My 4870 Is Dying

And, well, I mostly just wanted to commiserate.

If all goes according to plan, a brand new 6870 will slide into its well-worn PCI-X16 slot sometime during the evening of December 25th and will grant me marginal framerate increases across the board while in partnership with my standard-clocked Phenom II X4 945 (3ghz), DD2 800 RAM, and SATA HD. The coalition of new and old will fill my paltry 1680x1050 display with whirling colors and lights the likes of which I haven’t seen since before my 4870 (original run, 512MB VisionTek edition) started to wear out its fans and heatsinks after running full-tilt, overclocked, 24/7 for the last 2 years (because I am a fool who didn’t think to use profiles until it was far too late). Graphics I have seen time and again before will once more grace my screen and fill my heart with delight: Mass Effect will survive a fight scene without crashing the ATI drivers, Civilization V will run properly in DX10/11 mode (well, okay, that’s actually pretty far-fetched), and idling at my desktop won’t involve blaring my fan at aircraft-esque decibel levels only to maintain a sweltering 75C.

I cannot describe to you how excited I am by this oncoming storm of moderate improvement, this impending roundhouse kick of previously attained goals to the face, this inevitable explosion of seen-it-before ludicrousness!

But actually, I am pretty freaking psyched by it. I realize that I don’t stand much to gain at this resolution from a 6870, but I figure it was a hell of a lot better than dumping ~$50-75 less for a card closer to what I run now (I’d only buy new, for I am fearful) and needing to replace it in a years’ time. Sure, I will likely lose the already tenuous grasp I have on X in Ubuntu. Certainly, I might have to obtain extra adapters to make the damned thing recognized my aging, lackluster monitors. . . but Goddammit, it’s a new graphics card, and that’s always exciting!

It recalls a long lineage of wonders that came before it. . . a mind-boggling 4MB Diamond no-name to “smooth out” the CD-ROM video dad and I used to watch, a 8MB Voodoo2 paired with God knows what to make Quake 2 scream like a fucking banshee, A GeForce2 Ti I was sure would never age, a GeForce 5600 that ran everything until Oblivion without blinking an eye. . . God, I miss that thrill. Looking forward to the new baby :)

The 6970s are almost here

Cool blog post.

$250 was already seriously stretching it. I’ve been limping along turning down graphics settings, turning off my extra monitor, and slowly reducing my overclock for months now waiting for the 5850s to get reasonable. When it became evident that they never would, I decided to settle for the 6870. It’s better than what I’ve got, prepares me for DX11, and is more than enough for my 22" monitor that I won’t have the funds or space to replace with a true 1080P or 1920x1200 display for ages.

Yeah, it is pretty useless, in hindsight. I’d just given up on Mass Effect after having the graphics driver shudder and die 3 times in 15 minutes, which sucks, so I vented. Reading the ME3 thread had me hot to pick up my Female Renegade No Allies playthrough of the first two games from earlier this year, but it’s just not doable on the old girl. . .

I love my 6870.

I detailed my problems elsewhere with my 4850. The fan was going like crazy and it still got over 100 C. I’ve never heard my 5850 and it doesn’t get past 80 C. I can’t remember if they changed the architecture, or the 4xxx series tends to get defective or what.

Yes, the 5x cards are a completely new architecture – very quiet and cool.