• Welcome to Overclockers Forums! Join us to reply in threads, receive reduced ads, and to customize your site experience!

Possible failing video card?

Overclockers is supported by our readers. When you click a link to make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn More.

Mpegger

Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2001
For some time my computer had been blue screening/blank screening whenever I was gaming, and sometimes, when just watching a video or playing music. At first I thought it was my sound cards, but after removing the onboard, and removing the drivers from the X-fi and replacing with the original CD drivers, the problem persisted. I thought it may have been the RAID array, or more specifically, the controller chip built into the mobo that wasn't playing nice and causing problems (there are lost of stories of the chipset that is used on this and other boards being the root of problems), since it always seemed to be when that drive was being accessed that I was always having problems (it where most of my media resided [games, videos, music]). So I finally decided to go ahead and break the array, redo my hard drive setups, and finally upgrade to Win7 x64. All seemed well until just the other day that I was gaming for a number of hours straight and suddenly, got a blue screen in Win7. It was the same exact problem, but now under a new freshly installed OS and now I was actually able to see the blue screen and see it was one of the nv***.*** drivers at fault. I downgraded the drivers to see if that would help, but still the problem persists.

The only thing I can think of now is that the problem is the hardware itself. However, for the most part Windows runs fine. I even have the [email protected] GPU2 client running on it for days and no problems arise what-so-ever. And normally, it's only during any gaming that the blue screen occurs. And its never after X amount of time. I could have only been playing for 3 minutes after freshly booting up and it'll blue screen. I might play for multiple hours over the course of days without having once rebooted the computer just fine, till it suddenly blue screens. The graphics might corrupt a little, or alot, or none at all just before it blue screens.

The biggest problem though, is that I have no backup PCIe card to try out in the system to see if the video card really is the problem. Other then buying a new card, what else can I do?
 

ThePerfectCore

Red Raccoon Dojo
Joined
Mar 1, 2002
Location
Texas
There are plenty of things to do!

-What are your temps? The video card could be overheating.
-Get the Ultimate Boot CD and run MemTest overnight, see if your RAM is good.
-Take computer completely apart, reapply thermal goop on CPU and GPU, blow the dust out, look for bad caps, put it back together.
-Run system file checker.
-Check PSU voltages.
 
OP
Mpegger

Mpegger

Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2001
Temps are fine on the GPU. Since its watercooled, it rarely goes over 45C on a hot day, but I can't tell for sure about the VRM or the memory.

I ran Memtest a while back because of another problem I was having (turned out to be one of my HDD going bad) so its ok. I actually just recently found out that I had been running the memory with the 400MHz timings, but only at 1.8V instead of the 2.1V it should have been set it. Funny thing is, its been undervolted like that ever since I built this system 2 years ago. ;)

I probably should take the system apart and will when I get the new vid card (getting a good deal from a fellow forum member). I'll redo my loop as well to accommodate the new card, but I'll also be checking over the 8800GTX for any bad caps. The mobo is a Gigabyte "Durability" model with the longer life caps, so I doubt any of those are going bad (I have P4 mobos twice the age of this board and still in use even now with no problems), but I'll look it over anyway.

And my PSU voltages appear good. Its one of the things I tested as well after HWMonitor reports my +12V @ 12.45 and the +5 @ 4.5x. Voltages at the plugs for those two are within a acceptable range.

Hopefully the new card will solve the bluescreening and give me a slight boost, or at least a smoother gameplay, and keep me somewhat future proofed for when I finally upgrade to a iX based system. I had planned on getting one anyway eventually when I did upgrade and use the 8800GTX as a dedicated PhysX/CUDA card. Hopefully it really isn't the card going bad and just something software related (nVidia drivers are abit buggy) so that I can put it to use in the future.

Btw, the systems been up since Monday evening on folding on the CPU and GPU, as well as playing a game for a few hours yesterday. I'm crossing my fingers, but like I said, the problem appears randomly.
 
OP
Mpegger

Mpegger

Member
Joined
Nov 28, 2001
Seems like a success! After purchasing a GTX 285 from a fellow forum member, I've been playing all the usual games and no blue screens at all! I'm left wondering though what exactly was the problem with the 8800GTX. Temps were fine, voltages good, and the only thing that was bad about it was its age (I purchased it about 2-3 months after the initial release of the card and its been in use every since), or the dust that was on the back of the card. My room is very dry, so I don't see how the dust could be a problem, unless because it was so dry and with constant air it was somehow producing static charges and discharging into the components. For now though, its gonna get a good cleaning and be put away till I upgrade later this year or next to a i7 board and can put the card back to use as a dedicated PhysX card (if it is still any good that is).