GTX 460 hiccuping

Hello, I have a GTX 460 for Palit, and basically I've had a small problem with it that could possibly turn much badder. What happens is that when I play games like DOW 2, although it has no problem with the graphics etc... I play on Ultra, I keep getting this thing where somehow my screen goes black for a second or 2 and then goes back on.
It is definitely not monitor for 2 reasons: 1 is that when this happen the game does pause ingame for those 2 seconds, like im experiencing lag, and so I concluded the fault must be with the actual hardware or software. The second is that this used to happen on my old laptop. Yes this same thing happened, and the worrying thing is that my laptop was one of those doomed nVidia 8400 ones which all ended up dying/melting whatever.
The only difference between the GTX 460 and the laptop is that on the laptop I always got a message saying 'Display driver has stopped working and has recovered.' On my desktop it doesn't say anything, it just goes back to normal.
Now 2 seconds of black black screen every hour or so doesn't bother me much, and it's not the problem. The real problem is that I am getting worried this could be just a smaller manifestation of some greater faul, and that one day it might explode or something (perhaps not explode but you get what I'm saying).

Has anyone heard of this problem before and know's what to do? Thank you very much.

P.S: also btw although I never overclocked, I didnt download MSi afterburner just in case and to watch the temperature graphs for fun. However it kept giving me this problem where everytime I turned on my computer the mem. clock was set to 2000Mhz, when it should have been 1800. And I would set it back to 1800 but I was never sure whether it had actually worked, especially considering when I logged on again it was back at 2000. I'm not sure whether this could have caused the problem. All I know is that I uninstalled MSI soon after but currently I'm actually not sure whether the clock has stayed at 2000 or 1800. Considering this probably blew up my warranty it just gives me more reason not to want to see my graphics card die.

Thanks and sorry for the wall of text.
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More about hiccuping
  1. Does the game hiccups only in one game or other games too?
  2. I'm actually not too sure, it hiccups in DOW2 the most often, however I'm pretty sure I saw it hiccup a few times in Civ 5 and Empire Total War. The other thing is that DOW2 is I think my most demanding game, my comp gets the hotest playing it. My old laptop on the other hand hiccuped even when I used to play guild wars which is like and 8 year old game with no demanding graphics. But I see what you're saying, it doesnt most often happen in DOW2.
  3. Probably hardware problem, but I'm afraid to say it's hardware faulty yet.

    Maybe others can shed some light on the matter..
  4. Wierdly enough, just now I was playing Dawn of War 2 and for the first time instead of the screen just turning off the whole game got shut down. I got a error message from microsoft and it was like 50 errors but I clicked on 'details' and they were all: 'Graphics Hardware Fault'. I'm gonna redownload MSI afterburner and see what the memory clock is set at.
  5. Turn the fanspeed to 60-80% if it isn't already as it sounds like a thermal problem. Even if the gpu it's self is cool the rest of the card can very easily overheat.
  6. Just feed the video card a spoonful of sugar. Another trick is to have your card hold its breath for as long as it can. Then hold it again one more time as long as it can. That usually works for me.

    Seriously though, I remember seeing another thread somewhere with somebody having a Similar Dawn of War 2 issue. You can always try the DPC Latency Checker utility to see if it might be a driver issue. I know a small minority of people have had Driver troubles with the GTX 460 under certain conditions. Generally when they check with the DPC latency checker the values are WAY too high and it causes the graphics card to stop responding which causes the black screen. Basically the GPU/Driver is failing and then having to restart and recover itself.

    Anyway, give the DPC Latency thing a try and see what your values look like over time. Maybe even try leaving it on in the background while you play a game to see if it looks OK while in desktop but then spikes really high while gaming.

    Here is the website for that tool

    It requires no install. You just d/l the EXE then run it from your desktop or wherever you d/l your files to. Good luck and hopefully you can get this all figured out.

  7. Ty for the help, I downloaded the DPC thing. I will check next time I play how it goes. However at moment it might already be fixed. I redownloaded MSI afterburner and set the fan speed curve higher so that my graphics card doesnt top 70C, and guess what, for the past 2 hours I haven't had a single black screen. Although it could come up again anytime it is possible that the temperature fixed it. It's true that my card easily reached 80C before and the fan speed default was still at 40%, so it probably overheated.
    However I will keep checking the DPC to see if this comes up again. Thanks alot for the help you guys! I may now game in peace :)
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