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XFX 8800GT Alpha Dog problems

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Tanis, Jan 18, 2010.

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  1. Tanis

    Tanis Thread Starter

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    Shane
    Hi,

    I have been running this 8800GT Alpha Dog (factory OC'd) for some time now and it has been fine.

    I did have some problems with it when I first got it (the same problem I am having now) and after quite a bit of investigation the general concensus appeared to indicate a heat problem with some 8800GT when it got over 75 degrees. So, I bought a ThermalRight HR-03 heatsink and fan to put on it and it worked fine.

    Occasionally, when gaming (so it is when under load) it will totally lock up, graphics become distorted and sound loops resulting in me having to hard reset. I believe there isn't much else I can do and on the whole ive found it to be quite a capable card, but I am limited by this problem. As long as turn the graphics settings down a bit it seems to work fine, if I ramp them up (the card still runs a good FPS at the higher settings before it crashes) it will die at some point. This even happens with the side off the case and I have only managed to monitor temps up to around 70 degrees (normally maxes at 50-55 when gaming without crashes).

    I am running it off an OCZ 700W PSU, single 12v rail but cant remember the amps off the top of my head.

    I am considering changing the card out as I can not seem to get the best out of it, if I do change it I might aswell upgrade a bit. Any thoughts on a reasonable upgrade that isn't going to cost the earth (considering the card is 2 years or so old), looking at under £100 ideally. Either that, or anyone having any ideas on ersolutions to the current problem?
     
  2. sickcars

    sickcars

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    well if it is a heat issue how does the airflow in your case look? How many fans? what size? are the cables in the way blocking airflow? Maybe take a picture of the case and post it so I can see.

    Also if you suspect it to be heat you can try this, Open the side of the case and point a house fan at it, blowing air right on the video card, then go play your games and see if it lasts longer. If it does then now you know for sure its a Heat issue and we can do some things to make it run cooler.

    But if you can post a picture as it helps a lot.
     
  3. Tanis

    Tanis Thread Starter

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    Will get a picture tonight as I am at work at the moment. The Air flow should be fairly good through it as I try and keep it tidy for that very reason.

    I am using a Coolmaster Elite 335 case, it has a 120mm fan blowin in at that the front and another 120mm fan out at the back as well as the PSU fan.

    I should have tried it with the desk fan by now to confirm a heat problem, I have advised enough other people to do it but just never thought to do it myself haha.
     
  4. Tanis

    Tanis Thread Starter

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    Well, it would appear that circumstances were against me last night with regard to getting a picture. My mobile phone died and I couldn't find my digital camera, typical!

    However, I tried it with the side off (no external fan blowing in, just the side panel off) and the game did crash, once, during the evening. After the crash I was running it again for about 30 mins, then task switched to start up HWMonitor (forgot before I started), then kept it going for about an hour without any problems. HWMonitor reported the following:

    Temps
    ---------
    GPU temp 50-51 degrees max
    CPU core 0 = 41 degrees
    CPU core 1 = 41 degrees

    Voltages
    -------------
    CPU VCore - 1.41v
    +3.3v = 3.34v.
    +5v = 4.87v
    +12v = 12.03v
    +5v VCCH = 4.92v

    Temps only really go up by about 5 degrees with the side on and as far as I can tell there is nothing there that should indicate a heat problem!

    Any thoughts
     
  5. sickcars

    sickcars

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    Hmmm, well you said before it was hitting 75c but now with the side panel off its in the 50c range.

    Now when you put the panel back on how long did you have it on for? if it was only 5-10min might not of been enough for the heat to build up & cause problems. Maybe try wit hthe case side on for a while and monitor temps.

    Also if you can take a picture :)
     
  6. Tanis

    Tanis Thread Starter

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    :) no no, it was hitting 75+ when I first got the card (2-3 years or so ago) which is why I replaced the stock cooler on it, since doing that it's never gone much over 55. I initially thought it was heat related again because it was exactly the same crashes I had when I first got the card, however I am starting to think there is something else at fault.

