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PC Showing Signs of Deterioration...Already??

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October 28, 2012 4:26:17 AM

Hello,

Alright, so here is my problem. It seems that whenever I put the PC under load, such as playing The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, after about 2 hours or so, the display abruptly ceases and the monitor goes to sleep. I've noticed this especially happens when I go through a loading screen or some other transition such as quitting to desktop or launching the game. HDD activity continues for a little bit after, but then, that halts as well. The power LED and all fans (PSU, GPU, and CPU) continue to run though. The display or anything never comes back on either. So my assumption is that the PC has actually crashed because hitting the toggle keys on the keyboard (Caps Lock, Num Lock, Scroll Lock) doesn't toggle the corresponding LEDs. The display never comes back on either no matter what method I try. The only way to reboot is by doing a hard shutdown by holding the power button. BUT when I recover from this unexpected crash, 5 minutes of casual use and the PC stops again, same conditions as the first time. Attempting a 3rd time and 4th and so on yields the same result. Leaving the PC off for a while seems to solve the problem temporarily until I play games again in which the exact thing occurs.

This may sound like an overheating issue but according to CPUID software, none of the temperatures seem to have reached critical. The highest I've seen while under load was 70° C. Could it be a PSU issue? GPU? Or worse, a motherboard issue??

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I own an HP Pavilion p7-1247c. All hardware is out of the box except:

GPU: nVidia GeForce GTX 560 Ti "Enthusiast Edition" (comes overclocked to 850 MHz from regular 822 MHz)
PSU: Corsair TX750M - delivers a whopping 750 watts, easily satisfying the minimum requirement of 500 watts for the GPU.

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These I've installed myself which wasn't too difficult. I've had this PC for about 8 months now and the new hardware for about 4 months and the problems described above haven't started until about 2 weeks ago and I am worried that this problem is suggesting failing hardware. I'd greatly appreciate any feedback on this issue and I do hope to get it fixed, preferably without having to fork out a lot of money...this PC's less than a year old and hardware is already failing? :??: 

Thanks again for your time and support.
October 28, 2012 6:27:01 AM

pc less than a year old.

You should have a warranty. Call up HP and start actually using it
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October 28, 2012 6:52:05 AM

That's the thing...I'm not sure which component is failing exactly. The GPU and PSU are not HP products, therefore, are not covered in HP's warranty and will not try to replace those. Right now, I am trying to figure out what is causing these mysterious stops. Which component is responsible.

I just now reseated pretty much everything just now. I disconnected the PSU completely and GPU too. I used an air can to make sure it is free of dust inside, then reconnected all cables carefully and made sure everything is good. I just played Fallout 3 for an hour and the GPU reaches 70° C. I believe it's not an alarming temperature, I don't think.

I'll probably use a PSU tester just to check that it's spitting out the proper voltages even under load, just to see if I can safely rule out the PSU as the culprit. I mean, 750 watts should easily satisfy this rig - it came with a stock 300-watt PSU, which is wimpy.

Either way, I'll update if I have any new information.
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October 28, 2012 7:11:58 AM

GPU at 70° C is quite critical to me.

My Radeon 7850 barely goes above 55° C under full load while playing Skyrim or Guild wars 2, all settings maxed out.

Put your fan on manual mode and turn it up to 60% and see how that works, turn it up in 5% increments until your temperatures are under the 70° C-s.
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October 29, 2012 2:18:26 AM

Come to think of it, I've never heard my fans speed up on Skyrim or Fallout before. Only Battlefield 3 will get them going, a *little* bit. I don't understand why it's working harder to play the same games now. Also I DID install some graphic-enhancing mods to Skyrim recently. But IDK, could that possibly suggest that maybe the GPU isn't receiving the proper power?

I will have another run at Skyrim for like an hour without the graphic-enhancing mods to confirm the temperatures right now.

