Hey, my brother and I both have a Leadtek winfast gtx 280 in otherwise non-identical computers. A month or two ago my computer started freezing, mostly during games, and in a vary spectacular fashion. For some seconds, the screen displays random colors closely resembling being close to a cathode ray tube monitor. The mouse is a big square that moves for a little while, while sound still plays, and eventually it goes all black and requires a reboot. Recently my brother's computer started doing the very same.
I don't believe it's the temperature of the graphics card that has any say. Many of the crashes appear the moment I launch a Steam game, namely Dota 2 and Portal 2. I've had problems with Skyrim as well. I read about some trouble with Steam Cloud and disabled that, but to no avail. Sometimes the crashes happen during the game, but I don't recall any instance where it happened more than once per day. I have also been able to play Skyrim for many hours without any graphics problems.
The graphics cards are obviously a few years old and have been used quite a bit. It just seems strange to me they start dying or whatever at the exact same time and I was hoping it was either a software issue or something that could be fixed in other ways.
I hope you can help.
Edit: I'm an idiot. It's a 280, not a 260. If anyone with connections happened to change the topic title as well, that would be appreciated. ><
After finding out it's a 280, I've found that a lot of cards did the same thing, so it's a known issue. The vendor went bankrupt and the card is nearly three years old anyway, so I'll go with the solution of heating the card in the oven.