Advice requested on replacing a graphics card

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Seadog Publications
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Advice requested on replacing a graphics card
5 months ago

I believe the graphics card on my system is failing. Screen goes black and monitor goes to sleep at random times, usually while a video is playing; computer keeps running, but can't get monitor back without a reboot. This happens infrequently, say about every 3 to 5 days. It is about a 4-year old system Intel quad 4, 2.66 MHz processor with 8 GB of memory built by Shuttle Computers. It was originally a Vista OS, but recently upgraded to Win 8 and then to 8.1. I have tried replacing the cable (HDMI), using a different monitor and re-seating the graphics card. The card is a PNY GTX 240 and driver has  been updated to latest version. Power supply is 450 Watts. Problem started before Win8/8.1 upgrades and seems to be gradually getting more frequent. I have tried 3 different monitors, switching from HDMI to DVI connection, but same problem. I use the computer for photo editing, but not video editing; I do watch HD videos, which is usually when the problem occurs, but some time just watching a slideshow on CNN monitor will go black. Computer is not used for gaming.

If indeed the card is going bad, rather than just replace it with the same card, which has been discontinued anyway, I thought I might as well upgrade the card. I would like to stay under $200+/-. The current card is in a single slot of PCIe 2.0 and there is an adjacent slot also available.

The card that has been suggested to me is an Asus GTX 650. Someone else mentioned the GTX 650 TiBoost, but also said that might be overkill and would run a lot hotter, potentially creating a cooling problem for the compact Shuttle case.

I would appreciate suggestions as to these cards or something entirely different or opinions as to whether it is not the card, but something else.

Thanks in advance.

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