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Broken Graphics Card or Motherboard?

by Baby_Doll_Gone_Wrong / December 21, 2008 12:08 PM PST

Once second, I was kicking Nazi booty in Call of Duty: World at War; the next, my screen goes all pixel-y!

The artifacts come and go; however, they are present at the Windows start screen, which leaves me to believe it's hardware related.

I'm positive it's not a virus, 'cause I reformatted my system right after all these problems started, & it didn't seem to help (screen still looks all Tron-ish)

I'd provide my system specs, but I don't even know HOW to find them on my computer. So, I'll just tell you my basic info:

I have a Dell XPS 400 or maybe 500? It's barely a year old. (& pricey, so if my Dad finds out I broke it, I'm SCREWED) I run Windows Vista 32.bit, and I have a Nvidea 8400 (Pretty sure?) I tried calling Dell tech support, but they kept trying to direct me to the sales department, and I kind-of have an awful Brooklyn accent, so they understood me as much as I understood them. (It took me ten minutes to tell the computer my Dell Service Code)

I'm not a heavy computer user; other than occasionally playing games, I just use my computer to read emails and comment on Facebook. (& to hire starving college students to write my English Lit papers when the need arises)

Other info:

I updated my drivers, but that didn't seem to help; I'm also pretty vigilant when it comes to computer dust, so I don't think that could be the issue.

*Personally, I think it's the Motherboard, considering that I run my graphics at a low frame-rate, and Dell motherboards die frequently (that's how my last desktop went to Heaven)

So, um, help? Please?

& can you try to put your info in terms a teenage girl can understand?

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The Nvidia 8400 is part of that defective chip line.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 21, 2008 9:46 PM PST
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What? Defective!
by Baby_Doll_Gone_Wrong / December 22, 2008 1:25 AM PST

It's under warranty (My computer crashed 3 months in and they told me there was some sort of issue with the XPS's and they extended my warranty for another 3 years),

Um, would I have to ship back my whole computer, or would they charge me for the part? (I just babysit on the weekends, I really can't afford to be buying expensive parts that I don't even understand)

Should I just go to Best Buy or Circuit City and buy a new card? (Considering Dell would just send me a new Nividia)

What would you do? (Sorry for all the 21 questions, I'm not the brightest crayon in the box)

*I opened up my tower and dusted my graphics card. My turns on, at least, but there's still artifacts everywhere.

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What would Bob do?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 22, 2008 1:51 AM PST
In reply to: What? Defective!

For me it's a simple call in, maintain my cool and work with whoever to get what I want. I'd want another video card and if they insisted on me shipping it back I'd do that.

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