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of video cards and wanting to kill computers [Mar. 1st, 2006|09:42 am]
Greg
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[Current Mood |frustratedfrustrated]

This entire thing is gonna be a computer rant, so skip if you're not interested.

So last night I was having trouble deciding what I wanted to do - try out Civ 4 (which I had installed the previous night on my computer), play WoW or work on this dental site project. Eventually I decided on Civ 4. So I go to run it and it crashes. Well, no huge surprise, so I checked the cedega forums and tried a few things, one of which worked. Yay! So I was going to start a new game and was picking out a leader when my computer froze, just like it did in WoW.

"Arrrrgh", I thought, and did a hard reset and started up the game again, and the same thing happened (like it sometimes does in WoW - usually on the third reset it'll stay). So I opened up my computer, blew out some dust and let it run with the case open to hopefully get more cooling or something (although I didn't think cooling was the problem, really, since when it does run without freezing it runs for hours on end).

Then I noticed the fan on the video card wasn't turning! Ack!

So after trying a few things to grease up the fan (djedi won't tell me what he put on it, but he went in the kitchen to do so (and we didn't have WD-40..)), nothing worked, and I ran out to Fry's to get a new video card.

On the way I was pretty darn happy. A new video card that will presumably fix my problem. Hooray!

Ended up getting an eVGA NVIDIA GeForce 6600 GT. When I got home, wildrice13 mentioned that was the same video card he got (after his previous one blew up) and it was good and all that. So that was nice.

Stick the new card in, boot up, things are looking OK (the fan is turning). Things aren't accelerated correctly, so I install new drivers. glxgears (the standard FPS test, should at least 5000 FPS) is running at around 500 FPS. I screw around with that for a while, can't get it any higher (direct rendering is on, glxgears is using the accelerated libGL.so). Give up and try WoW, which works OK for a while, then freezes. Aaaaaargh! Hard reset, and the computer freezes when I'm just in X, no WoW at all. Oh, crap, this never happened before. Disable AGP and it doesn't freeze, although glxgears is now dog slow (150 FPS) and it's noticeably slower to switch between virtual screens. Give up and go to bed in a foul mood.

This morning I turned on AGP again and it didn't freeze outside of WoW, although I tried WoW and it did freeze after a while. So I guess I'll screw around with it some more this evening or something. Because spending $180 on a video card and ending up in a worse state than when I started is unacceptable. If all else fails, I guess I'll go back to the old card (assuming whatever djedi did didn't hose it completely) and return this one. Ugh.

I forgot to mention: I'm highly suspicious of the motherboard AGP stuff. But I don't know a good way to test this, and I'm sure not going to buy a new motherboard without being pretty darn sure that's the problem.
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Comments:
From: taesmar
2006-03-01 04:24 pm (UTC)
I hate to say it but I've had bad bad bad overheating problems with nvidia cards, first mine and then teh fanboi's. The cards froze and crashed both computers. However, my ATI has given me nothing but joy and love.
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[User Picture]From: gregstoll
2006-03-01 04:25 pm (UTC)
Sadly, ATI's linux support is second to many companies, while NVIDIA's is pretty good. *sigh*
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[User Picture]From: wildrice13
2006-03-01 09:08 pm (UTC)
Also, getting support from them entails either calling a 900 number or Canada. Grr.

Also also, my ATI card's fan stopped working and consequently fried when the fan stopped working, whereas Greg's simply froze. I'll take a freeze over a completely destroyed component any day, as long as it's still diagnosable.
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[User Picture]From: djedi
2006-03-01 07:55 pm (UTC)
Hey! I resent any implications. Haven't you learned by now to trust me?
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: gregstoll
2006-03-01 08:08 pm (UTC)
Aw, OK, I trust you. As long as using that video card doesn't make me hungry...
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
From: krikwennavd
2006-03-01 09:23 pm (UTC)
Man, what is it with everyone having computer problems this Spring? It's pretty nuts how many people I know who have had one or another thing just die a miserable death. And YES, it is frustrating. I'm still looking for someone who might be suckered into diagnosing the real problem with my old laptop. Know anyone?
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From: tehfanboi
2006-03-01 10:04 pm (UTC)
I suspect you have evil spirts draining the life force from your old laptop, corrupting the data flow. The only way to correct this is to perform a cleansing ritual. This will require extensive ceremonial acts involving lots of booze. Please send me a check for $1500 and I will begin to make earnest preperations.
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