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Dying 4870x2, ATI or nVidia to replace?

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August 23, 2010 9:01:57 PM

Hey all, my 4870x2 is apparently dying. The can is getting extremely hot in games where in use to not be a problem which is causing the fan speed to max out. Recently I started getting BSOD related to ati drivers and then last night experienced artifacts during my first 15 minutes of game play, nothing after that.

I am not sure if it is dying or maybe the heatsink has become detached but in case I need a replacement, what card would you all recommend going with?

My rig is still running with an e8400, 8gb ram, asus p5q deluxe mobo, corsair hx1000 psu and velociraptor hd. It's fine but I am going to be upgrading to an i7 here in the next few months.

Personally, I have had a lot of troubles with this card from the beginning. I am not sure if it's the drivers being poorly designed or a general lack of support for dual gpu cards by games but performance isn't all what I expected it to be.

Of course, I am wanting to increase the performance level beyond what it is now. Not sure if I should go with a GTX 480 or another ATI (possibly 5970). If I go with a GTX 480 I will most likely buy a second one after upgrading the rest of my components.

In the end, I want to have an i7 930 or greater with 12gb ram and at least an 80gb SSD. My current velicoraptor and 3 other seagate drives will server as backup.

Also, any links to good comparison articles would be appreciated, I cant find anything good.
a b U Graphics card
August 23, 2010 9:06:56 PM

I recommend that you guy a single GTX 470 now. It will be slightly slower in benchmarks than the 4870 X2, however in actual gameplay it will be much smoother and the FPS will be much more consistent. Then, after you get your i7 rig, you will be able to SLI another for great performance. Two GTX 470s stomp a single 5970 for less money.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/3836/msis-geforce-n470gtx...

As you can see dual GTX 470s destroy a single 5970.
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a c 153 U Graphics card
August 23, 2010 9:11:28 PM

Sound like its overheating, that doesn't necessary equate to dieing (although it could mean its dieing). Have you cleaned it out with compressed air? Do you have it overclocked? Have you made sure the fan is working properly, you can use MSI Afterburner to both increase the fan speed and monitor system tempuaters.

It IS possible if you tinkered with it that hte heatsink has come loose, it shouldn't happen on its own however, if you did go tinkering with it you may have broke the thermal paste and jared the heatsink loose.

Do NOT go with a GTX 480, a GTX 470 is a much wiser desicion and is only 260 dollars after rebate now.

However AFAIK you have a 1000w PSU and a Crossfire only motherboard, if you DO get a 470 when you upgrade to i7, make sure you get a SLI motherboard so you can pop another 470 in there.

EDIT - Dammit AMW beat me to it :p 
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August 23, 2010 9:25:05 PM

Yeah, I wanted to wait for the 6000 series but if I can't resolve the problem then I will be in the market sooner than expected.

Looking it up it appears to be just outside of the labor warranty but another year on parts. I will call them to find out labor costs and probably get it fixed to put in my fiance's rig. Till that time I would get a new card for me though.

I am going to pull the rig apart tonight and check it out but I cleaned the card about 6 months ago and it wasn't very dusty at the time. As a last resort and if it doesn't void whatever warranty I have left I am going to remove the heatsink and check for a proper seating. Since the heatsink is downward facing it could be that heat has cause a slight separation. Although, the fact that the longer it ran the better it ran is kind of weird.
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August 23, 2010 11:56:39 PM

Just took the card out and it had a small amount of dust but nothing to make me think that was the problem. I took the heatsink off and the thermal paste was very chalky. I dont know if this was it's original consistency but I replaced it with arctic silver. Idle temps dont seem different, not sure about under load yet.

I will keep going on this card till it completely dies and then buy a 470 while this one gets repaired. Will be a huge upgrade her 8800gt.
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September 3, 2010 5:53:36 PM

Best answer selected by Pyro2008.
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