Pop goes the GPU

Saturday we got back from breakfast, mooched about a bit, played some Lord of the Rings Online and then poof, monitor dropped into power save mode. I say poof, when of course it was entirely silent. The graphics card just decided to stop outputting a signal. I powered off, and on again, and the machine just constantly cycled through the DVD drives. A few more power recycles and it clearly booted up, but no video output.

Blurgh. I hate computers. I mean my entire job is computers, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it when my own break. I relaxed in the lounge, watched some TV, ate some home made soup to calm down. It’s frustrating when things go wrong, luckily I have plenty of spares. I powered off one of the other machines, and swapped the graphics card in and the dark machine powered up fine. I guess it could have been worse, could have fried everything around it when it went. (Please note, for the geeks among you, I did carry out extensive pre-removal testing to ascertain which device had failed, I knew it was the graphics card).

Novatech are pretty good with returns, but this is the second card (same type/model) that’s failed, since Grete’s died about 8 weeks ago (different fault, bearing went in her card fan) and that makes it doubly annoying. Anyway, got a returns number and we’ll pop it in the post tomorrow. For now I’m ‘limping’ along on an nVidia 8500GT, which feels like slumming it despite the fact that it’s about 10 times better than what I was using only 8 months ago.

I do like Novatech, been using them a long, long time (~1992) and I was pleased they let us return just the graphics card, and didn’t force us to ship the entire machine back despite it being pre-built by them, but this is the third ‘annoying’ thing in the last 8 months. It’s great they have good customer service, but I wish I didn’t have to use it so often recently.

In unrelated news, our LCD TV has started to vibrate and make a disturbing noise when the TV sound plays a certain low frequency. The background music in Without a Trace sets it off and one or two bits of recent NCIS episodes. Argh, technology, it sucks.