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8800GTX crash OR faulty PSU?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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July 25, 2007 6:10:34 PM

When I first built my computer I noticed that my PSU (Thermaltake 750W) was making a strange noise when my video card, a Sparkle Geforce 8800GTX(OC-625/1005), was under heavy load. It's a buzzing sounds like the sound from the back of TV's, but much louder. In fact, when I was running the 3D Cube in ATI-tool you could hear the way the cube spin by listening to the PSU. I really dont know if the noise really came from the PSU itself or if it was both the PSU and the video card. It is really distinct at the back of the PSU, but when I open the case, it's impossible to locate the sound. This was 6 months ago. I would have to remove the CPU-Fan (Zalman 9700) to remove the PSU, so I really didn't care about the noise since the computer worked fine and support told me PSUs could make strange sounds.

However.

A couple of days ago when I was browsing the Internet, flashing squares in difrent colours occured on the screen. I reset the computer and all worked fine until I started LOTR online, when it occured again. This time when I reset the computer the artifact were already there as soon as the post-screen appeared (Squares in diffrent coulors). The computer didn't crash, it continued loading windows as usual, but the artifact didnt dissapear.

If I let the computer cool down I can get into windows for a couple of minutes before the squares appear. The temp of the GPU never reaches above 72C. The problem itself seems to appear after a couple of minutes when the video card is under heavy load aswell as when just idle in Windows.

I ran the GTX on another computer WITHOUT drivers and it worked for over 30 minutes until we shut it down! Could it be my PSU that messes with my video card? Or is it something with my mobo (P5W DH DELUXE)?

Need your expertice m8s!

Love from Sweden!
July 25, 2007 6:59:52 PM

When I bought my Thermaltake psu, there was a soft plastic gasket that was to go between the psu and the case, the reason being to dampen vibration. Does your psu have that? If not try getting one, putting it in place and then listening to see if the sound goes away.

The problem of different colors on the screen usually indicate a problem with the video card. However, if the psu is failing to put out enough power, the video card might produce the same symptoms. Your test of the card on another computer seems to confirm that the card is good. Yes, there could be a motherboard problem as well. Since you have another computer with which to test parts, you might try the Thermaltake on the other computer and see what happens. If it runs fine on that, then the mobo becomes suspect.

Alternatively, you could get a power tester and test the psu. Other things to try is to look at the BIOS and see what it is measuring as to the psu output or download Speedfan and get readings from it. If Speedfan is showing readings beyond +or- 10%, then the psu has a problem.

The fact that you have noticed that if you let the computer cool down, the squares disappear for a bit does point to the video card having a problem related to heat. Perhaps it isn't heating as much in the other computer as it is in yours. Don't know, just a surmise. Anyway, just some thoughts as to what might be wrong and what to try.
July 25, 2007 7:26:45 PM

The noise from the PSU comes from the inside. Some component makes the noise and it's loud enough to drown the noise from the fans when running ATI-tool artifact scan. It has always been like that. High pitch...

The silicon gasket doesn't fit in my case =P

The video crash occurs both at low temps aswell and high temps on the video card (58 and 72). Did I push it to hard when I overclocked? GPU 576 to 625 MEM 900 to 1005... It's been overclocked like that since I first installed it 6 months ago... Always kept an eye on the temp when gaming.

If it is the mobo, shouldn't that result in a bluescreen? The PC works just fine in the background. Windows loads and everything. Sound works just fine... At least the short time I wait until I reset the PC. Kept an eye on the mobo temp aswell and installed fans on the chips.

Thank you for aiding!
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July 25, 2007 7:56:40 PM

I had a similar problem with a video card I used to have. I was overclocking a X1900 XTX and after about six months, the vram roasted and I started getting artifacts and lockups in games. I switched out the card and haven't had a problem since. It was watercooled and never showed an overtemp, but the vram cooked just the same. A thing that can happen is that the gpu temp looks good, but the vram overheats. That's what happened on my card.

Without the silicon gasket, the psu will make a buzzing sound against the case. If that's all that is going on, there is no particular worry, just the annoyance of it. Mainly measure the power coming out of it. If a capacitator starts to fail, it might start to make noise, but the power output should falter as well.

The mobo won't necessarily cause a bluescreen. It could just fail to transfer sufficient power to the video card or the ram, etc. I had this with a couple of ASUS mobos. They wouldn't support the ram and I'd get strange stuff on my screen, lockups or everything slowing down. Getting a mobo that worked right solved my problem with the ram. This doesn't mean you have a mobo problem, only that its possible.

Now that I think about it more, the part that you wrote on how you let the computer cool down and then it worked fine for a few minutes before the artifacts occured points heavily to a video card problem, that it becomes unstable as it heats up. If you have another video card handy, can you try that in your computer and see if the problems continue? If they do, then look to the mobo or psu. If the problems go away with the different card in your computer, then its the card. It just might not have heated enough in the second computer to reproduce its problems in the first computer.
July 25, 2007 9:27:35 PM

So, if the vram is toasted... You think I can get a new one with my warrenty? Could it have been toasted without being overclocked =) $850 is alot of money!

Anyway I have to hand it in so they can tell me what's wrong. I will hand in the PSU as well... The mobo is a tough one, don't want to remove the CPU fan. I'll wait with that one till I know if it was the other ones or not.

Cheers mate!
July 26, 2007 1:42:11 AM

You might get a warrenty replacement. Just remember the words; "Overclock, what's overclock? I set my watch at the right time, I'm sure".
July 26, 2007 1:06:33 PM

Hehe, nice! I guess I have to take it in swedish or else i look like an idiot =)

"Överklocka, vad är överklocka? Min klocka är rätt inställd, det är jag säker på"

Swedish for beginners =P

As long as I have warrenty, it's their task to prove that I have oveclocked... OMG Sparkle is going bankrupt!

See you around m8!
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