58 bucks i didn't want to spend
Earlier today I was working on my computer and *plik*, my monitors (I have 2) just shut off. The computer was still running however. So I fired up the laptop and remoted in to the big box and yep, everything was still there.
What did this mean? Dead video card.
So I ran out, spent 58 bucks on an EVGA 512MB DDR2 e-GeForce 8400 GS. Why 512? Because Circuit City didn't have a 256MB PCI Express 16 card in stock. Otherwise I would have bought a 256.
After I got home I cracked open the case, took out the old card and smelled it. No burnt smell at all so it wasn't fried (I think) - yet something happened to it that caused it not to work. Darned if I know what it was. Maybe something burnt on it so small I couldn't smell it? Whatever.
Popped in the new card. Didn't work. Reseated the card. Worked. Downloaded the latest nVidia drivers, installed, configured. Life goes on.
I hate doing forced upgrades like this. Truly I do. Anyone else would be THRILLED to upgrade from a 256 to a 512 video card. Not me. I was perfectly happy with my 256.
I notice absolutely no performance difference with this card at all. And to be honest I didn't expect one. I have a 1.8GHz Core 2 Duo proc with 2GB RAM on board, so if I wanted any real performance increase I'd have to upgrade the processor - which I have no intention of doing because I don't need to.
I really, really wanted to save up for another hard drive instead of replacing a frickin' vid card.
Oh well. Guess the drive will have to wait.
The capacitors were blown on the old card. See image below (click for a larger image). Yep, definitely needed replacement.
It's a very likely cause that lightning busted this card. And yes there was lightning today.