XFX GeForce SLI Card Failure


A few days ago the fan on one of the XFX nVidia GeForce 8800GS Alpha Dog cards in my gaming rig died. There are a pair of them in a SLI configuration and when the fan died on one, it overheated and shut down the system. As a safe gaurd, the system would not turn on with the bad card installed.

At first I thought it was the power supply. I got a RMA on the Ultra 650W power supply and got a 750W upgrade. After replacing the PS, the system would still not even post. So as part of troubleshooting, I stripped the system down to minimum components (No hard drive, single memory stick, one video card). The system booted with one video card installed, and started beeping at me with the other card installed.

I contacted XFX to get my 1 year old video card replaced/fixed. I an RMA for the card and XFX determined it was a faulty card. No sooner that I got the email from XFX about the faultly card, the other card went bad. I actually heard the fan come to a screeching halt. XFX informed me that they no longer make the 8800GS card and offered me a free upgrade to the GeForce 9800GT! Before they even knew the second card went south, XFX offered a free RMA upgrade to a 9800GT for the second card since they were in an SLI configuration. So kudos to XFX for standing behind their products and offering great service.


Game Streaming and Subscription Model


Update: OnLive has shut down in 2015. It was a good idea that I hope gets resurrected in some form


If you have purchased a graphics intensive PC game recently, such as Cryisis, you realize that your computer runs the game like a choppy YouTube video. In order to get a better gaming experience, you need to get the latest hardware, so a $60 game may end up costing you hundreds in hardware upgrades.

Years ago when computing power was extraordinarily expensive, you had a server like a mainframe do all the number crunching serve out results to “dumb” terminals.¬† What if the graphics and physics calculations of today’s games were subcontracted to servers that did the heavy lifting. As computer power reaches pennies per Ghz and unlimited internet bandwidth increases steadily, the next evolution in gaming is in game streaming and subscription.

Imagine subscribing to the latest graphically intensive game that just came out over the internet. With the streaming model, a video is streamed to your desktop while the game is running on a remote server at high resolution and with high game details on. That means your PC doesn’t have to run the latest hardware to play the game the way it was meant to be played. A recent article has revealed the OnLive will attempt to do just that.

Of course, this would only work if you have the bandwidth to support it. The internet backbones are currently being upgraded, but higher internet speeds will likely cost you more as well. Another roadblock would be the ISP’s proposed cap on your monthly bandwidth. If the unlimited internet bandwidth model changes, the entire business built on internet communications will suffer, including the upcoming game streaming.

No More RRoD for Xbox360

I have replace my Xbox 360 three times in 3 years because of RRoD. I was luck enough to have the BestBuy no_rrodreplacement policy so I was able to replace the first 2 without question. The first time I thought it was a fluke and happily returned the Xbox for a replacement. It was only a few months after the replacement that I got the RRoD again. I started to do some research and soon realized that is was a widespread problem and Xbox’s that were “repaired” by Microsoft were still having the RRoD months later. I took one more chance an replaced the 2nd RRoD Xbox thinking that the new shipment might have addressed this issue. I was fine for a while but wouldn’t you know it happened again just as my warranty expired. I had to take matters into my own hands and fixed the RRoD myself.

Hopefully some good news, better late than never. In an article from Edge Online Microsoft’s Product manager Aarron Greenberg, stated that they have put the RRoD issues behind them. They have found the hardware issue and have resolved them in the newest hardware revision call Jasper that came out in Xbox 360’s late last year.

It might just be safe to go out an buy an Xbox 360 even if you have been burned in the past. I would like to know if anyone else has had any issues with the new Jasper hardware.

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