Dying/dead graphics card?

All ran well earlier today until about 45 minutes into BF3 when my PC froze and there were a few red pixels all over the screen.

I checked SpeedFan and it was saying CPU and GPU temps were high. All fans are working fine [and I have a cooler on my CPU].

This is SF running in Safe Mode:

I'm running e8400 with a 9800GT. I was able to restart and run my PC fine but each time I run BF3, within seconds the red pixels are everywhere and I have to end the game. Windows 7 reported that my drivers failed and restored automatically, so I updated my graphics drivers and the same issue occurs.

The GPU appears to be the primary culprit as now my monitor receives no signal - is there a chance at all that my CPU is acting up as well?

I am currently in a Startup Repair and there are red lines across the screen. I've moved the cable from one DVI port to the other just to see if maybe that was the issue.


If it turns out to be the graphics card, I am a little disappointed because I was hoping it would last until next fall before I built a new PC. If I had to replace it, I'm not sure which would be wiser: getting a fairly new card now at a high price while it is bottlenecked until I upgrade my PC around it or dish out a little bit now and get something mediocre for the time being [460 etc.].

FYI - I'm running a Antec earthwatts EA430 430W with only 1 6-pin connector, 2 12V rails, output: +3.3V@20A,+5V@20A,+12V1@17A,+12V2@17A,-12V@0.8A,+5VSB@2.5A. (Some say I will need minimum 24A on both 12V rails for a newer card.

I am looking to spend $130-150 or SLIGHTLY more if absolutely necessary. I keep looking at cards and increasing $20 but then I get over $200 and forget that my intention [for now] is to simply get a replacement card at a cheap price. I want something slightly better than the 9800GT that is ACCURATELY priced. I plan to build a new PC next fall or early 2014.

I was looking at the 460gtx for $139 but it was 192bit, moved to a 550ti gtx 192bit for $135 but read up on them and although better than the 9800gt, people prefer the 460gtx [but the 550ti is cheaper right now..]. From what I understand, most say 460 or 560. The only 460 is 192bit on newegg while I found two 560s 256bit for about $170

Although there are several more options for the 560, they are $200+. Should I stick with the 550/460 for ~$130? Will my 430w PSU be a problem?
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  1. I'd go for the MSI GTX 560. Also, I'd consider getting a PSU upgrade as well. At least a 500W.

    But if your on a tight budget, you have a couple of choices:
    Corsair 500W (with a GTX 560 or 460)

    Or get the 550 Ti by itself.
  2. The 560 Ti wants a 500 watter..... I'd go 600 / 650 id overclocking the GPU and why wouldn't you. Check the specs here:

    The GTX 560 wants 450 watts and the GTX 550 400 watts

    I'd try and swing fr one of these, the performance boost and overclockability make it worth the investment.|14-125-363^14-125-363-TS%2C14-121-425^14-121-425-TS
  3. It seems that the 560 would be the most favored choice over the 460 - but again, I am concerned with my current setup [not including the PSU..I plan to upgrade that now anyways].

    I am mostly interested in replacing my 9800GT with something cheap that will continue to get me through 2012-13 [mostly playing BF3, as BF4 beta will be released in fall 2013]. I did not think getting a high-end card NOW would be a good choice [and keeping it through my next upgrade] because I want to wait as long as possible TO upgrade. Additionally, I believe it is time to get a new PSU regardless of what card I get since even the 460gtx/550ti make me second guess the 430W.

    I am running:
    e8400 @ 3.0GHz
    4GB DDR2 1066
    ASUS P5Q Pro LGA 775

    The people that helped me put it together back in 08/09 were very reassuring about the 430W PSU and I knew they were right but it is moments like now that I wish I had gone up from the beginning. What are some features of the PSU that I should considering to "future-proof"? ie: 2x 6-pin connectors [as mine was only 1x] and maybe shoot for a minimum 600W, 24A for both 12V rails, etc?
  4. The only thing you want is getting at least a 80 PLUS certification. This means that at all loads you get 80% of the total watts your PSU gives.

    There are higher ones like Bronze (85%), Silver (88%), Gold (90%), etc. @ 50% load. It will slightly go down with higher loads let's say 500W out of 600W, it will go down roughly 2% out total output.

    Next thing, is the amps on the 12V rail. Whether it's multi-rail or single rail, you want most of the amps/watts on this rail.

    Here is an example for a corsair 600W


    You can see where most of the power outputs.

    Since you are choosing either a 460 or 550Ti and the price of those are low. You can consider getting the GTX 460 it's stronger than the 550Ti.
  5. I decided to go in and look at it today. I noticed a small collection of debris sitting on top of it that didn't look good, and it did not appear to be just dust. I blew on it and it went away...nowhere to be found. I believe I found the problem; correct me if I am wrong:

    That nice, clean spot is where it was. It appears that a small piece had been falling/has now fallen off the card. This is enough to ruin it, right?

    If so - my search for a "future proof" PSU and budget GPU wages on. I am looking for ~600W with 2+ 6-pin connectors and 12V rail(s) with ~25A+.

    If you're asking why - when I had help piecing this build together back in '08/'09, we all concluded that the earthwatts 430W that I purchased was good for my system. However, now it appears to be holding me back and most cards want 500W or 550W and/or 2 6-pin connectors. I have been reading a lot of people discussing power to their cards and how some want a minimum of 25-28A on the 12V rails..etc.

