Hi everyone. If you'll please bear with me, I'm having an issue when I play games with my new GPU, specifically Far Cry 3 and Skyrim. My system is:
Mobo: Asus AMD Sabertooth 990FX
CPU: AMD FX 8120 Eight-Core Processor, 3.11 GHz
PSU: 900W Rocketfish
GPU: MSI NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 Ti Power Edition
I'm having an issue where, when I play these games, after about 2-5 minutes of game play, the screen will turn black for a moment and the audio will churn to a halt. After a moment of black screen, the display will return with discolored bars or flashing discolorations (pictured here, in the top picture: http://imgur.com/a/4VXgB) and significantly reduced FPS. Following this comes either system freeze or crash to desktop. The alternate scenario (usually with Skyrim) is that the audio churns to a halt and the system just freezes altogether and the only way I can get out is with a hard reset. I have been talking to NVIDIA support and they suggest that since the card is labeled "Power Edition," perhaps the card came with factory overclocking that was over-aggressive. Apparently, GeForce recommends a reference clock speed of 915 MHz, but when I play those games, the clock speed runs between 1019 and 1228 MHz. I have tried dialing back the clock speed using both EVGA Precision and MSI Afterburner, but it does not seem to have any effect. Note this screenshot (http://imgur.com/Gvlf5) where I have reduced the GPU clock offset slider to -104 MHz after seeing the clock speed stabilize at 1019 MHz, but it did not have any effect.
Below is also a conversation I had with MSI tech support, but I am having a difficult time understanding what the technician is actually suggesting in his final response:
End User 01/16/2013 2-5 minutes after starting games such as Skyrim and Far Cry 3, the game hard freezes to where the only way I can exit is by performing a hard reset on the computer. Sometimes, the screen just turns black and then the display comes back after a moment with significantly reduced FPS. Sometimes, the screen comes back with corruption in the form of discolored bars followed by system freeze. Card is less than a week old. Screenshot of the aforementioned corruption: http://imgur.com/a/4VXgB The upper picture describes the situation.
MSI Tech. 01/16/2013 make sure your mb and it's bios has fully support for this video card and the mb bios has the latest version. make sure at least 550watt of power supply has been used. Verify the PCI-E Slot on the mb with another known working video card since the problem might be caused by the defective PCI-E Slot or defective PCI-E video card. Also, verify the MSI video card into another known working system/pc with known working PCI-E Slot as well to determine the root cause of the problem. If the MSI card is defective then please refer to our website for manufacturer warranty request for the video card: http://service.msicomputer.com/msi_user/rmaform_p.aspx
End User 01/16/2013 Thank you for your prompt response. I recently did a fresh install of Windows 7, and with that updated the bios per the Asus website. The motherboard is an Asus AMD Sabertooth 990FX. I'm not sure if this mb simply doesn't support this GPU, but they are both fairly new, the mb was purchased last year. I believe the PCI-E slot is fine since this card was an upgrade from an ATI Radeon 5670 which ran all my games fine. I unfortunately don't have an alternate system to load the card into to test whether or not the card itself is faulty. I recently spoke to NVIDIA tech support who believe the issue could be with aggressive factory overclocking with the card. I do not have any experience with overclocking personally, but apparently GeForce specifications define the reference clock speed to be 915 MHz. However, according to both MSI Afterburner and EVGA Precision, the clock speed was going up to 1019 MHz and peaking sometimes at 1228 MHz. When I tried moving the core clock speed sliders down to reflect the speed I wanted and then applied those changes and saved the profile in those programs' GUI, it did not seem to have any affect and the corruption and system freezing continued. Also, I confirmed that the issue is not with heat. While playing Skyrim, the temperature peaked at 64C when the system froze.
MSI Tech. 01/16/2013 if this is the case then it seems like either the mb slot/bios does not or have problem supporting this video card or the video card itself has problem which you will need to confirm or if not then rma the video card first to see if same problem persists, if it does then you know the problem lies on the mb.
Any help, ideas, or maybe a translation of the last paragraph in the spoiler would be greatly appreciated since I just want to play Skyrim already!