I've got a strange issue that's been happening for about a year now, and I've come here to ask if the workaround I've found points to any one component as the cause.
Currently, I have an i7 920 CPU on an ASUS Sabertooth x58, running a single GTX 275 graphics card. The PC I originally bought came with the same CPU on an X58 motherboard by EVGA, but I had to replace it a year ago when it kept failing on POST. Prior to that, I also had two 275 GTX cards running SLI, but one died on me and I ended up removing it since I did not play games at the time.
I can't remember if my problem started happening after I put the ASUS mobo in, but regardless, I started playing some games again, and the PC would shut down sometimes immediately when the game's logo would pop up. I had already tested the PSU (a 700 watt Vantec) during the fiasco with the OEM mobo and it was delivering proper charges. Additionally, I ran several stress tests (Furmark, Prime 95, etc) and never once did the PC restart or show any signs of overheating.
Steps I took to try and solve the problem:
- Complete cleaning/blowing of chassis and fans
- Reseating all memory and other cards
- Inspection of mobo/GPU
- Stock ROM settings (now back to XMP profile 2)
- Full RAM diagnostics
- Rolling back video drivers
- Updating all hardware/software drivers
- Review of system logs (none were made since it was an immediate shutdown)
None of these changed the fact that I would have complete shut downs (with immediate restart and no BSOD). Until I tried one more thing.
I downloaded the NVIDA advanced settings add-on for the cpanel and overclocked the graphics, memory and processor clocks well above what I would consider a stable setting. I also upped the fan to manual @ around 80%. I received an error that the driver had recovered (I expected this response) and noticed that the settings had changed themselves to more stable figures. Well here's the strange thing, no more crashes in games!
So now when I want to play a game, I open up the nvidia tuner and go through the same process, making sure the driver "crashes" first. When I do this, I notice a decrease in game performance, but I have no crashes.
Does anyone have the slightest idea what's going on here? Do I need a new video card? I figure it's not the PSU because of all the reasons I mentioned before, but maybe there is something I'm not getting. Why would overclocking the GPU prevent crashes on games that were released years ago?
Any insight would be appreciated before I shell out $300 for a new card.