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Graphics Problem or Power Supply Issue?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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November 5, 2009 1:23:04 AM

Hey Guys,

I have not found a specific answer to this question on here anywhere, so I thought I would ask it.
My computer, in the past several days, started having these really weird artifact-y things come up whenever I played a game. The desktop was completely fine, but when you started doing something graphic intensive, all the graphics started getting really messed up (i.e. big white squares, textures in the wrong place; not just simple graphic glitches in the game, but big full-screen issues). It worked fine for a few minutes in game, then it would mess up, and I'd have to Ctrl-Alt-Delete it or restart.
This went on for a day or two (seeming to get worse), and now my monitor will not display anything at all. I can start up the comp, everything sounds and looks as if it's working great, but there is no display at all on my monitor.
So I was thinking it was maybe the graphics card because of the problem when in game, yet when I start up the computer now, the card's fan still spins and it seems to work. There's just no display; no bios or anything; the monitor doesn't even recognize that there is an input.
I tried plugging in another screen to see if that was the problem, but still nothing displayed.

I saw some people with slightly similar problems, and others thought it was an underpowered power supply. I don't think this is the problem, my supply should be good enough. I have an Antec 500W (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...), and the video card is an XFX 8800 gts (320mb). Should be more than enough to power that and the rest of the system, right?

So I'm wondering if you guys have any ideas on what is going on. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks,
Frank
November 5, 2009 1:43:13 AM

Try to run your on board graphics and see if it problem continues. If not then it's definitely the video card. With those symptoms when it did actually work, looked like signs of overclocking too much (Which you said nothing about so disregard that unless you did) or overheating to my knowledge.
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November 5, 2009 1:50:54 AM

That's a problem; my mobo doesn't have onboard graphics...
I didn't do any overclocking on this card. I got the system from somebody else (don't think he did anything) but it has been running fine for more than a year.
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November 5, 2009 1:52:55 AM

And I don't have another motherboard to test the card on... Like I said, the fan is going, so the card is at least powering up.
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November 5, 2009 1:54:14 AM

Do you have any other video cards layin around that you could test?
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November 5, 2009 1:56:03 AM

No, sadly; all the other computers in the house either use AGP or just have onboard graphics. No PCI or PCI-E cards.
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November 5, 2009 2:01:41 AM

Hah this reminds me of the last time my computer broke down. When I turned on the computer, everything started, but the HDD activity light didn't turn on. My dad had bought it from Costco and it was under warranty. We sent it in and they replaced the Video card.. about a month later the HDD stopped being recognized by the computer...

ANYWAY.

Sorry, from my limited experience I''d say it's the video card until you can test with another. Maybe someone else will come and help.
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November 5, 2009 2:03:56 AM

Thanks for your time.
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November 5, 2009 2:23:10 AM

^+1 For the video card overheating
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November 5, 2009 2:28:06 AM

No burning smell; fan still works fine; doesn't sound bad.
Haha, I guess I'm just really hoping that I don't have to replace a $300 graphics card. I've got to make 100% sure before I order another.
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November 5, 2009 7:22:13 AM

Can of air to rid it of dust, EVGA Precision to crank up the fan speed. Give that a try.
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November 5, 2009 5:56:05 PM

I'd probably say dust built-up aswell.
Blow the heatsink out and try it again.
Artifacts are usually coused by underpowered PSUs, overheating and overclocking that the card cannot handle.
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November 6, 2009 2:34:37 AM

Hey Guys,

So I used some compressed air and cleaned out both my graphics card and the whole system really really well. Plugged it all back in again, and still nothing. :( 
Same symptoms as before.
One thing I noticed, though, is that the graphic card's fan, upon startup, does a sudden vamp up and then goes back to normal speed. I was wondering if this was indicating that the card was overheating and turning up its fan to cool, but as it overheated, it stopped trying. Do any of you have an idea as to what that would mean?
Thanks so much for all your time.
Frank
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November 6, 2009 9:31:37 AM

That's normal for the fans to ramp up upon start up, it's part of it's boot up process.

As for the issue at hand, have you tried manually upping the fan speed to 100% to see if that gets rid of the problem? You can also try lowering the clock speeds with EVGA Precision to see if that helps. If that doesn't help, i'd say it's a dead card. Can you test it in a friends computer.
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November 6, 2009 10:25:38 PM

How would I change the fan speed without software? I can't even get BIOS to show up, let alone windows.

I will definitely see if I can find a friend with a pci-e slot so I can test the card.
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November 7, 2009 12:05:26 AM

Whoops, missed that you couldn't get into Windows.

Testing the card in another machine is your best bet, I wish you luck, let us know how it goes.
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November 7, 2009 12:19:35 AM

Thanks! I will.
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November 8, 2009 1:32:19 AM

I have a similar problem. If its anything like mine, its not overheating. I tried the card in a friends computer, but still bubcus.

The main difference from yours to mine is that artifacts don't appear until i play maybe 10 minutes, unlike yours which come way faster.

I would like to wager a guess on the card slot.

I have a PCIE x16 2.0 slot.

If your also are putting your card in a older slot we may have something to work with.

Thank You!
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November 8, 2009 1:41:01 AM

Well I just went to a local computer store, and they plugged my card into one of their comps. They just got blue lines, so there has to be something wrong with the card. The guy at the store said he thought it was bad memory in the card, and that I should contact xfx about the warranty.

I am putting it in the right slot, and it has worked for over a year, so I don't think the motherboard/slots are the problem...
An overheated graphics card makes the most sense in my situation, I think. But it's still open to debate.
You said yours didn't work in your friends comp?
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November 8, 2009 1:57:35 AM

Oops, I meant don't know why i wrote said it didn't work. It actually did work in his and that led me to believe its because he has a pcie x16 2.0 slot.

Mine has nothing to do with yours.

To help you out though, just because the fan looks and sound like its working doesn't mean its at %100.

My GTX 7600 sounded and looked fine, but the problem was the fan was dying, so i recommend sending it in for a new one.

I think its the card whether its overheating or bad memory its still broke.
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November 8, 2009 3:55:36 AM

Yup, get a hold of XFX and apply for an RMA.
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November 15, 2009 4:07:48 AM

Hey Everyone,

So I contacted XFX, and they said the card was out of warranty and they would not give me a replacement or any credit. So I decided to buy a new one; bought the HIS HD 4890 from Newegg (no, I'm not saying I'm never going back to Nvidia, just wanted to see how the other side performed), and hooked it up to my computer. Everything worked fine. So the 8800 was indeed broken. Most probably overheated; I'm going to be really careful with watching temps and fan speeds on my card this time around. ATI's Catalyst Control Center seems to be pretty useful for watching those specs.
Anyway, thanks so much everybody for all your help.
Frank
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