Feb 102006

So, this morning I finally broke down and bought a new video card.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the saga, I built a new computer around this time last year. It was, quite literally, on the bleeding edge of technology. Brand new line of motherboard, spiffy fast processor, lots of RAM. A truly fine machine. One of the features this rig had was SLI capability. SLI is, essentially, linking two identical video cards together to divide workload and improve performance. I purchased 2 Leadtek Nvidia Geforce6600GT cards and set to getting them to work.

Truth be told, they’ve never really worked right.

I had a lot of problems putting this machine together to begin with, but once it was running I began having problems with my video. I would get screen tearing, or flashes of screen distortion. Sometimes to the point where the game in question was unplayable. I have tried countless combinations of settings, switching out cards (up to an including sending two cards back for replacement), and I have come to the conclusion that either SLI completely sucks OR the secondary PCI-Express x16 slot on my motherboard is hosed. I actually suspect the latter to be the case, unless Leadtek just sent me back the same card twice.

The only way to really find out would be to install the one card I know is working in that slot, then put it back in the primary.

Not going to happen.

So, last night, my frustration with this finally came to an end when I loaded City of Villians and had half a screen of garbage (the half controlled by the second card). I pulled the other card out, for the final time.

Which leaves me with a 128MB video card.

While this doesn’t necessarily suck, for a right as powerful as mine it’s a bit on the frustrating side. So I decided that since I was being so very good and paying off credit cards left and right, I deserved to spend a relatively small amount on myself and upgrade my video. By the end of next week I should have a refurbished ATI XT1800 video card. Frankly, I never should have gone from ATI to begin with. I used ATI cards for years, and never had a problem with them.

Next time I know better.

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