Jeremy's almost but not quite entirely moribund blog

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Fun with video card (or lack thereof)

I got sick of the noisy fan on my GeForce FX 5900XT, so I sold it on Craig's List and bought this beauty: A Gigabyte GV-N66256DP. GeForce 6600, 256MB DDR, and no fan. It might not have the raw pixel-pushing oomph of the 5900XT, but it more than makes up for it in pixel-shading finesse, handily outrunning any FX card on newer titles. And there's no noisy fan to seize up and die in six months.

Too bad it didn't work.

I ordered from (a store I hadn't heard of) since they had the best price and seemed to have positive reviews. They shipped promptly, but I could tell when I got the card that it wasn't new, despite being advertised as such. The retail box was not shrink-wrapped and showed interior damage. And the computer doesn't POST with the video card installed. Actually, I discovered it will start up if you unplug the auxiliary power from the video card, but then it won't run stably (BSOD after BSOD). I suspect that shipped me a card that had been returned previously, although they deny this.

A week after I received the card, I finally got an RMA number from They said if they received the card by March 8, they'd send me a new one immediately. I got them the card on March 1. And... they're backordered. Since they can't ship me a replacement promptly, I asked for a refund... but they don't give refunds, only exchanges for the exact same item. (Note to self: Do not buy from a store that will not refund your money when you return a defective item.) I'm afraid I could be stuck with this 16MB Vanta LT card I fished out of my closet for months. At least web browsing performance is tolerable with this card (if I turn off smooth scrolling).

I'm considering buying the card from another store and then selling one of them if/when I finally get the one I bought from doesn't stock this card, but ZipZoomFly has it (but to add insult to injury, ZZF jacked up their price $10 after I bought from


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