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Artifacting on 3 different cards... PSU at fault?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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October 21, 2010 5:02:21 AM

Hello, I am having a problem with my graphics cards artifacting. I am on my 4th card in this semi-new build and I believe that the chances that I have gotten 3 bad cards is slim. Please help.

1st card was a GTS 250, after about 1 week it developed artifacts while playing Wow and Bio-shock2, rma'd card for a refund.
Bought a Radeon 5450 from the pc store near my house to use while I saved up for the GTX 460, this card worked fine the whole time I owned it (about 2 weeks), *note* this card does not use any extra power connectors.
Got the eVGA GTX 460 and it worked great for maybe 3 days then it develpoed artifacts as well. RMA for a replacement.
Receive replacement and it works fine for another 2 weeks, then bam artifacts again while gaming. Now I am getting worried something else may be wrong so I test the card with EVGA OC Scanner and it gets artifacts there too. This rules out the game. Run memtest-86 twice and passed.

Today: decided to try out Wow to see if I was still getting artifacts and what do you know, they're completely gone. Run OC Scanner and no aritfacts there either.

I am thoroughly confused, the only thing I can think after reading many forums is that possibly my psu is randomly sending a bad signal that causes the artifacts.
Also this particular PSU has the 8 & 6-pin PCI-e power connectors split off of 1, 8 wire lead: maybe the cause??

Another thought, I am using Windows XP which only has DirectX9 and the card supports 11, could that cause issues or am I just missing out...

Specs:
Mobo: MSI 870a-G54
CPU: AMD AthlonII X3 RANA 440 3.0ghz with Zalman CNPS 10X Performa Cooler
Memory: G.Skill 2x2gb dual channel running at 1600mhz, 1.5v : Passed Memtest-86 on 2 separate passes.
GPU: eVGA GTX 460 768mb
PSU Antec Neo ECO 520c
HDD: WD Caviar Black 640gb
Case: Lian-Li PC-60 FNW

Any thoughts on if the psu could be at fault before I buy this badboy to rule out the PSU!

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
a b Î Nvidia
October 21, 2010 8:04:45 AM

That's a good PSU, but not guaranteed that PSU is working fine.
Have you check the temps of all the artifacting card? It could be an overheating...
What is your room temp?
About your PSU, is it still under warranty? If yes then you can RMA it just to make sure you get a working PSU...
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October 21, 2010 9:05:59 AM

CPU temp: idle 29c, load 42c
GPU temp: idle 27-29, load 49-50 - none of the cards have been overheating, the GTS 250 was a MSI Twin Frozr and it ran cool.
Mobo Temp: 28c - 32c
Room temp: 23-25c, Central Air Conditioning.

Yes PSU is still under warranty.
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a b Î Nvidia
October 21, 2010 9:22:06 AM

wow, your temps are cool...
then it's time to RMA the PSU, it could be your PSU is the source of your trouble. It could be, tell the XFX guy about your problem and let them check it for you...
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a b Î Nvidia
October 21, 2010 4:38:50 PM

No wait! Before you RMA...are you overclocking your CPU? If so, make sure you've locked your PCI buss at 100MHz. If not, it will climb along with your OC, and may exceed what the GPU can handle. Check that first.
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October 21, 2010 6:21:28 PM

The CPU is not overclocked yet, nor has it been. PCI-e bus was already set at 100mhz in the bios when I checked it.

Ya it does run cool, Lian-Li all aluminum case and Zalman Cooler keep it nice and chilly!
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a b Î Nvidia
October 21, 2010 6:37:23 PM

i have never read a PSU causing artifacts , usually its either the card or the monitor

PSU issues often cause game shutdown/instability or PC shutdowns/instability
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a b Î Nvidia
October 21, 2010 10:10:29 PM

^+1.
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Anonymous
October 21, 2010 10:28:33 PM

have you considered that it might be the motherboard? Maybe the pci-e slot is faulty?
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a b Î Nvidia
October 21, 2010 10:33:18 PM

is the artefacting sort of random or constant after it shows up the first time on each card? like when you get artefacts and reboot are they still there or does it run fine for several hours after the reboot?

just thinking it might still be the system memory acting up, IMO 2 passes on memtest86+ arent enough to completely rule it out... give me twenty!!
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October 21, 2010 11:30:18 PM

I've seen several situations where Prime95 found memory issues memtest failed to discover. So if you suspect memory, I'd run it with "Detect Rounding Errors" checked.

But this sounds like vid card, mobo, or monitor. Eliminate monitor as the cause first if you can.
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October 22, 2010 10:45:38 PM

It appears to be random, but when it does happen it happens during 3d applications only like gaming and benchmarks. When the artifacting started restarting pc would not fix it, it just went away randomly.

My monitor is Compaq Q2009 hooked up to vid card via a vga-dvi adapter. I will get my hands on a dvi or hdmi monitor and try that out, also will run some more system memory checks and update then.

Thanks for all the replys so far.
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Best solution

October 22, 2010 11:08:22 PM

The fact that you have triued several cards from AMD and nVidia, and all seem to work then fail with the same problem sort of clears the vid card as the source of the problem; it seems to be the victim lol.

Were it me, my next step would be to change the power source, either with a different psu swapped in, or at least adapters that allowed you to take either some or all power for the vid card from a different lead.

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a b Î Nvidia
October 26, 2010 10:58:17 PM

supertdubzz said:
so hopefully within 2 weeks I can return and update.
yeah pls do, I wanna know how this one turns out.
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a b Î Nvidia
October 27, 2010 12:46:27 AM

Same. Fact is, I've never read a review on the Neo Eco...
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October 27, 2010 2:13:57 AM

Do you clean the video card driver when swapping video cards?

Artifacting (when not hardware related) is mostly software driver or GPU settings. You can try scaling down the clock of your GPU.

PSU related artifacting can be caused by spikes or high ripple on the PSU.
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October 27, 2010 3:00:23 AM

Yes I used driver sweeper in safe mode when I swapped cards.

Shipping store was closed tonight so I've decided I am going to run memtest86 all night to further rule out system memory.

Here is a review on the Neo Eco that I have, note the authors disappointment in the pci-e connectors being split off of 1 lead wire.

http://forums.guru3d.com/showthread.php?t=317192
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a b Î Nvidia
October 27, 2010 10:22:05 AM

Wow, thorough review.
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October 27, 2010 7:19:30 PM

Memtest86 passed 7 times. Update soon...
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November 12, 2010 5:49:08 PM

eVGA shipped DOA product, why do I have such horrible luck with a good company!

cross-ship in progress... update soon
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November 24, 2010 9:18:46 PM

Best answer selected by supertdubzz.
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a c 171 Î Nvidia
November 24, 2010 9:49:39 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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