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Life expectancy of video cards?


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#1 jgwdoc

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 09:06 AM

I seem to be killing my video cards off rather quickly. My GT8800 lasted 2 years tops, and now my (flashed) ATI 4870 is dying after less than 2 years. All my other hardware tests out ok and my internal temps seem reasonable, so I'm wondering whether this just happens or whether something in my machine might be killing these cards off too quickly.
Just ordered a flashed 5870, but at these prices, I sure wish it would last a bit longer.
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#2 Sneaky Snake

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 10:43 AM

my 8800GT in my 2008 Mac Pro died after about 1.5-2 years as well.

I'm not sure how long GPU's are supposed to last, but I'm pretty sure it's longer then 2 years, because many GPU OEM's offer at least 3 year warranty's with their cards. XFX offers double lifetime. I would try to warranty your 4870 with whatever OEM it's with. They'll probably send you a newest generation card as a replacement which you can sell to recoup some of the cost of your 5870.
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#3 Eric5h5

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 10:44 AM

I've never had a video card die; the longest run was an X800 which went for about 5 years in my G5 (and still works).

--Eric

#4 bobbob

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 04:45 PM

The Geforces starting with 7 had a problem where the solder would reflow and kill the chip within a year or two, and supposedly, that continued into the 8's though no one admitted it. Apple's own 8's had a low life expectancy consistent with that earlier problem, and they often replace them with little prodding. Supposedly, newer Geforces should be fine. How did that 4870 die? Another thing that kills GPU is heat, especially fan death due to crappy fans and clogging dust. Blowing them out every once in a while would be a good idea. The iMacs have been problematic because they have tiny fans and cramped quarters, plus some popping caps issues in the G5's (which seemed pretty late to be trying to hawk popping caps).

I've got a 6600 GT that's been in use since 2005, and I'll have to replace it to play even slightly older games at acceptable rates. This useful life should be the most limiting factor in a video card.

#5 PeopleLikeFrank

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 06:54 AM

Bobbob speaks truth about heat. I've got a GT8800 that's still running strong, but I had a 4870 die an early death (after about 6 months or so) due to bad contact on a heatsink. Make sure to clear dust out every six months or so.
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#6 jgwdoc

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 07:12 AM

I haven't been doing the dust-blowing thing, but I'll certainly start. Generally, the inside of my MacPro doesn't seem very dusty, but a little preventative maintenance can't hurt. The 4870 is dying a lot like the 8800 did: lots of crashes/freezes when asked to perform in a game (any game), with crazy screen pixilation and shearing before the crash. This occurs under both Vista and OSX, and with no problems detected by TechTool Pro or the Apple Hardware Test. It really only dies when stressed by a game, or by a particularly busy webpage.
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#7 teflon

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 08:13 AM

If cooled properly and manufactured to high standards, there's no reason why they shouldn't last 20 years.
The only GPU I've ever had that's failed on me is the 8600M GT in my MBP, and that died twice in 3 years because of that reflow issue, which was a proper manufacturing flaw.

So it seems like NVidia and AMD have both pooped rather heavily on a few of the cards they've produced in recent years.

My advice would be to see what you can scrounge via warranty. In the EU warranty has to go for 2 years, and in the UK I'd be able to claim that it's not been fit for use if it fails within 5 years even! I doubt this holds true of the US, though...
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#8 jgwdoc

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 08:48 AM

View Postteflon, on 26 October 2011 - 08:13 AM, said:

If cooled properly and manufactured to high standards, there's no reason why they shouldn't last 20 years.
The only GPU I've ever had that's failed on me is the 8600M GT in my MBP, and that died twice in 3 years because of that reflow issue, which was a proper manufacturing flaw.

So it seems like NVidia and AMD have both pooped rather heavily on a few of the cards they've produced in recent years.

My advice would be to see what you can scrounge via warranty. In the EU warranty has to go for 2 years, and in the UK I'd be able to claim that it's not been fit for use if it fails within 5 years even! I doubt this holds true of the US, though...

I don't think I could claim warranty support for a flashed card, albeit new, purchased on ebay. I've often wondered if I should get one of those extra fans to throw in the guts of my MacPro.
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#9 jgwdoc

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 10:13 AM

Well, all problems resolved with the 5870 in place. Which is a smokin' card, I must say. Popped up all my setting on Deus Ex:HR and it looks beautiful. This one's got two monster fans on it as well as some large copper tubing that i assume has something to do with cooling, so i hope it lasts longer.
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#10 Luis20

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 04:00 AM

Hey guys, im a couple days away to overclocking my laptop (my Zalman NC1000) will be ariving ^^. Anyway, i know the overclocking dimishes life span of the gfx but if it is cooled, wil it still wear out?

How long is the lifespan of an 8400M GT OC'd and non oc'd

#11 Sneaky Snake

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 04:58 PM

No idea about specifics with the 8400M, but download something like gpu-z if you game in windows, in order to monitor temps and do a before and after OC test with your temps. You don't want them getting into the 90's. Laptops run pretty hot already, so OC them usually ins't a great idea, but it's not gonna hurt it if you try it and just check temps. Even if they massively spike just turn it back to stock and you'll be good. One trial at OC won't hurt anything, prolonged time might.
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#12 bobbob

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Posted 14 November 2011 - 03:24 PM

If it's anything like the 8600M, it's not good. Apple replaces those for free long outside the warranty period.

#13 mindnoise

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Posted 16 November 2011 - 05:48 PM

I have a flashed ATI 8500 in my Sawtooth G4 Tower and it still works.
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#14 Tetsuya

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Posted 07 December 2011 - 01:26 AM

View PostThaddeus84, on 06 December 2011 - 11:44 PM, said:

DELETED - Frost

Your motherboard (if it is even remotely modern) should have onboard, craptastic video.  Remove the video card and attempt to connect your monitor to the onboard.  If it works.. guess what - your video card is probably dead.

#15 Frost

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Posted 07 December 2011 - 09:19 PM

Ignore that post, that was a timebomb spammer, not a user with a real vid card question. I approved two posts (that being one) because they looked innocent, and then he went on a WTF Fest in another topic that I missed and tBC fragged him.
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#16 the Battle Cat

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 09:19 AM

I would have approved his earlier posts too had I seen them first.  Apparently he had come here to spam but his interest in gaming compelled him to actually contribute something.  I only read his spam, saw he had two other posts, so while I was strangling him with his own entrails I used the admin panel to yank all his other posts sight unseen.
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#17 Sneaky Snake

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 02:39 PM

Liberator will be sorely missed to greet those spammers and lure them into his room, where tBC is waiting with a hammer and an axe
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#18 the Battle Cat

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Posted 08 December 2011 - 07:08 PM

That is so last month.  This month I use a straight razor and a vat of briny urine.
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