Finally after almost a year since the problem arose i have fixed the random black screens while playing games with this card. This fix does not require rivatuner and does not require ANY underclocking at all unless your card is damaged. I know that a lot of people have this card and this specific problem with this card, trust me it is not driver related. So here is the fix.
[Step Numero Uno: Go to and download Nvidia Powermizer Manager.]

[Step Uno Dos: Open the .exe file and get to the main window, click "Create PowerMizer Settings" make sure to create a backup for each step of this just in case because this program messes around in your registry.

[Step Tres: Click on the check box that says "Enable PowerMizer Feature". Under the "PowerMizer On Battery" click the bubble that says auto throttle. Then under "PowerMizer On AC Adapter" click the bubble that says Fixed Performance Level: and set it to Max. Perf/Min. PowerSave. Ok finally click the check box that says "Overheat Slowdown Override and set it to Disable Overheat Protection. Then either "Apply and Reboot" or "Instant Apply".]

[Step Quatro: Download a program called Msi Afterburner. After you open it set your clocks to desired speeds (I put mine to 560, 1400, 800 for stability). Save the clocks to a profile and "Apply overclocking at system startup" should be lit up.]


And VIOLA! Your 9800m Gts card will be like new once again and you can play all day with no black screen of doom!

Also i recommend going into the settings of Msi and enabling the Onscreen Display so you can see if your card is being pushed too hard because overheat protection is disabled (aka) what causes the GPU to crash.

(my system specs)
Geforce 9800m GTS
Driver Version
Forceware 285.38
Gateway p7811Fx gaming laptop.

Thank you for reading and enjoy!
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  1. Signed up just to thank you for this.

    I've been trying to find an alternative to underclocking to 400/800/300 with "Force Constant Performance Level" in Rivatuner. I tried this and got instant results in Mass Effect 2, which had been reliably crashing every ten minutes before.

    Unfortunately Far Cry 1 still crashes constantly (though RivaTuner underclocking fixes that, albeit with performance loss)

    edit: also a p7811fx user
  2. I got same pc and card as you, and obviously the same problem.
    I have gotten by so far with riva tuner's "performance level 3d"

    I have tried this fix but unfortunately it did not work. Skyrim crashed right upon loading. This whole thing is starting to get to me over the years. Gateway support is absolutely useless, and Nvidia says they cant help cause card came with gateway pc.

    Additionally now I get the black screen of death during not playing games.
  3. Hey Dojowox
    I wrote this thread (thinking) i had a fix for our faulty cards. But in fact the problem started to reoccur and crashed my computer like before. The best advice i can give you is to set your Rivatuner clocks at (420 core)
    (1111 Shader) and (777 Memory) like mine. Of course you can change these values and get MAYBE 5-10% more performance but your games will begin to exit out when they ask for more power. Go look up "Gamebooster" on Google and disable all your services except for explorer.exe when you want to run games, I get around 15-20% increase in performance when playing games after doing this and that's saying a lot because i keep this laptop in peak condition all the time, talking about clean and optimized everything. Also with these clocks and Gamebooster i don't dip below 30 fps in Skyrim and get an average of 45 fps on low shadows and a few tweaked view distances. Our cards aren't they outdated as i can play all the new games they just need a lil love. O and i wish that Rivatuner could detect our laptops 4th video profile so that we could change the high clocks but because Rivatuner was meant for desktop pc's it doesn't detect our "on battery power" profile. So were stuck at 0.900 volts sadly. Its kind of like having a Lamborghini with a 600 horse power engine but it comes stock set at 450 horsepower and the turbo button is broken.
  4. I find it weird that the games NEVER crash when the laptop runs on battery.

    Also can you play BF3? I having some extreme difficulties with that game.

    Also it crashes with BF pf4f on Air maps, but that could be something else on the game side.

    Skyrim runs really well with rivatuner's 3d performance force, I did not mess with the clocks in riva tuner though, cause when I changed em in Afterburner, I would crash even out of games.

    We REALLY need some help from nvidia on this one, cause I know gateway is far too incompetent to do anything.
  5. Games crash because the people at Nvidia or gateway put the voltages for this card too high thus causing it to overheat and loose its lifetime significantly faster. The highest voltages for our card are set at 1.110 volts which is a little ridiculous for a laptop card, since heat build up is such a problem. All of our cards have a hardware problem and the problem is a crack in the soldering (from too high voltages) :non:.

