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Video Card Issues with New Machine

Last response: in Systems
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November 14, 2011 11:31:23 AM

Alright, I just assembled a new machine. I've updated Windows fully and installed the newest drivers from nVidia.

Here are the system specs;

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CPU: Intel Core i7-960 Bloomfield 3.2GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Desktop Processor BX80601960
Mobo: EVGA E758-A1 3-Way SLI (x16/x16/x8) LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard
Memory: 2 x CORSAIR XMS3 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Triple Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model TR3X6G1600C9
HDD1: Seagate Momentus XT ST95005620AS 500GB 7200 RPM 2.5" SATA 3.0Gb/s with NCQ Solid State Hybrid Drive -Bare Drive
HDD2: Hitachi 1 TB Deskstar SATA 7200 RPM 32 MB Cache Internal Hard Drive HD31000 IDK/7K - Retail
HDD3: Hitachi 1 TB Deskstar SATA 7200 RPM 32 MB Cache Internal Hard Drive HD31000 IDK/7K - Retail
Optical: HP BD Combo SATA Model BD240I-h01 LightScribe Support
GPU: EVGA SuperClocked 01G-P3-1563-AR GeForce GTX 560 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
PSU: Rosewill BRONZE Series RBR1000-M 1000W Continuous@40°C, 80Plus Bronze Certified,Modular Cable Design,Active PFC"Compatible with Core i7, i5" Power Supply
OS: Windows 7 Ultimate 64 Bit SP1

GPU Driver Version: 285.62
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Here is the issue:

1. In games, periodically the graphics become corrupted. Water or certain textures become pixellated/distorted (think checkered pixels, things of that nature.) Closing the game out and restarting it will fix the problem. I sometimes can go an entire day or more with no issue like this. I'd say this happens "intermittently."

2. When watching streaming video on say, Amazon On Demand, at some point in the video the entire video will turn green screen, otherwise it continues playing (audio continues as normal.) After 10 seconds or so a small notification will appear in the bottom right saying "Driver 285.62 has stopped working and has successfully restarted." (Message very similar to that, I'll try to get the exact language soon.)

3. If you're a gamer you'll know what I'm talking about on this one. Normally if you're in a game where you go into a "dark" area, that means you can't see very well. However typically the UI (the health bars, interface elements etc) stay normal. I'm very familiar with the games I play and normally in a dark area, yes the visibility is reduced but my action bars, map and etc stay normal. However, now when I get into an area that is very dark my whole screen will dim considerably, making it hard to see anything. It's almost like the monitor itself is dimming slightly. The only way I've been able to fix it is to get my character to a better lit area and then it's like the monitor starts putting out more light.

Note it's not "fade to black", it's just "dim considerably." Which is not normal behavior with these games on my old system.

Obviously my first thoughts are: 1. GPU hardware issue, and I'm going through EVGA support on that potential, or 2. Driver issue. The driver issue brings me here, a lot of google searches show I'm not the only one who has had this specific problem with the driver starting/restarting, but the solutions have been a mixed bag just from reading threads on other forums. If anyone has any ideas on what I could do to try and fix this (if it's a driver issue) that would be very much appreciated.

I should also mention my system temperature is normally around 23 C, gets up to 30 C while under heavy load. Which is well within normal range for my CPU. That's CPU temp, I do not know what GPU temp is while gaming as I haven't monitored it, but I'll look into doing that later today as well.
a b B Homebuilt system
November 14, 2011 12:10:18 PM

23c and gets up to 30c? Is the ambient temperature of your room hoovering around -10c? Normal idle temps with good cooling are 32-38c, going up to 50-60c under heavy load.
At first this problem sounds to me like a video card issue as well. I would get hold of EVGA first thing and see what they say.
November 14, 2011 12:20:47 PM

This is the first system I've owned with an LED temp display for the CPU on the Mobo, so I've just been eyeing it through the case. I suppose it's possible that isn't an accurate reading. But at least according to the LED, it's normally 21-23c idle and the highest I've seen while under load has been 30c.
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 14, 2011 12:34:29 PM

If those numbers are correct, all of us here want to know exactly what type of cooler you are running, cause we are all going to order one right now!
a b B Homebuilt system
November 14, 2011 1:02:50 PM

I'd suggest that you download and run MSI Afterburner software, even if you don't intend to overclock your GPU. It reports the GPU temperature(s), to my experience, accurately. I am running two GTX 470s in SLI and the top card is at about 40 C at idle, while the bottom is at about 30 C. At stress they are at about 70 and 60 respectively.

You should also list the specific games and problems that you are having. If your problem is in Crysis or WoW it is helpful if you say so.
November 14, 2011 3:18:03 PM

Will do on downloading Afterburner.

The most common problem is the streaming video w/Amazon On Demand.

I assembled this system about 1.5 weeks ago and played WoW the first 2 days a little bit, but I haven't played it since then (there were 0 issues at that point.)

After then I've been playing Everquest 2 and that's where I've seen some artifacting.

Last night I ran Minecraft for the first time on this machine and ran into serious issues, the whole monitor dimming is a problem I'd seen in EQ2 during loading screens and such but normally was not an issue. In Minecraft when it became night time the monitor dimmed so much the game became unplayable and just like I said, it's not just the visual area that dims, the inventory screens and everything get dimmed out...it's genuinely that the monitor is putting out less light as though its luminescence is being reduced.
!