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Graphics card or motherboard?

Last response: in Components
December 12, 2012 8:45:50 PM

I have a self-built computer, and for the past several months, I have had a reoccuring error. My computer randomly shuts off a video signal and completely freezes (shutdown commands will not work), yet fans keep running and they will even sometimes speed up. Originally, I thought it was the power supply, so I bought a new one, but that did not fix it. This crash has occurred in the bios as well as during a memtest, so I know it's not a problem with the OS or hard drive. Is this more likely to be a graphics card problem or a dying motherboard? Or could it even be the processor? Thanks for any help.


WD Black 500gb HDD
Crucial M4 64gb SSD
AMD Phenom II X4 955
HIS Radeon HD 6870
ASRock 870 Extreme3 Mobo
Wintec 4gb DDR3 1333 RAM
Corsair CX500 500-watt PSU
December 12, 2012 8:51:45 PM

It's definitely a hardware fault of some sort but it is almost impossible to help diagnose without further information. what you your error logs say ?
December 12, 2012 8:57:53 PM

well this comes up as a critical error every time it happens, I'm not sure what other information there could be.

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December 12, 2012 11:28:39 PM

Your motherboard is an ASRock and you know it isn't the power supply...

Did it actually restart during a MemTest86+ run, or just freeze? (Either is a sign of a massive hardware defect).
- During the MemTest86+ did you get any memory errors?

... my money is on the motherboard personally.

- CPUs will last 25+ years and certainly no less than 8 years.
- A defective or failing HDD may freeze windows, but it wouldn't freeze an in memory OS (such as MemTest86+).
- Do you have a cheap/old video card that you trust?
December 12, 2012 11:42:38 PM

During the MemTest86+ run, it did the same crash as it did when it was booted into the OS. The monitor lost a signal, the fans sped up, and the computer became unresponsive. Even thought the memtest never got to finish, it had not come up with any errors. I do have an old graphics card that I trust, and it seemed to have worked when I put it in, but I feel like I can't be sure since the crashes are so random.

I have had minor problems with the motherboard before though, such as it not restarting properly or booting itself up on its own after being in hibernation mode.
December 14, 2012 9:33:14 PM

try the old CPU for a couple days and see what happens \
December 16, 2012 12:03:56 PM

It turned out to be the motherboard. I bought a new one, put it in without reinstalling windows, and everything worked as it was supposed to. Thanks guys.