    I read up on the rails and from what I understand it shouldn't matter if it is single or double as long as it is quality, BUT if I had one that was say double 15A 12V rails and my GPU needed 15A, I would overload the PSU versus having a single 40A 12V rail?

    Thank you for your help in advance, and thank you Fantastik250 - that clears a few things up!
  6. That is correct, you'd overloard your PSU. You always need extra cushion for the 12V Rail and for the whole PSU. A priority in computer building is the PSU. Well, it could also be something seeping through the card as well. In any case, an upgrade is necessary if you want to play games for the next couple of years. By the time you upgrade in 2014, you'll have much better selection of cards.
  7. Right, I am not COMPLETELY out of the loop, I used to piece together and assemble computers before so I understand that - I just have not been extremely savvy when it comes to specifics with certain devices.

    What do you mean it could be something seeping through? It looked like whatever those were popped off and it appears they are gone. I THINK that is what it is. With my CPU and RAM, I know I have outdated hardware but my plan was to continue playing BF3 through the next year and upgrade in 2014 when BF4 is released. I was hoping to spend as little money as possible now so when I upgrade, I can just get all new parts, but possible keep the same PSU and MAYBE video card. If I carry this video card over, it may last me another year after I upgrade everything else so I am not forced to buy a whole new system.

    I'm mostly interested in seeing what everyone's opinion is on what it is I should do and if anyone has a clue as to what could be causing the problem. If it's fixable, that would be ideal.

    If not, any links to a great PSU and mediocre card I should purchase? I want to keep it as cheap as possible but may go with the 460gtx 192-bit for $140. Point being, anything at this point is just as good if not better than my 9800gt. But for $140, I feel like I should have a good card, it seems a little much for the 192-bit version.
  8. Also - I noticed you recommended the 7750 to someone on a budget. It is only $100 - would that be a wise move in my situation? Would I need to upgrade my PSU with that card? It would be nice to spend less then $130 on any card that would be equivalent or slightly better than my 9800GT while allowing me to continue using the PSU I have [current PSU:]
  9. The 7750 is the best budget card that doesn't need the power supply connected to it.

    You will see a slight difference in performance (7750 is higher). It supports directX 11 and has a lower power consumption.

    This will work with your PSU and the rest of your system.

    Don't know how much you will spend for a new PSU, but this will do if you ever plan to upgrade.
  10. Just so we are clear, I am referring to this specific card:

    Also, this is the exact card I was running:

    The only thing I am concerned about is the difference in Effective Memory Clock speeds as the 9800GT is 1800MHz vs 1125MHz on the 7750.

    Although I would like to have better performance since I have to go out of my way with this purchase, I am not interested in changing a lot as I plan to put forth the money in the next year for a new build. Even if I carry over the PSU, I didn't want to purchase a 560 because it would be bottlenecked and by the time I plan to upgrade and take full advantage of it, it will probably be even cheaper with a much better selection of cards out.

    Lastly, my 9800GT is connected via a 6-pin connector. Seeing as the 7750 doesn't require that [and knowing it uses less power anyways], it makes me want to find a somewhat better card. I could be wrong, though - is it worth it?
  11. Best answer
    The 7750 is at the top among all low budget cards especially without the use of a power connector.

    The card you linked is one I also recommend because of the price.

    As far as effective memory is concerned. The higher clock on the 9800GT is due to the DDR3 on the card. So they tried to up the speed in memory. Current graphics card come with GDDR5 which is a lot faster than DDR3. So it's already fast although it has a lower clock. Plus, the card overall is a slight up in performance not a significant one. If you want m then a 7770 is something you want to consider.

    XFX 7770
  12. I found a 460gtx $139 and a 550ti $135 - how do those compare to the 7770?

    I am interested in the 7770 as $130 is the price range I am looking for as long as it is noticeably better than my 9800gt. Otherwise, I would like to spend $100 or less for something equivalent to what I have now. Would I need a new PSU with the 7770? [The link for my current PSU is in the above post]
  13. 7770 will perform better than the 9800GT and the 550TI.

    As for the GTX 460 some games perform better than the 7770.

    Other than that, 7770 consumes less power and less heat output.

    Since the max load for the PSU on the 12V Rails is 360W. You should be fine with the 7770 inside the computer.
  14. im able to run a gtx 570 on a 650w cooler master gx, so im sure that will be sufficient
  15. I'm sorry - where did you get the value 360W?

    I was reading some reviews and thought I may go with the MSI/Sapphire/HIS. Thoughts?
  16. You posted the link on your PSU. I had to take out the little "]" at the end of the link because it would bring up an error.

    Anyways, once I saw the PSU, I clicked on the picture. Then it showed me the PSU rails and the watts it gave.

    As far as the brand is concerned, I'd go with MSI. Not only the reviews show good things about it, but also, in my opinion, they are usually good with quality products.
  17. Oh ok, thanks.

    I hate to drag this on but I promise I'm almost done - I am considering the Sapphire 6850 for $135. I am hearing that the 7770 often goes on sale and would be worth it if it was $90-100. Someone mentioned the 6850 being a good deal if it was $120-130 and said it would also run fine with my current PSU. Do you have any knowledge about this?
  18. No worries.

    It's a good deal. The 7770 and 6850 actually perform similar. The 6850 just a bit stronger than the 7770.

    Yes, 6850 will work with your PSU. Other than that, it comes down to price. The 6850 is a good deal when compared to the MSI 7770.
  19. Best answer selected by mcdreamy.
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