I have a really old computer. I was using a Radeon 9800 video card and Wrath of the Lich King was coming out and said It would need a better video card to play it. Being impatient, I decided to get the best AGP video card I could instead of saving up for a brand new multi core PC. I decided on a Radeon HD3860 AGP that I got off eBay for a low price (for this card at least).
It was working fine for a few months. It started off freezing up my computer and making crazy pyramid head noises once in awhile when I was playing World of Warcraft. When those really hot summer days hit it started to happen more frequently. At first I thought it was my computer overheating. I put a fan next to my open case one day and it seemed to fix the problem, but it was an annoying solution. The thing is that wasn’t even the real problem.
One day I had the AC on full blast on a hot summer night. It was actually too cold for me. I was playing Warcraft when it froze up and the noise started up. That proved to me that it couldn’t be an overheating issue. I went to google and looked up some possible reasons for what was happening. It seemed that if it wasn’t an overheating issue it was a power issue. Someone mentioned that the Radeon HD3850 AGP had a requirement of at least 450Watt power supply with 30Amps on 12 volt line. I was using an old 430Watt Antec power supply with no where near that many amps.
Some more googling and price comparisons lead me to the Corsair CMPSU-550VX 550Watt power supply. There was a great deal for it on ZipZoomFly with a rebate and Bing.com cashback so I bought it. A couple of weeks of pairing this power supply with the video card has ended all the freezes.
The weird thing is when I was waiting for the power supply to get to my house I installed my old Radeon 9800 back into my system. It ran WoW perfectly fine at my maximized window mode at 1280×960. The FPS difference between the two cards in WoW is not even noticable. The only advantage this new video card has seems to be in letting me be able to play DX9 games like Bioshock.