As the title suggests, I’m having horrid luck with my computers right now. To sum it up (tl;dr) my desktop’s graphics card is bust, ebuyer won’t replace it and my work laptop’s gpu currently overheats and shuts itself off at 107C.
So let me start by explaining the desktop problem first. Out of the blue on a Saturday night, playing osu!, I get a glitch looking like this (see the video) from my PowerColor HD6870.
Pretty much out of the blue, done nothing to the card to make it happen, just play what I would call a low end game. Closing some programs improve the situation but not by much, literally shifted 1/3 of the screen to the right, and the cut off bit on the right on the left, if that made sense. I can’t think of a better way to put it. Turning off the computer and on again didn’t do anything to improve its prospects, in fact the only thing that achieved was locking up the computer whenever I was logging in, pretty much rendering it useless.
Now my computer, well, doesn’t have an inbuilt graphics card. So with a bit of annoyance because my spare graphics card was 150 miles away at my parents house, Sunday afternoon I headed into sunny Bracknell (as in it was sunny, I wouldn’t say Bracknell is a sunny place to go) popped into PC World and bought a cheap £39 PNY GeForce GT610. For a cheap low end graphics card it’s not doing too bad. It plays Minecraft respectably, TF2 fine when all the graphics settings were lowered, and osu worked. So all good. Just get the main graphics card replaced, keep the GeForce GT610 as a good spare and that’s that… oh no.
My HD6870 was bought “Ex-Display” from online retailer Ebuyer at the end of February. I go to Ebuyer, send a RMA request Sunday evening, the RMA request gets referred to a technician and I have to phone up a number (not a 0870!) on Monday morning. Fair enough I thought. Monday lunchtime comes, I ring up Ebuyer, wait for five minutes, get the option to have a call back, then find I can’t get a call back because the call back mailbox is full. Thinking how stupid is that, I ring again, stay on the line for 10 minutes, get through to a technician, report the problem and then unexpectedly get told, no. I can’t get the product replaced, it only had a 90 day warranty because it was ex-display or a “used” product.
Now they were helpful and pointed out Powercolor have their own two year warranty, so maybe not all is lost (I’ll save the legal argument for a later post if this doesn’t go anywhere). Apart from Powercolor don’t have a UK point of contact. They have France, Germany, Italy, US and Canada, Australia, no UK. In the end, I email the global/usa arm stating my problem and hope they respond with something useful. If not, well I’ll go into the legal shizzle another day.
Now the work laptop. I’ve had many problems with it since Day 1, and because it’s a second hand laptop how was I not surprised. Initially, the touchpad would sometimes stick and lock up, the screen would flicker violently if it had been off for a short while and then came back on again, hard disk was a tad on the noisy high pitched screech side, battery wasn’t too healthy, and some other minor issues which I can’t remember. So last week, Dell engineer comes in, replaces the screen and the touchpad. Touchpad problems gone, screen problems… still there. So two days later, Dell engineer comes back, replaces the Samsung screen with a LG screen, replaces the motherboard, everything is great. Until the lag and overheating appears. So I now have a laptop which will cut itself out after 10 minutes because the GPU is faulty and reaches temperatures of “107C”. Now Dell basically put in a faulty motherboard.
Now I don’t have any other computers, other than my server Diamond and my mac mini at home. Call me superstitious but as long as I don’t touch either of them this week then I should be fine and they won’t explode or break or disappear.