Video card problems

Posted May 18, 2005 in Events, Gadgets, Technology.

The graphics card on my main computer died today - at least that is what I think has happened. Everything seems to be working properly but my monitor isn't able to receive a signal. The card had a failure before, but it came back to life after a reboot. No such luck this time.

I now have a little dilemma. Do I spend $600 or so on a shiny new graphics card, or do I spend $2,000 on a completely new computer? This does present an upgrade opportunity, and I could then strip down my existing machine and use it as a test bed.

Either option may finally give me a chance to play Doom III (which is a good thing), but I can ill afford the expense at the moment. It's always about money, isn't it?


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    What kind of computer do you have right now? How old is it? If you've got a Pentium III or an AMD Duron or Athlon and the machine is more than four years old, then a new one would be better than trying to resurrect your old one. Look for something around $1500 if you want one for gaming; $2000 isn't worth it. (Don't get something from a major retailer, smaller ones like ABS ( and Alienware ( tend to be better.)

    If you decide you want to just get a new video card and you have a CPU that won't restrict performance (at least a 2.6 Ghz Pentium IV or Athlon 64 2800+), then NVIDIA cards are better if you want to use Linux, and they usually come with better bundled software than ATI cards. You can also run two at once using an SLI motherboard if you upgrade in the future.

    I dunno if you wanted all this advice, but it might help. Good luck on fixing it.

    Posted by NarGemini on May 18, 2005.

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    My computer is a Dell Dimension 8200. The existing card is an NVIDIA GeForce 4 Ti 4600 (128Mb). After mulling it over, I'm probably going to get an ATI Radeon X850 XT. I'm stuck with AGP, so that seems to be a good pick. I simply can't run to a new PC at the moment.

    Posted by Simon Jessey on May 18, 2005.

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    I've ordered the X850 XT. I'm expecting it to be delivered by Saturday. Until then, I feel like an amputee. I've also learned how important it is to keep duplicates of everything, since my day-to-day life is invisible at the moment. It is maddening not to be able to get at my read email archive, for example.

    Posted by Simon Jessey on May 19, 2005.