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Semi-dead 8800GTX - Replcement options?

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Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
April 17, 2010 12:24:55 PM

Hello Everyone,

This morning my graphic card (8800GTX) decided to burn itself out, causing it to display vertical red lines all over the screen. After searching a bit people seem to suggest that cooking the card in an oven would sometimes solve the issue, but i think i will just replace it as it is several years old already, meaning that it might be good to take this occasion to upgrade as well. Besides, figured that i could always try cooking it once i have a new card, as i can at least access the system for now. And no, unfortunately it is not a software / driver related issue.

I have been looking around at the current offers and the GTX 260 - 295 has caught my fancy so far, even though i still have to go trough ATI's current offers. And this is really where my problem starts: Most cards that would count as an upgrade state they should be used together with a 550W+ PSU, while my own is 475W, just reaching the minimum of my current dead card. I think i have these options:

1. Replace the card with a GTS 250 or similar model, as it would perfectly meet the power requirements, though it is less of an upgrade then i would like. (I'm not even sure it it would be an upgrade at all, still researching that)
2. Replace the card with a GTX 260 or similar card. It's minimum power is 25 watt more then my PSU states, but i guess that can be neglected mostly - and it would be more of an improvement then option 1.
3. Replace BOTH the PSU and the Graphic card. If i would replace the PSU with a 550 watt version it would allow me to go up to an GTX 285 in terms of power (The 295 requires 680 watt so i think it is just to much of a hog). Added advantage would be that i don't need to replace my current PSU fan with one that makes less noise; I have delayed doing that for ages :) . Another part thinks it is a waste though, as the 475 watt one i have now works fine.

A lot of text, but finally the questions:
- What would be the best option in your opinion? The system is mainly a gaming \work system and when i bought it, it was a high / top end system meaning it can still last a while based on the other components. For the record - everything is stock, no overclocking whatsoever.
- I didn't specify a budget because i didn't think it trough yet; However, would replacing the PSU together with a better graphics card be really worth the extra cash? I'm fairly certain i will keep this system for at least two more years - possibly even longer if i keep upgrading it.
- And last - Would the 25 watt power difference for option 2 really impact performance a lot? And what about the 75 watt difference if i would get one of the more powerful cards without replacing the PSU?

Thanks in advance for your assistance! ;) 
~XRF
a b U Graphics card
April 17, 2010 12:58:39 PM

Can you give me the model of your psu? and what is your system spec? Budget?
Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
April 17, 2010 1:39:28 PM

Sure, here are the system specs:

- System Model: Dell XPS 420
- CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad (Q6600)
- Memory: 4GB Dual Channel DDR2 800MHZ [4X1 GB] (Brand unknown)
- Harddisk: 2x 320 GB HDD (SATA 2), set to RAID O.
- Graphics Card: 768MB NVIDIA GEFORCE 8800 GTX (Obviously half dead :p )
- Audio: INTEGRATED HDA 7.1 DOLBY DIGITAL C
- Other: 19-in-1 card reader.

Im not entirely sure what the brand the motherboard is; It is either a dell specific or a dell re-branded board, but it doesn't seem to contain its type data on it - and the documentation doesn't list it either (And since the system only boots in safe mode, i cannot easily run AIDA32 or any other diagnostics tool to figure it). Same for the PSU - another dell specific it seems.

As for the budget... I guess that i am in the 250-400 Euro range for this - all parts, no labor as i can do that myself. I am specifically aiming for a 1-card solution, since i don't feel like trying SLI / Crossfire for now; The most important issue is repairing the system while maintaining at least equal specs, though an upgrade is always welcome. I don't mind forking out a bit extra if that increases longevity / performance of the system, though i think i won't go over the 400 euro range without a very good reason.

