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Old Sep 29, 2003, 01:05 PM   #1
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York
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Default Recurring video card issue, something is killing my cards

Hi everyone...

I couple months ago I posted an issue I had with a 9700 Pro where the colors would "dim" on a VGA monitor and on an LCD, using DVI, I would get oddly colored, horizontal "spikes". I followed all the advice received here with no avail. I ended up RMAing the card and ATI replaced it saying the card was defective.

Since then, I got a new PC with a 9800 in it. I placed this new PC in the same location as my old one and started enjoying gaming life again. However, no more than 2 weeks had gone by when the same symptoms started occuring with this new card. As time wore on the symptoms would get worse and last for longer. I checked for heat, the CPU heat is fine... my case has 4 fans and I'm not overclocking anything.

3 days ago the problems ceased to go away and are so pronounced that I couldnt even make out what was on the screen. Yesterday, I moved the machine to another desk in my office (about 3 feet from the PCs usual location). When I first booted up the problem was still there, but less pronounced. A few hours later I booted it up again and the problem was much less severe. Then in the evening I booted it up the "spikes" were gone (I was using my LCD here) but there was no red whatsoever in my display... just the greens and blues (all red appeared as black).

My non-scientific deduction is that something near the PC's original location is killing my ATI video cards (as noted in my previous emails a month ago the cheesey geforce spare did not have any of these issues). Here are the items near the PC (within 3 feet):

A wall with nothing electrical on the outside.
The cable for my cable modem comes thru the wall about 1 foot from the PC.
My cable modem sits about a foot way.
My wireless router is about 2 feet away.
One of my PC speakers is about 1 foot away.

When I moved the PC to work on it, all the distances increased about 2 feet or so except the speaker, which was closer.

Can these items actually cause a video card to go bad? The red is what went out on my previous card as well... so whatever is causing this seems to only be affecting components that produce red. (Clearly I'm not a hardware person so please pardon my lack of proper terminology.) Keep in mind that everything about this computer is different except for the monitors, monitor cables, and the desk where the PC was sitting and the exact same problems occured.

Any tips on which item could be causing this would be greatly appreciated. I don't want to have to go through another video card via the process of elimination...

Dan A.
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Old Sep 29, 2003, 01:54 PM   #2
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Sounds like there is some definate interference. Also it may not be the video card that is being killed. Pretty much anything electrical or carrying a signal can cause interference. For example I used to have rolling lines on my screen because my TV was too close. ATI cards do seem to be more sensitive to interference than Nvidia cards so just because the Nvidia card doesnt show any problems doesnt mean they arent there. What I would do if I were you is move as much stuff as possible away from your PC (for the time being) and slowly move them back one by one. If the problem remains than perhaps there is a line running through the wall that is causing interference. If it goes away you can narrow it down to what is causing the problems.
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Old Sep 29, 2003, 03:36 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. I think my card is fried now... the "interferance" symptoms (dimmed colors on the VGA or crazy horizontal lines for the DVI) are gone since I moved the PC away from the wall... but I there are no reds being displayed now.

I'm going to start the RMA process (again) when I get home tonight.
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Old Sep 29, 2003, 03:42 PM   #4
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Are you using a battery backup with a line conditioner? Your machine could be receiving voltage spikes from the outlet where it's plugged in at.
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Old Sep 29, 2003, 05:23 PM   #5
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Your wireless router could be the cause here. Try to move it
as far as possible from your pc. I would also consider a line conditioner for your pc. High end ati cards seem to be really sensitive to any minor line noise and possibly with high frequency transmitters/receivers such as your router.
Good luck!
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Old Sep 30, 2003, 12:11 PM   #6
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Sigh. I'm so confused.

Now my cardis working just fine. Apparently leaving it away from the wall for a couple days gave it enough R&R that its now well rested and works again (even shows reds).

I'm definately putting this PC in a new corner. Thanks for the responses.
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Old Sep 30, 2003, 12:17 PM   #7
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That is really strange indeed..
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Old Sep 30, 2003, 03:08 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by York
I'm definately putting this PC in a new corner. Thanks for the responses.
On another note....... maybe you should avoid that corner altogether! If I were you I would keep a real close eye on any "moles" that are starting to pop-up . Maybe you should even get a sign for that corner.
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