The machine had started doing all manner of crazy stuff from random shut downs to terrible snowing artifacting on the screen. When I received it it wouldn't even boot properly.
The machine was based on an Asus P6T delux with a 4870x2 card. The plan was to get it up and running and put on Windows 7.
So I tested several key components and have replaced the motherboard with a newer Gamers Republic renegade 3 from Asus and also replaced the old Alienware PSU with a new Corsair TX950W.
The machine ran fine for about an hour before the snowing and glitching came back. Now this banding and glitching video artifacting is occurring in post and also from within the bios.
Am i save to assume the ATI GPU is dead and the cause of this? I'm obviously slightly peev'd at replacing the other 2 components but I guess also reticent to replace the grpahics card just in case it's the ram or i7 processor.
I've tried the ram in another machine and all seemed fine so that only really leaves the GPU or possibly the CPU. Any help or advice would be massively appreciated. I'm literally tearing my hair out.
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The 4870x2 GPU is prone to overheating problems due to it being a dual GPU card - so I would think it is the video card that is having problems - as OMG pointed out if it is still under warranty send it back (you'll probably heat some other card back as a RMA replacement since the 4870 is no longer being made)
Sadly the machine is not still in warranty. I've ordered a cheap and cheerful replacement card. But is it work me trying to repair the existing card. I was thinking of stripping it down and replacing the thermal compound?
How old is the system and what brand of 4870x2 is in there ?? (even if the system warranty is up the video card may still be under the video card manufacturers warranty depending on the model !
EDIT : Seeing that the card was released in August of 2008 - if it had a 3 year warranty it would still be covered - and if the system was purchased after Nov. 2008 even a 2 year warranty would still be in tact.