August 27, 2007

Asta la Vista baby!

Quite literally I can say! A few months ago I got a new PC with Windows Vista.
It occasionally crashed with a blue screen of death, but not too often. Just bugs as with all new products.
Until at some point I started getting the message "graphics driver stopped responding and recovered successfully". The message appeared more and more frequent, until I got to the point I had to start up my PC in safe mode, otherwise it wouldn't start. After some searching on the internet, it turns out this is a major problem that affects both NVIDIA users and ATI users alike! Not only that, it is a problem since the beginning of VIsta!! Some people claim it's a hardware problem, some it's a software issue. Some people said they fixed the problem by returning their graphics card, which was found to be faulty. New driver versions don't seem to solve the issue so far. Other people seemed to find a solution in removing on eof their 2 RAM chips. Yet others found solutions in UNDERclocking their hardware...
Recently my graphics card died I think, because I did a complete reinstall, with Vista, and the problem still occured. Then I installed XP, but it could no longer finish teh installation, and my PC kept restarting.
To ensure it wasn't my motherboard, I tried it on my old PC, and sure enough, it was dead!
So basically Vista killed a perfectly good graphics card!
What I think happens, is that Vista tries to drive graphics cards beyond their specifications, resulting in some sort of overload.
Some people will think that's bollucks, but lets face it: those same people use SOFTWARE to overclock their PC. The fact that some people need to UNDER clock their hardware to get a stable system, seem sto indicate that indeed Vista drives it beyond specs (underclock plus overdrive=normal operating levels roughly...)
So, I'm gonna sell my Vista disk. Interestingly Microsoft plans to stop support for XP soon as well (because of Vista). Well, I think they will see a massive migration of people switching from Microsoft, to Apple and Linux etc...

Good luck Microsoft, lawsuits are forming and you are in for the ride of your life!

As a follow up, I bought a new graphics card from Novatech. I bought a Sapphire 2600XT. The guys at Novatech suggested me to upgrade my PSU to something "branded" so they sold me a Jeantech PSU of 450Watt. Turns out the PSU is only 425 Watt, which is a massive 5 Watts more than my current PSU (420 Watts)! Not only that, I installed it, and after letting my PC run nominally for a while (no gaming, jut switched on...), it decided to overheat and turn off my PC. I doubl checked by reinstalling my own PSU, and it started just fine.
So I'll be returning that PSU to tehm tomorrow, and ask them for a generic "unbranded" 600Watt PSU for half the price of this "branded" PSU...

This reminds me I need to return my LCD as well ( because it is sometimes starting up with a foggy white screen. I need to turn it off and on again for it to display properly. So it goes back and I want a different one. Maybe I'll try to get a slightly bigger one for slightly more money...