Graphics card problem?


My son and I just put together a gaming computer a couple nights ago with these parts:

Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-970A-DS3 AMD 970/SB950 AM3+
CPU: AMD FX-6100
RAM: Crucial 4GB (DDR3 1333 Mhz)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 550 Ti (2GB)
Hard Drive: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB Sata
Optical Drive: Lite-On Internal DVD Writer
Case: Cooler Master Elite 430 Mid Tower
Power Supply: Thermaltake PurePower 430 Watt

Today he is reporting that the only two games that he has played so far have crashed:

Mountain Blade Fire and Sword - graphics start getting flashes of artifacts on screen, blinks to black screen and back, and then crashes within 5 minutes of play - then either gives a bubble that says driver crashed and recovered, or a big scary blue screen with ominous words and a restart of the computer.

Kerbal Space Program - crashed after 2-3 hours of play.

How do I know if its a defective graphics card causing this or something else? As far as I can tell, I have 30 days from my order date of 11/14/12 to return or exchange something.

So far I have tried an older nvidia driver (he was already using the most updated one). And I have installed HWmonitor to look at temps although I'm not sure what I'm looking for to be wrong.

Thanks for you help in advance.
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  1. Hello again,

    The computer has crashed so many times now that we ended up having to reload windows, but the graphics card froze up the computer pretty fast afterwards with the message driver crashed and recovered, but obviously didn't recover. So we are going to RMA.

    My new question is should we just exchange for another of the same one, or get a different one?

    Thank you.
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