Thanks to a $35 purchase from Newegg, my gaming machine is up and running again. Sometimes, when a specific component starts making a funny noise at exactly the time your machine stops working, that's actually the part that's broken. A few of the things I've learned from the experience:
- The deal I got on the new card probably represents some sort of clearance as the manufacturers roll out a new model. The result was an absolute steal on the price/performance curve. I'm taking a bit of a decrease in raw GPU power, but I'm certainly not noticing any changes in WoW. I really didn't want to sink a large amount of money into this machine right now, and it was hard to justify spending three times as much when I could solve the immediate crisis so cheaply. I'll keep you all posted on whether I notice a difference when I get back to EQ2 and LOTRO.
- If you're going to be spending a few days on a machine that's desperate for RAMspace, you might as well take the opportunity to pare down your UI mods. Half of my old UI wasn't even working anymore anyway because people have stopped updating old mods from a few patches back. Now I've got a shorter list of must-have mods that actually work.
- The total lack of documentation on the power connectors that came with the new graphics card was a real pain in the rear. I spent 30 minutes on google to answer the relatively simple question of why the new card wanted a different set of plugs than the old one did. That said, I would have had to pay a repair guy $100 on top of the cost of the card (and they may or may not have been on board with me ordering a new card online instead of paying them retail) to do this for me, so it worked out in the end.
Finally, if anyone has any advice on what to do with the carcass of my old graphics card, I'd be curious to hear it. The fan was still working, so whatever failed was probably somewhat more expensive and difficult to replace. On the other hand, the deceased is actually still a relatively high end card, so it would be good not to have it end up in a landfill somewhere if it's salvageable.