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My PC destroys graphics cards!

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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May 13, 2010 10:20:48 PM

Ok, so on a beautiful morning about a month ago I run Napoleon: Total War and start playing. Suddenly my graphics card fails (weird geometrical shapes in various colors appear). I could still watch videos and play 2D games without problems, but any 3D graphics and its artifacts galore!

I figure my card is fried for some reason (I've had it for two years), so I go out and buy the ATI Radeon 5850 to replace it. Everything works fine for about a month until, on another morning not unlike the first one, I start getting black geometrical shapes whenever I turn on 3D graphics. The same thing: I can still use the PC alright for almost anything, but no 3D graphics. This does not look like a coincidence, and I have no idea what to do. I'm scared to get another expensive card before I know what could be causing this. Please help, what could this be??
(If additional information about my PC is needed, please ask, I'm kind of new to this. :) 
a b U Graphics card
May 13, 2010 10:30:20 PM

What Power Supply are you using, and how old is it? PSUs age, and in the process, efficiency and integrity is lost. If you are using an old PSU with specs that are close to the bare mininum, there is a chance that it can no longer reach its brand new abilities.
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May 13, 2010 10:32:53 PM

I'm using Antec Earthwatts EA650 650W. I got it last November so its supposed to be pretty new?
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a b U Graphics card
May 13, 2010 10:49:30 PM

Indeed, that PSU shouldn't be the problem.

Have you tried:
-Cleaning (Driver sweeper) and reinstalling video drivers, or reinstalling OS
-Testing the card in another computer
-Testing the card in another slot, if you computer has another PCI-E x16 slot (even if it runs at x8 or x4, it can at least let you know if the card is the problem or the PCI-E slot is the issue.

In the end, you just may have had some bad luck. Don't buy another card, your 5850 should still have warranty coverage. RMA the card if all else fails and see if it happens again.
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May 13, 2010 10:57:25 PM

The card does have warranty coverage so its not a disaster - 300$ for a new graphics card isn't exactly change. I'll certainly try all of the above, thanks for your advice. :) 
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May 14, 2010 12:47:21 AM

what case do you have? Also what are the temps of the video card? Maybe heat is killing your cards.
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