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Dusted GPU, Games Crashing

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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May 23, 2012 6:12:24 AM

Ok, before I start, here are my system specifications:

Alienware m17x R2
i5 520m @ 2.4GHZ
8GB RAM
nVidia GTX 285m in single configuration mode

This is kind of a follow-up post. I have been getting ridiculously high temps with my GPU, idling around 55-60C and during gaming it rises alarmingly high (over 90C) and soon it rises above 100C.

So today, using the guide at the bottom of this post, I opened up my laptop and followed his directions exactly. I was very careful and successfully removed my GPU and cleaned off the heatsink (which was COVERED in dust) with a very soft brush. I did NOT remove the heatsink as I cannot get thermal paste right now, and I did NOT do the retainer mod listed in the tutorial. I re-inserted my GPU and it seemed to line up fine. Every screw went back in the order it came out and tightened very softly. I restarted my laptop and it re-booted like a champ. I launched Shogun 2 and when it reached the main menu, my computer froze completely. I restarted, and tried to run Tribes: Ascend. Five minutes after starting the game, another freeze. Can anyone help me? I have never opened a computer until today and I am positive I did everything correctly (all the lights working, I can watch HD video on YouTube just fine). What is going on? Any help appreciated.

Here is the tutorial I used: http://forum.techinferno.com/alienware-m17x/29-%5Bphoto...
May 23, 2012 6:47:21 AM

Here's a short update: I downloaded 3Dmark Vantage and ran it fine, I re-ran Tribes and it ran fine. I played for about 20min and GPU temps peaked at around 70C. Thoughts?
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May 23, 2012 7:41:23 AM

70C for a GPU is fine, you shouldn't be worried about it, but I would keep an eye on it to be on the safe side though. I also had temperatues around 70-75C and so I checked around, apparently anything up to 80C is OK.
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a b U Graphics card
May 23, 2012 8:30:57 AM

After removing and re-seating the GPU, you usually have to re-install the drivers. Try using DriverSweeper and install the latest ones from the Nvidia website. That is for desktops, I don't know if the procedure is the same for laptops. Wouldn't hurt to try though :D 
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May 23, 2012 3:30:37 PM

Thanks, I'll give that a shot and see what happens.
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a b U Graphics card
May 23, 2012 3:40:23 PM

auntarie said:
After removing and re-seating the GPU, you usually have to re-install the drivers. Try using DriverSweeper and install the latest ones from the Nvidia website. That is for desktops, I don't know if the procedure is the same for laptops. Wouldn't hurt to try though :D 


No you don't... he probably got dust in the socket.
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May 23, 2012 3:48:01 PM

A pink pencil eraser works wonders on electrical contacts like the ones on the bottoms of PCI cards. Be sure to remove eraser crumbs.
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a b U Graphics card
May 23, 2012 3:50:43 PM

ram1009 said:
A pink pencil eraser works wonders on electrical contacts like the ones on the bottoms of PCI cards. Be sure to remove eraser crumbs.



I agree. That works...
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May 23, 2012 5:48:09 PM

Well, I updated my GPU drivers and started up Shogun 2. I played for an hour without any hiccups and temps peaking at 70-75C. Everything seems to be working just fine now. If I have anymore problems I'll try the pink eraser trick. Thanks for all your help.

Parting thought, if I upgraded to a GTX 580m, will I need a new heatsink or will my current one work fine?
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a b U Graphics card
May 27, 2012 11:07:39 AM

Quote:
Well, I updated my GPU drivers and started up Shogun 2. I played for an hour without any hiccups and temps peaking at 70-75C. Everything seems to be working just fine now.


<sarcasm>Yup, no need to update drivers.</sarcasm> About the new GPU, the 580m is quite a bit more powerful than the 285m so maybe you will need a better heatsink. I don't know what your current one is and if it's good enough for a 580m. Alienware tech support will give you the best advice in this case.
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a b U Graphics card
May 27, 2012 2:17:35 PM

auntarie said:
Quote:
Well, I updated my GPU drivers and started up Shogun 2. I played for an hour without any hiccups and temps peaking at 70-75C. Everything seems to be working just fine now.


<sarcasm>Yup, no need to update drivers.</sarcasm> About the new GPU, the 580m is quite a bit more powerful than the 285m so maybe you will need a better heatsink. I don't know what your current one is and if it's good enough for a 580m. Alienware tech support will give you the best advice in this case.


No need to reinstall drivers if you take out a particular card and put it back in. Foolish and unnecessary... If you think that you have a lot to learn.
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a b U Graphics card
May 27, 2012 3:04:51 PM

RussK1 said:
No need to reinstall drivers if you take out a particular card and put it back in. Foolish and unnecessary... If you think that you have a lot to learn.


Well, I am new to this so I do have a lot to learn. But I'm sure about this- every good technician that I know says that when taking out a card and putting it back in, the computer registers a new GPU. And when there is a new GPU registered, the procedure is to install new drivers, no? Maybe the old ones have a chance to work still, but it's not 100% sure. This case is a good example- the problem was fixed by reinstalling the drivers. P.S. I hope I didn't offend you, that wasn't my aim.
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May 30, 2012 3:59:15 PM

I appreciate everyone's help, I have been wanting to learn how to work with laptops and this has been a good start for me. Thanks again and bless all.
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