This is going to be a long post so apologies in advanced, TL;DR at the bottom.
About a month ago whilst playing Diablo 3 my PC would completely crash and no signal on me. Sometimes it would happen in the game's menu, and other times it'd be hours before it'd happen. The hardware would still run in the background so I ruled it out being an issue with my PSU (perhaps prematurely?).
Fast forward a bit, the problem starts occurring more frequently and on other games (Hawken, Fable 3, and benchmarks I started running to check for overheating).
My GPU temps are fairly low, even under load. From 34c idle to high 50s low 60s under stress. My GPU's fan seems to only ever show it as performing at "35%" in GPU Shark, as well as AMD Overdrive, and turning up the slider on fan control seems to do nothing (can't hear it do anything, either).
So then came all the attempted troubleshooting after reading countless threads here on potential fixes... Flashed my BIOS, reformatted, cleaned and reseated all components (excluding CPU as I have no thermal paste), ran memtest and passed, took out my GPU to test another in the system (which was silly as the "replacement" was known to have issues already)... Upon putting my own GPU back in it would actually power off immediately when I ran anything more graphically intensive than browsing the internet and using the desktop. On a whim I decided to try my other PCIE power connector (my PSU is "SLI-Ready" [pfft], and has PCIE1 and PCIE2, PCIE1 seemed to not power my GPU sufficiently for whatever reason but PCIE2 works) which seemed to rectify the problem. The no crash/no signal in games still persisted, of course.
Since putting my GPU back in there are now sound distortions on and off, and read that AMD's HD audio can mess with things so I disabled it within device manager yesterday and managed to play for several hours straight without incident. Until today when I powered my PC back on, but now when the game(s) crash I can sometimes hear audio for a short while so the "crash" oddly enough seems less severe. I'm at my wits end with this now and have no idea what to do.
TL;DR my PC gives a blank screen and no signals when playing games but does not turn off and gives no BSOD, and my sound is acting up. Any suggestions on what to do/try next?
Phenom II 550
600w OCZ PSU
(Don't worry, I'm not trying to run anything at 1080p+ here.)
Could very well be your PSU. This is happening because the GPU isn't working for some reason, which would most likely mean loss of power. It may also be over heating. you should try downloading a temp monitor for your GPU, Something like afterburner. record the temps and see where they're at. Have you OC'd the card? If so maybe restore it back to default settings. and this might be a pretty dumb question but would you happen to be using a TV as a monitor? Maybe the TV can't support the refresh rates or something from the game so it's saying no signal. just a thought if you're using a TV.
Not using a TV, just an old 1366x768 Acer monitor. Card is also at stock.
Temps are good, mid 30s to high 50s under load. Been thinking it could be a problem with the PSU but wish I knew of a way to find out without going and buying a new one.
I would put my finger on the PSU in that case. Try playing at a lower resolution and seeing how that holds up.
you could also try pulling the power out of things that you don't need. like Additional HDD's, DVD drives, even power hungry USB Devices. Before you take it that far, make sure the drivers are all up to date. don't use Windows Update to check, go to the manufacture website and look it up. Also, I couldn't understand exactly what you said in your original post, What slot is the GPU in? is it in a PCI-e? if so what version? Worst comes to worst. your card may be dead
I mean, make sure you have the latest GPU Drivers.
What you're describing is leading me off the fact that it is the PSU. you can tell if you get a metre to plug between the wall and the PSU Power Plug and it will tell you how many watts you're using. But the fact is that everything seems to be fine when you're not gaming. and the fact that you don't have anything else to unplug leads me to believe that it is the card itself which isn't really uncommon in AMD Cards (I'm not a fanboy of anything).
You would be using about 70-100W on idle. I can't really imagine you using more than that on idle. so it would be hard to believe that the card would be eating 500w of power once you launch a game. So if anything it's you're GPU Drivers, or the GPU itself. Try to borrow a friends GPU and see how well it goes. if it runs well. your GPU's Life is over.