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Thread: Help! My PC consumes graphics cards at an alarming rate...




  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
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    9

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    I bought my Medion desktop PC about 9 months ago (basic spec info below). Since upgrading the modest Geforce4 MX420 graphics card it came supplied with, I've had nothing but trouble with the replacement cards.

    First up was an Albatron GeForce4 Ti4280 (128MB). It lasted about 6 weeks before the boot-up screen began to scramble and strange specs of colour began appearing on the Windows XP desktop. When I ran 3DMark, there were lots of weird blue dots everywhere and the dragon sequence caused the PC to crash.

    I took the Albatron back to the store and it was replaced with an "equivalent" ASUS GeForce4 Ti4200 (128MB). This card gave sterling service for nearly 6 months before the same problems re-occured with it. When I took the ASUS back to the store, it was suggested I had been very unlucky and the ASUS card would be sent to the manufacturer for repair. This could take 6 weeks. I blew the dust of the MX420 (again) and waited in eager anticipation of the ASUS's return. Almost 7 weeks later it eventually returned from repair (what they repaired is anyone's guess) and it seemed to be working perfectly again - until 2 weeks later. Once again, the tell tale breakup of the boot-up screen, flecks of colour on the XP desktop and bizarre blue dots appearing all over the place in Medal Of Honour.

    I took the ASUS back to the store and demanded a replacement, I wasn't waiting another 6-7 weeks for a repair. The store agreed and now I have an "equivalent" Jetway GeForce FX 5600 (128MB) however, I suspect if this one packs in, the store will tell me to get lost next time I go back.

    I'm very confused and worried about these failures. I'm not brave or knowledgeable enough to do anything to my PC that could provoke these occurances (i.e. overclocking, etc) and my PC has a fairly easy life. It's used primarily in the evenings and at weekends as a games machine and to process my digital photographs. I do play a lot of Battlefield 1942, Quake3 and Medal Of Honour - I like "full detail" thankyouverymuch and the PC casing can get quite hot - however there is plenty of ventilation around the PC and there are two empty slots below the graphics card. In any case, the store said both cards had suffered RAM chip failures and apparently they don't even get hot.

    What's also strange is that the little MX420 card has exhibited none of the above problems either during it's initial pre-upgrade service or whenever it's recalled into action for one of it's knackered bigger brothers. I'M TEMPTED JUST TO LEAVE IT IN NEXT TIME!

    The store has suggested that if the Jetway packs in, I should consider looking at the power supply in my PC as perhaps it isn't capable of handling the larger, more demanding graphics cards. I also leave my PC on all night as that's when my virus scanning software and Windows updates are scheduled to run.. I wondered if this wouldn't help matters? Do I sound like a desperate man clutching at straws? Good, because I am.

    Does anyone have any experiences, suggestions, or words of comfort? I'll happily provide more information about my system if required - but bear in mind I'm not a dabbler, meddler or a tweaker. If it's too complicated, I won't understand so please be patient with me!
    Intel P4 2.53GHz
    MS-6533 (SiS 64X/65X)
    2X256MB Ram
    GeForce FX5600 (while it lasts)
    80GB HD
    Windows XP (home edtion)
    erm.. Tweetie Pie Mousemat

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    New England Highlands, Australia
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    21,907

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    The likely prob is poor case airflow and the heat build up within' is killin' the cards.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
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    9

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    Can I modify/improve the airflow through the casing or should I scrap the casing? I thought about leaving some of the expansion slot covers off but my mate (who is a thermo-analysist) told me not to touch it as I'd probably make it worse! Is it really true that running a PC with the cover off can actually make some components run even hotter? I guess he should know....
    Intel P4 2.53GHz
    MS-6533 (SiS 64X/65X)
    2X256MB Ram
    GeForce FX5600 (while it lasts)
    80GB HD
    Windows XP (home edtion)
    erm.. Tweetie Pie Mousemat

  4. #4
    Beefy Guest

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    My thoughts too. The GF4MX probably wouldn't get as hot as the other cards would. One thing to try is get some decent PC ventilation happening. Also, do you know what temperature your CPU runs at when you've been gaming for a while?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
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    1,790

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    Taking off the side panel will let your system breathe, as opposed to being choked. It's the same concept with side fans.

    Out of curiosity, how hot does your FX5600 get? It has an on die probe like CPUs do and the readings can be found in your display settings for the card. Find the idle and the max while running a game.

    FX5900 - 3DMark2001 [20,566] - 3DMark2003 [7,281] - Aquamark3 [56,694]
    Ti4400 - 3DMark2001 [16,028]

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
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    Thanks for the opinions.... Unfortunately, I don't know how to obtain the information regarding the running temperature of the graphics card and the processor.. I told you I was a dimwit (despite having worked with computers for the last 15 years..)
    Intel P4 2.53GHz
    MS-6533 (SiS 64X/65X)
    2X256MB Ram
    GeForce FX5600 (while it lasts)
    80GB HD
    Windows XP (home edtion)
    erm.. Tweetie Pie Mousemat

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    1,636

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    there are programs out there that tell you all the temps.
    One is Motherboard Monitor, or MBM for short. I personally use www.hmonitor.com
    Also RE; what was said above.
    If you take you side off, and the temps go down, you need more air flow through the case, AKA FANS.
    If they go up, that means that you have good flow :thumb:
    W.o knowing the temps, its hard to tell if you should take the side off, cuz if you have enough flow, you would be making things worse.

    Another thing is the PSU. What kind is it?
    that could be the culprit, but ya never know.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    9

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    I will download the motherboard monitor program right now...

    By PSU do you mean processor? The only info I know how to obtain about the processor is from the System Info which says I have an "x86 Family 15 Model 2 Stepping 4 GenuineIntel ~ 2526 Mhz" ??!!
    Intel P4 2.53GHz
    MS-6533 (SiS 64X/65X)
    2X256MB Ram
    GeForce FX5600 (while it lasts)
    80GB HD
    Windows XP (home edtion)
    erm.. Tweetie Pie Mousemat

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    1,636

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    PSU is Power Supply (Unit)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    9

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    Okay, I've whipped the side cover off and the label on the PSU says:

    FSP GROUP INC
    FORTRON/SOURCE
    MODEL No: FSP250-60MDN-120(1)

    There's a whole load of other stuff about voltages and wattage etc...

    There are also a couple of stickers:

    W/NOISE KILLER

    and

    W/PFC

    I'm downloading 3D Mark at the moment, I'll run it with the cover an and off to see if it makes any difference to temperature.

    At idle, cover on, my readings are:

    Mainboard 36 degC
    CPU1 41 degC
    HDD1 37.0

    Cooling Fan (power) 4066rpm

    Volatages
    +12V (+11.73) +5V (+5.06) Core (+1.417V) I/O (3.33V)
    -12V (-11.71V) -5V (-5.00V)
    Intel P4 2.53GHz
    MS-6533 (SiS 64X/65X)
    2X256MB Ram
    GeForce FX5600 (while it lasts)
    80GB HD
    Windows XP (home edtion)
    erm.. Tweetie Pie Mousemat

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