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134 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 5

Topic # 66951 25-Aug-2010 21:54
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Hi All,

Was watching some TV on my HTPC tonight - and suddenly the machine hard locks. I turned the machine off, and then on again - only to find some REALLY strange artifacting on the screen. The BIOS screen is messed up - and when (attempting) to boot further in - any attempt at graphical text / logo's appears really odd too. Plus, the machine doesn't get past the initial "loading windows..." screen.

So - my first assumption here is that my Graphics card has spat the dummy. So, my question is two-fold;

Am I correct in assuming its the graphics card? I don't want to fork out ~$100 only to find out my issue still exists.

This card was a passively cooled MSI nVidia 8500GT. It was great because I could pass-through the audio on my mobo through it's HDMI port.

What's the current generation equivalent that'd do the same thing?

I've attached a couple of photo's as reference.

Thanks for any help! :)


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483 posts

Ultimate Geek


  Reply # 372869 25-Aug-2010 22:11
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I take it its red card with a big gold heatsink?

They're all destined to fail at some point. Bit of a design issue from NVidia with that generation of cards (had some major heat issues) - didn't get that well publicised, but most of them will end up cooked at some stage - regardless of how well its cooled.

I've personally seen 2 of the MSI ones cooked, and my old XFX 8500 (which replaced a cooked MSI one) cooked itself as well.

Had no issue getting any of them replaced under warranty - depending on your retailer it may still be worth having a go. They'll also be able to confirm its cooked within a couple of minutes. You'd have recourse under the CGA (known design fault) - but for under $100, it may not be worth the time/effort...

Otherwise any of the NVidia 210-240's will do the same job without breaking the bank.


Most other retailers should have something similar.

3267 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 77


  Reply # 372933 26-Aug-2010 06:02
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There is very little else that can cause those issues. Possibly a RAM chip got fried or the video processor lost a port pin. But usually the failure mode is a popped capacitor which causes the card to run fine for a few minutes and then stop (not quite like you describe). If you were using a powerful (CAD) video card I'd also suspect capacitors in the the PC power supply. If it was on-board video then the fault is usually capacitors on the motherboard (most PCs of the mid 1990's had this issue, capacitor manufacturer's fault).

Don't buy MSI. I've had thermal issues as well as driver issues with them (where certified ATI drivers did not work, had to use old MSI drivers). In my opinion they use low quality components and poor PCB layout.

Asus is popular, but probably because it is promoted so much in NZ. At work we use almost only Asus, but we've had a few failures and even a new replacement also failed within a week.

I prefer Gigabyte. Their make well engineered products (I'm an electronic engineer). But they do not do the card I want so for my HTPC I'll be looking at Sapphire just because others reported good things about it and it's cheap.

You can never have enough Volvos!


2584 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 372934 26-Aug-2010 06:36
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I had XFX 8500GT which was passively cooled. It did not die while I had it (hopefully is still working for the guy that brought it off me) but I went for a Palit GT 220 as I was concerned about just how hot the XFX got and thought I would get a 2xx generation to pick up the extra hardware decoding.
The Palit GT 220 is not passively cooled but it is very quiet. I searched reviews for quiet cards before I got it and it seemed to be the quietest out of the once that were reviewed for noise.

Media centre PC - Case Silverstone LC16M with 2 X 80mm AcoustiFan DustPROOF, MOBO Gigabyte MA785GT-UD3H, CPU AMD X2 240 under volted, RAM 4 Gig DDR3 1033, HDD 120Gig System/512Gig data, Tuners 2 X Hauppauge HVR-3000, 1 X HVR-2200, Video Palit GT 220, Sound Realtek 886A HD (onboard), Optical LiteOn DH-401S Blue-ray using TotalMedia Theatre Power Corsair VX Series, 450W ATX PSU OS Windows 7 x64

134 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 5

  Reply # 372979 26-Aug-2010 09:11
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Thanks for all of your replies.

Yes, indeed - it's the red card with the big gold heatsink. After everyone's response, I'm certain the card has fried itself.

I might go for a very quite active cooled card this time. The GT220's seem to be at a good price point for what I need.

Thanks all!

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