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Replacing a broken Geforce GT 8800

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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September 4, 2011 2:53:45 PM

Hi everyone,
I'm currently building a new system that I should have within the next two weeks. I will then give the system I'm currently using to my two little brothers so they can play somewhat dated games/games which do not have the highest hardware requirements (mainly StarCraft II; besides, they are 13 and 10 years old, so they aren't even allowed to play the most hardware-intensive games due to age restrictions).
However, the graphics card in my current system, a Geforce 8800 GT, crashes my system within minutes after starting any 3D game. I can play games like VVVVVV, Rush, Terraria etc. with no problem whatsoever, but even somewhat old games like Recettear inevitably lead to horrible problems. Of course, I cannot even dream of playing more recent 3D games any more, and StarCraft II certainly won't run on that graphics card.

So I'm looking for advice what to do. I've heard that it might be worth it to bake the graphics card, although I haven't found a good guide for that; I've also heard that it might just be a overheating problem, so opening the card, removing dust and perhaps applying thermal paste might be enough.

In any case, the easiest option by far would obviously be replacing it with a somewhat similar budget card with somewhat similar power consumption.
So: Any recommendations? According to this chart and specifically this list on Tom's Hardware, I'd suggest a Radeon HD 5670, but I have no idea whether that would be a good choice or not/fit into whatever motherboard I have in this system. I also don't know whether it would be overkill.
In general, if it doesn't have tremendously negative effects on quality, it would probably make perfect sense to buy a used graphics card - after all, all other hardware components in this computer are at least three years old, too...

Specs of this (old) system:
Case: Sharkoon Rebel9 Economy
PSU: Tagan TG420-U01 420W ATX SATA
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6750, 2x 2.67GHz, 333MHz FSB, 4MB shared Cache, boxed
MB: Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3R, P35 (dual PC2-6400U DDR2)
RAM: 2xGeIL Ultra DIMM Kit 2048MB PC2-6400U CL4-4-4-12 (DDR2-800)
Graphics card: MSI NX Geforce 8800 GT
Rest probably doesn't matter.
September 4, 2011 4:49:14 PM

I am assuming here that if you use your PC for surfing/productivity it remains stable without any BSODs/issues, so totally disregarding anything else.

Here is a comparison for you of 5670 vs 8800GT:
http://www.hwcompare.com/185/geforce-8800-gt-512mb-vs-r...

I would however, recommend you to up your budget and get a HD 6770:
http://www.hwcompare.com/5888/geforce-8800-gt-512mb-vs-...

HD 6770 (the cheapest price I could find on newegg was 110$).
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

For 10$ less, you can have a 6750 but I would rather recommend 6770.
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September 5, 2011 5:03:29 PM

Thanks for the reply! These still look rather pricy, but I guess I'll just have to live with that. I also thought it would be possible to get graphics cards for a lot less if they were already used, but I haven't been able to find any here in Germany (and I guess international shipping charges would make that option less worthwhile).

That being said, I'm a bit indecisive because I really don't want to replace more than the graphics card in this three year old PC, and that limits me somewhat due to e.g. the 420 W PSU and the somewhat old motherboard.
Will this PC actually be able to benefit from these more recent, yet budget, graphics cards which you've recommended?
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Related resources
September 5, 2011 5:22:00 PM

It make perfect sense not to go overboard with upgrading components on an old computer, especially which is already 3 years old. Although a good quality 420W PSU can handle a HD 6770 but I wouldn't want to push this old PSU this much. So I think we better downgrade our purchase options.

Have a look at these and see whether the price range looks okay to you:

HD5670
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

HD6670
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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September 5, 2011 7:30:05 PM

can I ask what are the specific problems with your 8800gt card? as I have one, was repaired and now again is broke. as soon as i load a 3d game, the cooler starts to make alot of noise and in 10 seconds my image is totaly screwed. I have to restart the pc and usually it won`t function properly, it will have lots of horizontal white and blue and black curved stripes. after it cools, it will work in 2d.

the guy in the service told me it cleaned it and applied thermal paste and it still broke in 2 days after repairing.
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September 5, 2011 7:57:58 PM

eperdos said:
can I ask what are the specific problems with your 8800gt card? as I have one, was repaired and now again is broke. as soon as i load a 3d game, the cooler starts to make alot of noise and in 10 seconds my image is totaly screwed. I have to restart the pc and usually it won`t function properly, it will have lots of horizontal white and blue and black curved stripes. after it cools, it will work in 2d.

the guy in the service told me it cleaned it and applied thermal paste and it still broke in 2 days after repairing.


That sounds very similar to my problems. No issues when browsing the internet or playing games without 3D graphics, but horrible problems as soon as I start a 3D game. Issues include: huge, blocky, diagonal stripes all over my screen; PC freezes that won't stop until either the PC crashes or I manage to alt-tab out (which can take minutes) and kill the offending 3D process, etc. I actually finished Bob Came in Pieces (the game deserves the Worst Video Game Name Ever award) like that: whenever it crashed, I restarted...and if I didn't give the system time to cool down, the problems occured much sooner next time.

Maybe it's a more serious issue than the thermal paste, and/or part of the graphics card is already fundamentally damaged?

In any case, once I have my new system, I will probably try to open the graphics card and see whether it looks damaged, apply new thermal paste etc., ask around whether baking it could actually possibly work...(after all, the system is more than three years old, so I no longer have any warranty on the card)
And if all that does not work, I will buy one of those new budget graphics cards recommended by Archean (thanks for the help!).
I still wish I found a vendor in Germany that sold used hardware for cheap, however...
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September 6, 2011 7:26:24 AM

Quote:
Issues include: huge, blocky, diagonal stripes all over my screen; PC freezes that won't stop until either the PC crashes or I manage to alt-tab out (which can take minutes) and kill the offending 3D process, etc.


Is the clear signs that the card is failing. I am not sure it could be repaired successfully, or how long the repair will last. So either way that may be money down the drain in the end.
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a c 173 U Graphics card
September 6, 2011 1:14:30 PM

You can try to reflow the card's bondings via a oven bake but you will have to look that up on your own but however it has been proven to work on cards from that era and older.
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