My PC keeps eating graphics cards

The first victim was

Connect3D ATI Radeon X1800XT 256MB GDDR3 AVIVO TV-Out Dual DVI PCI-E
From eBuyer

Which I purchased in September 2006 and died Apr 2007. About 7 Month Life
See here for support I received

RESOLVED ATI Radeon X1800 Series Problems

I managed to get a refund for this card and so decided to buy a

VGA GeForce 8800 GTS SuperClocked 320MB GDDR3 HDTV/Dual DVI (PCI-Express)
From Overclockers UK

Which I purchased in May 2007 and died Aug 2008. About 15 Month Life

Everything was working fine until a couple of days ago when I started noticing problems. I had been using it during the day and left it on overnight when I went to my pc the screen was all mangled and had graphics errors see image:

I installed the latest drivers from EVGA and it started working again with no problems. Until I left it on overnight again and woke up to the same nightmare. Only this time installing the drivers wouldn’t work. When the pc loads there are vertical lines (glitches) running down the screen on the loading screens. Images here:

I found that I was able to use safe mode with no problem and even windows on the ms basic drivers but as soon as the nvidea drivers go in CRASH BANG graphical spazery. I decided to format to no avail but have managed to install everything with the basic display drivers. I decided to contact Overclockers UK to arrange a replacement but I'm not holding my breath for any real customer service other than a plethora of patience testing. I'm reluctant to deal with EVGA because from what I have been reading the nearest support is in Germany. Here’s a link to a guy who has similar problems with the same card and not getting any support:

Here is some correspondence I have received from Overclockers UK

Graphics card has developed fault. Lines appear on start of pc and loading. Hard drive formatted and clean installed. When drivers new or old loaded severe display problems occur. Technician has diagnosed as faulty please arrange replacement.
Support Details:
Motherboard: ASUS P5W DH Deluxe
Motherboard Driver:
Motherboard Chipset:
Motherboard BIOS: 2704
CPU: Core 2 Duo E6600 2.4ghz
Memory: OCZ PC2-6400 DDR2 2GB Gold
Memory Latency:
PSU: Corsair HX Series 620W Modular PSU
Graphics Driver: 177.79_XP32
Sound Card:
Sound Driver:
Operating system: XP Pro SP3
Changes prior to problem: None

I have e-mailed your organisation to request the replacements of my faulty graphics card. I have yet to receive a response and will not be subjected to ques in your expensive phone system. My computer is currently inoperable and will remain so until this has been resolved. I have heard many horror stories regarding your customer support and was hoping I could be proven wrong. This is slowly diminishing any will I might have had to purchase anything else from your company or recommending it to anyone. I am now going to call the citizens advice bureau to help intervene in this situation. I will be using the full extent of the law if all else fails.

Dear James

Thank youy for the web note

As far as I can see, you have only sent in 1 previous email to our returns department and that was today. This will be answered in the near future. The returns process is as good as customers make it and making a complaint on the same day as sending the returns message and then threatening the law against us is probably not the best way to go to get a speedy reponse.


Customer services

Is this an indication of unwillingness to assist my case? Is this an indication that the response time of my case will now be reduced? Granted I may have acted a little hastily and aggressively but such a response from a professional organisation is unnecessary. An estimated waiting time, confirmation that my support request was received and maybe even an apology for my grievances would have sufficed. Instead you decide that people that indirectly pay your wages need to get a dose of their own medicine. I think it is probably the time to start the “dealing with angry customer’s course”. You seem to expect everyone with a faulty product to act happily, gracefully and have no cause for complaint. But it’s nice to know that your organisation can respond so quickly to anything other than dealing with the return of my faulty product. Correspondence noted for future reference.

Dear James

Thank you for the web note.

We understand that customers are very unhappy and we try our best, which ever the department to answer them quickly. I just find it wrong the tone you took in your first message. As I said the relivant department will answer you message asap, but I can not make it happen any quicker than that. And I think it is time to let us get on with our jobs instead of answering silly webnotes, but I know this will not happen.


Customer Services

Then I got this

Thank you for your webnote.

Unfortunately this product is out of warranty with us, you will need to contact EVGA directly to gain a replacement.
Yea I admit I was an *** but just look at these responses. This is what happens when you deal with OCUK. I tried to call them but the technical support line was engaged and the customers service is apparently ran by flamers who tend to prefer to argue with customers than help them. I decided to buy a cheap gfx card from ebuyer to make sure it’s the graphics card that’s the problem.

PowerColor HD 3850 Pro 512MB GDDR3 256bit Dual DVI TV Out PCI-E Graphics Card

I should be getting this in the next couple of days. Then it looks like I'm going to have to deal with EVGA which frankly I'm not looking forward to. Although I know from the other article and in my case OCUk sold the gfx card with 90 day step up program when it was expired maybe I can persue false advertising or product not as described complaint but not sure how the law will stand on this when it's been so many months.

