My video card just croaked :P (in Off-topic)

Sickone August 19 2010 5:37 PM EDT

Had a shabby passively cooled nvidia 8500 with 512 MB RAM, it ALWAYS got extremely hot during the summer (75 celsius when idle, enter just about any 3D game and it spiked over 100 celsius very soon, etc).
Well, it finally croaked about half an hour ago while watching a movie.
Now I can only start windows in safe mode, and the screen is half-obscured by vertical shifting lines as I type or move the mouse cursor... it's almost psychedelic... text mode is borderline ok, but anything else is a major pain in the posterior (not that it works from safe mode anyway).

*sigh* time to buy a new vidcard

Serves me right for postponing for MONTHS the purchase of a brand new PC (the whole machine is pretty shabby, long story)... no time to buy a whole new machine, and I'll have to make due with whatever the nearby sellers have in stock.
Gah, I hate shopping, especially on such short notice.

Demigod August 19 2010 6:29 PM EDT

Dang... for the savings, are you sure you can't suffer for five days while you try to get one shipped from an online source? The savings might be worth it if you're getting anything beyond a low-end system.

Sickone August 19 2010 6:58 PM EDT

This PC will become a hand-me-down, so it has to have some halfway decent vidcard anyway. Over here in Romania, local shop price and online shop price differs less than the one between two nearby shops anyway. Courier charges would be at least 5 USD or so regardless of package size, therefore I doubt I could even find a noticeably cheaper combo online.

I'll most likely get some cheapo card anyway... nVidia 8400 GS or ATI 4350 HD with 256 MB of RAM, maybe even an ATI 5450 HD with 512 RAM depending on what nearby vendors have in stock.
Depending on what I find, should cost the equivalent of somewhere between 35 and 55 USD (that's after all possible taxes, and BTW, we recently had a V.A.T. increase from 19% to 24%).
BTW, that's roughly how much I spend on cigarettes in 2-3 weeks.

Totally not worth the wait.

Sickone August 19 2010 7:09 PM EDT

Or might even go for a 9500 GT with 512 RAM, for about 60 USD. Who knows what I'll find tomorrow morning. Honesly, I'd rather pay 15 or even 20 USD extra rather than walk around more than a couple of hours in the heat outside :)

P.S. For the planned new machine, I was sort of lusting over either a 1 GB Radeon HD 5870 or a 1.25 GB nVidia GTX 470 (cheapest I can find online nearby at around the equivalent of 420-430 USD after all taxes)...
... but that might be a bit too overkill. I can always downsize to a 0.75 GB nVidia GTX 460 for around 260 USD (again, cheapest online nearby, after all taxes).

Demigod August 19 2010 7:57 PM EDT

I thought you were talking about buying a whole new PC from a local seller as a rush job. For a cheaper GPU, no biggie.

Sickone August 19 2010 10:15 PM EDT

The funny part is that this is the only machine in the house with a PCI-Express vidcard slot, everything else is AGP (yup, oooooold) or laptops. If there was a discarded PCI-Express card-carrying PC in the house, I probably wouldn't have bothered thinking about buying a replacement and just cannibalized the other machine.

Considering so far I've had no big problems with the generic 8500 GT (which allegedly only draws a measly 45 Watts, with the pathetic fillrates of 3.6/3.6 Gpix/Gtex per second), and considering that the noticeably better 9500 GT (power draw 50 Watt, fillrates 4.4/8.8) only costs 60$, I think I'll go with the 9500 anyway, since I'll probably wait another couple of months before I get the new machine. Plus, it never hurts to have a decent backup in relative proximity (if god forbid the new machine croaks) in the form of this computer given to somebody else in the household.


I've had recommendations for the 5850 HD (peak power usage of 150 Watts, fillrate 23.2/52.2), but the cheapest one I can find costs around 370 USD, so my two main "contenders" for the time being as my personal favorites (for the new computer) are:

* cheapest generic (at around 175 USD) 5770 HD, which allegedly draws only 108 Watts, but has also the not-so-impressive fillrates of 13.6/34
* the 700MHz core ASUS NVIDIA ENGTX460 DirectCU TOP/2DI/768MD5 (at around 275 USD), drawing around 165 Watt, fillrates 22.4 / 39.2

The 5770HD's draw is its cheapness, and it's already almost 4 times faster than what I'm already used to.
Plus, it drains very little power, so I don't have to get freaky as far as the PSU goes. Not sure the savings in the PSU alone would be worth it, but compared to the savings on the card, it adds up.

The GTX460 however has a pretty damn impressive performance for the price (compared to a 5850, slightly worse pixelfill, noticeably worse texturefill, and is also 100$ cheaper) - and it has (at least according to the manufacturer's site ) some decent cooling, so I wouldn't worry THAT much about it, especially since it only draws 15W more compared to the 5850 (and nowhere near what the other cards you mentioned consume), so I guess I would have used the same PSU for both, no extra savings there to be had.

zev August 20 2010 12:09 AM EDT

The GTX 460 768MB DDR5 cards should only run around 200 dollars USD. At least in north america thats what they run. Some of the 1GB over clocked versions run 250.00. This by far is the nicest card for value right now. It out performs the GTX 465 and some GTX 470 cards. I will be upgrading to an overclocked version of this.

Sickone August 20 2010 6:53 AM EDT

Romanian V.A.T. is 24% (think of it as a form of sales tax, if you will). Just about anything imported from anywhere outside the E.U. will almost automatically be almost 24% more expensive compared to a similar product in the U.S.A., since the Romanian importer would have to pay an import fee equal to the corresponding V.A.T. on top of shipping charges, then he also has to make some profit (whereas the U.S.A. importer pays negligible fees in comparison).
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