaning it, and applying artic silver thermal compound as well as making sure the fan spins properly and is dust free can help that. The card may or may not be permanently damaged at this point.


For fun, let me try keeping the case open and blowing a house fan into it. If the snow doesn't appear, the card simply needs better cooling or less core MHz.
April 2, 2008 6:18:41 PM

Alright, we put the X800 in and so far so good. No crashes or problems in anything yet. The connector was almost fried on the 9800 from the PSU, we had to get pliers to disconnect them.
!