If anyone has any idea what could be causing my pc to eat the gfx cards please let me know. I have followed this guide to setup my pc just with my timing on the memory.

Previously my bios was set to Auto under PCI Express Frequency and this guide advises it to be set at 100. Could having this set to Auto be what’s causing my problems and making the cards burn out over time?

I didn’t overclock either of my gfx cards but I have had my CPU overclocked. The only options regarding pci in the bios are

PCI Express Freq
PCI Clock syn. mode

Which previously have both been set to auto. After reading the guide I see that people are setting.

PCI Express Freq--auto ----------------100 YES LOCK TO 100
PCI Clock syn. mode--auto ---------------33 or 33.3 YES 33.3

I have now set these settings like this but what I am wondering is with a CPU overclock and these set to auto, could this cause the deterioration of the gfx cards? Acording to unlikely is about all the support I can get on this so I'm hoping someone here might have more of a clue.

Also could my Philips 109E50 19 FST 0.25 92khz TCO03 CRT be doing this? It's never been much good. Maybe gfx cards don’t like dual screens when 1 is CRT and 1 LCD? I'm assuming gfx cards are meant to last longer than mine are. Maybe I have just been unlucky twice and 3rd time the charm?

Here are my other system specs

Power Supply - Corsair HX Series 620W Modular PSU - ATX12V v2.2 APFC

Motherboard - ASUS P5W DH Deluxe SKT 775 dual-core Core2Duo Conroe ready Crossfire 8channel audio ATX

CPU - Core 2 Duo E6600 2.4ghz - Skt775 Fsb1066 4mb Cache
Overclocked to 3.02 ghz a friend helped me overclock and build my pc.
I have had it running at 3.30 ghz for the last few weeks but now its at default 2.4 to ensure more accurate diagnostics.

RAM - OCZ (OCZ2G8002GK) OCZ PC2-6400 DDR2 2GB Gold XTC Dual Kit (5-5-5-12) 2G Kit 800MHz Gold XTC

Video Card(s) - EVGA GeForce 8800 GTS SuperClocked 320MB GDDR3 HDTV/Dual DVI (PCI-Express)

Hard Drive(s) - Western Digital WD1500ADFD Raptor Sata 150GB 10kRPM 16MB Cache - Oem
Samsung HD753LJ 750GB Hard Drive SATAII 7200rpm *32MB Cache*
Maxtor 200GB Removable (not sata)

Operating System - Windows XP Pro

Case - Coolermaster Centurion 531 Silver

CPU Heatsink - Arctic-Cooling Freezer 7 PRO - P4 775 up to 4.4 Ghz

PC Front fans = Hiper 120mm HiperFlow Chrome Blade Case Fan With Blue LED
Hiper 80mm 3 pin Case Fan - Blue LED with Clear Frame and Clear HiperFlow Blades

Side Fans - Hiper 80mm 3 pin Case Fan - Blue LED with Clear Frame and Clear HiperFlow Blades
Hiper 80mm Case Fan - Clear HiperFlow Frame and Blades

Rear Fan - Antec Cooling Fan 120mm Blue Led Lights

Other Fan - Antec Spot Cool System Cooler-mounts Virtually Anywhere Inside A Case -blue Led

Fan Controller - Aerocool GateWatch Silver Fan Controller

Monitor - Philips 109E50 19 FST 0.25 92khz TCO03
Samsung SM2032BW 20"TFT Monitor Widescreen 1680x1050 3000:1 300cd/m2 2ms VGA/DVI-D Glossy Black

Burner - LG GSA-H10ABAL 16xDVDRW/RAM Internal Black - OEM

Other - I also have an old analogue TV card

UPS - Plexus V 650VA UPS with LCD Screen & AVR
6 answers Last reply
More about eating graphics cards
  1. Man, we really didn't need the all BS, just the facts. And yes, you were being an ass in your first email. My mother used to say....treat others as you would like to be treated. Had you used more tact, been nice and friendly and patient, you may have just gotten some help. However once they saw the warranty had expired, they were instantly thinking, f**k you a**hole and goodbye. Had you been more pleasant, althought the warranty had expired, you may have gotten some help of some kind.

    Anyway, have you changed or checked your PSU?
    That would be the very first thing to suspect.
  2. I have a similar problem. I bought my computer one month ago and I already killed two Sapphire HD4870. Of course the second video card should still be on warranty, but like you, I would like to know if my problem is somewhere else.

