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Dead graphics card, thoughts on a 560 ti in an older build

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November 2, 2012 8:43:58 PM

I built this PC a few years ago. I have a Q9300 quad-core 2.5ghz, LGA 775. A soundblaster card from yesteryear, 1000watt PSU, Gigabyte GA-X48 (LGA 775) mobo, 2x2GB DDR2 1066 RAM, and I did have a GTX 9800+ on it.

Yesterday the card started producing artifact everywhere, then freezing and either shut my comp down or just stopped producing a video signal. I tried to revive it by taking the fan-case off, cleaning out the dust in it and my case, and reapplying thermal paste to the GPU. That made it work for about 5 minutes but alas I think it's dead for good (unless you guys have suggestions...the same symptoms happened to my xbox 360 a year ago).

So, I'm looking for a graphics card to replace it. I can't do a full rebuild yet, although I know it's getting close to time. I was looking at either a superclocked 560 or the zotac 560 Ti. I have been out of the game awhile and don't really know the differences between all the cards other than what a simple search reveals, so I don't know how much better the zotac http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... is compared to this superclocked 560 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I understand it is more recent, and has more CUDA cores (meaning eludes me) and is supposed to be better from the forum posts I have read (despite having 1 GB memory versus the 2GB on the superclocked one).


My question is, with my current build, would spending the extra money on the zotac even be worth it? Both cards are still PCI express 2.0, so they can run with my mobo.

Just looking for some general input seeing as it has been awhile since I have really hunkered down and researched this kind of stuff.
November 2, 2012 8:54:00 PM

Again showing my ignorance, but that is a PCIe 2.1, that won't run on a mobo containing only 2.0 slots right?

Also it's sold out :(  there doesn't seem to be any similar models not sold out either.
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a c 165 U Graphics card
November 2, 2012 8:55:03 PM

You'll only want 2Gb on a card if you're playing at high resolutions AND want to apply plenty of AA, otherwise 1Gb is plenty (hint, hint monitor resolution?).
Have a quick read here:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-car...

If you're just going to replace the dear departed, either of the Zotac cards is far more than you need.
Even if you want a decent upgrade, the GTX650 (non Ti) is a better fit to your current ancient, decrepit, Stone Age system ;)  .

EDIT: PCI-E comes in different versions: 1.0, 1.0a, 2.0...You get the idea, they are generally interchangeable, so a PCI-E 3.0 card will fit into and run in a PCI-E 1.0 slot.
November 2, 2012 11:02:14 PM

Well, I'd like to spend somewhere around $150. I have my monitor at 1920x1080.

I am a fan of building for the future, so IF I could buy a better card for the same/just a bit more, that would run on this build with minimal detriment to its beefyness (the 3.0 into a 2.0 slot issue), then I'm all for that. I could just recycle it into a newer build hopefully the coming summer.

According to your link Radeon HD cards are equally as good but less expensive?

Thanks for the responses guys :) 
a c 165 U Graphics card
November 3, 2012 12:56:29 PM

Do n't be worried about the PCI-E revision, only a couple of $1000 cards can get close to using the full speed of PCI-E 2.0 much less the bandwidth of PCI-E 3.0.
You can:
1; Get something cheap, probably off E-bay, as a stop-gap keeping the money saved aside for the new build.
2; Go for the 'just a little bit more' and aim for a 1Gb HD7850 now and carry it over into the new build. It's a good card, about as fast as my HD6950 and that can cope with just about everything in my games library at 1920x1080 at high settings.
As a side note and off topic, you'll give the existing system a good boost by investing in a half decent aftertmarket cooler and overclocking the CPU-It's actually not THAT bad (all sarcasm aside) and, unless you're a very demanding user you'll probably find a little time and money will enable you to keep this rig viable for another year or so.
November 4, 2012 5:13:24 AM

So as an update, if it's relevant, I tried playing on my PC today. It idled w/ CPU cores at 43*C at all cores, and 54*C on the GPU. That was while just browsing. I played a game (league of legends), and it ran stable for a good couple of hours (didn't monitor temps then). It died in the middle of a game. The screen froze and my skype made weird electrical sounds. My computer was still running, and my monitor was still getting a frozen signal, but was the whole computer was totally frozen.

How do I make sure this is a graphics problem and not something else? I'm pretty sure, but I'd hate to spend all my available money on a graphics card to find out it's the CPU that's dead or something like that.

I actually have the big Zalman aftermarket cooler already (I bought it with this build). I've never tried overclocking though, but I'll look into it.


