View Full Version : Another six months, another ATI card in the bin. Back to Nvidia?

Patrick Swayze
31-08-2011, 12:41 PM
Well it's happened again, my second ATI/AMD card - a 2 gig 6950 (2gb), has gone knees up too.

My first card from ATI/AMD, a 5850 (1gb) had a faulty power transformer and caused me to replace an entire PC nearly because I thought there couldn't possibly be anything wrong with the newest component.

This one has started giving me graphical artefacts while playing DXHR and since then has spread to all other games. Although its not running super hot research suggests it is apparently an over heating problem.

The rest of my pc is dust free and running fine.

So I guess the question is, do I try ANOTHER ATI/AMD card or head back the realms Nvidia? And what's happening on the Nvidia side of the pond these days?

No Nvidiot comments please, they might run hot and eat electricity for breakfast but they always lasted me far longer than any of these ATI/AMD cards...

31-08-2011, 01:33 PM
If overheating is the problem and you go down the new-card route, were I you I'd think about getting an MSI Twin Frozr card. I just got an MSI GTX 570 TF and it ran about 30 celsius cooler than my old card (a BFG GTX 285) under the same stress-testing software (FurMark).
The Twin Frozr is a slightly overclocked card that has a massive heatsink and an extra fan attached, which I wanted after my PC started having overheating problems - mostly due to poor airflow (cheap case and bad cable management) and dust buildup (case didn't come with fan filters, and my room is generally dusty. I have since bought some filters and will fit them presently).
I haven't had it long enough to comment too much, but initial testing seems positive. Could be worth a look.

31-08-2011, 02:00 PM
Are you at least able to RMA the card in question?

31-08-2011, 03:27 PM
Although its not running super hot research suggests it is apparently an over heating problem.

Have you tried upping the fan speed manually and see if that resolves the issue? You should be able to use RivaTuner, MSI Afterburner, Catalyst, or a few others to try it out.

No Nvidiot comments please, they might run hot and eat electricity for breakfast but they always lasted me far longer than any of these ATI/AMD cards...

I see this Red vs Blue (or Green in this case) mentality all the time with defective hardware (esp hard drives), yet failure rates are more or less the same across the different vendors. Just go with whatever gets you the best bang for the buck. Like westyfield suggested, you might consider springing for a model with a better heatsink; they tend to be more quiet and effective than stock cooling and usually don't cost a whole lot more.

Patrick Swayze
31-08-2011, 06:30 PM
@Corbain: Yes it is getting returned under warranty thankfully, I tend to shop at Ebuyer who are generally lovely folks over the phone.

@PMH: I altered the fan speed manually and it did reduce the problem but not clear it up completely, it's obviously past the point of no return now :(

@Westyfield: Thanks, I shall do some homework on those cards :)

31-08-2011, 09:51 PM
That's really odd! I bought like 4 Ati cards for my last 4 PC, and never had the problems you describe O.O

31-08-2011, 10:34 PM
is this an XFX card, by any chance? anyway, I have had 5 ATi cards over the years, and only one died, which was as a result of me putting some massive overclocks through it 24/7.

A standard design ATi card is great in terms of longevity. XFX on the other hand, I will never touch with an Electro-static neutral barge pole. They deviate so far away from the stock design and use such cheap materials it is ridiculous.

Patrick Swayze
31-08-2011, 11:11 PM
It was a sapphire!

I've just been unlucky I guess. My friends have had ATi Cards that have lasted years.

I don't overclock but I do give them some batter, especially when playing poorly optimized games like civ 5 and Bad Company 2...

31-08-2011, 11:33 PM
Sapphire are also fairly cheap, although my Sapphire lasted ages (and yeah, I bought an XFX once - a 7900GS - and was really unimpressed with the card and the support).

01-09-2011, 11:35 PM
Ive been very happy with my ATIs so far. The last Nvidia I bought was a GeForce 2 GTX. Ive had an X800XT, an X1600 and my current one, a HD4850, which has currently lived for more than two years. Two and a half, in fact. I used to buy the most expensive ones possible, now I go for cheap now, cheap later. :D

Alex Bakke
02-09-2011, 02:36 AM
You should be dead!

In all seriousness, what some people in the thread said is correct - build quality can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. I've had two XFX cards and they've been great. The sapphire I had however was pants.

02-09-2011, 05:29 AM
I highly recommend XFX as well, particularly the model numbers that come with a life time warranty, often for the same price as their 'normal' counter parts. I've been using a ATI 6870 at 1920x1080 and there hasn't been a game yet I couldn't run on max everything, including DEHR and StarCraft 2. It was a great deal in the low 200 dollar range about 6 months ago.

03-09-2011, 12:05 PM
Join the dark side. Re-roll Nvida!

03-09-2011, 01:39 PM
I think you have been pretty unlucky! like most other people have said it can vary between different brands and skus, but normally i find the failure rate on ati products is lower.

03-09-2011, 01:46 PM
That is bizarre. I was in the opposite situation. I had several Nvidia 8800s explode in my pc, so I switched back to ATI and never looked back!

03-09-2011, 04:58 PM
Ah, the statistics of small numbers (http://users.tpg.com.au/users/tps-seti/baloney.html). I've seen people go through the same thing with hard drives, getting a few drives from a bad batch then abandoning that manufacturer, not realizing that everybody ships roughly the same % of lemons. Unless there's a publicized defect, odds are very good that it's just bad luck. Or a faulty PSU...

I wouldn't touch the slightly-cheaper brands like PowerColor, though. I've always had good luck with ASUS, m'self.

Patrick Swayze
08-09-2011, 11:48 AM
Well I went with ATI again.

Settled with another Sapphire 6950 which has two fans this time round. It was a little cheaper so I have extra money to spend on a new keyboard.

Also... I got a DiRT 3 promo code..... fat lot of good that does me ;_;

16-09-2011, 03:30 AM
I have used an ATI setup before and though it was nothing impressive, it stuck out for me even when used for heavy gaming which lasted for hours in a day. This might sound so boring and like a broken record but you really have to find a way to ventilate it properly. I mean, arrange the cards stacked up in your board so that they are at least a port apart from each other.

Though if you have gone old with using ATI, then you probably have to take the jump back to nvidia.