Upgrade ASUS EAH4870 Dark Knight 1Gb

This is my current Graphics Card:

ASUS EAH4870 DK/HTDI/1GD5 Radeon HD 4870 Dark Knight 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFire Supported Video Card

This is the reference version. Bought in October of 2009.

Basically I'm very happy with performance of this card playing at 1680x1050 resolution, when the card works... The darn thing crashes very frequently while playing many 3d games. Gives me a D601 Red LED error indicating "Critical Core Power Fault", the card shuts itself down and I have to hard reboot. After researching high and low about this problem I came across a couple articles that suggest the card itself has a design flaw and pretty much cant handle the load that's being put on it while playing graphically intensive games. The articles i'm referring to are here:




The last 2 are in French but thats nothing a little Google Translator can't fix.
They are also older articles but they were able to systematically reproduce the same crash I'm experiencing (as well as many others with this reference model card). This was done with a benchmark test, my thought is that back when this card was first introduced there were no games out that put the kind of strain that would cause this crash, but nowadays it happens often while playing Oblivion, Morrowind, Borderlands, GTA4, Crysis, really any graphically intensive game. The only one that had never crashed for me is World of Warcraft which is not very graphic heavy.

It's some kind of problem with the VRM overheating. My GPU temps idle around 45 Celsius and never get higher then 60 under load, so I don't believe its a problem that better cooling or airflow can fix. The back of the card where the VRM's are located are hot to the touch when idling and are very hot after a crash. All 4 of my case fans are on full speed, I have good airflow, and have even taken the cover off my case and pointed a house fan directly at my Graphics card, but it still crashes. I don't think any amount of cooling will fix the problem, it's a design flaw as far as I'm concerned.

Enough ranting however, I'm ready to throw this damn thing out the window and just buy a new one so can anyone recommend a Graphics card around the 200$ price range that will give me the same, if not better, graphical performance at 1680x1050 resolution and not crash all the time?

Other specs:
Corsair 750w PSU
Phenom II x4 945 Deneb 3.0 Ghz
4Gb Crucial DDR3 RAM (2) 2Gb Sticks

One last thing: How is Asus regarding RMA's? I filled the form out a few days ago but no reply so far. Is it even worth trying? I spent $160 on the thing so I'd like to get something out of it.

Thanks for taking the time to read/reply.
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More about upgrade asus eah4870 dark knight
  1. Did you register the card within the 30 day time-frame? If so the RMA will be a breeze, if not your are stuck with the card.
  2. The load temps have never been above 60 degrees Celsius for the GPU itself as logged by GPU-Z newest version. Unfortunately I cannot monitor the VRM temps for some reason. The only options shown are GPU Temp(DISPIO), (MEMIO), and (SHADERCORE). Did you also have a reference model 4870? I believe those are the only ones affected.

    I honestly can't remember if I registered it or not, I was able to type in the serial number on the card and send a message to Asus describing my problem through their website but I may not have used the RMA form.
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  4. Hi, I have the same problem with a ASUS EAH4870 1gig, ddr5 glaciator. Exactly the type of chrashes you described. Unfortunatly, we're not alone, many people have been complaining about this problem.
    Sapphire released a new BIOS to fix the problem, but ASUS seems not to know, or not to care.

    Tweaking the card as is isn't enough, no matter how you tweak it'll keep on chrashing seemingly at random.
    I've had this card for more than a year now and have been playing fairly easy going games so it hasn't chrashed as much as it could have but still. I want to play modern games, but can't because of the constant crashing.

    The solution would be another BIOS that deals with the problem. It's the only thing I can think of after all this frustration. And it's nowhere to be found. And ASUS simply looks the other way.
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