GTX 260 Locking up to a solid color at 78c

Hello everyone. I am looking for some advice regarding my current predicament. The PC I built around a year ago was initially running fine; no complications. As of late, my games have been periodically locking up to a solid colored screen (depending on the environment I find myself in, the color varies, though, always to a solid color) which can only be corrected by a complete reboot of the system; merely pressing the restart button goes to a familiar black screen, then immediately back to whatever color the computer had locked up to in the first place.

I had initially encountered the problem whilst playing Borderlands, which, at the time, I had attributed to the game. Since then, it has happened in Team Fortress 2, and Left 4 Dead.

At this point obviously curious/worried, I began doing research on the subject, though I have found very little. The only consistency I have found is, whilst running FurMark, the same problem arises when the cards temperature reaches exactly 78c, so my original theories of only during game play were vanquished (or when stress is placed on the card and, consequentially, the temperature goes up). I believe I have narrowed it down to the video card, though, obviously, I am not adverse to any other suggestions. Is there a BIOS setting telling the card to shut down at a certain temp to prevent damage? I assume 78c is a relatively shallow temperature for these cards to be locking up at; is a faulty card likely? The computer turns on immediately after I've forced a reboot, leading me to believe the card didn't necessarily have to cool down. I've also tried uninstalling/reinstalling drivers, and different versions of drivers, to no avail.

Even if I could somehow manage to keep the card under 78c whilst playing games (through adjusting the fan speed perhaps) I would still like to know if this is a well known/common issue, or merely have the card RMA'd (if it were to be faulty) for fear of it becoming more severe later.

Here are my hardware specs (copying the links from Newegg):

Video Card: EVGA 896-P3-1267-AR GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 Superclocked Edition 896MB 448-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP.

Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 Wolfdale 3.16GHz 6MB L2 Cache LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor.

Motherboard: EVGA 132-CK-NF78-A1 LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 780i SLI ATX.

Power Supply: PC Power and Cooling S75QB 750W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC Power Supply.

Memory: G.SKILL PI Black 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL4D-4GBPI-B (x2).

Case: Antec 900.

Operating System: Vista Home Premium.

If anyone needs any other information, let me know. Thank you kindly in advance.

I should add that: I have manually done no overclocking, so all that remains is the factory overclock on the video card.
14 answers Last reply
More about locking solid color
  1. Any thoughts?
  2. Well if it is thermal related clean the cooler and repaste the gpu ihs. Make sure that all the components like mosfets and v-ram is coming in contact with the cooler via the thermal pads that there should be no gaps. Clean the fan with a brush while you are at it. If nothing improves RMA if possible.
  3. Well, it is not common for a GPU to lock up at 78c but my advice would be to use rivatuner or ntune just to keep you fan speed at 65% or higher. This way it should stay in the 65c or lower arena and you should be fine.

    Before you do anything I would remove the card form the PC and check for dust or anything that may have made it's way into housing/fan area...
  4. I must be missing something here, are these 206 216s meant to be running this high? Mine dont break 46c under any amount of load, and they are clocked @ +25%.
  5. cygone said:
    I must be missing something here, are these 206 216s meant to be running this high? Mine dont break 46c under any load, and they are clocked @ +25%.

    What GPU do you have?
  6. 3 x 260 216
  7. cygone said:
    3 x 260 216

    Are they all 65nm or 55nm or perhaps a mix?
  8. 260 216 they must be on 55, can only get 192 on 65
  9. cygone said:
    3 x 260 216

    That makes it even worse, when 2 or more cards are installed their is much more heat to dissapate. Do you have any screenshots proving that your GTX 260's run at 46c load? I have a single GTX 260 and even with my room temp at 23c my GPU hovers around 58-60c on load with fan on AUTO, 50c with fan at 65%. Unless your cards are watercooled I doubt they all run that cool....
  10. I dont but i will certaintly get one, as u seem not to believe me =)

    and yes air cooled =)

    see link below

    I was running 3D Mark Vantage, but had to qucikly esc out and take a print screen, as my 1st and 3rd monitor turn off when Vantage runs.

    As you can see they are at 100% load for the time before I took the screen shot. But obvisally their load dropped to almost 0% when I was taking the print screen.

    You can however see the red temp graph that is almost level through out the benchmark. Reporting temp at 37.3c.

    The other cards are running at 34.0c and 31.8c for 2nd and 3rd respectivly.

    GPUZ was showing the upper card which runs the hottest in this system.
  12. cygone said:
    260 216 they must be on 55, can only get 192 on 65

    OK try to clean out is any dust since nvidia got cheap with the coolers for the 55nm.
  13. nforce4max, Its not me with the issue, we just side tracked the thread=)
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