I hope this helps,
~XRF

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a c 236 U Graphics card
April 17, 2010 2:37:57 PM

the 475w PSU is very solid, better then a lot of 500w and even some 550w units. I would look into the GTX260 (if you can find a decent price) or ATI 5850.
a b U Graphics card
April 17, 2010 6:10:08 PM

ct1615 said:
the 475w PSU is very solid, better then a lot of 500w and even some 550w units. I would look into the GTX260 (if you can find a decent price) or ATI 5850.


i would stay away from the GTX260 just because its hard finding a good price on a new one, i would say 5770 or 5850/GTX470
a c 1410 U Graphics card
April 17, 2010 6:21:05 PM

For price/performance I would go HD5770. It performs on level with the GTX260 but is cheaper and newer tech at the same time it is a nice upgrade. I did not see your monitor resolution but the 5770 handles everything excellent at 1680 x 1050
Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
April 17, 2010 6:46:13 PM

I had a look and i can find the following prices - note that each of them are made by subcontractors so their specs are a tad higher then the version listed by Nvidia \ Ati:

HD5770 (Sapphire) (450 Watt) - €125,20,-
GTX 260 (Asus) (450 watt) - €159,-
HD5850 (Sapphire) (500 Watt) - € 241,-
GTX 470(Gigabyte) (550 Watt) - €333,02,-

Except for the high requirement of the 470 (Which would likely require a new PSU) all cards seem to work on my current system :D . Just one last question before i think it is time to say "Thanks for the all advice!". I have always had a Nvidea \ Ati branded card, and i have never before tried a card made by a subcontractor. Is there - except for the somewhat higher or different specifications - something i should be watching for (Read: Are subcontractors generally creating quality stuff?).

Other then that it is simply a matter of reading some more in-depth reviews of the cards, though i think the HD5850 and the GTX 470 are my favorites. HD5850 is cheaper, but the 470 has better specs, yet requires me to spend another 60-70 euro's on a new PSU which would make it almost twice as expensive to get one installed. Thanks for all the advice so far :) .
a b U Graphics card
April 17, 2010 6:46:13 PM

I kind of agree ^. A 5770/GTX260 would be a great inexpensive replacement that will fit the rest of your system pretty well. do not spend money on anything else unless you plan on bumping that slow gaming CPU you have up a notch or two. At 2.4ghz on your processor, anything higher end, or more costly is a waste, as you don't have enough raw processor speed to drive a higher end card. Even that 8800GTX you had was starving for processor power if you are only running your Q6600 at stock speed of 2.4ghz. (People bought the Q6600's when they came out not because they were great, they bought them because they would overclock to 3.0ghz without a hitch, and THEN they were great)

5850's, 470's, etc. You simply do not have enough processor to run them.
a c 236 U Graphics card
April 17, 2010 6:51:24 PM

the ATI 5850 uses 150w tops, less the GTX 260

Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
April 17, 2010 7:32:55 PM

jitpublisher, thanks for your comments pointing out a bottleneck in my system. I haven't exactly been reading hardware releases/ performance stats in quite a while so i'm glad you pointed it out for me. Quite likely you saved me quite a few bucks there. I think i won't be upgrading the CPU soon though, as an I7 would cost quite a bit extra.

ct1615, Are you certain? Both stats are based upon the manufacturer recommendations.
a b U Graphics card
April 17, 2010 8:04:05 PM

2125284,10,617675 said:
jitpublisher, thanks for your comments pointing out a bottleneck in my system. I haven't exactly been reading hardware releases/ performance stats in quite a while so i'm glad you pointed it out for me. Quite likely you saved me quite a few bucks there. I think i won't be upgrading the CPU soon though, as an I7 would cost quite a bit extra.

ct1615, Are you certain? Both stats are based upon the manufacturer recommendations.[/quotemsg

A word of thought here, are you sure the old 8800GTX is bad, or perhaps your PSU is giving up the ship after trying to run that 8800GTX for so long?
Do you have a friend with a healthy PSU, and a PCIe slot to try your old card in, before you run out and buy a new one?
Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
April 17, 2010 9:55:15 PM

I'm afraid it is almost certainly the GTX - Pity, because a power supply is cheaper to replace.

- The screenshots in this thread might just as well have been taken of my PC, as the problem looks identical. The conclusion in this thread is "Blown GPU due to temperature". Note that his was still within the warranty, while mine is long outside of it (My case temperature is fine at least, but i haven't checked the GPU temperature in a while.)
- Dell's diagnostics utility, which comes with the PC on a separate partition, succeeds on every device except the GPU. The GPU actually errors out at every resolutions and every other test related to it fails.

I could try to move the card to another PC around here but seeing the problems i think the card is quite certain to be damaged / dead. Will try and keep you posted on it though.
a b U Graphics card
April 17, 2010 11:13:19 PM

Any of those cards you listed will work fine. I personally would go with a 5850.
!