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Is this my video card dying?


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#1
Kal Zakath

Kal Zakath

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Hi there -

Problems I think started a few days ago when I was net surfing and playing some Runescape. Suddenly, There were these vertical thin green lines on my monitor - they were bunched together into about 5 bands that went from the top of the screen to the bottom. After a couple of clicks and site changes, they disappeared, but game back later. Also, display issues on sites started happening, though video and DVD capability seems fine.

In the meantime, I decided to get back and play some Oblivion so I went out and got the latest update.

There are flickering shapes all over the display. If I look at people, it almost appears as if there is the kind of snow that you used to see on TV. I can play with the flickering for a short time, then the screen goes blank, locking up my computer completely so the only way to get out is for a power-button power down and restart. It's not the resolution or anything like that, I have played this game a great deal in the past with no issues. I tried re-installing the game with the same results.

I have a Dell Dimension XPS Gen 2 3.2 GHZ with a Radeon 9800 XT video card, and I run on XP Home Edition (5.1) with Service Pack 2. I am running DirectX 9.0C.

Is this my video card starting to give up the ghost or is this a problem that is out there that I don't know about?

Oh, about the same time, my mouse seems to get 'stuck' temporarily in a spot if I leave it there. It takes a couple of seconds of moving the mouse around the pad or clicking the mouse (no matter what it is over, so I get taken a lot of places I don't intend to go) to get it moving again, then it is fine until it sits again.

Thanks

Edited by Kal Zakath, 01 July 2007 - 02:09 PM.

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#2
starjax

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sounds like heat issues. Start with using compressed air to blow out your fans, heat sinks, and power supply.

If it doesn't improve then you may need to replace your video card.
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#3
Kal Zakath

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Thanks starjax.

Was able to blow out a little dust from the heat sinks (at least what I thought the heat sinks were), but seems to be no real improvement (wasn't much there, the inside looked pretty clean).

Is there some site or test I can run to test the performance to see if it is within specs for the card? I've tried the test on my machine, but I think that just tells me if it is working at all....
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#4
starjax

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Download Speedfan (The download link is in the first line of the second paragraph), and install it. Once it's installed, run the program and post here the information it shows. The information I want you to post is the stuff that is circled in the example picture I have attached.

[img] http://fenor.geeksto...dfanexample.jpg [/img

Edited by starjax, 04 July 2007 - 08:23 AM.

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#5
Kal Zakath

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Here are the scores you are looking for (have to type them in), never have figured out how to take effective screenshots....)

In the bottom section:

+2.5V: 1.49V
Vcore: 1.53V
+3.3V: 3.23V
+5V: 5.10V
+12V: 11.92V

In the other section:

CPU: 44C (green check, occasionally goes up to 46C with a red arrow)
Local: 41C (Red arrow up)
Remote 2: -128C (Blue arrow down)
HD0: 39C (green check)

Are there actual temperature sensors in the PC that it uses that this allows you to access?

Thanks.

Edit:

The Temps all went up as I surfed and did some other things:
The CPU would spike to over 50C
The local would go up and down slightly sometimes with a red arrow, sometimes with a green check.

When playing a low level On-line RPG, the CPU temp went into the mid-high 50s and held, the local went up to about 43.

Edited by Kal Zakath, 05 July 2007 - 12:57 PM.

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#6
starjax

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sorry for the slow response.

It is very possible that your 9800 is going out. It is also possible that your power supply could be the culprit. Your 2.5volt rail seems to be running on the low side. Have you tried playing other games to see if you have issues there as well?
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#7
Kal Zakath

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Well, here are some updates.....

I decided to bite the bullet as the fan on the 9800 is seriously making noise, and went online (through Zipzoomfly)and got a Sapphire X1950 Pro (with AGP slot capability) to replace it with. I knew I had 460 W on my power supply, and the card said it needed 450 or more, so I thought I had it set. (No one seems to have the Amp ratings for my power supply, and as it is the entire bottom of my PC, thought better than to try to get it off since I know just enough about computers to be a real danger).

I tried to put the card in, it worked for about 5 minutes, then I got a lockup, and now when I turn the PC on with the card in it the DELL startup screen has dots all over it, the colors are off and in very low res. When the windows screen comes up I get 6 blue columns made up of dashed lines, with orangey-peach horizontal 2-3" inch or so stripes that are 'stepped' (when one ends, the next starts either just above or below it). The colors look completely washed out, it then either cuts out completely, and the system reboots, or goes a little further to where it looks as though I am looking in safe mode with all of the lines on it, garbled text, etc.

I have been trying to go through CS on the manufacturer, the FAQs on the sites, etc., and on one hand they are telling me it is a defective card and needs to be returned, on the other they are saying that it is a power supply issue and that I don't have the AMPs needed for the card (it says '30 AMPs on 12 V rail Recommended, but says nothing about any requirements). With my Power Supply rated at 460 W, figured I was at least in the ballpark there, but am I learning now that might not be the case?

If it is the power supply, since my power supply is very long and flat (it's the bottom of my PC, I have a Dell XPS Gen 2), and all of the power supplies out there look like these boxy things, how would I go about changing this, or am I pretty much stuck?

So, at this point I guess my questions are:

Is it a card thing or is my power supply nowhere near powerful enough for this card? (Something it would have been nice for them to put more in the requirements than just a wattage requirement and an amp recommendation)....

If it is a power supply thing, how do I get around the shape of the power supply, or is that not an issue?

I currently have put the old card back in the PC and it seems to be working fine for general use.

By 'other game', are you talking about another system hog, or any game in general? Oblivion is the only super-video required game I have, the others are more conquer the world types like Civilization...

Thanks again...

Edited by Kal Zakath, 12 July 2007 - 10:00 AM.

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#8
starjax

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it's not enough to just have sufficient watts. You have to be able to deliver the power to the device. In this case video cards get 12 volt rail to supply power. If that rail doesn't have the specs to deliver the power, you can end up with all kinds of issues.

If you call dell up and see what they say. Chances are they can sell you a new power supply. Because of the form factor, you may not be able to or it may cost lots of money.

I would send the 1950 card back and see if they have something like an x800 or x850. Not only will that save you some money, but should work in your system.

anything else and your going to end up spending enough money to not be worth fixing this system and be much more effective to replace/buy new.
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