Can a faulty graphics card potentially break a new system?

This might come off as a ridiculous question, but I recently bought a brand new Sandy Bridge setup. It's running great, but I am currently running on the IGP due to money issues. I was gonna buy a new graphics card in December, but I'm getting a bit impatient as I want better performance.

The reason I upgraded in the first place was because I had serious issues with my old computer based on a Q6600 platform. I suspected the graphics card, a Geforce 9800GTX, as the culprit as the problems resulted in screen flickering resulting in messages about the <driver name> stopped responding and recovered, but also BSODs.

Since I'm slightly frustrated that I can only play old games currently, I was thinking of trying to install the card anyway, but I have this irrational fear that I'll mess up the new system. Regardless of the answer, I know the 9800GTX won't do wonders, but it'll at least allow me to run games such as BF3 on some low settings whereas the Intel HD Graphics 3000 is a slide show.

So what I'm looking for is either a green or red light for this, so I can either maybe play some BF3 or accept having to wait for December.

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  1. There's no harm in trying really. A GPU won't harm other components if it's faulty as far as I know. The worst that would happen is you would have to restart or turn the PC off if there was no longer any signal to your monitor, and switch to CPU graphics again.
  2. Very rarely could that happen. You'd first need a VERY faulty power supply that could somehow short the card which would in turn short the whole motherboard. The chances of that are astronomically low. Your 9800 is a super bottleneck so I'd recommend replacing it. Flickering screen means the card itself is damaged most likely, or the monitor. Generally it's more likely to be the card. So:

    tl;dr: green light. Check your power supply though.
  3. ^Chances are he is correct - not 100%. You are still taking a small risk. If there was a problem with the pci-e interface you could damage the mobo. I think the risk is low but.... Is there another computer you care less about that you can try the card in?
  4. No need to. I also bought a new PSU - namely a Corsair AX850 and it should be rock solid. And the monitor is the same I used for my old system, but no issues with the IGP. So I guess the card was the culprit as I originally suspected, but no harm in trying anyway I suppose. And yeah, I realize it's an old card, so I will replace it even if it does magically work in my new rig. It's just a temporary solution.

    Edit: No. I ditched the old system partly due to the issues I described and also because Q6600 and DDR2 was getting old.
  5. I must admit I'm still very unsure regarding this, hence I'm bumping it to receive some more opinions (hopefully). I guess I shouldn't do it if I feel uncomfortable with it, but I did do some searching but with no conclusive results.
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