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How to prevent my expensive 3DCard from burning down or malfunctioning

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September 7, 2009 7:24:56 PM

My last card Inno3d Geforce2 256 MB (2005) $100 malfunctioned after only 1.5 years after the warranty period (1year) and could not be repaired or replaced....I hadnt bought a 3d Card till then as I had 3d card phobia and I was happy with my PS2 then :)  ....


Now I am planning to buy an XFX 9800GT in Jan.... If any one knows what precautions I should take so that when I buy the new card XFX 9800GT, it doesnt burndown by overheating etc so quickly please do tell. Does playing games 4hrs a day is a cause of malfunctioning....

PS Does spikes, overvoltage and no grouding of pc causes a 3d card to burn down or malfunction????

PS I am sure if my new card also malfunctions after just one years I am never going to buy an additional to motherboard 3d card ever.....

September 7, 2009 7:32:30 PM

Get a GTS250 or 4850, they are equal to or cheaper than 9800GTs in price, and surpass it in performance.

Or, get a DX11 if you can.

Power surges can kill computer parts. You can play games 24hrs a day and it should be fine.
a c 171 Î Nvidia
September 7, 2009 7:39:15 PM

In January I would hope that you have more than the venerable 9800GT, and yes power spikes over voltage and lack of grounding can cause damage to any electrical components but if the system is good then 4 hours of gaming would be a doddle.
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a b Î Nvidia
September 7, 2009 7:40:26 PM

XFX (in the US and Canada) has a massively long warranty but you must register the card to get it or you'll just have a couple of years. So, register the card and you'll be old and grey before it expires.
If you live in an area where the power supply is not too good or you suffer heavy lightning storms a surge/spike protector would be a good idea to protect the entire system anyway.
Most cards, though not all, allow a user to increase the fan speed, which will keep the card cooler. Of course that will shorten the service life of the fan but they'll last forever if they get past the first few months and anyway, there's always that super warranty you will register to get;)
September 7, 2009 10:10:19 PM

Mousemonkey said:
In January I would hope that you have more than the venerable 9800GT, and yes power spikes over voltage and lack of grounding can cause damage to any electrical components but if the system is good then 4 hours of gaming would be a doddle.


Wow so quick response :o 

Thanx for the advice anyway....

For OverVoltage I have the 3000W Stabmatic Stabilizer and we dont have much rain here to worry about spikes etc, but how can I know if my system is grounded or not. And how do I ground my PC???
a b Î Nvidia
September 7, 2009 10:23:09 PM

Sometimes electronics simply fails.

My GeForce 4200 or 4400 TI only lasted about 7 months before the video RAM failed. My X1900XT has only recently started to fail; bought it back in August 2006 and any games causes the PC to crash.
a c 171 Î Nvidia
September 7, 2009 10:32:09 PM

A new thread will always garner more response than a two year old one. If you do not have a three pin supply then you may need a ground spike.
September 8, 2009 12:28:59 AM

Ok Now I Get It... Thnx for the advice,
This site is cool... I have just signed in and my queries solved in a jippy....

BTW I dont have a three pin supply so I will shop for a ground spike as soon as i find it in the shops...
a c 171 Î Nvidia
September 8, 2009 12:51:46 AM

Have a word with an electrician about improving the earth/ground connection in your building, see what they advise.
September 8, 2009 1:06:41 AM

coozie7 said:
. . . So, register the card and you'll be old and grey before it expires. . . .


Hey Coozie - speaking of old and grey - check the avatar. Flew it 2 weeks ago :) 

a b Î Nvidia
September 8, 2009 2:11:22 AM

Tech answer:

First of all, your PC is grounded by the power. I've heard of REALLY old houses that have some power problems (100 years old?). But any modern place has a properly grounded AC system.

Whichever card you get, buy one that blows the hot air out the REAR of the case and NOT inside the case.

Ensure proper air flow inside the case. This can usually be accomplished by one or two 120mm case fans (just get LOW FLOW which is not loud). Your case fans should NOT be variable. Get ones that run at a constant, low rate (say 1000RPM). The noise (dB) also depends on the Quality of the fan. Again you are concerned with:
1) Noise/dB
2) Constant (not variable) fan speed of about 1000RPM
3) Quality (comments I guess)

Which graphics card?
Here are the factors which affect the card you buy.
1) CPU (can limit the usage of the graphics card. For example, an AMD/ATI HD4770 should not be used with anything lower than an AMD X2-4800+. In this pairing, some games will be CPU limited and some will be GPU limited which represents a good balance.)

2) VRAM? (1GB of VRAM on a 9800GT is stupid. It's a marketing thing. You can't use more than 512MB. Generally you need a fast CPU, high-end GPU of at least HD4870 at a high resolution of 1920x1080 or greater to justify more VRAM. Otherwise it's just consuming power.)

