Fear of an upgrade

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Fear of an upgrade

Postposted on Sun Nov 03, 2013 8:42 am

Okay folks, I need your sage advice as I am stumped with this one. My rig is shown below in my sig line.

I do not have the budget for a new motherboard, RAM, cooler, etc. unless I win the lottery. But I do have enough credit card points to get a new videocard from Amazon--about $400.

Here's the story. I had purchased a 7970 Ghz months ago and plugged it in. And....*SNAP, CRACLE, POP* smoke and no image. Result was a burned out card, and more tragically one burned out PCI Express lane--my middle one. I was devastated. I was thinking that my lane had been bent down by the weight of the card and so was compromised when I plugged the higher wattage card in? Or the lane wsa fine but just couln't support the extra power draw? Or it's neither and I am just an idiot?

I am terrified of blowing any more PCI-Ex lanes out. I could survive one more loss but I would have to trade the placement of my audio card for my videocard and give up the audio card--which I got refurbed from the 'egg at 50% off.

I'd still like a new videocard. So....do nothing? Get something where the wattage wouldn't be a concern, maybe an R9 270X Sapphire Toxic so I'd get the most out of the chip? Roll the dice on an R9 280X? Stop whining, shut up, go home and save my shekels for 10 years so I can afford an all-new rig? Discuss please! (Note: really appreciate counsel from Just An Engineer as I agree with a lot of his advice).

Thanks for anything you'd like to offer!
Win 8.1 Pro 64-bit-Intel i7 965-Noctua NH-C12P-ASUS P6T Deluxe-Patriot Viper Xtreme 24GB DDR3 1600-SanDisk 240GB SSD-2 WD Velociraptors 300GB-WD RE3 1TB -Radeon 6970-ASUS Xonar Essence -LG GBW-H20L Blu-ray-Thermaltake W0133RU 1200W-CoolerMaster CM 832
Neutronbeam
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Re: Fear of an upgrade

Postposted on Sun Nov 03, 2013 10:03 am

Sorry to hear about your fireworks.

First of all, something caused this; bad power supply, bad motherboard, bad GPU, lightning strike, or power surge? Who knows at this point. But if the root cause isn't transitory, then it probably still exists, waiting, lurking...

I wouldn't want you to burn your house down because you did nothing.

Second, if you continue to use a motherboard with a known-newly-burned-out PCIe lane, then you will be possibly compounding any existing electrical problems going forward. I'm not sure I'd sleep well with that in the back of my mind.

I too am curious about what others may have to offer. Best of luck.
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Re: Fear of an upgrade

Postposted on Sun Nov 03, 2013 10:18 am

As BIF said, something caused that blowout. If I were you, I'd avoid the upgrade at this time if there is any possible way that you can wait longer and save enough money to replace the motherboard & CPU. If the rewards points are still good, then you can use them to get a nice GPU at that time with a reduced risk of fireworks. If the rewards points are about to expire, then just use them to buy a bunch of toasters, and then sell the toasters on E-bay :P
4770K @ 4.7 GHz; 32GB DDR3-2133; GTX-770; 512GB 840 Pro (2x); Fractal Define XL-R2; NZXT Kraken-X60
--Many thanks to the TR Forum for advice in getting it built.
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Re: Fear of an upgrade

Postposted on Sun Nov 03, 2013 10:41 am

I, too, would be leery of using that mobo. The 7970 is not that heavy a card. It's possible that it wasn't properly seated in the PCIe slot and the tenuous connection caused the "SNAP, CRACLE, POP". Or the card was defective and killed it.

Are you currently using your rig with the 6970?

You could sell the i7-965 & 6970 and, coupled with your $400 credit, buy a SandyBridge or Haswell CPU + mobo + video card. The RAM should be compatible. If you contact Noctua, they would send you a new bracket for a Haswell mobo for free.
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Re: Fear of an upgrade

Postposted on Sun Nov 03, 2013 10:53 am

I AM currently using the 6970.
Win 8.1 Pro 64-bit-Intel i7 965-Noctua NH-C12P-ASUS P6T Deluxe-Patriot Viper Xtreme 24GB DDR3 1600-SanDisk 240GB SSD-2 WD Velociraptors 300GB-WD RE3 1TB -Radeon 6970-ASUS Xonar Essence -LG GBW-H20L Blu-ray-Thermaltake W0133RU 1200W-CoolerMaster CM 832
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Re: Fear of an upgrade

Postposted on Sun Nov 03, 2013 10:55 am

Not certain that a 5-year-old CPU would fetch much money re selling it?
Win 8.1 Pro 64-bit-Intel i7 965-Noctua NH-C12P-ASUS P6T Deluxe-Patriot Viper Xtreme 24GB DDR3 1600-SanDisk 240GB SSD-2 WD Velociraptors 300GB-WD RE3 1TB -Radeon 6970-ASUS Xonar Essence -LG GBW-H20L Blu-ray-Thermaltake W0133RU 1200W-CoolerMaster CM 832
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Re: Fear of an upgrade

Postposted on Sun Nov 03, 2013 11:26 am

Neutronbeam wrote:Not certain that a 5-year-old CPU would fetch much money re selling it?


You might be surprised... earlier this year I sold my AMD X6 1090t for $130. Some folks will shell out the $$ to get a top-of-the-line CPU for their superseded platform if they are otherwise happy with it. A quick check on Ebay showed the asking price for an i7-965 at over $200.
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Re: Fear of an upgrade

Postposted on Sun Nov 03, 2013 3:23 pm

You blew a PCIe and the board still works? That's impressive.

If I were you I would limp along with what you've got until it's possible to do a full upgrade. A 6970 should be powerful enough to run new games at reasonably good settings, and you've clearly got serious hardware problems. Resolving that should take precedence over marginally improved graphics.

If you haven't done so already, back up everything on all your hard disks now.
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Re: Fear of an upgrade

Postposted on Sun Nov 03, 2013 8:28 pm

I hope you RMA'd the 7970. In that case you'd have a replacement GPU and $400 to spend on a new mobo or CPU+mobo.
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