Death of an 8800gt

Card: 8800gt, 512MB, factory overclocked (core clock: 670MHz, memory clock: 1950MHz)

Power supply: Antec 500w Smart Power

So, I bought my current system back in November of '07 and I’ve been experiencing an issue with system crashing since (about 5-10 times in the last year and a half) My screen goes nuts and I see a bunch of red/green/blue horizontal lines (and the occasional pixely box) and nothing but my mouse cursor seems to respond (I can move the cursor around the screen but nothing responds to either mouse or keyboard commands.) If I’m playing a game then the mouse won’t work either. However, In the last three weeks the average time between crashes has dropped from months to minutes. I posted about the issue in someone elses video card thread and it was suggested that it might be an overheating problem. This sounded like an inexpensive problem to fix, so I downloaded riva tuner so I could override the cards fan speed and monitor the heat (I’d also been monitoring the CPU temperature and it’d been sitting in a comfortable 28-32 C range) I boosted the fan speed from 25% to 60% and the core temperature would sit at about 52 C (when playing a game.) With the decreased temperature came increased stability (huzzah!) and I made it through last week with no problems…until friday rolled around and, following a restart, my computer went back to crashing 1-60 minutes after startup (the longer it had been off prior to starting up, the longer it would last.) Increasing the fan speed didn’t do anything (I mean, it dropped the temperature but I’d still crash) so I’ve since taken the card out and stuck my previous card (an ATI x800) back in. So now I’ve got a stable system but I’m running with an ancient card.

What do I do? Can my 8800 be saved with a new cooling solution? Should I bite the bullet and buy a new card? If so, what would a reasonable upgrade be (keeping in mind the 500w PSU and it’s lack of any 8 pin connectors)? Currently, I’m re-playing a bunch of older games (Arcanum, BG I and maybe BG II if I’m not worn out by the end of the first one) so I’m not in a huge hurry to replace the card (if a nice card at the <$300 price point is coming out in the next 2 months I wouldn’t mind waiting.)

<$300 will buy you up-to the top-end single-chip cards from ATI quite easily. You can come pretty close, price wise, with NVIDIA - $310 after rebate for a GTX285 - and the GTX260 & GTX275’s easily make it under $300. Take your pick.

Before spending money, it may be worth a shot downloading and installing Rivatuner and setting both the memory and GPU clock down on your video card. This is a temp solution, but some of the vendors sold a few 8800’s that were overclocked from the get-go and if so, that would probably correct the crashing. But it does sound like either the card may be bad, or the fan to the card, or overall heat in your case.

If you’re able to run other GPU’s in there without crashing issues, you might be able to rule out direct heat, but the card may still be overclocked, and heat can affect that to a much greater degree. In either case though, mlatin is right, you can get a damn nice card pretty cheap these days and they probably would solve your issue.

I had/have this exact same problem - same card. What has helped for me (and was a free “solution” was opening up the case and sitting a room fan right next to it.

I may try this “ri-va-tu-ner” that u speak of though.

Sorry I should have included a link:

And a pic of the specific part where you can overclock or in this case, underclock, your card. Notice you can click to apply any clocking you do at startup as well.

I just RMA’d my 8800GT for repeated problems, but problems which started cropping up only 6 to 7 months after first installing the card. I’ve been reading some stuff that seems to indicate that maybe nVidia’s design engineering of the G92 chip (the one in this card) makes it particularly vulnerable to going bad over time as it warms up and cools down.

I hope my replacement card lasts longer than this.

My 8800GT started playing up last night, seemingly out of nowhere, after about 18 months of sterling service. I was playing Mass Effect, as I have been for the last couple of weeks, when the screen suddenly went black and the worrying smell of ozone filled the air. I turned everything off, popped the side off my case, and found my 8800GT was hot enough to fry an egg on, despite clear airflow and no dust problems.

I am aware they run pretty bloody hot, but this is obviously not kosher. I turned the computer back on and it booted with no problems. Idle temp for the card on the desktop was hovering at 85 degrees C, even with the side off and my two big case fans on.

The problem, so far as I can tell, seems to be that the fan on the card isn’t spinning up. I spun it myself and it was moving freely - however, it wasn’t spinning at all with an idle temp of 85 degrees, and not even when I loaded Mass Effect to stress it and the temp climbed to 95 degrees within the first minute. I bumped the speed up to 100% with a threshold of 40 degrees using nTune, still no movement.

So, a pretty clear culprit, methinks. Any easily implementable suggestions or fixes? My next gambit is to flash the firmware on the card or rollback the drivers. After that, no idea. Or is this card a write off, so time to bite the bullet and get a 4870 1 gig?

For reference, my specs are unchanged from this post. I have Vista 64 SP2 and the latest Forceware drivers.

Defective fan is defective. Either the fan motor itself is broken or something else in the cooling system. Don’t think you can fix that yourself, sorry. Perhaps get an aftermarket cooling kit?

edit: But first make sure that the fan cable hasn’t just come loose from its plug on the card, if it has one!

Cheers for the swift response. I thought that would likely be the case, but thought I’d double check. Ebuyer has a 4870 1 gig for 140 quid on their site, and it’s payday tomorrow - so I might just double check it fits in my case and then pull the trigger!

EDIT: 4870 1 gig coming tomorrow! Google says it fits, I hope it doesn’t fail me and send me on the RMA run around.

Last summer, my computer in my new house was cool as a cucumber. This year, if I leave it running, my study is a very toasty 80F. Wtf? My cpu temps are as per always. However, I thought that my video card was outputting a lot more heat than it had in the past.

I’ve blown out the fan, but it may be that the 8800gt that I have is showing a similar trend. Thanks for the thread. I, however, am running a C2D overclocked to 3.1 GHz and on a P965 chipset. The rig is 2 years old, and I’m hoping to get another year out of it, or at least wait until the i7 cpus/mobos have dropped. I’m not willing to spend @$300 for a new graphics card, though I’d be willing to go an upward lateral move for @$120-$150.