I just put this computer together this week and have run into one problem after another. Currently everything works fine -except- the games. I have an eVGA 8800GT. I'll play the game and within the first moments massive graphical errors occur. Textures missing, recolored, misplaced (UI will have texture maps of teeth and ears), even models malformed or incomplete. I've been talking with people that suggest that it's a power supply issue. Looked at my specs and saw my 550W was enough in terms of wattage but I had no idea amps were a factor now. 18a on my 12v rail wasn't enough for the 26 required by the 8800. I went to Best Buy and talked to their Geek Squad "professionals" and they told me that this new 650W one with two 12v rails with 20a on them each would work. Guess what? It didn't.
What I need to know is if the power supply SHOULD work. As in, do I need to replace my PSU again or do I need to tell eVGA to give me a new card?
I had the exact same problem using the exact same wattage power supply. I used to think it was PSU related too. Turned out I had a bad 8800gt. Took it back and bought another one. Same problems still happened. Finally I did a step up to 8800gt 1024mb akimbo and whala!! Problems were gone! All I can think of now is that there must be a lot of bad 8800gt cards floating around at retail stores. In my opinion, I think it has something to do with the standard cooling heatsink on 8800gt's as they are very poor. That and possible driver issues. I am using 169.35 driver that came with my 8800gt Akimbo. The Akimbo is a dream when it comes to cooling. I used to float around 50c with stock 8800gt cooling when idle. My Akimbo is 35c when idle! Both were using 30% fan speed.
One other thing... As far as I am aware you are suppose to add both rails together to determine your amps. For instance... If you have 18a on rail one and 17a on rail two, than you have a total of 35a. One 8800gt requires 26a. 35a clearly is enough. 35a is my total using my 550watt PSU and believe it or not, I am now running two 8800gt akimbos while playing Elderscrolls IV Oblivion. If I run into any issues I will post back.
2) Wattage really isn't as much of a concern as what the Amp rating on the 12V rails is. IE, a 400W psu with a summed 30A rails will be fine while a 550W w/ a summed 18A rails will not be enough.
3)The Geek Squad is a good idea but they have Idoits for managers at most Best Buys, and in return hire Idiot Technicians for their "I don't know crap so lets fudge an answer" squad. You can't hire a knowledgable technician for $8-$10 an hour. It just doesnt cut the mustard buddy. They want to charge that $60 and hour, pay the tech $10 of that and pocket the $50 extra. Plus if they had a good tech at $15-$20 an hour he could fix that problem in 1 hour instead of 3 and they'd only bill $60-$20= $40 in their pocket. LETS NOT TALK about the geek squad, they tick me off every time I hear their name, OH and lets not talk about Circuit City's FireDog stupid puppies, they are all runts of the litter. My buddy took his parents PC to them for a FREE diagnostic. They found like 20 bad clusters on the HD and said they need a new hard drive to ensure it didnt crash. The were going to charge $60-$250 for a hard drive depending on which they wanted, $40 to install, and $120 to reload windows. I was like dude that retarded, they are retarded. I said bad clusters happen, your PC will mark them as bad and not write to them, but there may be a degradation problem on the HD because it's 5 years old. Give me your PC. I bought a 40GB drive for like $40 and just made a ghost image of the drive and imaged the new one. All in like 30 minutes. They bought be a bottle of Crown Royal and said thanks. I hate Stupid Techs that want to take advantage of non IT people. Lets be honest in our work stupid people. Sorry, that was a rant right there.
4) If its 650w with 2 20a 12v rails it should work fine, I can not vouch for the quality of items you may get at best buy though.
5) It's the card, RMA it should work right out of the box.
Thanks for the input. I hope I'm not speaking too soon, but I RMA'd my video card and got a new one (thanks to EVGA's excellent customer service) and it works. I got about 10 minutes into Oblivion whereas I wasn't able to get to 10 seconds normally without exploding with artifacting.
Again, thanks a lot.