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Graphics Card broken + replacement Options

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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February 8, 2011 5:32:16 AM

Hi I'm a little new to this, so some thoughts would be welcome.

Scenario.

Current System is a

Stock i7 920 -2.66Ghz, 9GB DDr3 1333Mhz, 1 250, and 1 500G Drive, Geforce 8800GTS 320mb powered by a Thermaltake Tough Power 750Watt Power supply, on a benQ 1920x1080 Screen with a chance of upgrade to dual screens in the future.

So yesterday it turns out my computer would no longer boot with the Geforce Card inside it, its about 4 years old now, and it was giving me odd beeps when it was installed, I basically got no Screen, no video, no post nothing. The Graphics card shows no signs of burning or electrostatic damage by the looks (but im not an expert here), the fan and the cooling seem to also be working fine.

My question is, is there any way i can fix this graphics card? It is not under warranty so taking it to someone isnt an option, is it possible to fix it myself? I have no bios nothing loading up on the screen. I also have confirmed that it is indeed the graphics card, since placing an older Geforce 6600GT solves my problem, and i get a normal boot.

My second question is, if it cant be fixed, what is a good alternative, for someone who uses the computer very infrequently for gaming, but mostly for things like photoshop, after effects, and mostly photo edit work such as lightroom etc, nothing super high end requiring 3d rendering or whatever. Budget is 200-300 I should point out that the current case cooling is very bad, and the PCI-E area can become rather hot, my old card would run at 65 deg idle, so quite a bit warm, the rest of the system is rather cool and okay, CPU is being cooled by a Hydro H70, but i need something that has good inbuilt cooling.

Any suggestions would be welcome :)  if you can also provide me with some reviews on your recommended product, id appreciate it. Thanks!
a c 153 U Graphics card
February 8, 2011 5:40:25 AM

What PSU do you have? You seems to "conclude" it is in the GPU, but it could easily be that the PSU is going bad and will give enough power to the 6600, but not the 8800.

Things you can do.

1) Try another PSU in your system. If all is well it is your PSU.
2) Try the GPU in another system (probably a friends or something). If it doesn't work there, it is the GPU, if it DOES work there it is probably the PSU.

By the way a budget of 200-300 for a graphics card when you do not game is a LOT. :D 
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February 8, 2011 5:42:54 AM

ohhk I guess i didnt think of it like that, i can double check that with another computer, and let you know. PSU is a thermaltake tough power 750Watt. I also dont have another power supply to test with so im going to put the GPU in another comp and see what happens.
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February 8, 2011 6:15:17 AM

its definitely the card, i placed it in another computer, with a 600W PSU unit, and it also has the same problem, both computers produce a Long Beep followed by Short beeps, according to the standard sound warnings i believe it a graphics card error, unless im not familiar with something.
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a c 153 U Graphics card
February 8, 2011 6:19:16 AM

No, in that case it is probably the GPU. Regardless, Thermaltake doesn't make the best PSUs and all PSUs do degrade with time, so anything is possible.

You can try baking the 8800 (Google it), i've only seen a few success stories and I'm pretty sure if it doesn't work you will deffinitly ruin the card (not that it isn't anyway).

Looks like you might be in for a replacement.

If you honestly do not game much at all, you don't need to spend that much on a card. If you need Cuda you should obviously stick with Nvidia. A GTS450 would probably be nice.
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February 8, 2011 4:14:31 PM

The GPU used in the 8800GTS had some fabrication issues - search Toms and others for more info on that.

It is dead...
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a c 595 U Graphics card
February 8, 2011 4:57:14 PM

You are describing a situation where a modest low-mid range card for ~$125 would work for you, (poor case ventilation, very little gaming), but your budget is enough for a mid-high end card. Your other components would be ideal for a higher performing card as well.

I would recommend a compromise between heat and performance with a GTX 460. These can be had for ~$140 - $200. With the EVGA GTX460 External Exhaust model, any heat generated would be forced outside the case.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
A review:
http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-r...

If you were able to address the case ventilation, probably by installing a new rear exhaust fan for ~$15 and blowing out the dust, that might help the situation. If so, then you could be looking at some of the other GTX460 models. Your budget would also allow for a GTX560 at ~$250, but you would need to actually play some games to make that worth it.
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a b U Graphics card
February 8, 2011 6:26:03 PM

17seconds said:
You are describing a situation where a modest low-mid range card for ~$125 would work for you, (poor case ventilation, very little gaming), but your budget is enough for a mid-high end card. Your other components would be ideal for a higher performing card as well.