    Now, with the side off it then drops a few degrees down to about 51 and I was running it for an hour or so, with the side on it goes up to about 55.

    I will, definately get a picture this evening (not very reliable am I at the moment, sorry), been a bit hectic at home so I am not getting the time I would like to investigate / test this and keep getting distracted.
     
  7. sickcars

    sickcars

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    Do you have room in your case to add another fan? Hopefully one that would be blowing air on your video card area or something close?
     
  8. Tanis

    Tanis Thread Starter

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    Here's the picture.

    http://img25.imageshack.us/img25/1897/img00104201001211750.jpg

    You can see all the fans in the picture, intake fan is at the bottom right blowing in between the two harddrives, ive specifically kept this area clear of wires so air can get in. Outtake fans are at the rear and the on the PSU. With the side on their is a funnel over the CPU to take air directly away and out the side.

    I really don't think it is a heat issue, 55 degrees under load should be fine. I have borrowed a stock 8800GTS from a friend at work today which I have now installed. I am going to run that tonight, with the graphics settings ramped up and see how that goes. If it doesn't crash I can say with a fair degree of certainty that my card must be faulty in some way. If it does crash I will assume that the problem lies elsewhere in my system.
     
  9. sickcars

    sickcars

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    Seems ok for cooling,

    Is that fan on top of the video card working? If it is then that alone should provide enough cooling. If you wanted to you could lower your top Hard Drive 2 slots down (keeping 1 open slow above the other Hard Drive) this way more air would hit the video card since the top hard drive is in a way blocking air from hitting all of the video card.

    Probably wont make to much of a difference but its something you could play with to see if it does lower your temps a little by moving the harddrive down.

    Also check your motherboard for any blown caps just in case.
     
  10. BG-0

    BG-0

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    May I ask what those woolen strings are for? Zip tie replacements for cable managing? :D Your CPU heatsink could use some canned air too.

    Anyways. Instead of testing with a game, you would probably want to use a stress test program, like Furmark to load the card. That will narrow down what you're testing, as games stress the RAM, CPU and HDD more than the Furmark GPU dedicated test (Extreme burning) does. Also hastens the crash if it's GPU related only.
    Anyways, hope you can narrow this down to the card being faulty, which is very likely with the old GF 8k series cards (a "design flaw" is present in them...)
     
  11. Tanis

    Tanis Thread Starter

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    haha, yes you are right with the string. It was meant to be a temporary solution when I reset it all up a few months ago as I didn't have any Zip tie's at the time, then I promptly forgot all about it until recently when I started having this problem. They were actually replaced just after I took the photo as I had been out to get some tie's that day.

    Ill give furmark a go and see what happens with that over the weekend.
     
  12. Tanis

    Tanis Thread Starter

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    OK, so I have now run Furmark for 45 mins at 1280x1024 with 16xAA for 45 mins and it has been fine. GPU temp maxed out at 62 degrees according to Furmark.

    I have run a memtest for about 6 hours in the past and that reported no problems either. Any other thoughts would be appreciated?

    The problem only seems to occur in more 3D intensive games, I play Eve Online and it has never crashed during that, however it is doing it when I play Borderlands.
     
  13. sickcars

    sickcars

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    I wonder if its an actual problem with the game since it seems to be ok with other games? Maybe look for a patch?

    So it does not seem like its a heat issue so I guess we can probably rule that out... which sucks because that would of been a fairly easy fix lol
     
  14. BG-0

    BG-0

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    What about if you run both OCCT or Prime95 (in small FFTs mode) and Furmark at the same time, 100% loading both your CPU and GPU? Could be your power supply failing. If this recreates some kind of crash/problem, I'd be pretty sure it's the power supply going out.
     
  15. Tanis

    Tanis Thread Starter

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    Thanks for the replies.

    sickcars: Borderlands isn't the only game ive had a problem with, it did it with Lord of the Rings Online aswell but I haven't played that in a long time, only really played Eve. The problem has reoccured since I got borderlands.

    BG-0: Ill give that a go aswell, thanks. Will post back with results either later this evening or tomorrow.
     
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