XFX GeForce 9600 GSO Defective video card ? (hoping)

ok before i begin i will state my system specs off the bat

Antec Earthwatts 650w
K9N2 SLI Platinum Mainboard
AMD Phenom 9650 Quadcore cpu
XFX GeForce 9600 GSO
Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 500G

I am running Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit clean install and for some odd reason i can no longer use Aero based themes (even with transparency etc. turned off). I am currently using the basic theme setting so i can still use my computer. Now i am noticing that if i have to use anything related to directx or direct3d my screen freezes with crazy pinkish colors and then my video card just turns off. In basic mode i notice it happens when i play a movie (any video player does this) and decide i want to fullscreen it, only then does it happen, when i resize a video being played.

My Bios/chipset are all updated by MSI website. I am using the latest drivers for my video card from NVIDIA (XFX drivers seemed to exacerbate this freeze issue). I have proper drivers for everything installed in device manager, i even back tracked a couple of drivers with my video card/chipset to see if the problem persists and it does regardless of what dates i try. I did 2 different mem tests and both say my RAM is fine.

I have an acrylic case that has 4 case fans and my system temp rarely goes beyond 32c, and my processor cores rarely reach past 47c. my video card is around 60ish at all times (after playing movies for 3 hours in basic mode while surfing web pages, etc. but no windows games, only webpage games work with no problem), even up until crash occurs, no spike in temps happens.

According to my mainboard utility my voltages are running just fine and i do not have random lock ups, this only seems to happen when a specific type of video acceleration is required. I am just trying to see what other options i have before i decide to purchase another motherboard or video card. thanks for taking the time to read!

p.s. i forgot to add that i was able to buy the 9600GSO for 40 bucks on a refurbished deal. that is why im jumping to the conclusion this cards days are numbered, the PSU, CPU, MOBO and HDD are all less than a year old, and i just started getting this problem about 3 days ago.

p.p.s i found a "fix" for people who cannot access Aero themes, it ends up saying my Desktop Windows Manager (or something of the like) is disabled. When i re-enable DWM it automatically goes to an aero theme (transparent or not) i still get the crash when i use my start menu.
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  1. Do you mind if i say re-install windows?
    Or, try your card in different PC first, see if the same problem still occur or not...
  2. This was a fresh install of windows 7 (deleted/formated drive before install). Living out in the boondocks i do not know too many people that have a PSU capable of testing this card out. I do have a video card, but its really old and damaged so its not reliable to compare. I got another vid card replacement coming in soon, so i will know whether or not i need to buy another PSU or mobo next (probably PSU if anything im thinking/hoping) :D
  3. and the verdict is finally in for the two of you who actually were following this post! My notions it was the video card going out on me was confirmed today. When i replaced it with a newer video card the problems disappeared. After setting the new card up i was able to inspect the 9600GSO to find that 3 capacitors were rupturing around the bottoms and one had completely split open on one side. This made sense why i could still do normal activities with the exception of certain graphics accelerations.

    For some reason the good folks at XFX thought it wise to place heat sensitive components that are infamous for bursting directly in front of the fan exhaust, aside from the row in front of the sink the other capacitors on the outer edges of the board were not even beginning to swell. Another stroke of "brilliance" from a company riding nvidias geforce coat tails i assume? (never knew much of them until now)
  4. I've actually got the exact same MOBO, GPU and RAM you have. Ever since I set everything up (clean OS install, XP and Windows 7) last year, I cannot run games without instability issues. Mostly complete lock-down while in a game with the screen just freezing in place and forcing me to do a hard restart. I have sent back and tested every piece of hardware with a complete GPU replacement and still having same issue. I did however go to the MSI website and looked up the K9N2 SLI Platinum's GPU compatibility chart and what do ya know... the GeForce 9600 GSO isn't on there. Not sure if it could be that where my problem lies but reading your message and seeing that you seem to not have any problems anymore reassures me I will never find what the problem is.

    I think I'll just sell the parts and go out and buy a pre-built gaming system, almost a year of trying to find the issue has worn me down :(.
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