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Computer freezing, suspected gfx card. Please help!

  • Graphics Cards
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Last response: in Graphics Cards
August 4, 2012 6:02:21 PM


I am having problems with computer lock ups while playing a certain game (Blacklight: Retribution). I get two types of crashes and they can happen at any time while playing, from sitting in the main menu, to being in the middle of a fire fight.

First type of crash I get is a complete PC shut off as if I have pulled out the mains cable, after a couple of seconds the computer turns itself back on again.
Second type of crash I get is a complete PC freeze. No amount of key combinations can free it up and the only way out is to hold down the power button and hard reset my machine.

I originally thought it was a problem with the game as it only happened while playing and my PC has been fine with everything else I have done with it (including a host of other games) since I brought it.

My PC spec is the following:
Intel Core i7-2700k 3.5GHz processor (overclocked to 4.5GHz)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560Ti 1GB gfx card
16GB RAM (4x4GB)

I have done the following in search of a solution:
- Thoroughly cleaned the inside of my computer for dust
- Tested each stick of memory individually with a PC boot
- Ran Windows memory checker
- Checked for loose power connections
- Monitored CPU and gfx card temperatures
- Reinstalled Blacklight onto SSD
- Turned every setting in the game to low and disabled

All of the above have had no effect and the problem is still the same. I have noticed I get less complete PC shut offs and more freezes though.

I have been stumped with this for a while now and decided to run some stress tests and monitor my gfx cards performance today. The first time my gfx card hit 79 degrees and then shut off like I had pulled the mains cable out, this is the first time I had managed to replicate a crash out of game and led me to my gfx card being the main problem. I then ran the same test again and this time it shut off in the same way at 85 degrees. I have yet to replicate the PC freeze crash but am assuming the crashes are coming from the same problem. This also leads me to believe that overheating is not the issue as the cut offs temperatures are not consistent.
I also read about voltages affecting stability, so I checked them in my bios and they seemed normal (3.376, 5.120, 12.096).

I am at the limit of what I know when it comes to troubleshooting and although I think I have identified the particular component, I am still stumped when it comes to why or what I can do to fix it.

My PC is only 6 months old so even if I have a dodgy gfx card I should be able to get a replacement. I just need to prove there is a problem.

Any ideas or help are greatly appreciated, Thank you.

More about : computer freezing suspected gfx card

a c 291 U Graphics card
August 4, 2012 6:08:31 PM

Did you try reverting the overclock?
August 4, 2012 6:11:16 PM

I haven't no, I'll give that a try.

Can I please ask why you think it would be that though? I am trying to broaden my knowledge a bit as get to the bottom of this :) 
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a b U Graphics card
August 4, 2012 6:19:36 PM

when you are having problems with an overclock, you undo the overclock and test...
August 4, 2012 6:29:14 PM

That would explain it then, I hadn't really figured I was having a problem with an overclock. I've had my comp like this for 6 months now and had no problems at all.

That said I've reversed the overclock and am now playing so I'll soon see if I crash or not :) 
September 5, 2012 3:58:38 PM

Hey guys, bit of an update on this (now seemingly old) one.

Removing the overclock seemed to do the trick initially and I was able to play uninterrupted for a couple of days without crashing (which I abused the hell out of). Then I had a couple of crashes of the same nature which meant that the problem was not fixed, however the crashes were further apart so I didn't mind so much.

Then I got called away to work which is where I have been for the past 3 weeks so I haven't been able to game at all, as soon as I got home the crashes are now pretty much back with the regularity that they had before.

My computer is completely fine most of the time while I am surfing the net, watching videos or gaming streams, music etc... As soon as I go to play a game however it is basically just a matter of time. I have now crashed in Guild Wars 2, Blacklight and Sleeping Dogs, all which my computer should be able to handle on 'high' with ease.

I really am at a loss as to what to try next, as a gamer not being able to play anything without crashing every 15-60 minutes is just horrible.

Thanks again in advance for reading and any ideas on what to look at next.