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My old 7800 gs (agp) is going kaput.... what now??

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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November 15, 2009 1:34:37 PM

Hi guys, Im new to Toms hardware.

Im hoping I can get some advice with my problem. I've been out of the loop as far as the new tech is concerned, (built my first and last PC 6 years ago, upgraded 2 years ago) so I figured I'd better talk to some people who are in the know before I make some stupid decisions.

my specs

MB: MSI K9MMV (AM2, 2 slots DDR2, AGP 8X, 1000Mhz FSB, Sata and IDE support, 10/100 LAN)
CPU: AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ socket AM2 CPU (with TR2/RI thermal take fan)
RAM: 2x 1GB Corsiar DDR2
DD: CompUSA DVD/CD
HDD: IDE Maxtor 40GB 7200rpm
External Drive: Maxtor One-Touch 4 Mini 250MB
Video Card: Nvidia GeForce 7800gs AGP 256 MB
Case: ATX (1 side fan)


I suspected that my 7800gs agp card was breaking down, since Im getting bad freezes and lockups while playing Company of Heroes, Left 4 Dead and ArmA (my favorite games).

I replaced my CPU, MB and RAM 1 year ago (see specs) and got an external drive to store my games, so I figured those parts arent contributing to the problem since they are pretty new.

I had to wipe my drive and re-install my XP home OS 2 months ago, because at that time suddenly most everything was lagging and running totally crap, (I suspected virus since my anti-virus updates expired 6 months ago) but since reinstalling the OS, Ive had no problems whatsoever, aside from the games freezing and crashing.

I've always kept up with the lastest drivers but I checked again to make sure that wasnt the issue, so they were/are up to date. Ive also got the AMD dual-core optimization driver for the CPU

I ran a video card memory test that pretty much confirmed my suspicions... heres a screenshot.. look how many errors!



Heres also a screenshot of my temperatures with with the PC pretty much idling (no games or apps)



The 3 year warranty on the 7800 gs expired 6 months ago. And I spent about 350$ just 2 years ago for the new CPU,RAM and MB... So the question is what to do now... I know I need to upgrade to PCIE badly, but times are tough and a completely new setup would be hard for me to do right now, unless a new setup (case and all inside) can be had for less than 500$.

I figure my options are: (from least expensive to most)

1) Buy a relatively good and still cheap agp card for about 100$, which will keep me playing my favorite games
2) upgrade to a new MB and graphics card, costing about 250-350$$ (estimated)
3) get new system (case and all inside) for less than 500$

More about : 7800 agp kaput

a c 130 U Graphics card
November 15, 2009 1:45:54 PM

What do you want to do? I can pick you options for either of the three.
a b U Graphics card
November 15, 2009 1:50:59 PM

$513.91

* CPU: AMD Phenom II X2 545 Callisto 3.0GHz Socket AM3 80W Dual-Core Processor Model HDX545WFGIBOX - Retail
* MOBO: ASUS M2A74-AM AM3/AM2+/AM2 AMD 740G Micro ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
* RAM: CORSAIR 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TWIN2X4096-6400C5 - Retail
* HSF: Sunbeam CR-CCTF 120 mm Core-Contact Freezer CPU Cooler W/TX-2 - Retail
* HDD: SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - OEM
* PSU: Antec earthwatts EA430 430W Continuous Power ATX12V v2.0 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply - Retail
* GPU: XFX HD-465X-YAF2 Radeon HD 4650 512MB 128-bit DDR2 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card - Retail
* DVD: Sony Optiarc 24X DVD/CD Rewritable Drive Black SATA Model AD-7240S-0B - OEM
* Case: COOLER MASTER Elite 330 RC-330-KKN1-GP Black SECC ATX Mid Tower Computer Case - Retail courtesy of tecmo

http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/page-269162_13_0.ht...
Related resources
a c 172 U Graphics card
November 15, 2009 2:15:41 PM

Re use the cpu, ram, cooler, and drives. A used or new am2 board can be had for around $75 or less on new egg or ebay and a cheap 4770 or 9800gt for the same price.
a c 140 U Graphics card
November 15, 2009 2:26:05 PM

Yeah, I think a good choice would be a new motherboard and PCI-E video card.
a c 168 U Graphics card
November 15, 2009 2:26:55 PM

That CPU is not THAT bad, certainly worth saving if it is/was doing all you want of it, so I'd take option 2.
There is plenty of cheap AM2/AM2+ boards out there and a HD4850 or GTS250 class card would pair off nicely with the existing CPU.
Obviously, switching MB/RAM/card is going to be more expensive but if your monitor is 22" (16x10) or thereabouts that might be the best option, rather than a full, new system. This way you keep the case/HDD/DVD etc and can use the money saved on better components.

EDIT: Too slow again;)
November 15, 2009 3:47:03 PM

Thanks for the responses!!


Something I cant figure out though is how the video card can function with those memory errors?? Ive been playing ArmA since I posted and with stellar performance??

Now im truly confused, maybe the memory test was itself in error??
a c 168 U Graphics card
November 15, 2009 5:01:57 PM

HMMMM...
Random lockups can be caused by a failing PSU, so which one do you have?
Take the card out and give the heatsink a good clean, either blow it out yourself if you have good lungs or get a can of 'compressed air' to do it, overheating is another common cause of random crashes. While you're in the case, give the CPU cooler a look at as well.
Before replacing the card, gently clean the contacts with a soft cloth moistened with alcohol or a prepietory cleaning solution.
November 17, 2009 12:48:17 PM

I have an Antec Earthwats 500W power supply.... is that enough for the 7800 gs?

