The Last NVIDIA Card I'll Ever Own
Bye bye, NVIDIA
This computer has an NVIDIA GeForce 9600GSO video card in it.
I bought this card last August (or thereabouts) to replace another NVIDIA card that was dying (sometimes it wouldn't display anything at all, at random). I had purchased that card only a year before that to replace another video card that was dying (the picture would occasionally fritz out or jump around the screen, until one day it simply displayed no picture at all). I had gotten that card as a replacement for another card that was dying that was less than a year old.
In total, in the last ten years I've owned twelve cards with NVIDIA chipsets on them. And if you do the math on that, the average card lasted less than a year. In fact, there were three years in the early 2000s that I had a card with ATI chips instead, so that means the average NVIDIA card has lasted less than eight months.
Simple Needs, Simply Unmet
I don't know why I didn't learn my lesson before. My needs are simple. I don't do gaming. I'm just a software engineer, and I need two screens. That's it. That's all. This current card has the issue that if I put the computer in hibernation, sometimes one of my screens isn't working when I start it back up. Oh, and there's also the issue that one of the two big 22" widescreen displays I purchased for this computer doesn't work with the card at all (literally: The screen goes randomly white when I connect it to this card, as though the card is using the wrong voltage; when I connect it to my wife's computer, it's fine, so my second monitor is her old small 17" one, and she gets my second big one).
The only fix for the non-working screen is to uninstall NVIDIA's drivers, reboot the computer, and completely reinstall them, and reboot again. Then it works fine until I try to put the computer into hibernation, after which there's a 10% chance I'll have to do the same stupid thing all over again.
Fool me once...
I've learned my lesson. A dozen dead NVIDIA cards — I have a box of 'em here — each from different manufacturers leads me to conclude that it's not the manufacturer but the chip vendor. So I say never again. Never again will I be held hostage to NVIDIA's broken garbage. The three years I had that ATI card it performed flawlessly. Perfect. It never asked me any questions; it never told me any lies. It just did what it was supposed to do.
I've contacted NVIDIA's tech support, of course, and they don't really seem to care. They never have, not in ten years of buying their stupid crappy products. So I repeat: NEVER AGAIN.
You hear that, NVIDIA? You've lost a customer for good, and not just any customer — I'm technically saavy, and people all around me ask what they should buy and what they should avoid. I'll be teaching classes soon, and giving recommendations to dozens of novices on what kinds of computer equipment to buy — and your name will be in the "avoid at all cost" list.
You could have prevented this. You could have fixed outstanding bugs instead of focusing on new software features. You could have worked on your hardware quality control. You could have at least acted like you cared when I called or e-mailed you in the last ten years. But you didn't. And I now have a mission: To ensure that no-one I know ever buys your stupid broken garbage again.
Lest you think I'm just sour over everything computers, I intend to talk in another journal posting about some of the "winner" products I've used over the last twenty years, and show what they do right that you're doing so wrong. Because this is not a rant against everything computer-related: This is a rant by someone who knows better against a company whose products define the very word fail.
And so, in summary, let me say this: If you're an average user buying computer equipment, DON'T BUY NVIDIA. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED. I learned my lesson the hard way, and I'll never make this mistake again so long as I live.