ZoTAC 8800 GT AMP Edition

The past two weeks i have been doing A LOT of hardware testing. To start from an end, i decided it was time to let my old trusted Club3D GeForce 7800 GTX 256MB Graphics card be replaced by one of these new powerful GeForce 8800 GT cards. After reading loads of reviews, and checking stock at various online shops i decided to but a ZoTAC 8800 GT AMP over a EVGA 8800 GTS SSC, simply because of supply problems from EVGA. Anyways, this would be the start to the most annoying issue of hardware problems i ever experienced.

First of, i uninstall my 7800 GTX driver from my Vista 32bit installation, shutdown my computer, and replace the 78800 GTX with the 8800 GT card. I boot it up, run a drive sweeper to remove the remains from the old driver, and reboot again. Then i install the, at the time, newest driver for the 8800 GT card downloaded from nvidia.com and reboot again. I then try to run some 3D applications ( Call Of Duty 4, Crysis etc.) and i just can not get anything above 5 FPS ! I do some testing, and end up RMAing the 8800 GT card back to Clanshop.dk where i bought it. The guy from Clanshop calls me, and tells me, hes afraid its not the card, but something else in my system that does not work properly. He agrees to lend me hes own BFG 8800 GT OC card, just so i can be 100% sure its not the gfx card, pretty nice of him if you ask me :) However, the BFG 8800 GT OC card has the same “problem” in my computer. I don’t really know where to start looking for the error. So i do alot of goggling, and start a few threads on various hardware forums, and end up looking at Abits forums. At the time i had a Abit I35 Pro main board, and i read that some people had problems with the new 8800 GT cards. And some question weather r not certain revisions of the main board can handle PCIE 2.0 graphics cards, such as the 88800 GT.

Desperate for finding a solution, i decide to buy a new motherboard. I order an ASUS Maximus Formula motherboard, with a X38 chipset with native PCIE 2.0 slots in it. That should rule out the possibility of the slot not being backward compatible. After a little hassle removing my Water cooling system from the Abit I35 Pro main board, i get the ASUS Maximus plugged in, boot it up, and start up COD4 again. 5 FPS still. I have no idea what the problem is. Until a bloke writes on a forum that he heard of people with a similar issue, who had the same PSU as me!

I read the threads he refers to and come to the conclusion that i should contact NorthQ first thing Monday morning. So, i call NorthQ, and hes says, like its the most natural thing in the world;”Yes, its true, our 1000 Watt and 850 Watt PSUs don’t work with the new 8800GT cards…” and im like;”Okay then, so what are you going to do to solve it?”, he says;”Were awaiting response from NVidia on the issue, till then nothing…” he then suggest i RMA the PSU with the retail store i bought it, and so i do. Fortunately, they give me the money back that i payed for the PSU ~7 months ago. And i bought a new PSU, a be quiet! 600 Watt Dark Power, and with that my system now performs as its suppose to, despite the fact i did not reinstall even though i changed motherboard!

So in short, stay away from the NorthQ 1000 Watt Giant Reactor PSU, at least till they come with an official statement on how the problem can be solved.

Note, that Silverstone 850Watt, Antec 850Watt and Antec 1000 Watt as well as NorthQ 850 Watt has the same problem.