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Many of my PC games are crashing for an unknown reason

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June 28, 2012 12:34:38 AM

I am getting desperate... I have tried just about everything now to fix my games from crashing but nothing seems to work. The games that crash are Shogun Total War 2, Skyrim, Civilization V, and Empire Total War, and even minecraft in rarer cases. I have tried updating all the drivers in my system, updating DX11, getting more RAM, getting a new power supply, de-fraging my hard-drive, and getting more cooling for my hardware.

Here is a list of my systems hardware.


Graphics card- EVGA GeForce GTX 550 Ti SuperClocked 1GB GDDR5

CPU- AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition AM3 CPU

RAM- Patriot Gamer 2 4GB DDR3 PC10666 1333MHz, and CRUCIAL 8GB KIT (4GBX2) DDR3 1333 MT/S

Motherboard- ASUS M5A97 AMD 970 Socket AM3+ Motherboard

Hard drive- WD Caviar Blue 500GB SATA HD 7200/16MB/SATA-6G

Disk drive- Sony Optiarc 24X DVDRW SATA OEM

Power Supply- Ultra LSP series 750W

Case- Cooler Master Elite 430 Mid Tower ATX Case

CPU Heatsink/fan- Cooler Master V6 GT Multi-Socket CPU Cooler


I spent around $1000 total all on this rig and I would at least like to play a game without it crashing every time I play it. I can not thank who ever solves this problem enough, because if this keeps on happening I will just go back to console gaming.
June 28, 2012 12:45:51 AM

This probably won't affect the game issue, but I couldn't help but notice you're motherboard is am3+, I have the same cpu as you and I'm almost positive it is am3 only. Seeing as am3+ isn't backwards compatible with am3, maybe your cpu doesn't work with you're motherboard?
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a b Î Nvidia
June 28, 2012 12:46:09 AM

Can you somehow isolate the problem? Like do you have an idea of what it might be? Because at this point it could be a whole host of things.

It could be anything from poor cooling to a faulty part, such as the power supply.

If you could give us some other information, or stuff we could rule out some things it would be preferable. Like temperature of the card and if the parts are brand new.

Maybe try only one stick of RAM as well. Maybe the timings on your memory are not the same.
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a b Î Nvidia
June 28, 2012 12:48:24 AM

ThyEzekiel said:
This probably won't affect the game issue, but I couldn't help but notice you're motherboard is am3+, I have the same cpu as you and I'm almost positive it is am3 only. Seeing as am3+ isn't backwards compatible with am3, maybe your cpu doesn't work with you're motherboard?


The point of AM3+ so you can buy it now, say with a 965BE, and then upgrade to the next fastest AMD processor, like AM4 socket or something, without having to upgrade the board itself.

I have an AM2+ motherboard, and it works both with my 965BE, and my backup Athlon X2 4600+, one of which is AM3, and the latter of which is AM2.
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June 28, 2012 12:54:57 AM

Ok I know it is not Ram because I had one stick before and it still crashed.
I know it is not my PSU because it is brand new and is more than enough power.
My CPU, motherboard, hard-drive, disk drive, and graphics card are 3 months old so they are somewhat new.
It is not the temps because my temps are all below average even during games due to the cooling I have recently installed.
The only thing I think it could be is because my graphics card is factory over-clocked or it is just not good enough to run games at they're highest settings, although that would be strange because it has minimal lag up until the point where the game crashes. Also sometimes when it crashes it pops up with a message that says Nvidia drivers have stopped working and successfully recovered.
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June 28, 2012 12:59:09 AM

PwncakesNRofls said:
Ok I know it is not Ram because I had one stick before and it still crashed.
I know it is not my PSU because it is brand new and is more than enough power.
My CPU, motherboard, hard-drive, disk drive, and graphics card are 3 months old so they are somewhat new.
It is not the temps because my temps are all below average even during games due to the cooling I have recently installed.
The only thing I think it could be is because my graphics card is factory over-clocked or it is just not good enough to run games at they're highest settings, although that would be strange because it has minimal lag up until the point where the game crashes. Also sometimes when it crashes it pops up with a message that says Nvidia drivers have stopped working and successfully recovered.


Have you tried installing the new nvidia drivers?
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June 28, 2012 12:59:59 AM

Yes that was the first thing I did.
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June 28, 2012 1:00:35 AM

AM3+ IS compatible with am3 cpu's, no worries on that part.

