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GTS 450 - artifacting on desktop

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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February 3, 2012 3:10:28 PM

I purchased a recertified GTS 450 from NewEgg in December. It worked for about a month of playing Portal, Portal 2, Oblivion, and various other Steam games... much improved frame-rates compared to the old 8600GTS that it replaced.

Then, in the first week of January, it started artifacting all over the place, gaming became impossible, and it was even artifacting/tearing the windows desktop (shimmering window borders, regions within web-pages, and finally massive rectangular and triangular black tears).

I RMAd it back to PNY, they sent me a replacement unit about 10 days later (Not too shabby), I installed it, and played a few test games and videos, it seemed to work fine... This is in my office/gaming workstation that I seldom use, as I use my laptop for my daily dev workstation. Today, I am working from my basement office, using that workstation, and find it artifacting the windows desktop again.

Before I RMA this again, are there any diagnostics / troubleshooting steps I can perform to figure out if it's really the card, or something else (drivers, etc...) from my machine?

Configuration:
* ASUS P5W DH DELUXE/WIFI-AP
* Antec NEO ECO 620W PS
* Intel Core 2 Quad 6600
* 8GB (4x2GB GSkill DDR2 800)
* 1TB Samsung SATA-II HD
* Winodws 7 Ultimate x64
* PNY GTS 450, since December of 2011 (previously using 8600GTS, since June of 2007)
* 22" Viewsonic 1680x1050 via DVI cable
* 20" IBM 1600x1200, via DVI cable

Any help appreciated.
a c 175 U Graphics card
February 3, 2012 4:04:23 PM

Well you actually might change the brand.
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February 3, 2012 4:11:36 PM

refillable said:
Well you actually might change the brand.


That's great, though somewhat late, info... Now that I've got the card, and since it was a refub that NewEgg won't take back, I'm sort of stuck with it and PNY's RMA department...

Any thoughts on actually trouble-shooting it?
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a b U Graphics card
February 3, 2012 4:24:06 PM

Well you could try Driver trouble shooting. (Guidelines not needed), But No you are not Stuck with it. Most of the time in the case, one persons None working Video Card on ebay for 50/60$ is a steal for somone else. Just because please camp the bid buttons on messed up cards because mostl likely its a simple fix. I had a 550 ti from guess.....PNY. I would be gaming with it and out of no where my computer would get extremely laggy and just reboot. I was using a 750 watt corsair.....Not a power issue. So i gave the card to my friend and he has it working and said it was a driver problem, he was up till 3am working on it. I let him have the card:) . I don't recommend PNY anything. Blue PCB for one just isnt attractive. Well i would put it on ebay and if you can afford to spend a little more money along with what you make from the card. the new kepler series is gonna look great:) !. or you could just get a nice 500 series card. Maybe a 560 not ti
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February 3, 2012 6:54:12 PM

Hmm, I unplugged the second monitor, and it seems to be happy now. No more artifacting on the desktop, even while playing videos.

I really need dual monitors, so I guess I will be e-baying this one...
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February 3, 2012 8:24:59 PM

Well, strike that... I just fired up Portal 2 to test the single screen theory in something more taxing than playing a video... It bombed totally. Either the card is toast, or there's something very wrong with drivers or something...

Other thoughts???
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February 4, 2012 3:05:26 AM

I see that my mobo is so old that it has PCIe x16 (not 2.0)... I was under the impression that video cards would back themselves down to the older format, but could this be the problem? The GTS 450 says it uses 2.0...

It doesn't say anywhere that it works with the older version slots, but it doesn't say it doesn't either....

I guess I can spend $50 and get an updated mobo that has the 2.0 slot, so I don't have to shell out for a whole new combo (Mobo/CPU/RAM)...

Am I barking up the wrong tree there, or is this likely the problem???
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a c 175 U Graphics card
February 4, 2012 3:27:39 AM

Well it should be backward compatible, maybe you need to update the BIOS.
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February 6, 2012 7:23:26 PM

Already running the most recent bios for the motherboard. By most recent, I mean the one from October of 2010... Nice of ASUS to support the board for so long, I bought it in June of 2007.
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February 7, 2012 12:31:36 AM

Have you tried a clean install of the drivers?
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February 13, 2012 3:16:37 PM

Yes, I'd done several clean installs of various versions of drivers, none seemed to improve the situation.

I decided that the combination of the 5-year old mobo that didn't have a proper PCIx16v2.0 slot and the two year old bios were probably the culprits. I found a new socket 775 board and replaced the 5-year old mobo with an Intel BOXDG43GT LGA 775 Intel G43, which is newer and actually has a PCIx16 2.0 slot. This was a cheap ($60) board, which allowed me to re-use everything from my old ASUS board, but was missing one case-fan header, so my HDD now has just one fan blowing across it, instead of the two I had previously. This is not a big deal, as the second fan was really just to push more air through the case since I used to have a passively cooled 8600GTS.

Not sure if it's because the slot is now the right rev, or just getting a couple years newer BIOS, but the card seems to be working well now. I was able to play an hour or so of Portal 2 without glitches, which was impossible on the older mobo.

I'm a happy camper for now, hopefully it will continue to operate as it should.
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