Alternative to 8800gt

angrif77

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I currently use an 8800gt card but it may be the cause of a problem I'm having when playing Lord of the Rings Online. I'm curious what would be a good alternative to replace it with an ATI card? I'm not looking for the best thing out there. Something around the same level as the 8800 and as inexpensive as possible. Would the 3850/3870 be good options? Or what about the ATI 4550? I've seen a 4550 on newegg for as little as $60 and a 3850 for as low as $70.
 

UtopiA

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The HD4830 has equivalent performance with the 9800GT; which has equivalent performance with the 8800GT.
The 8800GT is better than the 3850 and 3870.

What exactly is the problem?
It's probably too much work to start swapping video cards over it...
 

hossdaddy

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can you please list your entire rig info pls. But off the top of my head the 8800gt(assuming you have a 512mb version) is superior to all teh cards you mentioned.
 

angrif77

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The problem in game is that anytime it snows in game i get a complete system freeze. Every time. I used to sometimes crash instead but lately it's only freezing. I've tried changing settings, driver updates, omega drivers, changing/disabling/completely removing sound cards, etc. The weird thing is this didn't happen before the MoM expansion. I don't know if it's specifically the card or what but I know that a lot of people have similar problems with their 8800gt cards, although not everyone with an 8800gt card has any problem. Currently I'm using an MSI K8N Neo4 mobo, opty 165 g.skill gb ram. I'm not looking to replace the video card if i can avoid it but I recently ordered a new mobo/cpu/ram from newegg to move to the AM2 socket so who knows if the change in the system will resolve the problem.
 

evilsofa

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The problem in game is that anytime it snows in game i get a complete system freeze.

Does WoW have an option to check every file to see if it is present and uncorrupted?

Install either eVGA's Precision utility (can find it on evga.com) or Rivatuner 2.22 (google it). Use them to display the video card's temperature on screen while you play the game, to check whether the card is overheating.
 

AltTabbins

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Does WoW have an option to check every file to see if it is present and uncorrupted?

Install either eVGA's Precision utility (can find it on evga.com) or Rivatuner 2.22 (google it). Use them to display the video card's temperature on screen while you play the game, to check whether the card is overheating.

He's playing LOTRO, not WOW. It sounds like a driver issue. Do you have the current drivers?

And just the clean up the thread a little.. 8800gt IS a 9800gt which is about the same level as an ati 4830.
 

AciDeX

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I play LOTRO and am running with a s939 setup similar to yours. I have not come across a bug like this, and am running two 8800GT 512mb's in SLI. I did however have to disable DX10 shodows they are horribly glitched on my roommates and my system. Roommates on a C2D for reference and using a 8800GTS 512mb.

Are you running in Vista? Check and see if your DX10 shadows are on, if they are disable them. As far as I know its a known issue since they have never worked right even before MoM expansion.

*Edit* I agree, get precision or rivatuner. Watch your temps in-game, I do have to crank the fans up on my cards if I leave it on "auto" I will almost certainly crash if in-game.
 

criccio

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This is (as everyone else is saying) most definitely a software issue. I would uninstall the vid drivers, run Driver Sweeper, then reinstall the latest versions. Also, use something like CCleaner to clean up your system. Uninstall any old software/driver that you know you will never need again to help narrow down the issue.
 

angrif77

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I'm running Win xp Home SP3 (so no DX10). I do have the most current drivers (both video card, as well as mobo chipset, windows etc). A week ago I formatted the hard drive and reinstalled everything. I started with the newest set of drivers so cleaning up the drivers isn't an issue i don't think. I've tried the most up to date ones, I tried the omega drivers which were based off of an older version.

I DID run an nvidia utility to check the vid card temps previously and it was at 63C when it crashed. Here is the weirdest part. Before the expansion was released I never had a problem. I have friends running the 8800gt that don't have any issues. After the expansion, it started as an occasional crash to desktop or BSOD (never had a specific error message). I'd read sound was an issue so i tried disabling the onboard sound and using a sound blaster audigy 2. Ever since then it freezes (doesn't crash) forcing me to use the reset button. I've tried without any sound cards installed at all. It freezes in snowy areas but ONLY when its snowing. If it starts snowing it freezes in as little as 10sec or as long as 3-5min but it always freezes. It doesn't matter if the overall graphics settings re very high, high, medium etc. I can only turn down atmospheric detail to low, i can't turn off snow effects (it doesn't do this during rain). The turbine tech guys aren't much help and seem to have given up.

Anyway back to the topic at hand, I'm looking at either the Sapphire Radeon HD 3870 512mb for $90 or the HD 4830 for $110 if I do have to replace it. It will come down to what I can afford if I do replace it. I have an older 7800 i could try plugging in to see if it still has the problem as well... i didn't think to try that yet.
 

xbob04

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I just dumped my 9800GT a couple weeks ago, but I found the 179.24s to be a better choice for the G92 and LOTRO.
 