I would recommend a compromise between heat and performance with a GTX 460. These can be had for ~$140 - $200. With the EVGA GTX460 External Exhaust model, any heat generated would be forced outside the case.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If you were able to address the case ventilation, probably by installing a new rear exhaust fan for ~$15 and blowing out the dust, that might help the situation. If so, then you could be looking at some of the other GTX460 models. Your budget would also allow for a GTX560 at ~$250, but you would need to actually play some games to make that worth it.


I second this suggestion. If you want to save some money, you can probably swing a 450, or an older 2-series card, but 460 is the most bang for your buck right now, and best matches your specs/budget.
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February 8, 2011 9:01:36 PM

if by external exhaust you mean the pipe and the large cooling area on the side of the card, the GTS also had that and it was still running into the heat problems, i did hear however that those cards suffered a lot from heating problems? due to bad umm thermal compounds or something being used (the stuff they stick under to join the surfaces together or something) but anywhoo, im currently in australia, any ideas where i might be able to get one of these? The other thing is, im pretty sure it might be over 250 for a GTX460 here, since although our dollar is showing stronger results the prices for these things are rather astronomical, e.g. a 570 is around 400.

Other problem is, there isnt a way for me to install any case fan inside the case, since there id s corsair CPU cooler (hydro H70) which is configured to push pull inside the case, it does bring in some cool air from outside, so i guess that might help, if the newer GTX460 is good with heat dissipation.

thirdly ive heard graphics cards make little difference to performance in photoshop, this is a priority, do u think this would make any difference at all? since i do find that photoshop has a feature that allows GPU accelerated rendering and stuff, with filters and things like that, so such speed increases would definitely be welcome.
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a b U Graphics card
February 8, 2011 10:53:57 PM

BAKE IT!

I baked my GeForce 7950GT and my GeForce 6600 back to life (2 for 2) when I first heard about baking a month ago. You might get lucky. And since you don't need a powerful card, you may as well give it a shot.

If you don't want to bake it, mail it to me.

And an external exhaust GTX 460 1GB is a great choice--actually even the 460 768MB (NOT the SE) should work for you.
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February 8, 2011 11:28:09 PM

lol isnt this baking thing like bad? i hear it produces some kinda toxic fumes or something, and i dont really know how to do it, anyone got any links to any umm tutorial or something? not to mention i really dont wana break anything else in my computer, lol one broken thing today is enough haha
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a b U Graphics card
February 9, 2011 12:04:47 AM

You bake it in an oven, so it won't break anything else in your computer (You also remove the heatsink & plastic parts that you can and only leave it in for 8-10 minutes at 380F and then maybe repeat after cooling?). As far as fumes--open up your windows and doors and turn on some fans. Then don't inhale.
http://www.overclockers.com/forums/showthread.php?t=606...
It's only a last-resort sort of thing. But thanks to baking, I've got a low-mid gaming card for work (7950GT).
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February 9, 2011 11:05:46 PM

guys just outta curiosity what can cause graphics cards to break down so abruptly? I mean it was working the night before only like 5 hours before, just fine, no artifacts or anything, going about its daily life as though nothing was wrong, and the next morning thats it, nothing. Is there any particular reason? I didnt bother doing anything to it...regular shut down, no viruses no games nothing, i mean the thing didnt even get tortured before it died!
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a b U Graphics card
February 11, 2011 6:12:32 PM

jayshil said:
guys just outta curiosity what can cause graphics cards to break down so abruptly? I mean it was working the night before only like 5 hours before, just fine, no artifacts or anything, going about its daily life as though nothing was wrong, and the next morning thats it, nothing. Is there any particular reason? I didnt bother doing anything to it...regular shut down, no viruses no games nothing, i mean the thing didnt even get tortured before it died!


One of the old school common causes for sudden hardware failure was the "cold-solder-joint" issue.

When a electrical component is made, most of the parts are soldered onto the PCB. While in every day use, repeated heat up, and cooling of the now cold, and solid solder can result in it suddenly cracking, and not supplying a sufficient connection in the circuit it was connecting.

Kind of like if you pour hot water on super cold glass, but the glass is conducting electricity. Any cracks will reduce the conductivity of the solder. If it becomes insufficient, you'll start seeing the failure of the part.

There's some old memory issues from no-name brands who's heat shield/spreader on RAM would transfer heat from the hotter memory chips on the RAM module, to the smaller capacitors and whatnot that normally wouldn't experience such heat, causing this issue. It took me forever to trust RAM with a heatsink, or heatspreader on it, because of this.
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February 11, 2011 7:06:59 PM

Yep, the cold solder issue will do it, which is why baking a card actually works.

You can get a VERY good low end card for under $150 that will handle anything you throw at it including some games if you ever choose. GTX460 is a very solid card that is probably more than you will ever need for your uses.
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