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Consistent crashes, artifacts, & confusion

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RocLobster

Registered
Joined
Jul 6, 2016
I've been trying to figure out what's wrong for a while. Some games I was experiencing occasional crashes. Some games I would experience artifacts displaying on the screen. Sometimes I would turn down the GPU clock, other times, I would increase the power limit and/or the voltage. Some games, I would only experience artifacts. Other games, like Witcher 3 (what I've been playing exclusively this past week or two), I experience fairly consistent crashes, and sometimes artifacts too. Sometimes it's more obvious and/or more often than other times.

It doesn't seem to matter what tweaking I do; I feel like I've tried every setting between 0 and infinity, and nothing seems to change anything. I've tried what I thought was my max stable OC and that mostly worked in all other situations, and I've tried playing with no OC whatsoever. I seem to notice the problems more often after I've been playing for a little while, which initially sounds like maybe an overheating problem, except that I've got a great system, and my GPU never runs more than ~72C. I've been playing with my video settings turned up on Ultra; every setting is as high as it will go. Even with these settings, I always run at 60 fps...so I am not lead to believe that the settings are set too high for my card. I maintain this fps even with the card not OC'd.

My system is an i5-6600k, OC'd to 4.5GHz, and a GTX 980. All temperatures across the board are phenomenal. CPU stress testing indicates that it's very stable. Everything points me to think it's the GFX, but what specifically, is well beyond me. I am new to these forums, and new to this age of technology. I've built many systems, but the last time I built a system was roughly a decade ago. This is the first time I've ever OC'd something, or had such a top of the line system.

If I left out any information that might prove helpful, please let me know. I really value stability, far more than getting every last ounce of juice out of my system, so you can imagine that this is really bothering me. I've spent some time on the forums and internet searching for a solution, but I could not find anything specific to my problem. I originally thought it must have been an OCing problem, because I'm such an amateur, but after still experiencing the same problems even with no OC, I don't know have a clue anymore.


Thanks for your time and help.
 

Woomack

Benching Team Leader
Joined
Jan 2, 2005
If you are running Win10 then in last weeks Microsoft released couple of updates and some of them are causing issues with power saving modes ( even though in description there is nothing about it ). At least it's what I've noticed. On one PC installing newer updates + reinstalling drivers helped but on other PC I had to perform system repair as nothing else was helping.
I'm not saying it's the same in your case but I had issues like artifacts in weird places ( even on fonts on the desktop ), driver crashes or random application freeze. It was starting mainly while switching between 2D and 3D modes or back.
At least last 2 driver version from nvidia seem perfectly stable on GTX980 and GTX1070 on which I was testing them.
 

Zantal

Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2009
It could be the gpu, if you have a spare one somewhere try that out.

it may be dying most probably a faulty VRM or memory module.

You can tell the symptoms from the artifacts (there are different types of artifacts).
but generally speaking if you see artifacts and the s**t is crashing during load you are looking at a gpu issue.
 

Kenrou

Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2014
Out of curiosity, you haven't said what driver version you're using, the 364.**/365.** are infamous for the problems they cause.
 
OP
RocLobster

RocLobster

Registered
Joined
Jul 6, 2016
If you are running Win10 then in last weeks Microsoft released couple of updates and some of them are causing issues with power saving modes ( even though in description there is nothing about it ). At least it's what I've noticed. On one PC installing newer updates + reinstalling drivers helped but on other PC I had to perform system repair as nothing else was helping.
I'm not saying it's the same in your case but I had issues like artifacts in weird places ( even on fonts on the desktop ), driver crashes or random application freeze. It was starting mainly while switching between 2D and 3D modes or back.
At least last 2 driver version from nvidia seem perfectly stable on GTX980 and GTX1070 on which I was testing them.

Well the problem has existed for longer than just this last week since MS did an update. I don't even necessarily know if I have installed that update yet anyways. I appreciate the post, but I don't think this is the problem. I think I am probably the reason why I am having these issues, not MS.

It could be the gpu, if you have a spare one somewhere try that out.

it may be dying most probably a faulty VRM or memory module.

You can tell the symptoms from the artifacts (there are different types of artifacts).
but generally speaking if you see artifacts and the s**t is crashing during load you are looking at a gpu issue.

It is a brand new computer; ever last part is brand new, I just bought everything a few weeks ago. The type of artifact I see most are the small orbs of color flashing on the screen in random locations. They are typically a little less than an inch big, and they are always the same color blue.

Out of curiosity, you haven't said what driver version you're using, the 364.**/365.** are infamous for the problems they cause.

I have NVidia version 368.69 drivers, the most current version of GFX drivers. I just recently upgraded to this version, from 368.39. I experienced these issues with both versions, however.
 

Zantal

Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2009
Get it replaced, better be sure though it's the gpu (although I think it is) so if you have any other card you can test with you should do it
 

Woomack

Benching Team Leader
Joined
Jan 2, 2005
I would check it in other PC. At least in my case I thought that GTX1070 is broken after barely a week since purchase and wanted to make RMA but later I found out that system repair fixed all issues. I was surprised that OS errors are causing these issues. Again, maybe it's not the same in your case but better check card in other PC than make RMA and wait for replacement.

Btw. last 2 official drivers are fully stable on my cards.
 
