One day my computer wouldn't start. It would just spin all the fans a little bit ( .1 seconds ) and flash the LED and then stop booting. I assumed it was a dead power supply but I tested it in another rig and it worked fine! I took out the motherboard and tested it with different ram/processor/cooler and nothing helped. I didn't have peripherals connected at this time as I was just trying to get to the bios. Then I tried a different video card and it booted up first try. I know my 750W corsair is capable of powering it so I am assuming the card is dead. I tried the 750W corsair as well as a 500W ( generic, ultra ) and a 550W corsair psu and all could not boot the 4870 but did boot other graphics cards. All 4 red LEDs on the 4870 light up for .1 seconds and then the machine goes dormant.
So that's why I think the 4870 is dead. The real issue now is that visiontek has pretty limited support. I submitted a ticket 2 days ago and there has been no response. I would try their phone number but they don't have one . Seriously, no phone number at all. The 1-800-VTEK-411 did not offer support, it told me to call up AMD, but AMD provides service to AMD made products. To my knowledge the 4870 is made by visiontek, as the box suggests. The other issue is that while I have the product number, serial number and original packaging I forgot the invoice number in the last 8 months. I'm not sure but apparently they may not provide support if I do not have an invoice number. I bought it at best buy and I don't think they gave me a receipt.
I have 2 EVGA GTX260s on their way since I hear their tech support is superior, but I'd still like to RMA the 4870 since the card is pretty fast.
yeah xfx wasn't making the 4870 when I bought it though. I think while AMD has better gaming performance per dollar nvidia's cards are cooler and quieter. And nvidia's Cuda is pretty mature vs ati's stream. I also like their F@H support. I may try to go to best buy and track down the order. At least it wasn't made by gigabyte! They take over 3 weeks to send back a motherboard, if they don't find "damage". Good thing both of those are going strong.
its not that cuda is more mature, its just a hell of a lot easier to program for. thats why it is used more often then not. ATI also has F@H support. i know this because i ran F@H myself on my own 4850. as for running cooler. it all depends on the cooler and the grease that the manufacturer uses. (i once found a card that had no grease and had a fairly large cooler, temps droped 40C under load when i put paste on). im sure Nvidia would have slightly cheaper cards if their dye size wasn't so large, which is what 40nm process is for. cant wait to see GT200 on 40nm
Ati's folding @ home support is pretty limited. Apparently the reason why 4870s get 2-3k PPD vs 5-6k+ for the nvidia GPus is that they only use 320 shaders. This is the only explanation that made any sense to me but perhaps I'm wrong. Please correct me if I am. The fact that a 9600GSO outfolds an ati 4870 is pretty sad. That's what I was talking about with ati vs nvidia F@H. I don't really care about points ( they don't do anything ) but from what I hear they do equate to the amount of useful data they get.
I'll remember the thermal paste but only EVGA and I think XFX or BFG allow you to remove the cooler and add thermal paste w/o voiding the warranty. I'm glad I can tinker with it if I want to and I'm glad that I don't have to if I don't need to.
I definitely like ati's lower end more than nvidia's. The 4770 was 100 when I bought it and when OCed it can actually beat another OCed 9800GTX+ while using much less power. I like that ati is using new techniques like 40nm and new architectures. Nvidia keeps rehashing the old G92 I believe since 8800GT-->9800GT--->9800GTX+--->GTS250. It's getting old lol.
Anyone else feel like technology is slowing down a bit? Maybe it's just me but unless it has support for 4 cores, my e8400 seems to be plenty powerful. My friend bought a 4870 when it came out and it still is powerful enough for our applications. The only thing that is making me consider upgrading is converting h264 video faster but that's about it...and with CUDA I might not even have to upgrade to a quad core.
You should be able to contact Best Buy and get a copy of your receipt. It takes a couple/few weeks, but as long as you know the general date and store they can usually get it to you. You have to jump through some hoops, but it's probably worth it.