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8800GT Failure February 25, 2009

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, Hardware.
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Earlier this week I noticed that video on my computer was behaving oddly.  Strange artifacts now and again, things I would have attributed 20 years ago to problems with video memory.

Then last night when I poked my nose into Lord of the Rings Online, that was enough to push the card over the edge into failure mode.  All 3D operations appear to have ceased.  The card, thankfully, has fallen back to some minimal operation state, so I can still do things like type angry blog posts (without pictures), but everything is very slow on the screen.

Are you old enough to remember when scrolling text in a large Word document was a stress test for a video card?  Yeah, I’m operating with that level of video support now.  Scrolling down the page on my blog is a test of my patience.

The card, my second 8800GT after the first one failed almost a year back (also while playing LOTRO) has not given me a lot of faith in nVidia for the moment.

So for my next video card, just in time to be my birthday present I suppose, I think I will jump back to the ATi side of the video world with a 4850 based card.

But no Lord of the Rings Online for a while, not until I get the card replaced.  At least I can update my EVE Online skill training on our iMac.  Go CCP and Mac OSX support!

Comments»

1. Yeebo - February 25, 2009

I’ve been using Nvidia cards exclusively for about a decade, and have never had any problems with them. I originally went with Nvidia because several MMOs had better support for Nvidia cards than ATI (CoH was a biggy as I recall). I have the impression that they are roughly equivalent now. In any case best of luck.

One day the video that comes with your mother board will be as effective as on board sound cards currently are (i.e., only an enthusiast or designer will need something better). I’m looking forward to it, but it still seems a ways off.

2. Wilhelm2451 - February 25, 2009

I have been pretty pro-nVidia since I threw over my 3DFx Voodoo2 3D accelerator board for a TNT2 based video card like… a decade ago. Still, nVidia has let me down at times. I went to ATi for the first time after getting a 5700 Ultra that turned out to be way down the performance ladder compared to the comparably priced ATi models.

But it is my view that what we call personal computers right now are still in their infancy and they won’t be mature until we can go to the store and buy one without worrying about more than one or two parameters. Then they will be appliances and we’ll just use them and not worry about all these bits and pieces.

I used to keep up with the video card market, but haven’t been paying attention for the last 18 months or so. Now I have some research to do.

3. Yeebo - February 25, 2009

Voodoo, wow I completely forgot about those guys.

4. Eric - February 26, 2009

Voodoo 5 6000 has to be the coolest (no pun intended) vga card ever made ! pics thru google

5. Hudson - February 26, 2009

Honestly I would not go ATI. From the driver control center (which crashes frequently) to some really laggy gameplay and flaky driver performance, I would not do it.

6. Stephanie - February 26, 2009

I also have an 8800GT and I’ve been posting about my frustrations with it over the past little while. My 7600 ran better then this one does, even after I attempted some reader suggestions. Glad to see I’m not the only one.

7. nerrollus - February 26, 2009

Yeah, you might get a bad NVIDIA card occasionally, but ATI still sucks major balls. I hate those cards with a pasion. Their driver support sucks and I’ve never had as good a picture with an ATI card as I have with NVIDIA.

I’ve loved NVIDIA since I bought an old TNT2 card. Never had any kind of driver issues or shitty performance. I’ve tried ATI several times and never been happy.

8. smakendahed - February 26, 2009

I had no problems with my x1950XT though I did switch it out for a HD3870 when a friend was selling his used one (two actually, but I don’t want to bother with two vid cards). It’s overkill for WoW and most games I play now.

I did have problems with newer drivers on my x800XT PE a few years back, but then I actually read the readme and noted support for that card in the version of drivers I was using was no longer supported (there’s something to be said about blindly updating your drivers). To be fair, I had the same sort of thing happen with nVidia cards.

I’m not going to tell you nVidia sucks or ATI (AMD) sucks, but I will suggest really taking a look at what you need for gaming and go with that rather than chase the bleeding edge.

Save your money and spend it on 50 gold for your daughter’s extra stable slot! Jeez man!

9. Strangeape - February 26, 2009

I’ve been a fan of nVidia for years now but the 8000 platform has really been testing me. I’ve had many EVGA cards over the years and never had a problem with it, yet the 8800 i have has had little bugs that varied with the driver version i had installed. I am now contemplating a 4850 as an upgrade and the old one, although screwy, will go in the living room on the TV computer.

10. syncaine - February 26, 2009

Just for the record, LotRO killed two graphics cards for me as well (7900GTX and a 8600GT). Rumor has it the engine for that game pushes cards too hard, and they end up frying because of that. I would say that seems rather impossible, but then you look at how many people have had cards die on them from LotRO and…

11. Khan - February 26, 2009

For whatever reason, LotRO seems to be tough on video cards. I had two 7900s in an SLI arrangment when I started getting a lot of artifacts and tearing. Turns out one of them was going bad. I shut down the SLI to run on just the good card. Six months later, that one died too.

Now I’m running on a down-graded ATI card (not sure of the model). I had to decrease the graphics to medium to get it to work smoothly (I occasionally run it on high to take screenshots). I’m really turned off Nvidea at the moment though.

Good luck!

12. Ska - February 26, 2009

I just switched from Nvidia to ATI a few months ago because of the issues with Nvidia everyone describes. I’m fond of my 4870×2 and the ATI control center has run great for me. I do have to manually increase the fan when I run graphics intense apps but that is easy to control from the ATI control panel. I also find the latest driver versions can have issues but I can usually just stick with a slightly older version thats stable and have plenty of processing power to do what I want. I had the same issues with Nvidia’s latest drivers before though.


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