3) Cost vs Performance (Tomshardware has recent articles which recommend graphics cards based on price.)

4) Physics? (some games have physics acceleration. If this is important, get an NVidia card.)

I'm playing a lot of fairly modern games based on the system at the bottom. I do wish I had a little better performance for some but I'm overall pretty happy. If you have a better CPU than mine I recommend a faster card than a 9800GT. It depends on your gaming habits too.

While not much faster than a 9800GT, the HD4770 is the most power efficient and quiet card you can buy for it's performance level due to its 40nm die size.

Not all cards of the same model (i.e. 9800GT) are equal. Don't overspend, but also don't get one of the cheaper cards which may sacrifice slightly on build quality. Read a few reviews and/or comments and shop around for prices online.

My system:
X2-4800+
HD3870 512MB
2GB DDR3200
WD 300GB Velociraptor; WD 1TB Green
Auzentech Forte X-Fi audio card + M-Audio AV40 2.0 speakers

*There's a guide for CPU performance comparison. You can use this as a ROUGH guide to the maximum graphics card you can buy. Assume the HD4770 is the maximum a X2-4800+ can support. Use the performance ratio of your CPU vs mine then compare to the FPS ratio of the card you want compared to and HD4770. For example, if your CPU ha 2x the performance ratio you can get a card with about 2x the same FPS in games.

The above method isn't perfect mainly because modern cards are usually compared with the same high-end CPU like an Intel i7 920, but it's a rough guide. If going SLI or Crossfire is important ensure you have a high-end CPU that supports two cards. There can be lots of issues with SLI/Crossfire (especially noise and power) so carefully read up on this if you go this route. You can get a really great game experience with a high-end graphics card so I personally don't recommend this route.

At $300 for the PS3 SLIM I'm debating buying one of these and not upgrading my current system and use both for gaming.

September 8, 2009 2:34:17 AM

Ok Thanx for yor indepth reply... will keep in mind :hello: 

PS PS3 way too expensive for my moderate means($300=Rs24000)... upgrading to 9800Gt will be fine I think especially seeing it will cost only $100(Rs 9800). As for the BluRay Player on PS3 well Blue Ray Disks (very hard to pirate the disk for those robinhoods in Korea and China) are not yet available here in Pakistan... Dont flinch I am not a terrorist just yr usual everyday geeky guyyy...
September 8, 2009 4:12:12 AM

Welcome to Tom's, I am rather new here myself, just a few months, but the experienced advice and discussion that goes on here is abundant, and incredibly useful. Enjoy, and be sure to use the search function whenever you can, it is a wealthy resource for any new visitor to the forums.
a b Î Nvidia
September 8, 2009 4:15:31 AM

The 9800GT is a nice card. It may not be the "best" but there are many, many games that it will do nicely when paired with a reasonable CPU and enough RAM.

I'm playing Fallout 3 on the above system averaging 50FPS. I'm set to HIGH settings and it's probably higher than the PS3 version.

I can play Lego Batman (surprisingly fun) at full settings @ 1600x1200 and no AA (75Hz on CRT monitor).

Some video game tips:
after installing a game, run FRAPS. Some games don't properly use VSYNC (especially older games.

For example, if you have any LCD monitor the refresh rate is 60Hz. If your frame rate is below 60Hz you don't need VSYNC. If your frame rate is ABOVE 60Hz you should turn it ON in game. If there is NO option to turn it ON and your frame rate is higher than 60Hz you want to FORCE it on. This might be performed via the NVidia interface (you can make specific settings for each game) or you might need a 3rd party tool.

I ran some older games and was getting up to 600FPS!! This means that the CPU and graphics card are working 10x harder than need be. I used my ATItraytools for my ATI card to set up a new link to start the game with specific settings to FORCE Vsync on. My older Conan game CPU usage (monitored with Task Manager) dropped from 100% to 30% (from 300FPS to 75FPS on my CRT monitor set to 75Hz).

Most people don't understand VSync. You want it on for two reasons:
1) Prevent screen tearing
2) Prevent unnecessary computer processing (and noise)

You can Google this pretty easily. I don't know if the standard NVidia interface works to force VSync off but if not you should be able to find one. My ATI version's worked for DX10 for over a year now and DX9 for at least two years.

Updating games:
Here's some advice:
1) the patch and crack versions must match
2) go to "gamecopyworld" or wherever and find the latest crack
3) Now update manually ONLY to the latest crack version
4) before applying the crack, make a COPY of the files you are replacing (simply make a new copy in the same folder)
5) overwrite the files

If a new crack/update comes out then you want to RESTORE the original files you replaced with cracks, then update the game and recrack.

(I of course don't condone pirating. As a responsible person I only use the "nocd" or "noDVD" cracks to avoid having to insert the disc.)
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