Nenu

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I really cannot see how you have drawn any conclusion that changing the gfx card will help.
What is it that makes you think it will?
 

hossdaddy

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what case do you have and how many fans? It sounds like it could be a over heating issue.
 

angrif77

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I don't know that it will, i'm just stumped at this point. Nothing else has worked. A LOT of others have problems with Nvidia cards laetly (the 8800's especially) so I'm looking at the options. If i DO decide to replace the card, I just wanted to know what would be reasonably in line with the performance of the 8800gt.
 

angrif77

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I've got an antec server case. 3 case fans. I've checked the temps before and they were fine. Like I said, it only happens in very specific situation of when it's snowing in game regardless of the overall graphic quality settings. I'm going to download riva tuner and try again though.
 

hossdaddy

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well if its under warranty i would call the manufactirer as ask them. Maybe they will fix or replace it.
 

Nenu

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I don't know that it will, i'm just stumped at this point. Nothing else has worked. A LOT of others have problems with Nvidia cards laetly (the 8800's especially) so I'm looking at the options. If i DO decide to replace the card, I just wanted to know what would be reasonably in line with the performance of the 8800gt.

The 8800GT is one of the most reliable cards out there.
I have one and it is truly amazing how far you can push them and they still beg for more.
I doubt very much that the card has a fault causing this issue.

To eliminate whether it is a software problem, install Windows on a spare drive and see how the game plays.
If it works ok, you know it is a software issue.
If it is still bad then we are looking at the particular drivers installed or a hardware fault, bad cooling or a configuration issue.
Try resetting the CMOS, it may have become corrupt.


63C GPU temp might be the issue, it seems a little low to start having issues but each card is different.
This could be caused by a number of things:

1) high ambient temps
2) high case temps (too slow air movement)
3) electrically noisy (faulty) PSU feeding more power into everything
4) dust in the heatsink or airflow blockage
5) GPU heatsink paste has gone off and needs replacing.

Use MX2 paste on the GPU, this will knock a few C off the temps, that might be all you need to do (keeping the heatsink free of dust anyway).
 

no2censorship

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I know that if the fan is set to auto, that's asking for trouble, and my 8800 gt has never gone near 63 C, so it may not be designed to handle 63C, but most cards are, so I don't know what would be different about the 8800GT in that regard.

I'm almost certain it's a driver issue though, b/c of how you say it happens. Trust me, nvidia has driver issues, especially vista ones like no ones business. Unfortunately, I tried ATI's 4850 1GB IceQ4, but it sucked, so I'm pretty much screwed, and I just deal with the shittiness as much as I can.
 

angrif77

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For what it's worth, Rivatuner said it was 72C and the fan was at 1771rpm the ambient temp was 47C when it froze. It did not spike the temps when the snow started. I'll admit I'm not a hardware wiz but i have trouble seeing it being temp related if it only freezes in ONE game at a very specific point/situation and the temp doesn't raise at that point.
 

AciDeX

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My 8800GT's will start to have artifacts at about 72C and a crash is eminent if those temps get higher. Just recently, a few days ago I thought one of my cards was going bad cause I was crashing as soon as I got into a game. I pulled it out and blew some canned air through the vents of the heatsink and a huge dust bunny shot out of the fan. Haven't had any problems since. These are eVGA single slot vanilla 8800's too. What brand is yours and have you inspected the card for any sort of buildup inside the heatsink? The shield is pretty easy to remove without completely disassembling the card. Like others suggested re-applying thermal compound might help out, and may not even violate your warranty if you have an eVGA, XFX, or BFG brand card. All have very good warranties and cover replacment of stock cooling(eVGA and BFG at least allow this).
 

DeFex

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First of all just take your card, and especially RAM as well as anything else connected to the motherboard out and re-seat it. (including power)
next clean all the crap that is behind your fan on the CPU heatsink.
freezing under stress is often caused by overheating, bad/badly seated parts or a weak PSU
 

angrif77

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I was really hoping it was heat... i opened the case, pointed a small desk fan at it and ran with riva displaying the temps... still froze at 53C
 

AciDeX

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Have you ran Memtest86 yet? You could have a bad stick of RAM. Run it overnight if possible, or as long as you can.

Also even with a fan directly blowing into your pc there could still be some sort of debris blocking airflow on a critical component. Even if a temp monitor displays the temperature of your GPU there would still be a possibility that the GDDR on your card may be overheating, or your DDR, or even your northbridge. Before purchasing any upgrade/ replacement parts I recommend rebuilding and inspecting of your PC's hardware. There could be anything wrong, you said you've reinstalled windows. So that might rule out a bad driver issue or a software problem. At this point you have to pinpoint the defective hardware and not just make guesses as to what it might be. I have very good airflow in my Antec case and even with the video cards fans blowing at near full speed I was still crashing. My temp monitor even showed that both cards were around the 50-55C range. Perfectly acceptable except that only the GPU was getting cooled. As soon as I removed a dust ball trapped inside the cards heatsink there were no more crashes. Check it out I could be worth it.
 

angrif77

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I'll work on trying to clean up the case tomorrow. I have run memtest overnight with no errors.
 

wrbt

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That's so frustrating having one game killing your system with so many different possibilities from software and hardware as the cause.

