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Old 11-07-2012, 01:38 PM   #101
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Update:

This GTX 280 is proving to be less than reliable. I honestly don't know if it's the card itself or just the drivers package. From time to time while playing TF2, it just locks up and goes to a black screen. Usually the game continues playing in the background (I can hear the audio) but the only way to recover is to Windows-key back to the desktop (which restores the display) and then force the application to close. Usually, this is accompanied by a little error message popping up which says "a problem was detected with the driver, which was recovered successfuly." No, it wasn't recovered successfully- you forced me to crash out of a game right when I was about to make a capture.

I've installed a couple of different driver updates from nVidia, which have not helped. I also re-formatted the machine, re-installed the OS, etc. Same deal.

Thinking very seriously about going out and buying one of those ATI 6580 cards. I'd love to think that a GTX 560 would prove more reliable, but I'm not really willing to gamble on something that's going to be using the same driver package that I have right now. At least with the ATI I'd be eliminating (or at least changing) every possible culprit.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...scrollFullInfo

Dammit, I hate spending money...
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Old 11-07-2012, 02:15 PM   #102
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Heat issues?

Also, running Solidworks, my rig would sometimes lock up for no apparent reason, and there was nothing I could do but wait. It was only for about 10-12 seconds, but it was very frustrating. Some sort of conflict with the drivers. I think the culprit was a printer I had hooked up (HP CP1518ni) which was using my computer as some sort of print server, but I never did get it to completely stop. Once my new computer came in, I haven't had any problems.
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Old 11-07-2012, 02:20 PM   #103
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I'm running an Nvidia GTX 460 and have been for a while. The girlfriend is running an ATI/AMD 6850 (iirc). Our hardware is a year behind, but here is what I've seen. Hers has been rock solid but in Steam/Source games (TF2/HL2/L4D) she seems to have issues rendering shadow shading stuff unless you are willing to sit down and tweak the graphics settings. This is pretty evident in Skyrim, but she is also running 10,000,000 add-on packs (as apparently this is normal for people who play Bethesda games) so who knows what is causing the issue. Mine renders everything just fine, but I used to get the occasional lockup as you describe.

Sidenote: The noise needs to be a non issue and Newegg reviewers are a bunch of bitches. My GTX460 runs something like 150 watts at full tilt. That's A LOT of heat and you need A LOT of air to dissipate it from such a tiny heatsink. Those bastards need to go grab a 100w incandescent light bulb that's been running for more than 5 minutes, then they will understand.

Your issue most likely heat, not drivers. Heat is what causes my lockup issues with my 460. The built in fan speed/temperature response curve from Nvidia is crap. It lets the card get too hot because it runs the fan too slow, so they don't get noise complaints. I started using a piece of software called EVGA Precision EVGA | Software | EVGA Precision to manually set the fan speed/temperature response curve and its nearly eliminated the issue. I still get the occasional lockup, but its after I flog the system for hours at a time and the ambient temp in my computer room climbs up into the 80s. The software is shipped with EVGA cards, but it works fine with everything I've ever tried it on that had an Nvidia chipset on it. Before you spend more money, give it a shot. It's a free download and you have nothing to loose.

Bonus points: The software will also let you overclock/underclock the various settings on the card, but that's another level of insanity that even I'm not interested in.
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Old 11-07-2012, 02:20 PM   #104
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I know you might want to stay away from nVidia products right now, but I recently rebuilt my rig with an EVGA GTX 670 FTW (Newegg.com - EVGA 02G-P4-2678-KR GeForce GTX 670 FTW 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card) and it has been incredible.

How long ago did you get the card? Can you RMA it?
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Old 11-07-2012, 02:22 PM   #105
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Originally Posted by rleete View Post
Heat issues?
I wouldn't think so, and if so, I wouldn't know what to do about it.

The fan on the video card appears to be working fine, and when I had the machine apart last month to install a new SSD, I used the air compressor to thoroughly blow the dust out of everything, which included the video card. I wasn't able to figure out how to separate the plastic cover on it, though I did blow air at 120 PSI through it (from the rear outlet, and and into the fan intake in all directions.)

The case itself is exceedingly well ventilated. Two outwards-blowing rear fans (one case, one PSU) and the whole front is pretty much wide open. The CPU itself runs cool, though I will admit that I haven't quite figured out how to monitor the temperature of the GPU in real-time while in a game. (I'm sure there's some overlay thingy I can activate- I will try that this evening.)
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Old 11-07-2012, 02:32 PM   #106
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The above Precision software will display temp, and I believe it has a logging feature as well.