OP
RocLobster

RocLobster

Registered
Joined
Jul 6, 2016
Unfortunately, this system is all I have. I don't have any extra cards I could throw in this machine, and I don't have another machine that I could throw this card into. I can go to a computer repair shop and test my card there myself, that's an option. I don't feel like I would ever be able to isolate all of the variables though by doing that; too many things change by just simply throwing my GFX into another system. Less things to consider if I test the other way, by putting a card in this system, but I don't think I'll be able to do that. I can't exactly borrow a card from a repair shop, and I can't really bring my machine into a shop either.

Honestly, I have a very hard time believing that the issue is my video card. That seems like too easy of a solution. It also seems like the solution someone would gravitate towards when they simply are unable to pinpoint anything specifically wrong. Everyone on these forums probably has more experience than me though, and I did come here for advice. I really would prefer to test the card first though, or rather, test my system with a different card, before RMAing. I don't feel like going weeks with only my laptop :-/

If I RMA, can I pay extra and upgrade to a 1070/1080? I guess that a question for Newegg?

Do the specific artifacts I usually see mean anything specifically (random flashes of blue, less than an inch wide), other than there is a problem in general?
 
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OP
RocLobster

RocLobster

Registered
Joined
Jul 6, 2016
Yes, that is an option and I could do that. I'm not sure how I would test it though, to confirm if the 980 is the problem. If I use the onboard video, I can't exactly benchmark/stress test/open up a AAA title with Ultra settings and see if I experience crashes and artifacts.

I don't understand how I would accomplish anything by doing that? Onboard video obviously can't come anywhere near the 980 on performance, so how would I control that variable?
 

wingman99

Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2003
It will run your game ok, give it a try and lower your game settings if it works ok then it is your Graphics card.
 

Category 5

Member
Joined
Mar 23, 2005
If you are running Win10 then in last weeks Microsoft released couple of updates and some of them are causing issues with power saving modes ( even though in description there is nothing about it ). At least it's what I've noticed. On one PC installing newer updates + reinstalling drivers helped but on other PC I had to perform system repair as nothing else was helping.
I'm not saying it's the same in your case but I had issues like artifacts in weird places ( even on fonts on the desktop ), driver crashes or random application freeze. It was starting mainly while switching between 2D and 3D modes or back.
At least last 2 driver version from nvidia seem perfectly stable on GTX980 and GTX1070 on which I was testing them.

I wonder if this could be what I'm experiencing here?

http://www.overclockers.com/forums/...0-build-making-me-nuts!?p=7944999#post7944999

I was sure I had some kind of hardware fault in the system, but as a last resort I stuck a Win7 drive in the machine and it's been going for 24 hours. It's my fresh Win10 install somehow that's at fault.
 

RJARRRPCGP

Member
Joined
May 30, 2004
driver crashes or random application freeze. It was starting mainly while switching between 2D and 3D modes or back.

I had that kind of issue with my eVGA GeForce GTX 660 Ti, but that was because the previous owner flashed an Asus video BIOS on it. The Asus video BIOS also caused phantom TDP overages!
With an eVGA GeForce GTX 660 Ti BIOS flashed, never any issues like that again.
 
OP
RocLobster

RocLobster

Registered
Joined
Jul 6, 2016
Yes, that is an option and I could do that. I'm not sure how I would test it though, to confirm if the 980 is the problem. If I use the onboard video, I can't exactly benchmark/stress test/open up a AAA title with Ultra settings and see if I experience crashes and artifacts.

I don't understand how I would accomplish anything by doing that? Onboard video obviously can't come anywhere near the 980 on performance, so how would I control that variable?

As I suspected...it did not run my game 'ok'. Intel graphics are not designed to be used to play AAA titles. Even with all the graphics settings on the absolute minimum, I was running at less than 5fps. The game was not playable. There was no way to test and determine if I'd continue getting artifacts/experience crashes.

When I loaded up Witcher 3, I set all the graphics settings on as low as possible, which by the way isn't smart, because it introduces an additional variable of having the settings not what they were when I experienced the problems before. The idea is to isolate the GFX as the potential problem, change it to something else, and keep everything else exactly the same. This way, you can determine if the GFX card was the problem. But switching the GFX, AND lowing the graphics (or doing anything else) like you've suggested changes things. At that point, you don't know if it was the GFX card or if it was the video game settings. I hope that makes sense...


Either way, I'm still stuck on this issue, and unsure of where to go from here. Wednesday I will go to my repair shop and be able to test my GFX card there, maybe I'll find something out then.
 

wingman99

Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2003
When I played in 1996 all games were 5-10FPS we just played nascar anyway LOL. Sorry you had bad luck what resolution were you playing at? The test would be if it crashes with the IGPU it would not be the Dedicated GPU as the problem.
 
OP
RocLobster

RocLobster

Registered
Joined
Jul 6, 2016
When I played in 1996 all games were 5-10FPS we just played nascar anyway LOL. Sorry you had bad luck what resolution were you playing at? The test would be if it crashes with the IGPU it would not be the Dedicated GPU as the problem.

That only produces useful information if all the variables are kept the same (except swapping the video input, obviously). Being forced to lower settings (significantly) doesn't really allow us to know if it was the video card or settings, especially because the resulting fps from swapping I inputs causes the game to be unplayable. Can't test it if I can't play the game..
 
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wingman99

Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2003
Can you lower the resolution when playing on the IGPU that would tell if it crashed using the IGPU then it is not the dedicated video card. You don't need the settings to be the same to test just for a crash.