Home > Uncategorized > Well My Video Card Finally Bit the Dust…

Well My Video Card Finally Bit the Dust…

June 29, 2011

… so, sadly, I was FORCED to buy a new one 😉

Yep, I’m sorry to say that my old warhorse of a video card finally bit the dust Monday night.  I say I’m sorry because I now have to spend the $$ to replace it, but I’m even more sorry because I’m pretty damn sure that the expenditures won’t stop there – in fact, I’m pretty damn sure that it will end up with me upgrading some other components that are about as old as my video card – namely the processor, memory and motherboard.  More on that in a bit.

So, exactly how old was my video card?  Well, I’m a little embarrassed to admit this, but given that I’m not really much of gamer outside of MMO’s and the occasional strategy or empire building game, I was still hanging on to a 3 year old nVidia 9800GTX.  Now, before you laugh, let me tell you, despite it’s age (practically ANCIENT by video card standards) the card was still holding its own, and doing it rather well; even with more recent games such as RIFT, Civ5 and Shogun II.

What killed it?  I’m guessing heat.  Unfortunately, my “man cave” is upstairs in what used to be the attic.  This space has recently been converted into an office/man cave on one end and a spare bedroom on the other end.  It’s fully air conditioned, but since the insulation isn’t all that great in some spots (mainly on the ceiling) it still gets pretty hot up there in these scorching Louisiana summers.  Anyway, long story short, my wife doesn’t like to “waste” electricity so after she’s done using the PC, she’ll leave it on, raise the thermostat back up to where it barely kicks on the AC, and then goes down stairs.  I’m surprised it has lasted this long to be honest.

So on to what am I replacing it with.  Well, after some research, a little soul searching (also known as “how much can I spend before the wife really flips out”), I’ve decided on this puppy right here:

It’s an AMD Radeon HD 6950 $(249).  It’s Tom’s Hardware’s top recommendation for cards in the mid $200’s.  If you want to do better in raw gaming performance and still buy an AMD/ATI, you’ll need to go with their HD6970 ($325+) or their flagship HD6990 ($700+).  On the Team Green side, you’ll have to go with GTX 570 ($319), 580 ($500+) or the 590 ($750+).  From everything I’ve read, the bump up to the next level card MIGHT be worth the money once games start taking advantage of the 2GB’s of memory on cards like the HD 6970, but after that you get a serious case of diminishing returns for your extra hard earned cash…. which could be better spent on such things a:

A Motherboard…..

  • ASRock Z68 Extreme4 ($189)
  • A good solid motherboard that comes highly rated on several sites that I trust – it also got good customer reviews on newegg.com

CPU……

  • Some might ask, why not the i7-2600k… the main reason is that you’ll end up paying $100 more for hyperthreading.  That’s it.  Your gaming experience will NOT improve because of it.

and Memory….

  • G.Skill Ripjaws X (8GB) ($74)
  • There might be faster memory out there (well, I know there is) but once again, it’s a case of diminishing returns when you go any faster.  Without benchmarking software, most people can’t notice the difference if you go faster, but your wallet might!

So there it is.  From video card replacement to pretty much a new PC (if you recycle things like case, optical drives, hard drives, psu).  Right now the only thing I’ve actually bought is the video card and that was due to my old one dying.  I’d rather have waited until an SW:TOR release date was announced before buying anything… but c’est la vie!  Hopefully I’ll be able to resist hitting the “Buy” button on the rest of the stuff until then…..

~ Mojeaux

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Pitrelli
    June 29, 2011 at 16:13

    always sucks to lose a card and the 9800 still puts a lot of the newer cards to shame.

    Still nice system you have got there I really need to get round to upgrading my motherboard and processor but that would mean less beer tokens so………..

    • June 30, 2011 at 15:32

      Pitrelli :

      … upgrading my motherboard and processor but that would mean less beer tokens so………..

      Yeah tell me about it… not so much the beer for me… more like extra $$ that could be going towards my other passion… guns! More specifically the 1911…. expensive buggers they are..

  2. June 30, 2011 at 15:18

    lol, the one that died is the one I use

  3. June 30, 2011 at 15:29

    bonedead :

    lol, the one that died is the one I use

    Yeah, like I said, it was still a good gaming card. I installed the new one last night and really wasn’t able to tell much of a difference. It came with a free game ~ Dirt3 ~ which I’ll download tonight and see if I can tell with it.

    I don’t really expect to see much difference until I upgrade the rest of the machine, particularly the CPU. I expect I have what is commonly referred to as a “CPU bottleneck” holding back the vid card.

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