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problem with what i think is my video card

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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April 29, 2006 2:23:05 AM

hey guys, ive been browsing this site for a while and decided to finally register and post. the information here is invaluable :) 

anyway, lately (past 1-2 weeks) ive been having an issue where my pc will randomly lock up, and lately its been getting much worse...to the point where it crashes anywhere from 10 seconds to 5minutes, sometimes 10-15minutes after being in game.

when it first started happening the video output would...well crap itself. screen would be filled with usually lines either going horizontal or vertical if i remember right, then 5-10 seconds later it would lock up (initially it would still take input commands, i.e. i could type and the pc was fine, just the video output was messed for the few seconds before it froze).

after talking to a few people i assumed that the memory on my video card was bad. i ran memtest86 to test my normal memory, and given how it screwed up the video output prior to locking up, i assumed it was a video card issue. given that my card was a few years old, i figured id go get a new card.

after browsing this site i decided to upgrade my raedon 9800 pro 128mb with one of the cards listed in the suggested cards thread here. my new card is a Radeon X800 GTO by Sapphire.

i also got a new case, so after installing everything in the new case and getting it all fixed...i went and installed the new ati drivers and then tried my games again. at first it was fine, didnt crash and had no issues. unfortunately now...it seems to have come back...which makes no sense to me. the crashing doesnt happen as fast however.

what i am wondering...is there anyway to verify what part of the computer is having the issue? or is it possibly a misconfigured option somewhere? the only games i play are everquest and wow and sometimes CS. the only games ive tried this with and had the issue with is CS and WoW.

also, my pc would randomly lock up without being in game, but it would take significantly longer. in other words, i coudl have the pc on for a day or so and then it would randomly freeze. this again lead me to believe it was my video card's memory...as it only seemed to crash during times of high graphical load.

is it possible it is my motherboard? upon moving to the new case i cleaned a lot of dust out from within the tower and made sure everything transferred smoothly. and given that its happening with my new video card im guessing its either my memory or possible the agp slot on my motherboard.

is my assumption that it is probably the motherboard a good one? crashing has kept me from playing any of the few games i do play (well dont have cs installed atm - i DID reformat and try a new copy of windows, but that didnt help). if you guys have any ideas on things to try or ways to rule out certain parts of my pc as the problems, id love to hear it.

thanks 8)

sorry if this is long :( 

More about : problem video card

April 29, 2006 2:45:14 AM

How's the heat situation?

You clean out the HSF? Check any chipset fans? Check temps in the bios?
April 29, 2006 3:55:18 AM

You may have a defective graphics slot or the connectors somewhere aren't making full contact. Heat could be a problem too. I just got a X800 GTO agp and it's great with no problems. And that was put into a dell dimension 4550 with a 250watt psu.

I would check temps and connections since the x800 is a large card.
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April 29, 2006 4:21:15 AM

thanks for the fast replies!

as far as the heat issue, ill double check the fan on the card, but the fan on my processor's heatsink as well as the case fan work fine. im also using a program called motherboard monitor (link: http://mbm.livewiredev.com) and the socket temp usually stays around 110-120 degrees when in use (cpu diode is usually 30-40 degrees i think and the case registers at 91 degrees - all fahrenheit).

i guess i can check the temperature in the bios also to see if the values differ, i dont think they would but they may.

the power supply i have is 400watt so power shouldnt be an issue.

also, forgot to mention this earlier: when im playing one of the games for example, sometimes the video card driver software can correct the issue. i will get a VPU error after it locks up for a second. basically says that there has been an error and my video card stopped responding to commands or something along those lines.

while im hoping it isnt a defective slot or a a messed up connector that isnt making full contact, its what im leaning towards =/
April 29, 2006 4:53:49 AM

Just a couple thoughts.

I read somewhere that after a certain revision of drivers ATI required .net framework to run properly. Is that installed?

Also you might want to try ATItool, see what the cards runnig at, test for artifacts etc....

http://www.techpowerup.com/atitool/
April 29, 2006 5:48:34 AM

with regards to the .net framework, yea, i have both versions 1.1 and 2.0 installed (got it while getting the ati drivers).

i got ati tool yesterday, so ill have to play around with it more i guess. just seems that everything i do with regards to diagnostics...to the card seems fine. friend of mine suggsted i run 3dmark so i got a copy of 3dmark03 although i think its an older version...anyway those tests went fine on the card. didnt crash out or anything.

thanks for the help btw 8) gonna keep messing with it i guess and if nothing else, starting searching for good motherboards with agp slots heh
April 29, 2006 7:19:53 AM

it could be a failing hard drive, or a virus.
April 29, 2006 3:33:45 PM

when i reinstalled windows i did so on another harddrive to make sure it wasnt my previous harddrive. i still have both hd's in my computer however.

friend of mine said it could be a power issue if my current power supply is going bad. i justed tried it without any of my other harddrives plugged in nor cdroms, so it was just 1 ide device. im assuming the load on the power supply would ahve been low enough that it wouldnt have crashed fast if at all. unfortunately it did and i was stuck at a black screen as the video card stopped sending output to the monitor.

one other thing ive noticed is that when windows boots up, the loading screen gets a small graphic glitch in it for a split second then goes away. its very short so hard to notice unless if you're watching it 100%. dont know if this is related or promotes the idea of a bad connection between the video card and the motherboard.

thanks again for the help :) 

going to start looking for motherboards to fit my processor just in case i need to replace it.
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