Is my PCs video card dead?

Mar 2, 2009
3,322
43
48
California
#1
OK everyone listen up.

A few months ago I had a friend of mine tell me that his video card crapped out on him, and that he had to get a replacement Voodoo 3 card. He went from nVidia to Voodoo and is a high-end gamer. When he told me I kind of chuckled at him, said I was sorry and hopes things work out for the best.

Four months ago in April, the warranty on my PC expired. Exactly one month ago karma decides to be a b*tch, and now my PC card seems to be fried itself. I too have an nVidia graphics card. My PC will be two years old this December.

I’ve looked online for a possible solution to my problem, but it seems to be most users who experience the same problem as me have a bad video card. I’ve included an image below of what my screen looks like, although this is not from my actual PC:




Now, the problem started out of the blue. One day about a month ago I was watching some videos on YouTube, when all of a sudden my PC just froze and I had to restart. Thinking it was just a simple reboot, I noticed vertical lines at the boot screen, the loading screen and even while running Windows. Once Windows fully booted up, my display was set at the lowest, 640x480 and 8 bit color.


At first I figured it might be a driver problem, so I updated to the latest drivers and the problem went away, but only for a little bit. After having updated the drivers, the problem of my PC freezing, restarting on its own and giving me the BSOD started to happen within minutes of turning my PC on. Sometimes I’d get a few minutes of use or even a few hours, but nothing longer.

I really don’t know how to determine if it’s a graphics or motherboard problem, but from what I’ve been reading it’s most likely a graphics issue. If that’s the case, I’ll have to buy a new video card which is around $50-$60 bucks, since my card is a few years old. I surely thought it would be at least a few hundred.

I wanted to see if anyone else has had this problem before, and if so, was it a graphics card or motherboard problem?

For full view of my system specs, click here.
 

psylichon

Genius
Moderator
Oct 31, 2007
16,591
751
113
40
Philly
#2
My vote is for the graphics card going on ya. Don't cheap out too much on a replacement, because an underpowered video car will make your whole system slow. I know because I have an ancient board slowing down a fast computer at home.
 

iCafe

New Member
Dec 11, 2007
1,877
0
0
www.wwtdd.com
#3
Ahh i see the problem, You are using a PC, i see this very often.. Simply go to www.apple.com and buy a mac computer and your issues will be resolved
 

acosmichippo

Genius
Platinum
Sep 10, 2007
15,384
1,089
113
DC
#4
what kind of computer have you got? I see the one in your pic is a laptop, which you are not going to be able to replace the video card on.

If, however, you have a desktop, then take out your discrete graphics card, and try the onboard video out (if there is one). If not, go to somewhere like best buy that has a lenient return policy, buy a cheap card for troubleshooting, throw it in, and see what happens. If it looks good, the Video card was the problem, if not, then it's your MOBO.
 
Mar 2, 2009
3,322
43
48
California
#5
what kind of computer have you got? I see the one in your pic is a laptop, which you are not going to be able to replace the video card on.

If, however, you have a desktop, then take out your discrete graphics card, and try the onboard video out (if there is one). If not, go to somewhere like best buy that has a lenient return policy, buy a cheap card for troubleshooting, throw it in, and see what happens. If it looks good, the Video card was the problem, if not, then it's your MOBO.
The pic I showed above is something I found online but it shows the exact same errors I have with the onscreen display at home.

I plan on going to Best Buy this weekend and buying a new card to test it out. It's only about $60 bux from what I see online. If that doesn't work then I'll need a new motherboard, which hopefully, is still in working condition. I really don't feel like ripping my entire system apart as there's a lot of stuff inside.
 

Hondamaker

Genius
Gold
May 14, 2007
9,946
671
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Fairborn, Ohio
#6
Had the same thing happen to me, and it was the card. Better off getting a new one. Like you said, they're fairly cheap these days for a decent one.
 
Mar 2, 2009
3,322
43
48
California
#7
I'm back!

Bought myself a replacement card and things are running smoothly again. Card only cost $40 bux to go from 256MB to 512MB. I could have gone up to 1GB for $60 bux but I'm trying not to spend too much money since I owe money on tons of bills. 512 will do for now.

BTW, I went to Fry's Electronics where things were MUCH cheaper. Best Buy's prices were a little bit higher than what I was willing to pay.