Wish me luck. I hope it doesn't quit on me again...I don't know if cleaning and reseating the components made any difference.
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October 29, 2012 2:28:11 AM

Ooo-kay... the GPU reached 70° C and the fans spun at 65%. That's something I've never seen before. That was playing Skyrim the default way it looks - for 10 minutes only. Agh, why would it overheat?
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October 29, 2012 7:26:56 AM

Just tested the PSUs voltages. They all fall within the 5% tolerances, even under load, which means my PSU is ruled out as the culprit. Earlier, I've tested the motherboard by reinstalling the stock PSU and the software drivers for the AMD Radeon Integrated Graphics. Ran perfectly with no problems. So is that safe enough ground to rule out the motherboard as defective?

At the time when my GPU was still installed, I tried to play skyrim and some FPS lag started showing. After every game restart, the FPS got worse and worse until it lagged so bad that it shut off, as before.

All signs seem to be pointing to my GPU. What a shame too. Do you guys think it might be the GPU?
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October 29, 2012 7:37:22 AM

mysteryos said:
GPU at 70° C is quite critical to me.

My Radeon 7850 barely goes above 55° C under full load while playing Skyrim or Guild wars 2, all settings maxed out.

Put your fan on manual mode and turn it up to 60% and see how that works, turn it up in 5% increments until your temperatures are under the 70° C-s.

70C is perfectly fine.
These cards can withstand up to 105C.....fermi is quite possibly 115C.
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October 29, 2012 6:15:34 PM

ok, to rule out heat. Open up your case. Put a full size home fan to blow right at it. If the problem goes away, then it's heat related.

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October 29, 2012 10:45:28 PM

I know heat is the one contributing factor. The why of what's causing it to overheat is what I was interested in. I ran the fans at 100% (very noisy!) and played Skyrim for 10 minutes at High Hrothgar, where there is a lot of particle effects like blowing snow. Even with the fans at 100%, the card still managed to peak at 60°C where as before, 55-60°C was the normal load temperature with the fan running normally. Like I said, the condition slowly got worse and worse until last night when the card simply overheated being idle. I guess it got tired of simply running and said "I quit!"

And yes, I did make sure to clean out the card with compressed air. The card was very clean when I inspected it. The only other possible solution is to remove he heatsink, and apply new thermal paste but I found the screws impossibly tight to remove. So that wasn't an easy option either.

<Sighs> ah well, if its time to replace, then so be it.
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Best solution

October 30, 2012 4:16:06 AM

Long time ago, I once had a graphics card (nVidia 8600 GT) that had the same issue. Started lagging out and overheating (80°C ++)

However i kept using it and in the end, it burned out the PCI-E slots on my motherboard (ASUS Striker Extreme).

So, yeah, be on the safe side and get another GPU.
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October 30, 2012 4:32:14 AM

Thanks for that warning. I've taken that thing out cuz the last thing I need is to replace a GPU AND a Motherboard. I wonder, would you recommend me a good GPU that'll last and deliver great performance without being outrageously expensive? Because I really loved the GeForce GTX 560 Ti - not too expensive, yet performed superbly.

Also, should I continue to trust in Newegg.com for a GPU?
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October 30, 2012 5:34:28 AM

This isn't really newegg's fault. It's the manufacturer of the card.
It would be like blaming safeway because you got a bad snickers bar.

If it's under warranty, why don't you pursue it.

As far as card suggestions, review the monthly tom's hardware best video card for the money article and decide how much you want to spend.

Once you have a model, the actual brand of the card you can go by newegg reviews or other reviews for advice on reliability.
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October 30, 2012 10:43:11 PM

Yeah, that sounds like a good idea. I'm just wondering perhaps I received a lemon GPU, or that this particular model is subject to failing this quickly. Would playing a lot of Skyrim and Battlefield 3 and League of Legends really exhaust it that quickly? The temps we're around 60-65* C, which isn't bad at all while under running Battlefield on High Settings. Weird. Well, at least my PC still runs good. I'll just have to wait to get this GPU exchanged - or maybe I decide I want a better one, who knows.

Thank you all for your time and support.
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November 5, 2012 4:22:24 PM

Best answer selected by Mike332.
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