Just Sayin'
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Old 11-07-2012, 02:40 PM   #107
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Originally Posted by EO2K View Post
Your issue most likely heat, not drivers. (...) I started using a piece of software called EVGA Precision EVGA | Software | EVGA Precision to manually set the fan speed/temperature response curve and its nearly eliminated the issue.
Interesting. I will give this a shot tonight and see if there's a noticeable difference.


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I know you might want to stay away from nVidia products right now, but I recently rebuilt my rig with an EVGA GTX 670 FTW
Nah. If I do buy a new card, it's definitely going to be an ATi. I've been doing a little browsing, and the 7770 actually seems like it'd be a good fit. Unlike the 6850, it's a fairly new architecture, with a very low TDP (80 watts), despite the fact that it seems to benchmark just below both the 6850 and the 560. Since both of those cards are roughly twice as powerful as my current 280 (which is powerful enough for my needs), the 7770 would be more than enough. It's also slightly cheaper than the 6850, averaging about $120 w/o rebate, $100 w/ rebate.



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How long ago did you get the card? Can you RMA it?
I didn't pay anything for the GTX 280. The video card fairy dropped it off for free.
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Old 11-07-2012, 07:08 PM   #108
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Originally Posted by EO2K View Post
Your issue most likely heat, not drivers.
(...)
I started using a piece of software called EVGA Precision EVGA | Software | EVGA Precision to manually set the fan speed/temperature response curve
I believe you may have nailed it.

I set a new linear temp curve to crank the fan up to 100% by 65C, and played for an hour without any glitches. Judging solely by the acoustic signature, I'm quite certain that the fan was not operating at a high speed previously- this sucker is LOUD when it's cranked up.

Thanks for the tip on that. I guess this is what I get for owning an old GPU built on 65nm process with 1.4 billion transistors.
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Old 11-07-2012, 07:26 PM   #109
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Old 11-07-2012, 07:59 PM   #110
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Hey, how come he gets the credit when I suggested it first? I'm wounded.
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Old 11-07-2012, 08:01 PM   #111
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Psssht! You had me by 5 minutes only because I was typing out an explanation and trying to find a link to my solution
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Old 11-07-2012, 08:27 PM   #112
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Hey, how come he gets the credit when I suggested it first? I'm wounded.
Because he offered a solution.


I am really quite unable to reconcile how the manufacturer of this card could configure the fan control so poorly. I grant you, it is annoyingly loud when it's cranked up, but annoyingly loud and working is a hell of a lot better than quiet but non-functional. If I wanted the machine to be quiet above all else, I'd turn it off, throw it in a hole in the back yard, and pour concrete over it. The fact that I've gone to all the trouble of actually plugging it in and turning on kind of suggests that I want to USE it, not listen to how quiet it is when it's just sitting there showing a black screen.
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Old 11-07-2012, 08:46 PM   #113
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People confuse me.

Out of curiosity, I started looking around at water-cooling solutions, knowing that this has been fashionable in recent years.

Turns out that there are water blocks available for the GTX 260/280. They cost more than a brand new Radeon 7770, which outperforms the GTX 280 by about double and is apparently capable of doing so without overheating OR sounding like an F14 being launched off an aircraft carrier.

Seriously? $150 for a poorly-machined block of copper? Who the hell is actually buying these things?
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Old 11-07-2012, 09:50 PM   #114
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Nobody is now, but when the card was $600 or whatever it was new, then maybe it made sense?
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Old 11-07-2012, 10:10 PM   #115
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no credit to me as well? I feel sad.
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Old 11-07-2012, 10:49 PM   #116
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
I am really quite unable to reconcile how the manufacturer of this card could configure the fan control so poorly. I grant you, it is annoyingly loud when it's cranked up, but annoyingly loud and working is a hell of a lot better than quiet but non-functional.
Honestly, its reviews sites like HardOCP and NewEgg. "Casuals" want quiet cards. If they read reviews about how loud something is, that's going to scare them off. "Casuals" also don't push their systems like a lot of us do. The manufacturer knows this, and so they detune the fan to suppress noise complaints, and sell more cards to the masses due to favorable reviews. Knowledgeable folks understand that noise comes with performance thus don't usually care, or don't buy cards with OEM coolers.

