Is it possible the GPU is simply overheating?

Is it possible the GPU (not CPU) is simply overheating while playing graphics heavy games?

...causing sometimes BSOD or total system lockup in the form of a blank black screen or dark screen with vertical lines, forcing me to have to hold power button down to turn off then back on.

GPU Hardware:
Graphics Card Manufacturer Powered by AMD
Graphics Chipset ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4200 Series
Device ID 9712
Vendor 1002
Subsystem ID 3638
Subsystem Vendor ID 103C
Graphics Bus Capability PCI
Maximum Bus Setting PCI
BIOS Version
BIOS Part Number BK-ATI VER010.
BIOS Date 2009/08/04
Memory Size 1982 MB
Memory Type HyperMemory
Core Clock in MHz 500 MHz
Memory Clock in MHz 400 MHz

GPU Software:
Driver Packaging Version
Catalyst Version 13.1
Provider Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.
2D Driver Version
Direct3D Version
OpenGL Version
AMD VISION Engine Control Center Version 2012.1116.1515.27190

System Information:
OS Name Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium
Version 6.1.7601 Service Pack 1 Build 7601
Other OS Description Not Available
OS Manufacturer Microsoft Corporation
System Manufacturer Hewlett-Packard
System Model HP Pavilion dv7 Notebook PC (dv7-3165dx)
System Type x64-based PC
Processor AMD Turion(tm) II Ultra Dual-Core Mobile M620, 2500 Mhz, 2 Core(s), 2 Logical Processor(s)
BIOS Version/Date Hewlett-Packard F.15, 5/17/2010
SMBIOS Version 2.6
Windows Directory C:\Windows
System Directory C:\Windows\system32
Boot Device \Device\HarddiskVolume1
Locale United States
Hardware Abstraction Layer Version = "6.1.7601.17514"
Installed Physical Memory (RAM) 4.00 GB
Total Physical Memory 3.75 GB
Available Physical Memory 2.27 GB
Total Virtual Memory 9.60 GB
Available Virtual Memory 7.81 GB

The issue began a few months after purchasing this laptop, it would play stuff like Sins Of A Solar Empire, Starcraft II, Torchlight and Dragon Age: Origins perfectly fine either hooked up to an LG TV @1024x768 or just on the laptop monitor at @1920x1200.

Then when Starcraft II and Dragon Age: Origins started to crash the computer on me, I went through the steps of isolating any issues that might cause this:

1. Were the BIOS and Display Drivers all current?


2. Was the cooling fan running?


3. Do I have the fan set to run all the time?

I did not, I set it to do so.

4. Is the system overheating, was the underside physically hot?

Possibly, it was very hot but not skin scorching.

5. Is the actual Temp. of the CPU critical enough to cause system failure?

Using CoreTemp the system CPU generally reached 61C prior to shutdown...CoreTemp does not display GPU temp/Speedfan does not register or display my fan speeds/Furmark does not display my GPU temp/CPUID displays HDD and CPU temp but not GPU temp.

6. Are the exhaust vents or intake vents clean and unobstructed?


7. Is the Thermal Paste applied correctly?
It was excessive in it's application once opening up the heatsink, I cleaned and reapplied the thermal paste in exact amounts...the result being:

Under stress test using HeavyLoad in unison with Furmark a 5:00m test resulted in a CPU temperature of 76C with proper airflow, the system did not crash after 3 of these tests. The system ((crashes)) randomly while playing Dragon Age:Origins and the CoreTemp log states a CPU temp of around 52-57C.

8. Is it the Hard Drive, RAM or PSU?
No, did memtest and hard drive test and tested computer on battery only or plugged in only (with no battery) and even modified the power given to the cpu to 90%/80%/70% etc., etc....still the computer crashes playing that game.

9. Is it the game software?

Re-installed game but no difference, some are of the opinion that DA:O uses 100%cpu/gpu resources more consistantly than comparable games and therefore overheats the system in general...but see #7

so...could it be possible that the GPU chip is the only thing overheating and it is doing so at such a rapid speed as to be twice as hot as the CPU is registering...therefore causing the system to go into self-preservation and shut off/lock up?

I am currently researching building liquid cooling into either a laptop homemade cooler or an internal laptop liquid cooled heatsink...but for now it's very annoying that i have to use a fan to sit the laptop sideways next to in order to keep the cpu temp(as i only have software able to monitor the cpu) down to 19C at startup and 58C(MAX) while's annoying hence the need to build a custom cooling system to use higher screen resolution.
5 answers Last reply
More about gpu simply overheating
  1. Certainly ..... what is the BSOD stop error ? What does event viewer say happened ?
  2. Certainly. What temps are you seeing, and what GPU/CPU are we looking at?
  3. JackNaylorPE said:
    Certainly ..... what is the BSOD stop error ? What does event viewer say happened ?

    Event Viewer was not very helpful...the computer simply locks up and is non-responsive so it does not log anything except this:

    The previous system shutdown at 8:20:06 PM on ‎4/‎26/‎2013 was unexpected.

    Details:Friendly View
    - System

    - Provider

    [ Name] EventLog

    - EventID 6008

    [ Qualifiers] 32768

    Level 2

    Task 0

    Keywords 0x80000000000000

    - TimeCreated

    [ SystemTime] 2013-04-27T04:22:16.000000000Z

    EventRecordID 24323

    Channel System

    Computer PA-PC


    - EventData

    8:20:06 PM




    Binary data:

    In Words

    0000: 000407DD 001A0005 00140014 00460006
    0008: 000407DD 001B0006 00140004 00460006
    0010: 00000960 0000003C 00000001 00000960
    0018: 00000000 000004B0 00000001 00000000

    In Bytes

    0000: DD 07 04 00 05 00 1A 00 Ý.......
    0008: 14 00 14 00 06 00 46 00 ......F.
    0010: DD 07 04 00 06 00 1B 00 Ý.......
    0018: 04 00 14 00 06 00 46 00 ......F.
    0020: 60 09 00 00 3C 00 00 00 `...<...
    0028: 01 00 00 00 60 09 00 00 ....`...
    0030: 00 00 00 00 B0 04 00 00 ....°...
    0038: 01 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 ........

    Details:XML View
    - <Event xmlns="">
    - <System>
    <Provider Name="EventLog" />
    <EventID Qualifiers="32768">6008</EventID>
    <TimeCreated SystemTime="2013-04-27T04:22:16.000000000Z" />
    <Security />
    - <EventData>
    <Data>8:20:06 PM</Data>
    <Data />
    <Data />
    <Data />
    <Data />
  4. It's one of three resulting lockups, but they all have the same characteristic (computer has to be physically restarted)

    BSOD (with no error code, just a blue screen)

    Blank black screen

    Black screen with vertical lines
  5. seems like the only solution for overheating a laptop GPU chip is to custom cool it....period.
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