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Display crash/freeze on high GPU load (assumed graphics issue)

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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February 27, 2014 6:12:32 PM

Thanks for taking a look at my problem.

So here's what's going on, whenever I load up a game I'll be able to play for a ~10 minutes minimum and then my 2 screens (only 1 displaying game) will go black (or sometimes orange-yellow vertical stripes) and the audio will spitz out a couple seconds later.
If I've been playing a less graphics intensive game, I'll get quite a bit more time before the freeze happens.
The freeze requires me to force restart my pc and subsequent crashes happen a lot quicker; feels like a heat issue.
CPU temps quickly rise to 50°C(122F) (from 40) under load but rarely go above 65°C (150F)

Was working fine before I went on holiday, starting freezing when I came back. No updates were done beforehand.

What I've done so far:
  • Re-install drivers.
  • De-dusted graphics card
  • Monitored GPU temp (never goes above ~70 °C[158.0 °F] before crashing)
  • Run all windows updates (cant seem to install KB2913431)
  • Virus scan, because you never know
  • Cleaned CPU heatsink + apply thermal paste thinner


  • Computer specifics
    • Powercolour HD6870
    • Intel i3-2100
    • Intel DZ68DB mobo
    • Corsair CX500 v2
    • 4G kingston valueRAM PC10600
    February 27, 2014 6:46:20 PM

    Even though symptoms seem to point to the GPU, when troubleshooting always monitor all temps, so check your CPU and motherboard (PCH) temps as well.

    Which PSU do you have? a low quality PSU/old PSU could be the culprit here, when your GPU requires more power your PSU might be failing to provide it thus causing your problem. Check your PSU voltages.
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    February 27, 2014 7:03:31 PM

    Sorry I forgot my psu, I've got a Corsair CX500 v2, which is supposed to be pretty decent. SpeedFan is showing voltages lying at pretty normal values. Don't have anything else to test with.

    CPU temps also seemed normal, though they did spike up rather rapidly (from 40-50°C) but still never going higher than ~65°C(150F)
    Didn't monitor PCH yet, will check that out when I can.

    - also updated OP with relevant info
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    February 27, 2014 7:30:57 PM

    Okay, so latest test: cpu hit 80 degrees Celsius everything else was normal. And there it crashed.
    Think I may have fried something, not turning on anymore, not even the initial loads. Will leave it to cool for a while.
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    February 27, 2014 7:32:30 PM

    Looks like you found the problem, but go ahead and keep testing to see if it's consistent.
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    !