    Also another problem could be that our card was poorly designed and rushed to the market without proper stress testing for stability. With Bf3 i cannot play it on this computer so i just ended up buying it for the xbox. Bf3, Saints Row 3 and some other games have been optimized for a quad core cpu and because we only have a core 2 duo they rely more heavily on our poor little 9800. This could be because the people at Dice, Volition and other companies teamed up with hardware manufacturing companies to get you to want to upgrade your system to play their game. Just a theory of mine though.

    I used Afterburner for setting clock speeds before but it doesn't really change anything since there is still a problem with our 4th profile and MSI is setting the clocks on the 4th profile not the 3rd like Rivatuner does. That is why it still crashes. I doubt Nvidia would help with an older card like ours and if they did it would cost us a lot of money to repair, refurbish or replace.
    (1st profile: idle: 169,100,338: 0.900V)
    (2nd profile: performance 2d: 275,300,550: 0.900V)
    (3rd profile: performance 3d on battery: 400,300,800: 0.900V)
    (4th profile: performance 3d plugged in: 600,1500,800: 1.110V)
    See the huge difference in clock speeds and a 210 Volt change?
  6. And there is no way to fool the laptop into thinking its running on battery, without diminishing clock speeds?

    Also I cant set Memory clock higher than 450
  7. There is no way to fool faulty hardware since the hardware is still damaged. To maintain our plugged in clock speed we would have to keep the same voltages. simply put, we cant have clock speeds of 600,1500, and 800 with a voltage of 0.900 without completely frying the card. So its not really possible to fool the card.

    Also if we had acess to our fans and voltage controls we could fix our cards, but because
    they are laptop versions these controls are locked from within the card and cant be acessed by any means I am aware of. Perhaps with extensive research there is a way, but I havent found any as of the time of writing this.

    Oh and to unlock a higher memory limit you need to go into rivatuner and set the min and max clocks allowed. I cant tell you specifically where this is because im with my family for christmas and I dont have my computer right in front of me. Google is your friend!

    If you need anything else just ask :), & happy holidays!
  8. Hey, me again, gateway released a new VGA driver yesterday for this PC. Checking it out right now.

    Also I am getting a new problem. When I plug in the cord, the temperature starts rising till it hits 100 even though the pc is idle. I have a few ideas on how to fix that but wow...

    I think its fixed, now I am idling at 80-90c both on battery and cord, freaking aweful.

    I found a tutorial on undervolting 9800m GTS but I am too afraid to try.

    Oh its just dust, cleaned out cpu fan but I cant reach gpu one, its a bit tricky to disassemble this monster.
  9. Either of you able to get your system running stable while plugged in? Same issues and tried just everything listed above and still crashing in games/windows plugged in.
  10. About 5 months ago i took apart my whole computer and cleaned it then put on new arctic silver thermal paste. So far my computer is running without any hiccups *fingers crossed*. Dust and old thermal paste could be a problem of yours if your FX is overdue for a cleaning and maintenance. The only thing i can say about crashing is that it was crashing on Skyrim because of the steam update so i had to downclock again but i didn't really notice a performance loss, my RivaTuner clocks are 411 core, 930 shader, 780 mem. Try those clocks and let me know if they fix your problem. :)
  11. Update:
    The card continues to deteriorate, now it has crashing issues while idle, also i had to turn it down to low power mode to prevent drivers from crashing in certain games. I also have difficulty starting the pc, as it crashes the 1st try. This card is a lost cause. I just hope the pc lives long enough for me to collect 1500$ to get a nice desktop.
  12. dojwowox said:
    The card continues to deteriorate, now it has crashing issues while idle, also i had to turn it down to low power mode to prevent drivers from crashing in certain games. I also have difficulty starting the pc, as it crashes the 1st try. This card is a lost cause. I just hope the pc lives long enough for me to collect 1500$ to get a nice desktop.

    Yep, that just happened to my card last week. I've had the laptop since it first came out, resurrected it through countless crashes and issues it's had since, but its now crashing while idle, and not over heating. PC isn't even crashing, just the gpu and sometimes it's driver. However, most of the time that drags the computer down with it, and it black screen crashes and requires a hard shutdown. Originally I blamed 306.23 drivers, but it persisted even after reverting to 296.10 drivers, and now on 306.97 drivers. Clean install didn't solve the problem. Nothing else has issues, so I'm fairly certainly it's finally just given up.
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