I had similar issues with Left4Dead locking me up, after trying so many different things updating the motherboard BIOS (which I was probably long overdue for) solved.
 

hossdaddy

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if its freezing @ 52c(assuming the temps are accurate) the card is defective. Even the first reference designs could handle that temp.
 

Nenu

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if its freezing @ 52c(assuming the temps are accurate) the card is defective. Even the first reference designs could handle that temp.

Assuming the card is responsible for the freeze ;)
 

angrif77

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i have an older 7800 card i can put in to see if it continues to freeze. I did clean up the case last night. The CPU fan had a fair bit of dust underneath sitting on top of the heatsink and there was dust buildup on the case fans but the video card itself was pretty clean. I couldn't find any real dust buildup. Is it safe to use compressed air to blow down the long heatsink fins on the card? That's the only place it seems that any dust could be trapped on the card.
 

Nenu

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Yes compressed air down the heatsink is fine but take care near components as it can rip the shell off a capacitor!
 

evilsofa

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If it is freezing in only one game in one particular instance, I would be inclined to blame the game, not the hardware. I can't help but think you have a corrupted file somewhere, if not in the game files, then in your graphics or sound drivers.
 

angrif77

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I thought maybe corrupted texture file or something like that. I've tried reinstalling it from both my CD's as well as trying from the downloaded game client. I have no other issues with the vid card and none in any other games. I've tried various older versions of the drivers without any luck so far.
 

angrif77

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What do you mean install windows on a spare drive? How will that tell me anything different than when i jsut formatted and reinstalled windows fresh?
 

Oh4Sh0

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It's the same thing, essentially, but without losing all your files and reformatting. :) It's a way for to to decipher what's causing the freezing.
 

Nenu

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What do you mean install windows on a spare drive? How will that tell me anything different than when i jsut formatted and reinstalled windows fresh?

soz, I didnt realise it was a fresh install.
 

angrif77

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lol yeah. I did a fresh install and then installed LOTRO before essentially anything else except what I needed to run it or windows.

I also tried the 185.20 beta drivers as well as increasing the 8800gt fan speed. It didn't freeze at 43C but I did have 3 BSOD reboots (BSOD flashed by too fast to read them) and on other time weird graphic glitches... I figured it was likely the beta drivers so I backed up to the current release 180 ones.

I am actually waiting on a delivery of a new mobo/cpu and ram today (i've been wanting to move to AM2 for awhile) so we'll see if the problems continue with the new system setup.
 

angrif77

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Well i don't see it being the card or heat issues. I installed my old 7800gt (also made sure the heatsink/fan were cleared of dust first), installed the most up to date drivers for the 7800gt (178.24). After about 5sec the system restarted (no BSOD or other error message before the restart). This is the code in the event viewer if anyone can desipher it:

0000: 53 79 73 74 65 6d 20 45 System E
0008: 72 72 6f 72 20 20 45 72 rror Er
0010: 72 6f 72 20 63 6f 64 65 ror code
0018: 20 31 30 30 30 30 30 38 1000008
0020: 65 20 20 50 61 72 61 6d e Param
0028: 65 74 65 72 73 20 38 30 eters 80
0030: 30 30 30 30 30 33 2c 20 000003,
0038: 38 30 35 37 39 32 37 64 8057927d
0040: 2c 20 62 30 39 63 36 63 , b09c6c
0048: 62 33 2c 20 30 30 30 30 b3, 0000
0050: 30 30 30 30 0000
 

Logan321

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Hmm... it's either a driver issue or a faulty component. Since you installed from web and from cd, and other people (including myself) have played LOTRO on a 8800GT without issue, it's probably not the game. How much else can you switch out? Have you tried running without sound? Swapping the ram sticks, reseating? Checking the voltage fluctuation when the snow hits? Might be your power supply is underpowered or getting faulty... extra stress on cpu, more power, changes voltage etc.

Since you just did a reinstall, it's probably not a driver, but... have you installed the latest drivers for your motherboard as well? The latest nForce drivers may not like your motherboard, might want to check MSI's site to see which version they have listed.
 

AciDeX

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I've tried changing settings, driver updates, omega drivers, changing/disabling/completely removing sound cards, etc.

He's swapped RAM ran memtest and tried running with no sound at all, disabled on-board and taking out his audigy 2. All on page one there dude.

angrif77, you still have not confirmed what brand of 8800GT you have. Though after trying your 7800GT out I'm not seeing it as a gfx card issue at the moment. What kind of power supply are you using and how old is it? If its as old as your system(which is about as old as mine), it may be going out. I just recently replaced my OCZ PSU since it was loosing amps on the +5v and +12v rails. I put that thing through a beating too, not too mention that running SLI put that PSU on an 80% load which will tire an old PSU out fast. Power supplies can loose a significant amount of output over a few years. So that may also be worth looking into.

If you do end up replacing it I recommend the BFG ES-800, been running my system stable for over a month now and is very quiet and very powerful not to mention efficient too.

Heres the link: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817702007&Tpk=es-800
and a [H] review: http://enthusiast.hardocp.com/article.html?art=MTQ2NywsLGhlbnRodXNpYXN0
 
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