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Saturday, September 08, 2007
Dead Ox
Posted: 1:44:00 AM 0 comments
Well, Ox tanked today.

I have been having a lot of problems with Ox, my main computer, with it crashing when the video card is working in a game. I decided yesterday that I had put up with it long enough, and ditched the X1950 for an ATI HD 2900 XT. I picked it up from Axion Technologies today. It's got a nice $400 price tag on it, but I figured since it was going into Ox, it would be money well-spent.

Turns out the 2900 requires a 550 watt power supply. Fortunately, that was the exact watt rating of the PSU in Ox, so I happily installed the new card. I immediately liked the new card, as it would perform really well at higher refresh rates on my monitor, better than the X1950, meaning that there was little distortion on the screen. After setting everything up, I loaded up World of Warcraft. Immediately I noticed a difference. Everything was smooth, my frames were up, and all was well. So, I cranked up the settings to my desktop resolution of 1920x1440 and put all the video settings on max. Simply beautiful. Best part is, it wasn't crashing.

I was playing for a good 20 minutes and had just joined a group for a dungeon when it hit. The screen went blank, sound went dead, and the computer actually shut itself off. Figuring that I had misjudged the crashing problem my computer was having, I simply tried to turn the computer back on.

Nothing. The fans would whir for about half a second before dying, indicating that it was a power issue. My first guess, and the only one I was able to act on so late in the evening, was that the power supply tanked. So, I hit Micro Center, picked up a ThermalTake 750 Watt power supply just to be sure (and ThermalTake is a brand I've been trusting for 10 years), and installed it.

Nothing. I did some quick research, and my initial reaction was correct, that it was a power issue. However, that doesn't limit it to just the PSU. A short could be the cause, either by the motherboard touching metal on the case somehow, loose parts in the machine, or a short or damage on the motherboard itself (which happened to me with my old computer, Gigamonster... I still have the burnt chip to show for it, too).

I did everything I could to eliminate a physical problem by disconnecting and reconnecting every and all connection, moving memory around, I even reseated the processor. Finally, I added washers to the motherboard screws, just in case.

Still nothing. By now, I had given up, I just wasn't ready to screw around with my computer anymore tonight, so I've reverted to Successor in the meantime, although I'm not installing anything on this computer, as it's turned into a reference computer for me when I'm full screen on Ox more than anything. Tomorrow I'll be headed back to Micro Center to get a motherboard replacement, and hope that resolves the problems. I hope I don't have to get into replacing the memory or the processor, as I'm not really keen on spending over a thousand dollars just to fix an infrequent crash.



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