Wherein I continue my tragic tale of video card woe. I have to give the guys at Hercules a little credit. Even though they have an amazingly stupid warranty policy, their tech support guys do try to keep a dialog going with you in email, however brief those emails may be, until you’ve managed to work out your issues with their products. This problem continues to bug me even after I think I’ve decided to give up on it and move on and that means I keep thinking about it and going over it in my head and I come up with new plans of attack to see if I can’t narrow down where the problem lay just a little bit more.
One thing I hadn’t tried, and I smacked myself in the forehead when I realized this, was putting the card into a different PC and seeing if it still exhibited the same problems with the latest drivers as it was in my box. So this morning I yanked the card before I left for work and brought it with me so I could toss into one of the PCs here at work that aren’t as powerful as what I have at home and see if it still chokes on Direct X applications. If it did then the problem was with the card and if it didn’t then it was a conflict between it and something else in my system. Needless to say, it works perfectly fine in the PC here at work and ran the 3D Mark 2001SE benchmarks that I was using as a test without so much as a hiccup. Multiple times, at different settings, without problem. Dammit.
The good news is that I don’t need to buy a new card even though I’d really like to. The bad news is I don’t know what the hell it is about my system that doesn’t get along with my video card. Right now I’m leaning either toward the IDE controller for the hard drives or the USB devices. It’s also possible that the card just has an inherent incompatibility with my mother board that only came to light with the last few driver releases from NVidia, but even then it’s still cheaper to replace the motherboard with a new one I want than it would be to replace the video card with a new one I want. The VIA chipset in my current board does seem to have an awful lot of little problems that require extra patches, but none of those patches have fixed my issue to date.
So I suppose I need to eat a few of the words I used with regards to Hercules, but they still have a stupid warranty replacement process that needs to be better implemented so they’re not entirely off of my shit list. While I won’t rule them out when considering new cards in the future, the hoops I know I’ll have to jump through to get my card replaced if I do buy another card from them will certainly give me pause to reconsider. Stay tuned, the battle continues.