For example:

EVGA 02G-P4-2660-KR GeForce GTX 660

This is pretty much a "reference" cooler design. It has a shroud, single fan, and looks exactly like the one on the NVidia website. It appeals to the "budget" buyer. Its usually a couple of copper slugs over the GPU and MOSFETS stuck to a cast/finned aluminum plate. It works, kinda. Its the bare minimum to get the job done.

Most of the "gamer" targeted cards will have an "other than NVidia OEM" heat solution, because gamers know they are going to abuse these things. Same card, same chipset, same ram but includes an "aftermarket"~ish cooling solution.

GIGABYTE GV-N660OC-2GD GeForce GTX 660

The heat pipes, dual fans and stacked sheetmetal finned heat sink will massively increased surface area. The larger fans will move more air while being quieter than the blower in the OEM design. This card is going to run cooler for longer. Downside is, this will usually be more expensive. (bad example, these are within $10 of each other on Newegg, but you get the idea)

Why buy a Trackspeed Engineering radiator when I can get one from Radiatorbarn.com for 1/5th the price?! They both radiator, right?
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Old 11-07-2012, 11:39 PM   #117
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Originally Posted by EO2K View Post
Honestly, its reviews sites like HardOCP and NewEgg. "Casuals" want quiet cards. (...) The manufacturer knows this, and so they detune the fan to suppress noise complaints, and sell more cards to the masses due to favorable reviews.
Yeah, I understand that. But if you're going to de-tune the fan, wouldn't it also make sense to de-tune the GPU so that it doesn't constantly overheat and shut down during normal operation? I'd think that reviews which say "This card is total piece of **** that locks up and crashes after half an hour" would be considered more unfavorable than reviews which say "This card works awesomely and is totally reliable, though it's a bit loud when I'm really pushing it."


That's my problem here. I grok the concept that 133T G4M3RZ will tend to gravitate towards fancy cooling solutions because they plan on overvolting / overclocking. Hell, 20 years ago (before water-cooling existed in its present form) people were literally submerging their entire motherboard in a fish tank filled with mineral oil just so they could crank an extra 20 or 30 MHz out of their Pentium MMX.

But I'm not doing that.

This Zotac 280 that I have is an exact copy of the reference design, running at reference voltage and reference clock. It is bone stock. And I am running TF2 on it, which is a game that had already been out for a full year back in 2008 when this card was the new hotness. It should not be overheating.


I mean, imagine that you went to the dealership and bought a new car. Something fairly high-end but still mass-market, like a 911 or a Merc SLK55. You haven't turbocharged it or modified it any way. And every single time you drive it on the highway at legal speeds for more than an hour, the radiator boils over and the engine shuts down.

You'd be pretty pissed, amirite?

That's my problem here. This video card cost $650 when it was new- hardly something made to appeal to the "budget buyer." And I don't overclock **** or screw around with it in any way, because I want it to just sit there and work reliably.

At the very least, give me a friggin' check-box somewhere in the stock driver / utility package that says "By clicking this, I acknowledge that I am going to cause the card to emit a loud noise while I am really pushing it, in return for which it will be reliable and not crash." For crying out loud, the OEM (nVidia) driver package for this sucker is 224 megabytes. You'd think that they'd have space in there somewhere for a box to enable the "work reliably" option.
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Old 11-08-2012, 02:50 AM   #118
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
Yeah, I understand that. But if you're going to de-tune the fan, wouldn't it also make sense to de-tune the GPU so that it doesn't constantly overheat and shut down during normal operation? I'd think that reviews which say "This card is total piece of **** that locks up and crashes after half an hour" would be considered more unfavorable than reviews which say "This card works awesomely and is totally reliable, though it's a bit loud when I'm really pushing it."


That's my problem here. I grok the concept that 133T G4M3RZ will tend to gravitate towards fancy cooling solutions because they plan on overvolting / overclocking. Hell, 20 years ago (before water-cooling existed in its present form) people were literally submerging their entire motherboard in a fish tank filled with mineral oil just so they could crank an extra 20 or 30 MHz out of their Pentium MMX.

But I'm not doing that.

This Zotac 280 that I have is an exact copy of the reference design, running at reference voltage and reference clock. It is bone stock. And I am running TF2 on it, which is a game that had already been out for a full year back in 2008 when this card was the new hotness. It should not be overheating.


I mean, imagine that you went to the dealership and bought a new car. Something fairly high-end but still mass-market, like a 911 or a Merc SLK55. You haven't turbocharged it or modified it any way. And every single time you drive it on the highway at legal speeds for more than an hour, the radiator boils over and the engine shuts down.

