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Good reliable video Card

710 Views 15 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Nolyn
I have a 6 month old Pentium 4 PC with 2gb DDR2 RAM

My video card is overheating and causing problems.

From my internet browsings it seems there are a lot of junky brands out there that use poor quality fans.

I'm not a gamer (just a little video editing and photo work) so I don't need the absolute fastest high tech thing out there. I would rather have a durable good quality card of moderate performance than a low quality fast one at the same price.

Any ideas on a replacement - hoping to keep it under $200 (well under if possible) ?
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Have you thought about getting a replacement fan for your card? To be honest all the fans on graphics cards don't last long and are designed cheap :( They aren't very hard to change though and would be much cheaper ;)

A slot fan installed next to the card may even be enough to solve the problem...

Your system is 6 months old...have you checked to see if it is dust causing the overheating? I have to clean mine about every 6 months.
is your card overclockable?

if it is, you can underclock it.
thanks for the input fellas

I'm by no means a tech expert

When I run Belarc this s what comes up under 'display'

RADEON X300 Series [Display adapter]
RADEON X300 Series Secondary [Display adapter]

No dust inside machine, just vacuumed it out a couple of weeks ago

How would I underclock the card ?
You can use ATItool to over/under clock your card. It is freeware.

Hmm...the X300 series could be integrated video on your motherboard. Are you sure it is a seperate card?

Did you build your system or buy an OEM (Dell, HP)? I would let them handle this under warranty if it were me. If it is onboard video..could be your board going bad :( It overheating just doing photos and such is not good. Normally takes some heavy-duty graphics output for that :freak:
This is a custom build machine from independent supplier

It does have a seperate video card. It is described on the invoice as
GCMSPRX3HMTD128 MSI Radeon X300 PCI E 128 MB up to 256MB TV out DVI. It is in the top PCI slot.

The problem I have is that when the machine warms up (not even doing anything) the display starts to go wavy and distorted.
Nolyn, it sounds like a thermal issue, all right. Vacuuming doesn't help; you need canned air (of the sort used to clean cameras and such) to blast out the dustbunnies before they can act as a blanket to your heatsinks.

If the canned air doesn't help try leaving the case open by removing its side panel. Fire it up; if it doesn't mess up then, you know your case isn't breathing properly and you must add a fan or two.

But if that is the real problem the CPU and other sensors will report hight heat levels, too.

If the cooler air from opened case doesn't help, then get your tech to RMA that ATI card for you. If offered a refund, >>buy a nVIDIA 6800 or 7800/7900 card instead!!<<

A fan swap would also fix the symptoms, but that's not my first step when the factory warranty is still in effect. IMHO, at least.

Good luck.
So basically you have something that looks like this or this? So no fan at all... And MSI isn't a bad brand. First thing, just to make sure it IS what you think it is, pop the side off the thing and point a desk fan into the case and see if you still have the problem. It could be your monitor overheating. Normally when it's the card overheating, you get artifacts (snow, blocks) in the picture or outright lockups. That sort of phychedelic stuff is usually the monitor or the monitor cable.

If it does turn out to be the vid card overheating, one of these would likely solve the problem. Possibly just putting a proper case fan in the empty mounting points that are probably on the PC case would solve a heat problem. Most "integrators" don't pay enough attention to cooling issues, and you can get a flakey setup because of it. What case do you have and how many fans are installed?
Thanks for all the input guys

the case is a thermaltake Swing

There is one fan in the back (approx 5" dia) and another inside on the motherboard. The PSU is 430W and it also has a fan.

There are a few vent holes in the right side of the case (looking from rear) but non in the other.

I have the side off now. The video card is red, and has no fan.

We recently had a high power surge that damaged a few items (I had to getthis new PSU, for example) Is there any chance that the problems are related to that ?

I thought it was the monitor at first, but when it is wavy in Windows, I do a restart and the HP logo etc are all just fine. Just get the wavy when I'm operating in windows.

Running OK at the moment (side off and air conditioner on). When the room heats up (80+) is when I get the problems.
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oops - I may have spoken too soon. Even with the side off, I have a bot of a shimmer on the screen right now. It usually goes down hill from here, so in a few more minutes it will be unusable (very wavy)

I just tried a spare monitor and it works OK. If this is a defective cable I am screwed, because it is permenantly attached to the back of this monitor (HP 9500)

Anyone got any ideas - it may help if I download the latest driver from HP ?
Monitor drivers are just this side of useless with any recent OS. First guess is that the monitor is overheating. Is it hot to the touch? Check on the top surface of the case. Is it in a hutch or under a shelf or something? Got a desk fan? I really like these.

You could try changing the refresh rate in Windows in case the monitor has some sort of weird issue with whatever rate you're using.

To get an idea if it's the cable, just wait for it to do whatever it is that is does, and just fiddle with it. Wriggle around where the cable goes into the connectors on either end. You should (but not for sure) see a corresponding movement in the picture.
Cable seems to be secure

I looked in Windows help (using XP pro) and here are the instructions for adjusting refresh rate
How to Change the Screen Refresh Rate of Your Monitor

1. Click Start, click Control Panel, click Appearance and Themes, and then click Display.

Alternatively, right-click the desktop, and then click Properties.
2. Click the Settings tab, and then click Advanced.
3. Click the Monitor tab, and then click the screen refresh rate that you want to use.

After step 1, all I can do is change the themes

No settings tab ?

Looks like another Bill Gates rip-off special. And he has the nerve to sue people for piracy !
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Ewwww.... Windows XP (de)fault control panel.

Skip to step 2...

Or, don't be looking for "Settings" in the first "Appearnce and Themes" windows, in the bottom of the screen hit the "Display" link, then you can find your "Settings" tab.
I get the same result whichever way I do it

It says Display, and under it is Task bar and Start Menu

No matter how I get to 'Display' all I can do when I getthere is change themes

Perhaps I have a unique version of XP Pro :)
Well, after all the diagnostics, I got a reply from HP and they say thay are going to send me a new monitor (Compaq now)
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