It’s painful when your graphics card dies out, but even more so when it dies out not because you pushed it too hard (overclocked it), but because of a power-surge. I had a trusty HD 4870, and though it wasn’t the newest of the cards it did serve me well for over 4 years now and could still push most games I play at decent framerates. Plus and more importantly, it worked very well for all my current graphics needs. I mostly target DX-9 to DX-10 level hardware and the 4870 was more than enough for that task. Sigh! … it’s dead now!
It so happened that while I was away one weekend, an electrical fault caused current to leak into the earthing terminal (probably busted earthing of the power co.). Since the earthing terminals of most electrical equipment (including most PCs) don’t break when you turn off the switch, the current flowed into my PC and destroyed one of the PSU caps. As a result PCIe supply of PSU shorted out killing the graphics card. Fortunately (and thank God) no data was lost and the HDDs seem quite OK when I ran tests on them.
The only option left was to get a new card and I opted for the R9 270X. No point in going for an older card now that the R9s are DX-12 compatible. Unfortunately The R9s don’t play well with older MoBos and … so I had to get a new MoBo with a new CPU, and a new PSU, with a new cabinet and basically build a new dev machine from scratch, not to mention another 20-hour dev setup after installing a new OS.
Well to anyone who is reading this, my advise is to at the very least have a stabilizer for your PC. A UPS can go a long way in preventing such a thing and the most important thing is to have a good PSU. Go for the known brands – Corsair, Cooler Master, Antec, etc.