It sounds like overheating issues to me from your description OP. Download HWmonitor and let it run in the background while you play a game that usually makes it crash, play it for awhile without it crashing, like 30 min or so, then report back on the max CPU and GPU temps then we'll tell you whether or not that's causing the issues.

Edit: oops, you guys got ahead of me. Still it'd be a good idea to do what I suggested because "below average" is a relative term
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June 28, 2012 1:02:21 AM

Sounds good but is Speed Fan a good one also because I have that one already?
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June 28, 2012 1:11:06 AM

Speed fan isn't very reliable IME, used to check cpu temps with it and showed ~7 c difference compared to AMD's own Overdrive , HWmonitor, it differs quite a bit from the BIOS also. fan control doen's work most of the time either, never liked speedfan one bit.
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June 28, 2012 1:12:46 AM

Ok I will use HWmonitor then and report back in a little bit.
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June 28, 2012 1:36:56 AM

HWmonitor is saying...

Skyrim
CPU- 45-48C
GPU- 65-71C
also it didn't crash once this time.

Shogun Total War 2 [note: I only have the Fall of the Samurai DLC not the full game]
CPU- 43-47C
GPU- 68-78C
also the game crashed while in the main menu
probably because it has some graphically intense figures in the background, and
it has never crashed while on medium graphics settings.
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June 28, 2012 1:41:58 AM

Define "crashing" - does the PC BSOD? or does the game just quit? Are there any other error messages?
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June 28, 2012 1:51:25 AM

Skyrim- The game will black screen a few times and then shut down and a message will pop up saying "Display driver stopped responding and has recovered - Display Driver Nvidia Windows Kernel Mode Driver, Version 301.42 stopped responding and has successfully recovered."

Shogun Total War 2- The game will freeze up and then the display for it will turn off (like you can see the other tab behind it) and you are left with only the game cursor

Civilization V- This game barley crashes but when it does it is later in the game when things get more graphically intensive. It simply black screens and windows will try and fix it but will always fail and then it closes out.

Minecraft- It has not crashed since I have gotten my new PSU today, but when I had my old PSU (which sucked majorly) it said that minecraft had run out of memory.
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a b Î Nvidia
June 28, 2012 2:13:08 AM

Well, it sounds like a driver issue, but I used to have an issue similar to yours with a Radeon 6950, which still works today in my main computer.

Back when I was actually using the card on an AM2 motherboard with a 965, and I started having this problem. Long story short, it was actually the RAM.

I'm not saying your problem is the RAM, just dont rule something out until you have tried it.

Also, Inanition02, I was looking at your rigs, and while they all look very good, I just had a question on the SilverStone case you were using with it. I'm looking to upgrade the case on my custom Acer Aspire. It doesn't need great ventilation, its just that I have the computer running on a 220W stock power supply, and it is un-upgradeable because the cut out on the rear of the power supply is cut specifically for the Acer power supply.

I'm wondering a few things:

Does that case fit ITX boards?

What size power supply does it take?

Is it rather large?
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June 28, 2012 2:21:02 AM

I have tried an earlier version of the driver and it was the same result but since the games do not have these crashes while on lower settings I am thinking that I should just get a more powerful GPU. I don't want to spend all that money unless I know it will solve my problem though so I don't know what to do.
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a b Î Nvidia
June 28, 2012 2:26:06 AM

PwncakesNRofls said:
I have tried an earlier version of the driver and it was the same result but since the games do not have these crashes while on lower settings I am thinking that I should just get a more powerful GPU. I don't want to spend all that money unless I know it will solve my problem though so I don't know what to do.

Trust me, putting more money on the problem doesnt usually work. There's the reason I've got so many random GPU's lying around not being used.
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June 28, 2012 2:28:56 AM

In your problem what was wrong with your RAM and what did you do to fix it?
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a b Î Nvidia
June 28, 2012 2:44:11 AM

You can run a memtest, as some others will most likely elaborate on, because I didnt use that.

When I had this problem, all of my RAM slots were full. Having been extremely aggravated beacuse my computer was not working correctly, and I had tested literally everything else, I decided to test my RAM sticks 1 by 1. Found out one was not working correctly.