It has a molex power connector for the video card
a b U Graphics card
November 17, 2009 1:08:28 PM

Assuming the PSU isn't faulty or failing, it is more than sufficient for your system. The only way to know (short of spending a bunch of money on new parts just to have the same problems) is to test a different PSU in the system to see if the problem persists.
a c 168 U Graphics card
November 17, 2009 6:39:57 PM

Just put my glasses on and reread your original post, Killjoy: Those CPU temperatures look off, or am I still mireading them? One at 42C and another at 58C sounds very odd, perhaps the cooler is loose, either way 58C at idle is fairly hot, you should remove the cooler, renew the thermal paste and reattach it, I think this may be the root cause of the crashes.
And yes, as JofaMang says, the PSU is fine and a quality unit. But try it in another syatem if you can, even the best units can fail.
November 18, 2009 11:32:00 AM

I'm curious, does anyone else think that the video memory test and temperatures pictures above look odd??

I am questioning whether or not my video card is the problem now.

Any thoughts?

ty
a b U Graphics card
November 18, 2009 12:11:29 PM

coozie7 said:
Just put my glasses on and reread your original post, Killjoy: Those CPU temperatures look off, or am I still mireading them? One at 42C and another at 58C sounds very odd, perhaps the cooler is loose, either way 58C at idle is fairly hot, you should remove the cooler, renew the thermal paste and reattach it, I think this may be the root cause of the crashes.
And yes, as JofaMang says, the PSU is fine and a quality unit. But try it in another syatem if you can, even the best units can fail.


I think that 'core 58c' reading at the bottom could be a duplication of the GFX reading? Speedfan can be a bit confusing with its labels, double check the CPU temps using coretemp.
If you've never been inside the box and had a good clean then I would do so as the other guys have suggested. Get all that dust out of your heatsinks. (I would avoid canned air though as you can easily get some of the liquified gas onto the PCBs or just condensation from the low temperatures and short your components when you put it back together)
I would then test your CPU with prime95 and coretemp, check for overheating/errors.
Use furmark for the gfx card and see if you have overheating on the card. If either are overheating get some new themal paste and re-seat the heatsinks.
Other possibilities as mentioned already are your PSU may be on the way out or the motherboard / gfx card.
If you end up having to buy new components I would get a second hand AM2 board off Ebay and then a new gfx card. No need to replace working components.

@Coozie, see you've gone for a Hurricane now!
a c 172 U Graphics card
November 18, 2009 12:13:47 PM

killjoy1 said:
I'm curious, does anyone else think that the video memory test and temperatures pictures above look odd??

I am questioning whether or not my video card is the problem now.

Any thoughts?

ty


This may sound absurd but try to see if you can test the card in another computer and this may have already been suggested clean the cooler then replace the compound. I had a evga 7800gs co (G71) and that is all I had to do and was my best agp card over all. The same will apply to all G70 and dual planer G71 cards.
a b U Graphics card
November 18, 2009 5:22:32 PM

MMclachlan said:
I think that 'core 58c' reading at the bottom could be a duplication of the GFX reading? Speedfan can be a bit confusing with its labels, double check the CPU temps using coretemp.
If you've never been inside the box and had a good clean then I would do so as the other guys have suggested. Get all that dust out of your heatsinks. (I would avoid canned air though as you can easily get some of the liquified gas onto the PCBs or just condensation from the low temperatures and short your components when you put it back together)
I would then test your CPU with prime95 and coretemp, check for overheating/errors.
Use furmark for the gfx card and see if you have overheating on the card. If either are overheating get some new themal paste and re-seat the heatsinks.
Other possibilities as mentioned already are your PSU may be on the way out or the motherboard / gfx card.
If you end up having to buy new components I would get a second hand AM2 board off Ebay and then a new gfx card. No need to replace working components.

@Coozie, see you've gone for a Hurricane now!


Compressed CO2 is pretty safe, as it boils at room temperature, and assuming it is conductive at all, you would have to be pouring it on as it is running. As for condensation, it is pretty tough to use enough CO2 from a can (again, unless you are pouring it directly on computer). My point is, Compressed air can't be nearly as dangerous as you make it out to be, unless one is being extremely negligent about using it, IE, not just for blowing the dust off.
a b U Graphics card
November 19, 2009 11:52:00 AM

Safer not to use it at all. Better to use some other kind of blower if you need to. Have seen plenty of posts saying 'I gave my PC a good clean with tinned air and now it won't work' The liquidfied gas goes back to being a gas as it is de-compressed, but when it comes out in liquid form it is very cold. This attracts the moisture in the air to the component you have just hit, the CO2 turns into a gas, the water condenses. Just like shower water condenses on the cold bathroom tiles.
I'm just saying its safer to use an alternative.
November 26, 2009 12:02:21 PM

Ok, I took out the 7800 gs and found quite a lot of dust bunnies in the heatsink. I think this was causing the card to run hoter than normal.... heres the speedfan numbers now....



And before......



Perhaps this was the problem... (Im hoping)

I'm trying out my games now and it seems to be running smoother than before... will update later.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
a c 172 U Graphics card
November 26, 2009 12:06:46 PM

That is good news and Happy Thanksgiving. Just started on the ham. :sol: 
!