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Advice on xfx 8800gt Alpha Dog Edition based on gaming issue.

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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July 21, 2008 7:59:00 PM

Hi there

Ever since I put this card in my new box (specs listed below) I've had issues with certain games crashing my entire system when I run them for no more than like 5 or 10 minutes. When I play Bioshock (which runs beautifully in max settings) I get about 5 minutes in and all of a sudden it freezes abd U see a whole bunch of red lines and my system completely locks up. I have to reboot my system to get anything back. At first I thought there was a coolibng issue, then I determined that my PSU was not powerful enogh for this card so I got a newer unit (also listed below in my sig) but the problem was still there. I'm in the process of getting an RMA on the card but I was wondering, with the issue I've had, when I get a replacement card that works, will everything run as it should with these specs?

I think the card had shader issues which made it crash all the time but I could be wrong.

Also, I don't know if these are related but maybe I could get some help on this issue I posted.:) 
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/252070-28-random-auto...

Thanks everyone for any help
July 21, 2008 8:54:27 PM

Depends on the resolution you're talking about that you're playing max settings, but I'd suspect you'd have no problems with any resolution up to 1680x1050. Anything after that I think you'd start running into some chugging. Would help if I knew the speed of your Core 2 Duo though. You overclock it at all?
July 21, 2008 9:00:10 PM

The speed is 1.86ghz. How should I overclock this, I've never done that before.
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July 21, 2008 9:20:35 PM

Could this be a driver issue? What was the previous card you had installed?

You have plenty of good power, so unless there are heat issues, I would think a replacement video card would make it all work. No guarantees, of course.
July 21, 2008 9:32:15 PM

Well when I got the computer I had onboard video for like a day and then I put in the 8800gt and then the issue started. For the time being I have a Radeon x800 that a friend of mine lent to me while the RMA is going on.

I dunno, maybe I should do a clean install of xp. When I got the machine, the guy I got it off of (keep in mind that all the parts were brand new with all the boxes so none was used) had windows with a bunch of software including this lame virus scanner called nod32 I think.
July 21, 2008 9:39:46 PM

The red dots/or lines are often a RAM issue. The Qimonda ram that XFX and generally all of the OEM's put on their reference boards is Qimonda branded. The problem lies in the fact that the chips can't seem to run at their rated speeds with the timings they are set at. Regardless of cooling you'll most likely have the red ants of doom problem in games using the UT3 or similar engines, Bioshock being one of them. RMA that sucker and tell them that the RAM appears to have gone bad, or the RAM just doesn't work right at all. I got a RMA back from them, still Qimonda, but no longer faces the red dots problem.. ever. *knock on wood* Some people get lucky, getting cards back with Samsung chips, which have looser timings, but rarely have issues that the Qimonda have and can be overclocked considerably more than their Qimonda counterparts.
July 21, 2008 9:51:21 PM

How can I reply specific replies? Can't seem to find where and I feel like a noob.:( 
a c 171 Î Nvidia
a b 4 Gaming
July 21, 2008 9:55:12 PM

albinohaze said:
Well when I got the computer I had onboard video for like a day and then I put in the 8800gt and then the issue started. For the time being I have a Radeon x800 that a friend of mine lent to me while the RMA is going on.

I dunno, maybe I should do a clean install of xp. When I got the machine, the guy I got it off of (keep in mind that all the parts were brand new with all the boxes so none was used) had windows with a bunch of software including this lame virus scanner called nod32 I think.

If you are going to RMA it do so sooner rather than later, if rumours of XFX's defection from Nvidia are true then they may not have too many left 'lying about' as it where.
July 21, 2008 9:57:14 PM

Mousemonkey said:
If you are going to RMA it do so sooner rather than later, if rumours of XFX's defection from Nvidia are true then they may not have too many left 'lying about' as it where.


I already have an RMA number so all I have to do is send it out. Should be ok, talked to a tech on the phone and he didn't see a problem.
July 21, 2008 10:02:50 PM

albinohaze said:
I already have an RMA number so all I have to do is send it out. Should be ok, talked to a tech on the phone and he didn't see a problem.

Well you're all set then, the replacement will hopefull alleviate the red dots.
July 21, 2008 10:05:58 PM

diabloazul126 said:
Well you're all set then, the replacement will hopefull alleviate the red dots.


