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[SOLVED]Graphics card dying?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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July 1, 2012 11:25:49 PM

First off, my specs:

CPU: AMD Phenom II 965 Black Edition
Motherboard: Asus M4A79XTD EVO
RAM: G.Skill DDR3 1600 2x2GB
Video: Biostar ATI Radeon HD 5770 series
PSU: Rosewill Extreme RX850-S-B

Starting a few weeks ago, I noticed some strange graphics bugs when I was playing Blacklight: Retribution. Items and models being invisible, the area where my gun model was in first person was a "hall of mirrors" effect, finally having the entire screen filled with corrupted images. By taking the advice of a forum post I found somewhere, I rolled back my video drivers to something that was supposed to be less buggy. It seemed like it may have helped some, but not a great deal, so I eventually ran driver sweeper and went back to current version. As the next week or two went by, I started to notice similar problems in other games. Graphical bugs, items not rendering properly or at all, sometimes text being replaced with question marks. In the past few days, the problems have spread to Windows itself, the tops of windows being cut off, and numerous error messages from every running program saying that they had run out of memory and had to close. Half the time when this happens, I can't even get task manager to open because of the memory problems.

I know it isn't driver related, as I reinstalled a few minutes ago, and the problems have reappeared. I have already ran a test with MemTest86+, and did a chkdsk /R before I reinstalled, all to no avail.

So, the problem is certainly hardware, but which piece of hardware? About a month before the problems started, the fan went out on my video card and crashed my computer twice from the heat. I was able to measure it at 98c once, and it hadn't crashed yet, so I'm not sure how hot it was to crash my pc. I've had a fan rigged to cool it since, and it's never been above 70c or so under load.

Sorry for the long post, but I can't afford to replace a part without knowing the part to replace. If you need any more info, I can certainly give it.
a c 206 U Graphics card
July 2, 2012 12:02:03 AM

if the fan failed on the gpu it may have been heat damaged. i would see if there a warranty on it and rma it.
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Anonymous
a c 117 U Graphics card
July 2, 2012 12:11:03 AM

Quote:
Graphical bugs, items not rendering properly or at all, sometimes text being replaced with question marks.

AFAIK that is a sign of the GPU itself failing and given that you had a crash from overheating that could very well have been the start.

i believe you can safely replace that card w/o worrying that it would be a waste of time and money to replace.
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Related resources
July 2, 2012 7:29:55 AM

Anonymous said:
Quote:
Graphical bugs, items not rendering properly or at all, sometimes text being replaced with question marks.

AFAIK that is a sign of the GPU itself failing and given that you had a crash from overheating that could very well have been the start.

i believe you can safely replace that card w/o worrying that it would be a waste of time and money to replace.


Alright, thanks. I was thinking that it was probably the card, but confirmation is always a plus.

So do you think that an EVGA 550 ti would be a good replacement? Judging by your sig, I think I know what you'll say.
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a b U Graphics card
July 2, 2012 7:32:27 AM

it would be adowngrade i feel you should get atleast a hd 7850 or gtx 560ti
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Anonymous
a c 117 U Graphics card
July 2, 2012 7:42:36 AM

meepinator said:
Alright, thanks. I was thinking that it was probably the card, but confirmation is always a plus.

So do you think that an EVGA 550 ti would be a good replacement? Judging by your sig, I think I know what you'll say.

as good as the 550ti is, which is slightly better than a 5770, go for a 7770; its a nice mid level gaming card.
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July 2, 2012 7:56:21 AM

Anonymous said:
as good as the 550ti is, which is slightly better than a 5770, go for a 7770; its a nice mid level gaming card.


Problem with this card, and the 7850 suggested above, I don't have PCI 3.x on my motherboard, just 2.x.

I'm starting off in college, so my budget is rather small, about 150$. Would a 560 SE be an option?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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Anonymous
a c 117 U Graphics card
July 2, 2012 7:59:13 AM

a PCI 3,0 card is fully backwards compatible with a PCI 2.0 slot; you can use it.
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a c 80 U Graphics card
July 2, 2012 8:01:17 AM

what is your resolution? a 7850 would be great if you are at 1080p and can afford it. otherwise(or if the 7850 is to much $$) the 7770.
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July 2, 2012 8:05:22 AM

Anonymous said:
a PCI 3,0 card is fully backwards compatible with a PCI 2.0 slot; you can use it.


Oh, didn't know that.
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July 2, 2012 8:06:55 AM

unksol said:
what is your resolution? a 7850 would be great if you are at 1080p and can afford it. otherwise(or if the 7850 is to much $$) the 7770.


