hola! this is my first post since my ASUS N6600GT AGP is working great now. It drove me quite nuts but now since everything is ok im happy. BTW I voted under "worked after a bit of tweaking" but its really ALOT of tweaking.
First time i powered it up, I ran FEAR, Splinter Cell: PT and 3D Mark 05 with major artifact problems. I looked through numerous forums, worked with different drivers / tweaks and still had the problem. I finally got it to work by setting AGP to 4x and Fastwrites OFF. I also found out I had a crappy powersupply with only 10A on the 12v rail (on a 450W PSU, WTF?) so I purchased a new PSU with 20a on the rail, some extra ram and a pci slot fan (I was getting pretty obsessed to get this working at this point). With the new PSU I still couldnt get it to run on AGP 8x so I just said the hell with it the difference is minute anyway.
So by then I was happy it was working and got a little boost form the extra system ram. Then I bought Half life 2 with Counterstrike: source. Then I got even more happy since they worked really well and i could max out the resolution with decent settings. It also seemed that HL2's graphics seem alot nicer than FEAR (Maybe its just the artistic design of HL2). Then after an hour or so of gameplay the artifacts started to appear again!
Well so I run Riva Tuner to monitor temps during gameplay and I found out i was hitting 90-100 degrees celsius after playing for a while with idle temps of 50-60 degrees. I guess my pci slot fan wasnt helping too much at all.
I'm pissed again so I pop open my case so I can at least play games while I wait for the Zalman VF700 CU that I just ordered. It comes 2 days later (thanks zipzoomfly.com!) and I was so excited that as soon as I woke up I started working on it right away (skipped breakfast!). Checked out the instructions-looks easy enough; checked out the forums-most people had great results with it and most had no installation problems (other than bending a few fins to get it to fit properly.
So I yank out my card and set up a nice anti-static work area. I removed the old GPU heat sink and fan and took a look at it. It looked pretty cheesy compared to the Zalman. It barely had much surface area for heat to dissipate. It only had a few horizontal fins and a crappy fan (Shouldve bought a different brand based on the type of cooling system). There was also another heat sink but it wasnt on a memory. It was weird because i never saw anything like this with other video cards. It looked kinda like a north bridge in a motherboard. I removed the heat sink also but found out that it didnt need to be removed so I put it back. I proceeded to install the support pins and brace. I then intstalled the ram heatsinks (4 of them) and then tried to position the gpu heatsink/fan and saw that some of the fins were preventing full contact. So I tried bending the fins while the heatsinks were on the ram and the sinks popped off (good thing there were 4 extra sinks). On some of the heat sinks, bending wasnt enough so I had to clip them off. I then placed the thermal grease and procceded to attach the fan/heatsink to the gpu. Perfect fit and perfect contact! I was happy.
Then I tried to reinstall the card. It was pretty huge in relation to other peripherals. The fan sticks upward about 3/4 of an inch above the card itself. The problem with that is that I have a desktop case and it doesnt have much "overhead room". There was no way for me to put that case back on. So I had this goofy idea to try to put the fan upside down so I could have room. So i took it out again flipped it upside down and tried to reinstall the card. Now the fan was sticking downward and now I cant even seat it correctly. Frustrated but still hopefull I put everything back as how its supposed to be (fan sticking up) and installed it. I turned it on just to see if I totally ruined my card but it started up well and I was getting Idle temps of 34 degrees! I was a little happy. So then I just decided to cut a hole in my case to fit the upper part of the fan and it worked out pretty well! My temps were pretty much the same as with my case open. MY load temps were 50-60 max! rarely hits 60! So now Im happy again and I overclocked to 580/1100 with barely noticable gain in temps.
Sorry bout this long post but I just had to vent out all my frustration.