If all I have in my machine for cooling is the fan in the PSU and the fan and heatsync for the cpu should I get more fans? I'm thinking yes for better performance because I have another thread with an issue with random rebooting, it's happened twice since I got the machine a week and a half ago also twice the machine has turned itself off and I wasn't able to turn it back on for like 5 minutes. So could these other issues be the result of poor cool or bad ram or what?

Thanks for all your help man and everyone who's responding.:) 
July 21, 2008 10:12:25 PM

albinohaze said:
If all I have in my machine for cooling is the fan in the PSU and the fan and heatsync for the cpu should I get more fans? I'm thinking yes for better performance because I have another thread with an issue with random rebooting, it's happened twice since I got the machine a week and a half ago also twice the machine has turned itself off and I wasn't able to turn it back on for like 5 minutes. So could these other issues be the result of poor cool or bad ram or what?

Thanks for all your help man and everyone who's responding.:) 

Most likely, I mean theoretically, a case could have good enough airflow to only need a single psu exhaust fan, but the average case probably could use a little more exhaust. My setup is a Coolermaster Cavalier-1 (old) with a single 120MM@1200RPM in (Kama Bay) and Single 120MM@1600RPM out with two more 120MM's on the aftermarket heatsink on my 8800GT and the Scythe Ninja on my CPU, and the PSU exhausts a little on it's own, but I try to not depend on that. Just make sure you have good airflow, feel what kind of volume and temperature the air leaving the back of you case is, if you feel that there is enough then stick with it, but more likely than not, using a PSU as an only exhaust will not really push a vast amount of air out and can overstress the PSU.

As for the random rebooting, I'm not sure if it's related, something might be funky with your computer in general. Is it custom? Pre-built or what?
July 21, 2008 10:15:17 PM

P.S.

What's the make/model of the case you're using so we can look at current airflow utilization.
July 21, 2008 10:18:14 PM

diabloazul126 said:
Most likely, I mean theoretically, a case could have good enough airflow to only need a single psu exhaust fan, but the average case probably could use a little more exhaust. My setup is a Coolermaster Cavalier-1 (old) with a single 120MM@1200RPM in (Kama Bay) and Single 120MM@1600RPM out with two more 120MM's on the aftermarket heatsink on my 8800GT and the Scythe Ninja on my CPU, and the PSU exhausts a little on it's own, but I try to not depend on that. Just make sure you have good airflow, feel what kind of volume and temperature the air leaving the back of you case is, if you feel that there is enough then stick with it, but more likely than not, using a PSU as an only exhaust will not really push a vast amount of air out and can overstress the PSU.

As for the random rebooting, I'm not sure if it's related, something might be funky with your computer in general. Is it custom? Pre-built or what?


Yea it's pre-built. The guy I met him from craig's list and he knows his stuff and has been helping me the best he can.
July 21, 2008 10:34:14 PM

I'd say RMA, and bring your cooling up to par. My current setup makes my GPU core max out at 20-30degrees celsius above normal ambient (55~) while the stock cooler was more like 50-60 above ambient (90+)
http://www.techpowerup.com/gallery/1464/__1.jpg
^current setup for decent airflow

So minor improvements on cooling yield great improvements temp and reliability-wise. Sounds like the builder went stingy on airflow and psu.

Anonymous
a b 4 Gaming
July 22, 2008 1:10:03 AM

the problem is... (a guess) is that you didn't properly disable on board video... if thats still running it can cause lots of problems

July 22, 2008 1:22:25 AM

I had the same problem with my 8800GT Alpha Dog. In the end, I fixed it by lowering my ram from ddr800 to ddr667. I had 4x2GB sticks-- even though they were rated for pc2-6400, they refused to stablize with the 8800gt. Games would bench and work fine for like 10 minutes and then crash like you described.
July 22, 2008 7:30:27 AM

Cross-linked image:


So there's an example of what a video card ram malfunction will look like. If it's anything like that, then you can be pretty sure something is up with the ram chips.
July 22, 2008 4:27:34 PM

diabloazul126 said:
Cross-linked image:
http://forums.nvidia.com/index.php?act=Attach&type=post&id=6402

So there's an example of what a video card ram malfunction will look like. If it's anything like that, then you can be pretty sure something is up with the ram chips.


Wow, that is right on the money for what my issue is!!! That looks like COD4, picture the begining of Bioshock or Far Cry looking like that and that's me.
!