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Possible upgrade/fix

Last response: in Systems
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January 22, 2010 3:21:22 AM

So first off, current system (about 1.5yrs old):

Windows XP 32bit
eVGA 9800gtx+ 512mb
eVGA nForce 750i mobo
Intel Core 2 E8400 @ 3.00GHz
2GB Mushkin ram, two 1GB sticks
Corsair TX650W power supply

The problem I've been having seems to be somewhat common with 9800gtx+s. During boot, I often get static in the BIOS and Windows startup. It looks like certain sets of pixels are shifted left or right. After booting up it works fine. If I play any games, however, it'll fairly regularly fill my screen with artifacts/text turning into little blocks etc. Alt+TABing out and back in fixes this temporarily, as does switching from windowed to unwindowed. If I "fix" the problem that way, it will usually happen again shortly after and then the whole computer will crash.

I've tried the many recommendations I've seen, including cleaning out the drivers for the card with a utility etc. The only thing I haven't tried is moving the card to the other slot on the mobo, because it won't fit in said slot.

I'm thinking I might just buy a different card, but I wanted to make sure there were no other parts that I should consider upgrading or checking in some way first, such as the mobo.

Thanks in advance!!

EDIT: Monitor is actually a small Sharp Aquos hdtv

More about : upgrade fix

a b B Homebuilt system
January 22, 2010 4:41:03 PM

Your GPU, unfortunately, is dying a slow death due to overheating. The "fix" you use is just slowing down the GPU so that it stops artifacting until it heats up again. I've seen it 1st hand on a GTX 260 OC. Reducing image quality to the lowest at 640x480 seems to solve it due to much less heat from the GPU.

How much do you have for a new gpu? Is the HDTV 720p? What kinda games do you play?
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January 22, 2010 10:48:58 PM

I thought that might be the case. I don't actually use that "fix" as I figured it can't be good for it.

For upgrades, I could spend a total of about $300 CAN.

Now that I more or less know that it's a problem with the card I can have a look at all of the available info on this site. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't going to buy a new card only to find out it was actually something else.

The TV goes up to 1360 by 768. I play shooters and RPGs (games like Mass Effect 2/Bioshock 2 when they're out, COD4, some Valve Source games). I'm more concerned with actually being able to play these and other current games smoothly, even if I have to turn down the graphics some, than I am with playing them with everything cranked.

Is this overheating problem common with this model of card? Also, if I buy a new card, would you advise buying an aftermarket cooler?

Thanks again!
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January 23, 2010 1:00:33 AM

I just got an XFX HD 5770 "egg shape" new design card. I paid $165 US. I upgraded from a PNY 9800 GT 1 GB. This card is DX 11, has a larger radial cooler with a larger, quieter fan. It idles at 41c and I haven't seen it go above 62c during benchmarks. This is the best bang for the IMHO, I was impressed with the warranty, and I had a few questions for support, which were promptly replied to. I saw a 64% performance increase in benchmarks. just my 2 cents. I also am patiently waiting until next week for Mass Effect 2.
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 23, 2010 1:24:14 AM

Isn't your GPU covered under warranty?? Isn't eVga's warranty limited lifetime or something like that? I'd consider RMA'ing the GPU and see what you get. This would be the cheapest, but would take some time to do.
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January 23, 2010 1:44:54 AM

I'm looking into the warranty/RMA thing right now.

Also, something I just noticed while playing Day of Defeat: Source running in windowed mode at 1280x720. I had the eVGA Precision tool running, and after the graphics started to artifact and everything I checked the temp, and it was at 41c. I don't how reliable the tool is, but does that change your assessment? Or do you think it is actually overheating, and its just not being picked up properly?

Thanks again
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 23, 2010 1:56:04 AM

Well there are other things to check, but it sounds like your GPU has issues. Not sure if it's overheating, but maybe there is just something wrong with it. You could put an extra fan blowing onto the GPU, if you like, and see if that changes anything. I had a 9800 pro GPU slowly go out on me and it was similar to what your reporting. I'm not saying that you have the same problem, but sounds familiar to me.
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Best solution

a b B Homebuilt system
January 23, 2010 11:48:12 AM

The GTX+ has a dual-slot cooler, same with 260. The gpu cooling won't be an issue, but the case cooling may be. Little things like moving the pc case to an open desk/table top will help tremendously.

Ok, you can try maxing out the fan speed with this:

http://www.guru3d.com/article/rivatuner-20-fan-speed--o...

If it doesn't help, a new gpu may be in order. Evga does have lifetime warranty, but if they can't replace a product with an identical one, they may give you a more expensive one.

HD 5770 would be the minimal upgrade for your games. If you prefer nVidia, there's GTX 275. GT 300 (100 new name) will most def. be out of your price range and late to the market. End of Q1 or start of Q2 is my guess.
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February 1, 2010 11:27:07 PM

Best answer selected by Pascau.
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