    My computer:

    Motherboard: Asus Rampage Formula
    CPU: Q9450
    CPU fan: intel box (no overclocking yet)
    PSU: Corsair HX 620W
    Memmory 8 gigs Corsair DDR2-800 C4DHX
    OS: Windows Vista 64 bits
    HDD: Seagate 750 Gigs
  3. I would not suspect the powersupply of that quality being an issue, but you cannot rule out that possibility. Secondly I would also agree with jitpublisher that the BS talk with support on the same day that you sent the request was probably not the right thing to do, due to the fact that you even received a response on the same day tells of decent service. Most Online retailers will wait more than a day (maby weeks) before you get a response for your query. Furthermore, It is most likely a coincidence that your cards died relatively fast. Or it could just be a lack of air movement in your case, plus the fact that dust could be getting in the fan. For future reference, make sure your case is clean of all dust and if you really want to, you could just buy a card with a lifetime warranty so you dont have to worry about having to be paying for a new card if it dies.
  4. I'm not sure if it's a coincidence or what, but in the past few months I start seeing a lot of problems with Corsair HX PSU on many different forums. They're great quality but they doesn't seem to last long.

    I have 2 Corsair HX PSU at home, 1 * HX520W and 1 * HX620W. I purchase recently a 9800GX2 and just before putting it in my PC I started to have problems with my PC as it was becoming unstable.

    So I purchase a new PSU PC Power & Cooling silencer 750 and my PC was back to normal.
  5. overclockers uk sux bigtime, i had a problem with them and will not buy of them again
  6. Firstly I wanted to explain my case in as much detail as possible so I can find out precisely what is going wrong and also to avoid making multiple posts. I'm not forcing anyone to read this. I included the OCUK correspondence because it’s relevant to the case and may help others when dealing with them.

    I agree treat others as you would like to be treated but this is a business organisation I am dealing with. They are answerable only to the law so usually it doesn’t matter whether you’re nice or not. You'd be surprised how many of these companies worm around rules and flout the law. They have the attitude of do anything to get around refund or replacement before giving in. That’s why new legislation is coming into effect to force these companies to train their staff in consumer law which OCUK seem to have a blatant disregard for.

    It's not just me and rangers that have had problems with OCUK and you wont have to look far to find countless complaints on this company. Also many seem to think because I was an ass I deserve to be treated differently. However a customer is a customer pleasant or not and when you think about it an angry customer may be angry because they have a loyalty to the company that is leaving them out to dry. They are also the ones who cause the most stink.

    My card is in warranty with EVGA as it has a 10 year warranty on it so that’s not the problem. My complaint is having to send my GFX card to Germany if I want a replacement. This wasn’t made aware to me when I purchased the card with it's indication of 10 year warranty. Neither was the fact that the 90 step up program was a blatant lie. People need to stand up to these idiots because they will get away with murder if they are allowed. Many will think I'm overreacting but in this day and age there is no need for organisations with sloppy practices to exist and all the custom should be going elsewhere. Unfortunately it’s a slippery slope for people like OCUK because they get custom due to low price and constant availably of products with an adverse effect on after sales service and returning customers. This is what makes it hard for them to change.

    Here is the post and support I received for my previous graphics card.

    It seems people go straight for the power supply. However in my case I previously had a Sansun Black True 500W 20/24pin PSU - 120mm Blue LED Fan (cheapo) while running the Connect3D ATI Radeon X1800XT 256MB GDDR3 AVIVO TV-Out Dual DVI PCI-E. That’s when I got the Corsair HX Series 620W Modular PSU - ATX12V v2.2 APFC because suggested it may be the problem. Because of this I doubt that’s what’s wrong.

    It could be dust because the room is small and the pc sits on the floor on a wooden board because there’s no where else for it to go. However I have always kept an eye on dust build-up and everything in my case is clean. My CPU fan died a couple of weeks ago too so I bought another and replaced the fan, whether this is in any way related I don’t know.

    Maybe it is a lack of air movement but trying to figure out the best way of setting it up for optimum cooling is a nightmare. I know this is a science in itself and people are constantly arguing on the best solutions. Maybe I have too many fans, maybe there is more air going in than going out or vice versa, maybe the fans on the side towards the back of the case should be pointing in instead of out.

    Maybe it’s my motherboard that's somehow causing this? When cleaning, do I leave the card in the case or take it out? Also taking the card out is unavoidable when trying to access hard to reach places in the case.

    Then there’s the software I had installed before the problems. I installed THE CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK ESCAPE FROM BUTCHER BAY which needed Riddick EFBB - Nvidia openGL fix to run. Maybe this is what caused the problem? Also I installed a program called process guard which was blocking my screensaver from working properly.

    The problem with all this is that any answer needs to be questioned with why do they last as long as they do before these problems occur?
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