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Faulty GPU? Mysterious Crashes when Gaming

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October 15, 2010 8:05:12 AM

My machine is locking up completely when playing BFBC2. There are no artifacts but it freezes and there is a terrible sound through the audio.

I have done my best to troubleshoot the problem but don't know what is causing it. Things I have tried:

Re-seat my video card and ram.

Checked Temps- All good.

Run Memtest all night- Zero errors.

Run Chkdsk /f

Run Prime95 for 2 hours, no problem

Reinstalled Windows 7 x64

Rolled back my CPU oc

Tried three different video card drivers

Reinstalled the game in question- BFBC2

Tomorrow I will try a new video card out to see if that stops it, but I don't have it yet.

What troubles me is that I don't know what it could be? Is it possible that this is a GPU failure? I bought the 460 3 months ago and never OC'd it. Or is it possible that it is a PSU failure and that stressing my GPU is causing the system to lose power? I'm not sure what kind of crash that would be though- would it lock up like this? Or is it possible that my HDD is bad, even though chkdsk shows no errors? I don't even know what a mobo failure would look like, but because my CPU seems stable, and this only happens in-game, I'm really more inclined to think it's GPU or PSU or HDD.

If it is my PSU i'd like to be able to say for sure so I can RMA it while the warranty is still good for another six months- and incidentally that PSU is known to have a high number of defects. If it's my GPU I can get another one from EVGA but I want to be sure I'm right before I send it back.


Any help is much appreciated, I will do my best to troubleshoot further and report back once I get my hands on the spare GPU tomorrow.




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a b B Homebuilt system
a b U Graphics card
October 15, 2010 1:06:19 PM

It is most likely a PSU failure. But it's not failing you terribly or the system would just reboot.
The case could be more like a HDD lagging and the PSU failing.... during fast gaming sessions , both the HDD and the GPU are under stress as light drop in required current to either one leads to a hang.

Before you go for a new GPU test I'd rather you went in for a PSU..... swap
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a b B Homebuilt system
a c 140 U Graphics card
October 15, 2010 1:58:22 PM

I had a similar (identical?) problem a few years back after just installing my Geforce 7800GS in to my system. My system would lock up and a sound clip, about a quarter second in length, would just continuously loop until I did a reset. Turned out the power supply just wasn't sufficient for that GPU. Dropped in a slightly more powerful PSU (I think I went from a CoolerMaster 450Watt to an Antec 500watt) and the problem disappeared.

-Wolf sends
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a c 122 B Homebuilt system
a b U Graphics card
October 16, 2010 6:46:58 AM

Wolfshadw said:
Dropped in a slightly more powerful PSU (I think I went from a CoolerMaster 450Watt to an Antec 500watt) and the problem disappeared.

It wasn't the more powerful power supply that did it. A good 350 - 400 watt PSU can power your system. Your system started working properly because the Antec is a much higher quality PSU than the CoolerMaster.
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a b B Homebuilt system
a b U Graphics card
October 16, 2010 6:57:41 AM

Quality.... or current rating and efficiency??
I think they specify both those things in the documentation add them to the user reviews and you'll certainly get the right thing for your rig.....
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October 16, 2010 12:14:23 PM

Thanks for the replies guys. I'll get back to this thread later this weekend when I have a chance to test the new powersupply I bought to see if that fixes things. I guess it will be hard to tell if the drive was bad or the PSU because I replaced both and did a clean install.

The reason I did that was because the drive got corrupted for the second time and couldn't find boot manager. When I tried to repair it or to even find a restore point I couldn't find either so I had to reinstall. I suppose that doesn't give any clues to the cause of my crashes, right? Because couldn't the PSU failing have caused the HDD corruption?

In any case, I RMA'd the PSU and since there was a known defect with my particular model they didn't give me any trouble about it.

Thanks for any more help and what's been given already- I will keep checking back and pick a best answer. :) 
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a b B Homebuilt system
a b U Graphics card
October 16, 2010 12:37:34 PM

Are you using any 3rd party drive managers? for cloning, partitioning or stuff like that?
If you are, you really don't need to, try to let windows do it all.
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October 17, 2010 9:33:16 AM

Hi, no I wasn't using any third party drive managers for those things, but I was using PefectDisk for defragging. I don't know what the problem was and now I may never know- I replaced my PSU *and* my primary HDD and the problems have ceased so it's not possible to say what was happening- unfortunately. Another thing is that I found a SATA cable that was loose and so I replaced it too, I don't know if this could have caused the crashes or what, but probably good to get rid of it.

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October 17, 2010 9:35:14 AM

Best answer selected by nativeson8803.
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