The problems started a couple of days ago while playing Call of Duty 4 online. Every couple games or so. My graphics would randomly start freezing (the sound would still work) and I would see everything turn weird colors or it would just turn black all together. A couple of times I was able to alt tab out but the majority of the time I would have to force reboot my comp. Afterwords, it would work again for a couple of games and the same problem would occur.
Yesterday the problem continued and but started to happen every game. Today, it began to freeze immediately after loading, often time turning multi colors and not being able to load. I tried to load another 3d intensive game and it froze upon loading that one as well.
After reading some forums, I reinstalled the nvida drivers in safe mode, updated my bios, downloaded the latest dx9 driver and even tried loading an older nvidia driver (169.44) and nothing has helped. I updated punkbuster, uninstalled and reinstalled rivatuner and attempted to turn down the graphics card, none of which helped either. While loading CoD4, the temp spiked to 75 degrees celsius, and the video card idles at around 64.
My question is, how do I know if the problem is the video card itself or something else?
Here are my comp specs:
Dell Inspiron 530
750w Power Source
Xfx 8800- Ultra
2.33 pentium dual core processor
3g of ram
500gb hard drive
I think those temps are a little high for NVidia cards. Symptoms could be that, power, or the card. I'd try removing the card and inspecting the cooler for dust, and cleaning it as thoroughly as possible.
Turned out it was dead. After cleaning the comp and getting all the dust out, I tried reloading a game and it froze once again. Upon restarting the computer, all these little lines appeared when trying to start windows and windows wouldn't load. Switched in my 8600gt and everything works just fine. Guess it was just a 3 day decline leading to its ultimate end. Thanks for the help.
In terms of power its about the same. A few advantage the gts 250 has over the 8800ultra is that its a shorter card, uses substantially less power and produces less heat, not to mention will overclock better.
Considering that a xfx gts 250 1GB is $186.73 canadian (from NCIX) and a xfx gtx 260 is $194.99 canadian (from NCIX)... it seems that making a customer happy with your company (a customer who may have spent $750 retail on a 8800 ultra when it came out) would be more important than saving $8.26 to cheap out by giving them the 250.
Not sure how they can justify it. If they did that to me I would raise a fuss.
At lower resolutions with low or disabled AA/AF and/or lower graphics settings the 250 will perform a little better (look at the benchmarks on this website for yourself). If you're gaming on a 22" or smaller monitor it probably won't be an issue.
But when you start ramping up the AA/AF and high settings, especially at high resolutions (i.e. 1920x1200 or higher) the gts 250 will start to underperform the 8800 ultra.
Looking at the specs of each card:
8800 Ultra: 384 bit memory interface bus * 2160 MHz memory clock / 8 = 104 GB/s
250 gts: 256 bit memory interface bus * 2200 MHz memory clock / 8 = 70 GB/s
The 250 gts has a little higher GPU clock and shader clock, so you only start to see the performance hit when the memory bandwidth matters (i.e. AA/AF).
If you payed $200 for your ultra then don't complain [if that was the price you payed 2 years ago, that was a fantastic deal: the XFX 8800 ultra was $748.88 CAD at NCIX 2 years 4 months ago]. Looking at the rest of your specs (2.33 pentium dual core processor, 3g of ram, 500gb hard drive), the video card probably won't be the bottleneck anyway.
Mine died a couple of days ago, i've just sent a message to XFX... I'm waiting for their offer. Let's see I am a chart maniac, so i got all my reasons to have some chat with them, after spending 750 euros 3 years ago...