You should also be sure that the timings on your RAM match, because they are two different brands and two different sizes.
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June 28, 2012 2:48:51 AM

Thanks for the idea I will take out my Patriot RAM and test it.


In the meantime does anybody else have an idea?
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June 28, 2012 3:38:29 AM

I tested every stick of RAM and they are not the cause. Again i'm telling you that I can run these games on lower settings so are you sure I shouldn't get a better graphics card, or could it be due to a lack of CPU processing power and maybe to fix that I could overclock it?
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June 28, 2012 3:52:51 AM

Deemo13 said:
Well, it sounds like a driver issue, but I used to have an issue similar to yours with a Radeon 6950, which still works today in my main computer.

Back when I was actually using the card on an AM2 motherboard with a 965, and I started having this problem. Long story short, it was actually the RAM.

I'm not saying your problem is the RAM, just dont rule something out until you have tried it.

Also, Inanition02, I was looking at your rigs, and while they all look very good, I just had a question on the SilverStone case you were using with it. I'm looking to upgrade the case on my custom Acer Aspire. It doesn't need great ventilation, its just that I have the computer running on a 220W stock power supply, and it is un-upgradeable because the cut out on the rear of the power supply is cut specifically for the Acer power supply.

I'm wondering a few things:

Does that case fit ITX boards?

What size power supply does it take?

Is it rather large?


It's about the size and shape of surround sound receiver, maybe an inch or two shorter. It would take a Mini-ITX board (I have a Micro-ATX board in it now). It takes fairly standard ATX power supplies - though I don't know that I'd go with a modular supply.
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a b Î Nvidia
June 28, 2012 4:17:34 AM

Games run fine on med to low setting crash on high settings, sounds like bad video card. Either the gpu is failing or it has bad video memory. Card should be under warranty contact EVGA.
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June 28, 2012 4:23:09 AM

sadly I did not get a warranty but at least I think we have narrowed it down to the GPU although maybe it could be my CPU but not likely since it never seems to go past %60 during my games.
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a b Î Nvidia
June 28, 2012 5:47:38 AM

inanition02 said:
It's about the size and shape of surround sound receiver, maybe an inch or two shorter. It would take a Mini-ITX board (I have a Micro-ATX board in it now). It takes fairly standard ATX power supplies - though I don't know that I'd go with a modular supply.

If I got it, I'd probably end up with a CX430 or something. I was thinking of pairing it with my 2TB HDD and a tuner and using it as a media center in my dorm because there is cable where I am staying.
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June 28, 2012 3:12:48 PM

Does anyone know what a heat damaged CPU looks like because when I was swapping out heatsinks for the CPU the CPU looked all milky and stuff.
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a b Î Nvidia
June 28, 2012 7:33:36 PM

It probably looked all milky because of the thermal paste that was on it. The thermal paste is what goes on the bottom of the heatsink and goes right on the top of the processor to keep it cool.
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June 28, 2012 7:37:14 PM

Good also I forgot to mention that civilization V has been crashing more frequently and now displays the message "FGXRenderer 11:: Present failed hr=DXGI_ERROR_DEVICE_REMOVED.Driver faliure" when it crashes. Does that give you any ideas as to what it is?
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June 28, 2012 8:33:54 PM

Yea your on to me I have made several threads about my problems and I did mark them as solved because I thought I had the solution, but my games always ended up crashing anyways, honestly I don't think i'll ever find a solution I have tried several other forums but still no solution has worked. Do you have any other places that I could try to go to for some answers?
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a c 171 Î Nvidia
June 28, 2012 8:46:34 PM

PwncakesNRofls said:
Yea your on to me I have made several threads about my problems and I did mark them as solved because I thought I had the solution, but my games always ended up crashing anyways, honestly I don't think i'll ever find a solution I have tried several other forums but still no solution has worked. Do you have any other places that I could try to go to for some answers?

I would appreciate you not keep posting multiple threads on the same issue especially when you go against the advice given and continue to have the problem, in one thread you said :-
PwncakesNRofls said:
Ok thanks guys I will finally be able to enjoy my games again! I will go with the SeaSonic M12II 520 Bronze 520W as a replacement.

And yet in the OP of this thread you list a PSU you were advised not to buy.

PwncakesNRofls said:
Well Now that I know that it is the problem I would like to know if a Ultra LSP 750W power supply would be a good replacement and If it would be good I were to do a dual Radeon HD 6850 set-up in the future?