I'm running dual Dell 4:3's. Not sure of the physical size, but I keep the res at 1280x1024.

EDIT: They are 17" Dell 1704FPT's. 1280x1024 is native.
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a b U Graphics card
July 2, 2012 8:32:28 AM

PCIex 3.X works with PCIex 2.X

Only 680 and 79X0 similar or above can fully use PCIex 3.X bandwidth.. so it will fine with your mobo......
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July 2, 2012 1:37:22 PM

I was able to obtain another card to test with, so I'll post my results here after I've let it go for a few hours.

EDIT: After only a few minutes, the problems are back again, ruling out the video card. Any other suggestions?
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Anonymous
a c 117 U Graphics card
July 2, 2012 5:37:37 PM

whoa, glad you were able to test it; would felt like donkey dung had you spent money to no avail.

how long did you run memtest? do you feel like taking one stick out and seeing if that makes a difference then trying again with the other single stick?

honestly i am a bit stumped.
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July 2, 2012 11:27:48 PM

Anonymous said:
whoa, glad you were able to test it; would felt like donkey dung had you spent money to no avail.

how long did you run memtest? do you feel like taking one stick out and seeing if that makes a difference then trying again with the other single stick?

honestly i am a bit stumped.


First time around I just did a single pass, but I had it going for several hours today without finding a single error.

I'll certainly try pulling a stick out, I'll get on it right now.
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a c 206 U Graphics card
July 2, 2012 11:32:56 PM

if it happened with a new card see if a friend has an extra power supply. if not use the rma on the the one you have. most video card issues will be temps and power. as you put in a new video card and had the same issue..it not the card..could be a power issue.
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July 2, 2012 11:39:58 PM

smorizio said:
if it happened with a new card see if a friend has an extra power supply. if not use the rma on the the one you have. most video card issues will be temps and power. as you put in a new video card and had the same issue..it not the card..could be a power issue.


Sadly I don't have anyone that I could borrow a power supply from.

More on the issues that I've been having. The graphical issues could be symptoms. For a few weeks, while the other issues were developing, skype would periodically complain about not having enough memory or storage space to process commands. I'd close the window and go about my business without too many more problems.

The past day or two, all the programs that give errors refer to running out of memory, maybe system memory instead of graphics memory like I originally thought. Also, the more I test, it seems like transferring folders with a lot of files makes the system break faster.

I've been using PC-Probe from the mobo utilities to monitor voltages, and they seem fine, so I think it may be the mobo at fault.
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July 3, 2012 12:13:32 AM

meepinator said:
First time around I just did a single pass, but I had it going for several hours today without finding a single error.

I'll certainly try pulling a stick out, I'll get on it right now.


Just tried each stick by itself, both times the pc failed within minutes. I've been able to test by copying my dropbox folder to another folder, which has been pretty reliable in breaking it. After copying a portion of the folder, I get "Cannot copy file: Insufficient system resources exist to complete the requested service."
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July 7, 2012 1:51:34 AM

Tom's Hardware, I need your help again.

I was certain that I had found my problem, so I bought a new motherboard and installed that earlier today. To my dismay, within a few minutes of having been booted, the problems occurred once again. Windows with only parts of them loaded and text flickering on and off as I drag the window around the screen.

So I come to ask, what do you think the problem is?

I know for almost absolute fact that it is not the motherboard, unless the new one has the exact same defect as the one I had been using, which is very unlikely.

I know that it is not the video card, as I was able to test another which worked perfectly well.

I am almost positive that it is not the RAM, as I tested each of my two sticks individually, with the problem occurring both times, and I have ran memtest86 for several hours without error.

I suppose that leaves the PSU, the CPU, and the hard drive. I had been using PC-Probe before I switched motherboards to monitor the voltages of my PSU, and they were always stable, so I'm not sure about the PSU being the problem.

Know of any way to test these remaining parts?
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July 7, 2012 7:22:42 AM

Putting these here more so for future Googlers, or whoever needs the answer. After working on my pc for several more hours, I was able to create a partition on my 1tb drive to install Windows on, and I've gone for over an hour now without the faintest sign of a problem, meaning that it was the hard drive at fault the entire time.

If all is going well tomorrow, I'll consider this solved.

EDIT: To clarify, I had 2 SATA HDDs, a 120gb, and a 1tb. The 120gb was my OS drive, the 1tb was storage.

EDIT2: The computer has now been running for over 9 hours without issue, so I'll consider it solved. Apparently it was all just issues with a dying hard drive.
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