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Gerbil In Training
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Options for Possibly Dead 9600GT?

Sun May 11, 2014 1:50 am

So I have this EVGA 9600GT that I picked up in 2008 on the heels of TR's review about it. It wasn't the most powerful available, but the power draw was low and performance was more than adequate for StarCraft II.

Just three months shy of six years later, the card appears to die, booting Windows 7 64-bit into Safe Mode only. When a normal boot is attempted, it goes to the "Starting" screen and is followed by a completely black screen thereafter This persisted after two reloaded restore points AND a driver update from Safe Mode.

It just so happened that I was able to swap it out with an XFX R7850 that was given to me by a friend, coincidentally, on the very day the 9600GT went out. It's been a week so far with no problems; working fine with the latest Catalyst drivers. I haven't tried StarCraft II, but Star Trek: Online looks great.

So, with that in mind, I'm wondering if my 9600GT has indeed bought the farm? Maybe my expectations are misaligned, but I was hoping for more time with it. As good as my games look, I feel like I don't need the extra power draw to justify it. My last build had a Voodoo FX Banshee that lasted a good 9 years before it went south! Maybe I should just let it go, but it was such a sensible card...

Thoughts? Anecdotes? Thanks in advance!
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Re: Options for Possibly Dead 9600GT?

Sun May 11, 2014 7:03 am

Your 9600GT had a good run. It's very likely it's dead - but to rule out software issues have you tried it in another machine?

For what it's worth, your replacement R7850 is way more efficient. Sure - power draw under full load is 130W compared to your 9600GT which was closer to 100W, but your GT would probably have pulled an extra 50W more at idle than the 7850. If you do things other than gaming on your PC, the 7850 is both faster AND uses less power.

9 years out of a banshee is impressive. I dumped my banshee after about 3 because it couldn't play games anymore, but it was a great 2D card as well and back in those days 2D image quality and performance were NOT commodity items!
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Gerbil In Training
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Re: Options for Possibly Dead 9600GT?

Sun May 11, 2014 3:11 pm

You know, I didn't think about the efficiency gained through the newer architecture, or how that might impact the idle power draw. The machine spends the vast majority of the time on the internet and only occasionally dips into gaming. In fact, that was the rationale behind the 9600GT in the first place: enough horsepower to handle things mid-decade RTS games, the very occasional RTS and the capability to run future games at a "better than stick figure" level.

As far as trying the 9600GT in another system, that might be an option, just not an immediate one. In fact, the only real issue with the R780 is that it's missing the plate that usually accompanies a card's input ports. I suspect that getting a new one might be a phone call or eBay click away. In the meantime, I've got the tower laying on its side, 90s style.

Thanks for the prompt reply, and the perspective!
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Re: Options for Possibly Dead 9600GT?

Sun May 11, 2014 3:22 pm

Wow! 6 years out of a video card! I don't think I had any that lasted more than 2. I'd say it was a good run but it can be recycled now.
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Re: Options for Possibly Dead 9600GT?

Sun May 11, 2014 3:52 pm

The old card is undoubtedly dead, not much to be done. Radeon 7850 is a great card so there's no need to upgrade, but if you do like efficiency you ought to check out the 750 Ti, or wait for later this year when more Maxwell cards are released. If the rest of your system is that old you could also look at getting an AMD APU or even an Intel chip with HD Graphics 4600 integrated and skip discrete GPU entirely, they can passably run recent games at low to medium settings.
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Re: Options for Possibly Dead 9600GT?

Tue May 13, 2014 11:00 am

It's dead, Jim. The 9600GT was a really well-balanced card overall, and I understand your hesitance to let it go. I replaced mine with a GTX 660 last year, but it had been in service for close to five years.

And what a surprise to see someone mention a Voodoo Banshee in a positive light. Mine was a Quantum3D Raven I snagged for a couple of bucks, and I kept that running in various Frankenputers for years. Its 2D was still so good that I kept it running connected to a second monitor in an XP box for a couple of years longer...
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