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Graphics Card Failure? Unsure

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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September 2, 2012 6:52:06 PM

Hello all! I wasn't sure if this question was answered or not since... well, I'm not sure what to search for!

I've been having a strange issue for awhile now that I've been just trying to ignore; however, the more it happens the more I become worried that it may be a serious issue. Every so often my screen will go completely black for a couple of seconds, then the picture will come back with the graphics looking pixelated as well as the color looking a bit off or drained. I can remedy the issue immediately by right clicking the desktop > Screen Resolution > Advanced settings > Monitor and switching between either 59 or 60 Hertz. Sometimes this does not remedy it or the issue comes back almost immediately, and I am forced to use 50 Hertz which tends to work when they do not.

I have scanned my computer with multiple programs thinking it might be a virus. The programs I have used have been SUPERAntiSpyware, Lavasoft Ad-Aware, Avast! Anti-virus, Malware Bytes, and an online scanner from Panda Security. No significant hits other than cookies.

I currently have my computer hooked up through HDMI to a 40" Magnavox HDTV. I also have a 21" Samsung PC monitor hooked up via the DVI output. The computer is set to duplicate to both displays, though I leave the Samsung off most of the time unless I need to see the boot sequence. The graphics card I am using is an nVidia GeForce GTX 275.

Any suggestions or information is much appreciated! If you need further information about my computer, let me know. Thank you in advance!

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September 2, 2012 7:01:24 PM

does this occur on both of your displays (samsung too) ? If it does, then it is a dying video card. I had some older Nvidia cards that exhibited the exact same symptom when they were toward the end of their days.
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September 2, 2012 7:09:02 PM

I do hope it's not a dying video card. I'd hate to have to shell out a chunk of change for a new one. I've also never had very good luck with replacing the graphics card in older systems. It always seems to act weird whenever I put a new one in, not quite as fast or capable for whatever reason even after uninstalling the old drivers to install proper new ones. It has been 3 years since I built this computer, though, so it is an older card now.

I have not looked at the Samsung monitor to check if the same issue is occurring on that monitor as well. Next time it happens I will see if the effect occurs on it as well. Thank you for the tip!
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September 2, 2012 7:11:09 PM

frozenfoxy said:
I do hope it's not a dying video card. I'd hate to have to shell out a chunk of change for a new one. I've also never had very good luck with replacing the graphics card in older systems. It always seems to act weird whenever I put a new one in, not quite as fast or capable for whatever reason even after uninstalling the old drivers to install proper new ones. It has been 3 years since I built this computer, though, so it is an older card now.

I have not looked at the Samsung monitor to check if the same issue is occurring on that monitor as well. Next time it happens I will see if the effect occurs on it as well. Thank you for the tip!


No prob. You may want to just check to make sure the fan on the video card is not obstructed by dust accumulation. Make sure the case is well ventilated still after all these years.
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September 2, 2012 7:14:14 PM

Maxx_Power said:
No prob. You may want to just check to make sure the fan on the video card is not obstructed by dust accumulation. Make sure the case is well ventilated still after all these years.


Usually I go through it every 6 months or so with some compressed air. It's probably about time I do that anyway.

I'd hope it's well ventilated, though, after the years... it does have 11 fans after all! Haha. :) 

Thanks again. I'll be sure to look through it for dust very soon.
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September 9, 2012 2:00:09 AM

Best answer selected by frozenfoxy.
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September 9, 2012 2:02:39 AM

So, I'm still unsure if the graphics card is failing or not since I haven't seen the issue occur recently; however, I purchased a new graphics card since I believe Maxx is probably right. Thanks again Maxx!
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September 9, 2012 2:07:47 AM

frozenfoxy said:
So, I'm still unsure if the graphics card is failing or not since I haven't seen the issue occur recently; however, I purchased a new graphics card since I believe Maxx is probably right. Thanks again Maxx!


Glad to be of help! Cheers!
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September 9, 2012 7:06:25 AM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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