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Red lines/dots, system crashes. 2 years now...

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 17, 2010 3:19:14 PM

Hi guys

So, had a PC that was built for me 2 years ago, and the GPU's been playing up ever since. Whenever I attempt to play any 3D game, I get red dots all over the screen and the system completely freezes, save for the sound coming back in bits. It's fine just running normal PC stuff, but anything 3D (hell, even Google bloody Earth), and it has a fit. The only game I've ever had the chance to try was COD 1. From 2003.
THe guy who built it for me has disappeared, so that's helpful.
Basically, just wondering if anyone knows what the hell is going on, and whether I should carry on with my plan to get a new GPU.

Current GPU is an Inno3D 8600GT 1024MB

  • I didn't get any warranty papers with the card, so I can't take it anywhere.
  • I emailed Inno3d, they advised me to clean it with a plastic eraser. Cheers guys.
  • I've tried underclocking it using RivaTuner
  • Tried using it with the cover open
  • Tried using the PC in safe mode
  • Updated all drivers to the latest
  • Tried relieving the GPU of all display color settings, video settings etc

    Basically tried everything.

    Just to let you know that I'm running Vista 32 Bit
    AMD Phenom 9600 2.3GHz Black edition
    2048MB RAM
    ASUS M3A Motherboard

    Thanks
    a b Î Nvidia
    March 17, 2010 4:12:43 PM

    Sounds like you've tried most of the things I would have suggested. Did you underclock the memory though, or just the core? Also- what PSU are you using? Sounds like its probably a bum card (did you say its been doing this for 2 YEARS? and you're only NOW getting on to fixing it?) Anyway- you'll probably need a new card, but we need to know about your PSU and what resolution you want to game at, as well as your budget to suggest a new card for you.
    March 17, 2010 4:22:05 PM

    Haha, I know, it's a long time, but I was doing Exams, so it wasn't a priority.

    underclocked the memory for sure.

    Regarding PSU
    http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/278200-10-power-goo...

    So I think I should be ok for now with that.

    I'm looking at under £100 (if you're in USA, not sure what the current exchange rate is!), been looking seriously at the GT240.

    Hopefully getting a FullHD monitor with DVI. So yeah 1920x1080 resolution.

    Thanks for replying!
    Related resources
    a b Î Nvidia
    March 17, 2010 4:31:09 PM

    Yeah- its probably NOT the PSU thats causing your problem, its probably the GPU and its probably bad, so you need a new GPU. Problem is, you probably need a new PSU to run a new GPU. I wouldn't trust any new hardware I bought to to that PSU because if you stress it much at all, it could blow and damage other parts of your system, so for a new GPU, you'll want to replace the PSU as well.

    As far as which card to get, I would skip past the GT240 for the 5670 (similar price, better performance, and amazingly low power). HOWEVER, if you really want to play at 1080p, you'll probably want more GPU power than that. I'm in the US, so I don't know what prices are like in the UK, but for 1080p I would suggest AT LEAST a 5750, and really, you want a 5770 for that resolution. Now those are probably a little over your price range, especially if you add in a new PSU as well. a 5770 is about $150 US right now when you get a decent deal and the 5750's are about $20 less. If you are REALLY tied to that budget, the 5670 is probably the best you can get, but you'll be lowering your detail settings and possibly even your resolution to get good gameplay.
    March 17, 2010 4:41:55 PM

    Ok, if I being totally honest, I'm not THAT fussed about playing at 1080p. I've got a 1440x900 diplay right now, and it looked just fine. I'm not a big gamer.
    The main reason I'm getting a 1080p monitor is so I can watch Blu Ray on my PC, because I ultimately want to get a Blu Ray drive. I'm less of a gamer, more of a movie guy. (although these last two years with a stupid GPU is probably why I'm not a big gamer).
    Also, I'm fairly new to custom build PCs, and I've never actually forayed into the ATI GPU realm!
    So, have you got any recommendations based on this new info?

    Thanks for the help so far!

    a b Î Nvidia
    March 17, 2010 4:47:20 PM

    Based on that, I'd get the 5670 and a new PSU. I'd post some links, but they'd all be to US e-tailers, so wouldn't be much good to you. The 5670 is similar price, but better performance to the GT240, plus it supports DX11 and can bitstream HD audio and stuff. Its got pretty darn low power consumption, so if you REALLY can't upgrade the PSU right now, you can most likely run it off of your current PSU, but I wouldn't do it for long as after 2 years, a crappy PSU is going to be even crappier and I'd be afraid of it crapping out:-)
    March 17, 2010 5:17:02 PM

    Thanks man, I'm checking out tom's hardware's review of the 5670. impressed so far...
    a b Î Nvidia
    March 17, 2010 5:21:07 PM

    Cool- good luck!
    March 17, 2010 6:19:12 PM

    Wow.
    Turns out this card is basically perfect for my needs.
  • The DX11 isn't really functional, but I don't really need it.
  • It performs well for current games.
  • It's great on the power bill
  • And seeing as I've had quite crap experiences with nVidia...perhaps its time to give ATI a go.

    Thanks for your help, if I do end up getting this one, check back on here for an update on how I'm doing!

    ...I wonder why there's so much pointless hate between Britain and USA?
    a b Î Nvidia
    March 17, 2010 6:23:50 PM

    Yeah- its a good card, and you should have fun with it. Good luck.
    As far as the Britain/USA hate, could go back to the whole American Revolution and stuff ;-)
    a b Î Nvidia
    March 17, 2010 7:22:16 PM

    lol.
    March 18, 2010 11:11:04 AM

    Hey guys
    Just wondering, because I'm bored, should I try removing the graphics card and reinstalling it?

    Just something to do...
    a b Î Nvidia
    March 18, 2010 12:55:49 PM

    badwolf13 said:
    Hey guys
    Just wondering, because I'm bored, should I try removing the graphics card and reinstalling it?

    Just something to do...


    It wouldn't hurt, I've got a whole collection of cards and some time swap them around just for kicks. It is a shame that my x1900xt and 3870 don't use the same driver. :(  At least I can swap my nvidia cards around as I please. Got a near mint 6800gt (looks good but slow) which gets owned by my 8800gtx. The 8800gtx that I got only cost me $32 lol and still runs. From what I have read that you cleaned the cooler so look into the cooler to make sure that you got all the dust out. Take the crap cooler off and replace the dried out stock compound with arctic silver5. If that helps then good you saved that 8600.
    a b Î Nvidia
    March 18, 2010 4:27:34 PM

    Yeah, couldn't hurt re-seating it. I don't think I would redo the thermal paste though as it would probably just be wasting paste (which isn't super cheap) on something you won't be using for that long (most likely) and for a card that probably isn't overheating. Would sorta be a waste IMO, but it couldn't hurt anything if you felt the need to try it.
    !