Is my 9600GT just a bad card?

Ok... so in 8/08 I built my new pc...

CPU: e2180
GPU: PNY 9600GT 512mb
RAM: 4GB DDR2 800 (ocz vista upgrade kit)
PSU: no-name 400watt with dual 12+v rails
OS: Vista HP 32bit
Monitor: 22" 1680x1050
Case: Gigabyte GZ-X2BPD-500

Everything went great for awhile, then I started getting the "black screen of death" in a couple games (I would get a "no signal" message and would have to perform a hard reboot).

So, after googling and emailing pny, I RMA'ed my card. It looks like they just put a new cooler and upgraded the BIOS.

I test everything, still getting my Black SODs, so I email them and they say "Sorry, your card passed all of our tests. It must be something else."

So i replace the 400 watt psu with a 450 ocz stealth xstreme, no change (but i do sleep a little better at night).

After some more trips to google I discover riva tuner and downclock my card. This greatly reduces my problems but it makes me angry that I have to do this and it still crashes pretty often (when I play The Witcher and The Last Remnant namely). And it crashes every time i run OCCT GPU test somewhere between 3 and 5 minutes.

Do I just have a bad card?
What else could it be?
Should I cut my losses and get a new card?
What do ya'll suggest (HD 5770 looks good for future proofing, but a little pricey)?

Oh yeah, at some point, i OC'd the CPU to 2.66 (266x10), problem was occurring before and after OC.



edit:added monitor and case specs
8 answers Last reply
More about 9600gt card
  1. Have you monitored your GPU temps while gaming or tested with the side panel off the case?
  2. I've added a second case fan but I haven't really monitored the temps during gaming. However, while doing the OCCT test it got to ~75C before crashing (and that was with the side panel off).

    I'll monitor the temps next time I play, but what is a good threshold? Is ~75C too hot, or should it be able to go up to ~80C?
  3. A quick look around shows the 9600GT load temps mostly in the 65C range.
    I think you just found the problem.

    Is the card fan running at 100%?
  4. wow... 65C...

    No way to tell for sure, I've tried adjusting the fan speed to 100% in riva tuner and in nvidia system tools, but it never sounds any different, nor does the airflow feel different. I've looked around about this issue and it seems that certain manufacturers disable changing the fan speed and hard code it to a set percentage (35 according to riva tuner).

    Would installing a "slot cooler" card make any difference do you think? Or should i just give up and get a new card?
  5. Yeah, I would just get a new card. The 9600GT is quite weak for your resolution in any case. If you have the money an HD5770 would be a great choice. The HD5750/HD4850/GTS 250 would also do well if the HD5770 is out of your price range.
  6. Also thinking the slot cooler isn't going to help. The side panel off / and 2nd case fan should have been loads better than a slot cooler.

    I definitely think you should talk to PNY. With the side panel off, 2nd fan in the case and still hitting 75C is just wrong. Seem PNY missed a quality check or two to let that card slip back to you.
  7. Well after playing The Last Remnant and watching temps in SIW, it crashed at ~65C.

    So I guess it's not heat related, I guess it's just a piece of trash.
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