Anonymous said:
you can use that but its also not a great PSU.
Radeon HD 6850 & 6870 CrossfireX review
Measured power consumption two 6850 cards

System in IDLE = 186W
System Wattage with GPU in FULL Stress = 393W
Difference (GPU load) = 207 W
Add average IDLE wattage x2 ~ 19W (ATI specified)
Subjective obtained GPU power consumption = ~ 245 Watts

you can still use the seasonic i suggested.

edit: i posted the specs for a 6870 crossfire . .my bad.


PwncakesNRofls said:
Ok thanks guys I will finally be able to enjoy my games again! I will go with the SeaSonic M12II 520 Bronze 520W as a replacement.

Remember?

PwncakesNRofls said:
I am getting desperate... I have tried just about everything now to fix my games from crashing but nothing seems to work. The games that crash are Shogun Total War 2, Skyrim, Civilization V, and Empire Total War, and even minecraft in rarer cases. I have tried updating all the drivers in my system, updating DX11, getting more RAM, getting a new power supply, de-fraging my hard-drive, and getting more cooling for my hardware.

Here is a list of my systems hardware.


Graphics card- EVGA GeForce GTX 550 Ti SuperClocked 1GB GDDR5

CPU- AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition AM3 CPU

RAM- Patriot Gamer 2 4GB DDR3 PC10666 1333MHz, and CRUCIAL 8GB KIT (4GBX2) DDR3 1333 MT/S

Motherboard- ASUS M5A97 AMD 970 Socket AM3+ Motherboard

Hard drive- WD Caviar Blue 500GB SATA HD 7200/16MB/SATA-6G

Disk drive- Sony Optiarc 24X DVDRW SATA OEM

Power Supply- Ultra LSP series 750W

Case- Cooler Master Elite 430 Mid Tower ATX Case

CPU Heatsink/fan- Cooler Master V6 GT Multi-Socket CPU Cooler


I spent around $1000 total all on this rig and I would at least like to play a game without it crashing every time I play it. I can not thank who ever solves this problem enough, because if this keeps on happening I will just go back to console gaming.



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June 28, 2012 8:49:45 PM

Yea I know and I am sorry about that, but can try and help me on my issue instead of making me look bad.
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a b Î Nvidia
June 28, 2012 9:34:33 PM

Why would you get an Ultra LSP750W over the Seasonic 520W? The Seasonic is much much more reliable and is like the Bentley of PSU's.

Even I switched out my Ultra LSP 750W for an Antec 620W HCG. Your card is probably overclocked or one of your RAM sticks is bad. Have you tried that? They most likely do not have the same timings as they are different manufacturers.
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June 28, 2012 9:41:27 PM

thanks for giving an honest effort to help. yes I have tested all my RAM sticks the way you told me to and they all were good, but my card is overclocked. The GPU came factory over-clocked and I don't know how to reverse it. As for the power supply thing I said I was going to get the Seasonic 520W but then I changed my mind because the ultra one went on sale for %50 off and I only had a meager amount of money to spend so I went with the Ultra one.
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a c 171 Î Nvidia
June 28, 2012 9:45:00 PM

Some things are expensive for a good reason.
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June 28, 2012 9:48:39 PM

Yea the Ultra one doesn't have active PFC or 80+ bronze so I guess your right but, it it dose have a lifetime warranty and it has %78 efficiency so i'm not that displeased with it. But anyways I would like to know if I can un-overclock my GPU even if it came factory overclocked, and if I did would that even have an affect?
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a b Î Nvidia
June 28, 2012 10:51:52 PM

It might be a possible solution to the problem. I dont know what the stock clocks on a 550Ti are off the top of my head, but you can look them up.
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June 28, 2012 11:26:34 PM

Ok i'll see if that works.
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June 29, 2012 3:28:14 PM

Well it just made the game more laggy before it crashed. Someone told me that a good way to test out if my graphics card is the problem is by putting the graphics card in someone else's system and seeing if the game will still crash. I will go do that (if I can find a computer to do it in) and get a new graphics card if that turns out to be the cause. I appreciate the help you have given me but I will not choose a best answer until I have actually solved my problem, but if anyone else is reading this thread and wants to add a suggestion feel free to.
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June 29, 2012 4:01:34 PM

Mismatched RAM isn't a good idea to begin with... it is always advisable to get matching modules.

