TechSpot

Nvidia GeForce 8300 GS problem

By Cooleh
Jun 20, 2010
  1. Hello!

    I've been having problems with my graphics card. After playing fullscreen games for a while, my whole PC froze with audio looping. The PC wouldn't respond at all, and so I held down the power button and restarted. I thought it would be just a one off thing, but it crashed again while gaming. I then restarted again and googled for some help, but it froze within a minute or two of starting up. After this point, when I startup I get a BSoD. I started up in safe mode and updated my drivers (using Driver Cleaner Pro to clear the old ones), but I still get the same problem.

    My PC is prebuilt from Dell and is about 2.5 years old. It is a Dell Vostro 200 Minitower.
    1.6ghz dual core PC
    2x1GB RAM (Upgraded from 2x512mb RAM)
    Nvidia GeForce 8300 GS

    The PC runs in safemode, off the graphics card, despite having low quality graphics and lagging movement of windows. I took the card out, and plugged the VGA cable into the integrated card, which I have been using for the past few weeks. This allows me to do basic things such as use firefox and certain applications, but wouldn't be able to handle games. I've tried using a friend's old graphics card, but I didnt get a screen output from the card. My screen came with a VGA cable, but his graphics card only had DVI ports so I used an adapter, but I don't think that should make any difference. If you need any further information, please ask.

    Is it possible that my BIOS needs updating?
    Could the graphics card itself be damaged, or is it most likely to be a software problem?

    Any advice on fixing this problem would be appriciated.

    Thanks!

    Cooleh.
     
  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    I suspect the graphics card has worn out. When used for full screen games, they seldom last 2.5 years.
    Best test is to try another card to be sure.
     
  3. Cooleh

    Cooleh TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the reply.

    Is there any way to be sure if this is the case? I've been running on the integrated card for a while now, but I tomorrow I'm going to a PC store to see if they can help
     
  4. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    One way would be to trade out with another video graphics card known to be good, and run the system for a while.
    I don't know of a reliable hardware test for Video Graphics cards...
    But based on the brand and the age of it, and the assumption that you have used this computer a lot for gaming, a failed card seems to be a problem.
    Those cards simply do not last too long. Many users have to replace their card every year or two... and some cards are just better than others.
     
  5. Cooleh

    Cooleh TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I've tried another card, which the PC started up with (but didnt give a screen output).
    Tomorrow morning I'll go to the PC store and see what they say.. hopefully i can avoid huge installation/repair prices.

    Thanks for the help, I'll post here to say how it goes.
     
  6. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 8,506   +238

    If it's not the graphics card, it might be the power supply failing. You could have the shop test it too.
     
  7. Cooleh

    Cooleh TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the replies guys. I took the PC to a local shop.. they charged £20 to look at it then said it was broken, so £39 for a new card (ATI Radeon 4550 HD 512mb). It's an improvement from my old card, and I'm glad it's fixed, but it's pretty costly for a worn out card.

    Thanks everyone!
     
  8. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    That is a fair price for a good card, provided by a repair shop. That is about $58.65 in US Dollars. You could expect to save 30 to 40 percent or more by diagnosing and installing it yourself. But now you have a working computer for a relatively low price.
     
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