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Is my graphics card dying???...

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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May 29, 2008 9:16:14 AM

First off, I put this computer together myself, approximately one year ago. It was my first time. Everything seemed to have gone smoothly at the time...
Here's the card I purchased: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
In the past few days, I have been getting some major slowdown.
This happens more noticeably on high graphics games. Overall, my frame rate is dreadful, and it fluctuates. I used to be able to play FEAR on maximum settings at a pretty steady 60 FPS or so... NOW, I put the game on minimum resolution and I'm hopping every handful of seconds between 10 fps and 2 fps.
I can't even run Diablo 2 smoothly.
Even videos on youtube skip if i have a few windows up.
My audio doesn't skip. Only the video.
SO I decided to reformat my hard drive... Drastic measure, but I felt it to be somewhat of a failsafe decision... Only to get the tiniest improvement.
It's still practically impossible for me to enjoy any games I have, which is a TERRIBLE disappointment, as I'm primarily a gamer and gaming is what I built my PC around.
I don't believe I've ever had any issues with heat; I've kept the guts pretty clean and free of dust; I've done no overclocking.
I've run memory tests and benchmarks, and though I do not possess extensive knowledge of hardware, the weakest link seems to be my graphics card.
If it helps any measure, PerformanceTest 6.1 'Graphics 3D - Complex' test yields a miserable 4-5 FPS.
Is my graphics card dead???
If so, Is repair a possibility?
It was 400 dollars, and it's not quite a complete year old.
Thanks in advance, guys.

More about : graphics card dying

May 29, 2008 9:58:57 AM

Hi.
How sure are you that vga card is dying. Did you check card in other 3D environment, for example HD movies? What about cpu/ram/hdd/mobo? what about hdd funcionality - is it 100% (damaged sectors,...), what is load on cpu when you play games, temperature on vga card in idle and load, latest drivers, maybe forgot to plug back volt.cable to your vga card after latest cleanup 8)....

Too much variables for me to tell something usefull.
Posting your specs would exclude some possibilites.
a b U Graphics card
May 29, 2008 10:21:23 AM

Sounds like your PSU may be failing to me.

What are your full system specs?
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May 29, 2008 11:15:12 AM

I'm not completely set on the idea that it's my graphics card, it just seems what's most likely to me, but i don't know a lot.
I have problems running videos in pretty much any format I try, HD movies included.
It's definitely not drivers, I'm pretty certain I have those up to date. (The slowdown came after it had been working fine for a while..)
My diskeeper and defrag show no damaged sectors.
Memtest86+ found no errors with my RAM; I let the test go through 104%.
My CPU ran for hours on CPU Stability Test... I don't know if that measures any potential slowdown, though.
Lavalys EVEREST Corporate Edition displays the following temperatures:
CPU core 1: 68ºC, CPU core 2: 66ºC
AUX: 40ºC
GPU Diode: 60ºC
GPU Memory: 54ºC
GPU Ambient: 52ºC
Fans running about 60%
I am not especially adept at running diagnostics for PC hardware but I'm doing my best... Any suggestions are totally appreciated.
As for my specs:
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6420, 2.12GHz
Motherboard: MSI P6N SLI with nVIDIA nForce 650i SLI chipset
GPU: nVIDIA GeForce 8800 GTS 640MB
PSU: CORSAIR CMPSU-620HX 620W
RAM: OCZ Platinum Revision 2x1GB SDRAM DDR2 800
HD: Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 SATA 3.0Gb/s 320-GB Hard Drive
Sound Card: Creative 70SB046A00000 7.1 Channels 24-bit 192KHz PCI Interface Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer Fatal1ty Professional Series

Thanks for the input
a b U Graphics card
May 29, 2008 11:44:29 AM

Your CPU, if those temps are correct, is WAY too hot.
Normal temp should be around 32-35C at idle, and low to mid 50-'s under full load. If it's getting that hot, the speed-step function may be cutting it down to an idle, and keeping it there.
Check to make sure you CPU fan is working correctly, that the heatsink is still mounted correctly, not full of dust...etc. You may need to remove it entirely, clean and apply new thermal paste.
a b U Graphics card
May 29, 2008 12:05:42 PM

Yup, if that is correct your problems probably stem from the CPU interrupting itself to stop from over heating. Check your heatsink as jitpublisher states and recheck your temps. If you live in a high heat environment, you may want to upgrade to a more powerful cooler.
May 29, 2008 1:02:48 PM

It does seem indeed that cpu is cutting down not to overheat.
You should seriuosly consider to buy powerfull coolers for CPU and case to manage that much heat inside the case. Also I would go for 100% fan speed ALL THE TIME. Preferably u have 2 case coolers - intake and outtake...
If that is not the case then check how tight is cooler on cpu maybe it doesnt fit tight enough and just partially touches the surface of cpu itself.
When u get cpu temp around 35C in idle then run some games again.
a c 147 U Graphics card
May 29, 2008 3:36:10 PM

I had a buddy with some cooling issues on his e6550. I had a spare cooler that I sold him cheap and it fixed his issue. The stock cooler wasn't cutting it and maybe just wasn't seated very well on the CPU. He also had a poor little 80mm exhaust fan that was dying.

Just get this cooler, its cheap and really good for the money. It will have your CPU running cooler and at the very least rule out the CPU being an issue:
Arctic Cooler Freezer Pro 7
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
a b U Graphics card
May 29, 2008 3:52:42 PM

CPU overheating is definately the problem, you want to be around a comfortable 38 o C give or take 5 o C due to full load and such...
The CPU will bottleneck itself if it runs too hot and slow down to prevent a meltdown.
Consider yourself lucky you're not using an AMD processor, that woulda melted right into your MoBo...
a c 147 U Graphics card
May 29, 2008 4:08:38 PM

jonpaul37 said:

Consider yourself lucky you're not using an AMD processor, that woulda melted right into your MoBo...

I'd be excited to see that and set it on my desk to display. Would be cool to see. Or where you just joking?
a c 191 U Graphics card
May 29, 2008 4:34:45 PM

I think he's referring to a way-previous generation of AMD CPUs that didn't have the smarts to throttle themselves in cases of overheating.
a c 147 U Graphics card
May 29, 2008 4:39:07 PM

I still want a melted CPU on a Mobo.
May 30, 2008 6:25:11 AM

Hey guys, I feel a little dumb that I couldn't figure that out myself, but at least I learned something.
I decided to go for the cheapest possible potential solution as a quick fix, and I may get the arctic cooling heatsink.
I took everything apart, cleaned the old thermal compound residue off my CPU die and heat spreader, applied new thermal compound, put it back together... I'm sitting at 35ºC replying to this now. FEAR runs great again at max settings; was at 50ºC in the middle of a game. I'm happy.
Thank you all.
a c 147 U Graphics card
May 30, 2008 12:27:43 PM

^
With a stock cooler those temps are MUCH better. Well if you don't need the new cooler and don't plan to OC you really don't need to buy it and just sit with it how it is. I guess the stock cooler wasn't sitting correctly or the thermal compound wasn't applied right. Did you just install the stock cooler or did you scrap off the stock preapplied paste or did you just simply install the cooler? I fined it really reduces temps if you apply your own paste.

Good for you for figuring that out though. It didn't even cross my mind. I guess I just like buying new stuff so I would have gone with the new cooler right off the bat. haha.
May 30, 2008 12:48:36 PM

Maybe it was just the mount.
First time I installed it, I used the factory shipped and applied compound, didn't modify.
I removed the residue, but there was hardly any visible and applied my new paste.
It's working great now, either way!
!