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Issues with 9800 GTX (crashes and artifacting)

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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June 9, 2012 7:24:21 AM

Hi everyone! So unfortunately, recently my good ol' 9800 GTX seems to be having problems. I was wondering if I could get some hints/advice about what the problem could be. The problem is that whenever I play a graphics intensive game, after a seemingly random amount of time, the game crashes with the sound freezing up and weird artifacting/flickering on the screen. The computer is completely unresponsive at that point, only thing to do is just turn it off.

At first I thought it was a driver issue. Recently, however, every once in a while when it crashes, upon rebooting there are weird patterns overlaying all of the boot up screens, before Windows even starts. Once windows boots, all the fancy transparency effects don't work, and when I try to start Nvidia Control Panel it tells me I do not have an Nvidia card in my system. A reboot at that point fixes the problem (well, at least until the next crash). This leads me to believe it's a hardware issue instead. Searching this forum as well as a few others, similar symptoms led to this conclusion.

One thing which I noticed that was different from other people describing the problem, is a weird thing with my shader and memory clock speeds. The values do not match the default values when I view them in GPU-z. My memory clock is slightly over default, and my shader clock is slightly under the default. I never messed with overclocking, so I definitely didn't change the clock speeds. Is it normal for the clocks to not be spot on? Or is this an indicator of something being wrong with the card?

By the way, I got GPU-z to monitor temps to see if it is overheating before it crashes, but it barely reaches 67 C when it crashes, which isn't that bad at all. The fan never goes above 50% capacity. I looked at the card, and it wasn't very dusty, but I cleaned it anyway, but to no avail.

Thanks for any help!
a b U Graphics card
June 9, 2012 7:38:43 AM

Those strange patterns are called "artifacts" and are unfortunately a sign that your card is dying. (specifically I think it has to do with video memory failure, but also it might be micro-fracturing in the solder on the card.)
The only thing that could fix it would be "baking" it, which is a crazy DIY method that actually works. Basically you pop the PCB of your card in the oven at 200 degrees celcius for about 7 minutes, the solder on your card melts back into place, and the card is fixed for another 3 years.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DmzGnjJNZrM
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a c 99 U Graphics card
June 9, 2012 7:55:22 AM

Yea, if the card is not overheating or isn't driver related. The card maybe possibly dying.
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June 9, 2012 1:38:28 PM

I was afraid this was the case! Any clue why the clocks are not running at default speeds? Is that also a symptom of a dying card? Or is that part normal?

As far as baking it - I've found this DYI fix in my research before posting, I'm not sure if I wan to go that way first. Although it seems to have a high success rate, it's still pretty scary haha. The card is an XFX, and supposedly has a liftetime warranty, so I think I will give contacting XFX a try and see what they can do for me. I just wanted to get some opinions about my problem so that I know what I'm dealing with. If XFX doesn't honor the warranty because of some catch, I'll probably try doing the oven trick - nothing to lose at that point!
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a b U Graphics card
June 9, 2012 2:28:07 PM

Your 9800 is getting old, a good card for certain in its day, but its showing its age.
XFX will likely offer you a replacement of a more current card with similar performance, which will be a low-mid range gaming card by today's standards.
You may get the offer, and if they don't give it to you, ask, to upgrade to a modern gaming GPU with a good bit better performance than your old 9800 for a pretty steep discount. Entirely depends on your needs and hardware, but just wanted to toss that out there.
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a c 99 U Graphics card
June 9, 2012 10:49:34 PM

jitpublisher said:
Your 9800 is getting old, a good card for certain in its day, but its showing its age.
XFX will likely offer you a replacement of a more current card with similar performance, which will be a low-mid range gaming card by today's standards.
You may get the offer, and if they don't give it to you, ask, to upgrade to a modern gaming GPU with a good bit better performance than your old 9800 for a pretty steep discount. Entirely depends on your needs and hardware, but just wanted to toss that out there.


^^^+1

I'd suggest what jitpublisher is recommending. It's better to either get a replacement of the same or similar, or possible upgrade from XFX.
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a c 173 U Graphics card
June 9, 2012 11:32:45 PM

XFX is good on their warranty without a doubt and their support is actually decent compared to other companies that might as well be run by big harry apes. Just be sure that it was a card that hasn't registered to someone else or bought second hand. Don't need proof of purchase.
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June 10, 2012 8:42:26 PM

Yeah, my 9800 GTX is definitely showing it's age. I was thinking of upgrading some components in my PC, so this might be a good opportunity to get me started! I will contact XFX and see what they can do for me and what options I have as far as upgrading at a discount. Thank you for everyone's advice and comments!
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