I don't see how the psu could be the problem even if it's not the greatest.

EVGA SuperClocked 550ti 75w x 2 = 150w / 12v = 12.5amps

Ultra LSP series 750w

Form Factor ATX
Wattage 750W
Modular Cabling No
Special Features Manual 130v & 220v Switching
Energy Efficiency 78%
Fan 135 mm
Input Voltage 115 ~ 230
+3.3V 28 A
+5V 32 A
+12V 1 45 A
-12V 0.6 A
+5VSB 2 A


Recommended PSU for your system = 500w via eXtreme Power Supply Calculator Lite.

I was generous with the selections as well plus added an extreme CPU OC.

Make sure ALL system drivers are up to date. ie- chipset, Sata, display, sound, network, etc etc...
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a b Î Nvidia
June 29, 2012 5:31:54 PM

Get rid of the Patriot RAM, just run the Crucial kit.

Secondly, have you done a clean driver installation? I'm talking uninstall, run driver sweeper, reboot, reinstall?

Third, have you tried a fresh Windows installation?

Fourth, have you tried downclocking the GPU with software like MSI Afterburner?
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June 29, 2012 5:36:29 PM

Quote:
Fourth, have you tried downclocking the GPU with software like MSI Afterburner?


+1

Good idea...
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June 29, 2012 8:15:53 PM

I tried taking out my Patriot RAM and it crashed just as easily, I tried using MSI to downclock my GPU to normal grade, as for the fresh windows installation would I still have all the stuff on my hard-drive that I do now, excluding windows? For the drivers what is driver sweeper because I have never heard of it?
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a b Î Nvidia
June 29, 2012 8:35:43 PM

For the drivers, follow these steps:
http://wolframpc.blogspot.ca/2012/01/how-to-install-cro...

I have another question, have you tried resetting your motherboard CMOS? Maybe your PC is slightly overclocked or the RAM timings got changed or something. It's important to run the RAM at factory recommended speeds, timings, and voltage.

As for the Windows installation, it usually puts everything on your PC into a Windows.old folder so yes you can recover everything (as long as you don't do a format!). However, all programs need to get reinstalled properly, except for Steam and Steam games (just copy Steam folder to the new installation drive, delete the "xxx.blob" files and run it).
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June 30, 2012 12:18:37 AM

I tried a clean driver installation, and resetting my motherboard CMOS and that didn't work. I then did a fresh installation of windows 7 and still it crashed. As for my PC being overclocked which piece(s) of hardware are you referring to when you say that, also how could I tell if my RAM timings got changed and how could I make it run at the factory settings again?
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a b Î Nvidia
June 30, 2012 12:31:53 AM

You'll have to go into your motherboard BIOS at startup and check what everything is set to.

Resetting the CMOS should have removed any overclocks, though, but it never hurts to check.

So have you tried downclocking the GPU? And I mean both Core and Memory by about 100mhz? Just try that and see what happens.
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June 30, 2012 5:24:04 PM

I downclocked my GPU's core and memory by 100mhz and then I ran Shogun Total War 2 on the highest possible settings. I did a huge naval battle, which is probably the most graphically demanding thing I can do in that game, and it did not lag, freeze, or crash once during the naval battle. The thing is though I am doing this in the morning after my PC has rested for several hours while I was asleep last night and my games crashing probability increases with the time my computer has been running so I am not sure if this is going to be the solution. I will keep on testing it to see if it stays crash free. I also just checked for any overclocking in my BIOS and everything was at its factory default.
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June 30, 2012 5:42:35 PM

So it's either the GPU or the PSU...still.
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a b Î Nvidia
June 30, 2012 5:44:05 PM

Based on these preliminary results, sounds like it might be a bad GPU. If it does not crash at these settings, you can try to slowly increase them. I'd suggest starting with memory speed increases until crashing occurs, then reduce to a stable level. Then go with GPU core speed until either you're back to the stock value, or if you want you can try pushing it a little further.

However, you might want to look into an RMA/warranty replacement.
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June 30, 2012 5:47:33 PM

inanition02 said:
So it's either the GPU or the PSU...still.


Not the psu... The 550ti's power draw is minimal. Wolfram is onto something... Unstable factory clocks. Time to get ready to RMA...
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