You'd be pretty pissed, amirite?

That's my problem here. This video card cost $650 when it was new- hardly something made to appeal to the "budget buyer." And I don't overclock **** or screw around with it in any way, because I want it to just sit there and work reliably.

At the very least, give me a friggin' check-box somewhere in the stock driver / utility package that says "By clicking this, I acknowledge that I am going to cause the card to emit a loud noise while I am really pushing it, in return for which it will be reliable and not crash." For crying out loud, the OEM (nVidia) driver package for this sucker is 224 megabytes. You'd think that they'd have space in there somewhere for a box to enable the "work reliably" option.
actually, it was considered normal for the older GTX series to get to about 80+c, just over TIME they lock up due to the bad heat management programming.

The fan is naturally loud, there is no getting around to the turbine design. I'd recommend a solder reflow using an oven and it should be good as new. No lie.
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Old 11-08-2012, 03:03 AM   #119
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EO2K View Post
Honestly, its reviews sites like HardOCP and NewEgg. "Casuals" want quiet cards. If they read reviews about how loud something is, that's going to scare them off. "Casuals" also don't push their systems like a lot of us do. The manufacturer knows this, and so they detune the fan to suppress noise complaints, and sell more cards to the masses due to favorable reviews. Knowledgeable folks understand that noise comes with performance thus don't usually care, or don't buy cards with OEM coolers.

For example:

EVGA 02G-P4-2660-KR GeForce GTX 660

This is pretty much a "reference" cooler design. It has a shroud, single fan, and looks exactly like the one on the NVidia website. It appeals to the "budget" buyer. Its usually a couple of copper slugs over the GPU and MOSFETS stuck to a cast/finned aluminum plate. It works, kinda. Its the bare minimum to get the job done.

Most of the "gamer" targeted cards will have an "other than NVidia OEM" heat solution, because gamers know they are going to abuse these things. Same card, same chipset, same ram but includes an "aftermarket"~ish cooling solution.

GIGABYTE GV-N660OC-2GD GeForce GTX 660

The heat pipes, dual fans and stacked sheetmetal finned heat sink will massively increased surface area. The larger fans will move more air while being quieter than the blower in the OEM design. This card is going to run cooler for longer. Downside is, this will usually be more expensive. (bad example, these are within $10 of each other on Newegg, but you get the idea)

Why buy a Trackspeed Engineering radiator when I can get one from Radiatorbarn.com for 1/5th the price?! They both radiator, right?
I will have to disagree with you, being that i have dual EVGA GTX 670s that are overclocked to hell and back. The heat management is the same as the 660 you have shown, and I have own both styles. The stock design works phenomenally if you have a great cool intake, not ambient heat. The open fan twin blades are actually LOUDER than a single jet out the back, and they recirculate.

My single GTX 280 OC from BFG had a max temp of 59c in BF3 (directx 10 only), at full fan speed. Leaving it to regulate itself got to a recorded extreme of 82c; it did eventually crash, and reducing the temperature it could handle, until it finally artifacted at 53c. I just solder reflowed the card, and replace the caked on old thermal paste with new good paste. I tested it with a self regulated 61c, and 57c max fan. No crashes.

My single GTX 560ti AMP! had the dual cooling fans, it was louder, and its max temp in BF3 was 58c @ 100% fan speed

My single GTX 670 was overclocked 110+ Mhz, @ 120% power usage (new term for 600 series) max temp was 52c @ 80% fan speed.

They are now two if them in SLI with the same clock, with one still being the temp above, and the other being only 55c @ 80% fan speed.

Every card above had heat pipes, nvidia DOES install them in the stock design.

im an nvidia fan boy (pun intended)


My case has a huge 120mm fan jet directing it to the pci cards; ventilation is key
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Old 11-08-2012, 12:01 PM   #120
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You have some valid points here.

However, as an engineer, I can attest that designing an electronic product with the intention of running it at >80 is not good practice. At the very least, you are compromising on thermal margin for all of the semiconductors, and you are most likely also exposing electrolytic capacitors to ambient temperatures which will accelerate their decomposition.

The fact that you have observed the cards to degrade with time supports this assertion.


I still go back to one simple point: the card is physically capable of cooling itself in a reasonable fashion given the supplied heat-management solution. Thus, even in a context in which acoustic properties are not to be discounted, logic demands that the user at least be presented with an option in the configuration software to elect to operate the card in a way that ensures its stability and longevity.
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