So, I'm assuming that any of the options out of this list of 1GB HD7850's are fine? My current card is a XFX, and it's lasted since spring 2008. http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...




a c 165 U Graphics card
November 4, 2012 11:32:58 AM

It's not unknown for older systems to develop loose connections, so, first thing is to remove and reseat the video card, memory, add in cards and all the power leads.
While you're in there, take a look at the CPU and card coolers, if they're clogged with dust that may also be the problem. They can be blown out using a can of 'compressed air', it's available at most computer stores.
If you do need to clean the heatsinks: Do it outside! If the card has a cooler that exhausts outside of the case, remove the card and blow IN through the EXHAUST and not through the fan, its blades should be cleaned with a small brush or cotton bud. Try not to touch the small connectors, hold the card by its edge and do not apply force to the cooler assembly, you'll most likely move it and then you'll have to strip the card out to replace the thermal paste.
Grab a copy of RealTemp or Speedfan, and use them to monitor the CPU temperatures, the old favourite of GPU-Z does for the graphics card.
If temperatures are not the prolem, it could be memory related and while it's not exactly user friendy Memtest is a useful tool for...Well...Checking memory;) .
I'd go for this Sapphire card-better cooler and a small factory overclock:

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

a c 165 U Graphics card
November 4, 2012 3:20:09 PM

^ True enough but it's $50 more than the card I linked to, and that is $30 over the OPs' original $150 budget.
a b U Graphics card
November 4, 2012 3:27:25 PM

Sapphire 7850 will do the trick.
November 4, 2012 10:19:45 PM

I'll do all that coozie. I actually have all those programs, I just haven't ran them for a few years :p 

One final question, just in graphics power. Newegg lists the details for core clock, stream processors, effective memory clock, memory size, and memory interface.

Seeing as the 660 has 1 more GB memory size, but less memory interface, and different stats on the other details, is there some statistic other than the core clock which is really important. I was under the impression that memory interface was important.
a b U Graphics card
November 5, 2012 1:00:13 AM

You should weigh benchmarks as much if not more than gpu specs. They will should what you can actually expect from each card.

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a c 165 U Graphics card
November 5, 2012 11:51:39 AM
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@ Tsiphon: As Embra says, you're better off looking at, and comparing, benchmarks and reviews, AMD and Nvidia have different architectures making hardware comparasons difficult if not meaningless.
Memory size has little if no effect on framerates directly-it allows higher levals of Antialiasing (which is memory hungry) to be applied witout the card running out of memory, which causes stutters and random, short drops in performance.
If you can live without AA then a 1Gb card is n't going to suffer much of a performance penalty, if you want to apply it then 2Gb is plenty for a single monitor setup.
As for card: The GTX660 (non Ti) is faster than the HD7850, but comes with a price premium, if you can afford it without selling the kids into slavery or your own body parts then it's the most powerful card you should get, anything stronger is going to be held back by the CPU, even if you sucessfully overclock it.
Given your tight budget, and we're all on those these days, I still feel the HD 7850 is the most expensive card I can wholeheartedly recommend, I'm gaming on a HD6950 on a 1920x1080 display and only in a few very demanding games do I have to turn settings down from 'maximum uberquality' to merely high.
Just remember before you reach for the wallet: ALL the cards memtioned here are BIG upgrades to the 9800+ currently installed, something in the 7770/GTX650 class is still going to be faster and easier on the wallet.
November 10, 2012 8:20:05 PM

Cool, good to know the benchmark and memsize stuff...

After repasting my graphics card, and disassembling/cleaning/reassembling my entire build (I felt it had been a while anyways), the card works on and off. I am certain it's not the driver (i uninstalled the driver when the card wasn't working, and it displayed artifacts. With a new driver GPU-Z registered the card, but that the GPU clock was at 0, during the error that is.)

I overclocked my CPU to 3Ghz, and will work with that to get more for less heat after I get a new graphics card.

I can get away with playing league for a few hours sometimes, and it never fails during normal browsing...I did increase the fan speed to ~80% to hopefully allow me to survive while I decide/wait for a card in the mail. During the error, I can sometimes load into windows, it locks resolutions at 800x600, and the nVidia control panel says I don't have an nVidia GPU hooked up. I tried taking screen shots but now that I'm in a non-error state it appears it doesn't take pictures of what I see, so the artifacts aren't present in the pictures lol.

Just some weirdness. I have decided the problem is entirely in the graphics card.

Anyways, I don't mind splurging just a bit, and the 2gb 7850's are around $185 after rebate, so after I decide a brand I'll be ordering one of those :) 
a c 165 U Graphics card
November 10, 2012 9:37:43 PM

Sounds solidly like it's the card on it's last legs...Sorry, mate :(  .
Before ordering, obviously, take a look around, you might collar a 'today only' bargain on the 'net and do n't forget to check your local suppliers, they can, sometimes surprise you!
November 10, 2012 9:56:14 PM

Best answer selected by Tsiphon.
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