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Crashing question (before I go and buy a new card)

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I have a feeling that this is just a dieing card, but before I go spend money on a new one I want to see what people here have to say (if anything).

I was in the middle of playing TW2 when everything froze, screen went black, and then came back on. I thought that was weird, but just kept playing. A while later, small blue boxes in a lovely checkerboard pattern covered my screen followed by a BSOD. Computer didn't restart automatically (the screen just went dark after the BSOD) and to get the computer to boot and to even post, I ended up re-seating the GPU and RAM.

After that, it did the same thing an hour or so later while I was playing WoW (yes, I play WoW). Ended up restarting fine this time. Before I went to bed, I decided to defrag my hard drive and it crashed then too.

Today, it's been more-or-less fine. I can at least use my computer (and as I'm typing this I'm going "please don't crash, please don't crash"). I played WoW for quite a while today and it was fine. Tried playing TW2 and it crashed after 30-45 minutes.

I've tried updating my driver (I was using something like 10.4). Didn't seem to make any difference. I'm not sure if it's heat. My GPU ram gets quite hot while playing TW2, but I have been playing that for days now without any issues. WoW doesn't get it hot enough for me to think that would be crashing it (unless the temp suddenly spikes). I guess maybe it's possible that something got damaged initially by the heat while playing TW2, I don't know.

What confuses me is why this started happening? Before it started, I had played in the morning and had gone out for the afternoon. I come home and it's like something changed.

I've seen what a bad/dieing gpu looks like. But the time I've experienced that, it was bad. As in there would be artifacts instantly when the computer was turned on. In this case, it's not like that.

For those that care/want to know, the BSOD was a GRAPHICS_DRIVER_TDR_FAULT and referenced "atikmpag.sys" (NOT atikmdag").
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Karnak
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post #2 of 12
Run some stress tests on the card like OCCT GPU tester, 3DMark, and furmark for a while see what the card does and the highest temp reached. You could also run memtest and Prime95 blend to be sure its not anything RAM or CPU related since you have your rig overclocked it appears. I assume your GPU is at stock? I am leaning towards a Video RAM issue more then likely.

Might also try to reinstall drivers and run driver cleaner to be sure everything is clean before re-installation. Try another version of drivers maybe the oldest that supports your card doubt this is problem if fresh install after driver cleaner doesn't make a diff. Kinda unrelated but go to BIOS and check your settings for PCI-E and whether its set to run PCI-E or other.

Kinda sounds like the card is going bad or overheating possibly. Run a program to monitor temps while in game and check it every once in a while see how hot it gets. If your running over 80-90c might be heat causing issue. What fan speed do you run at try increasing it to 100% might help.

If you have another GFX card might try installing it see if problem persists but above mentioned tests should let you know what it is.

Go into BIOS and check your PSU voltages could maybe be PSU not supplying enough volts but if it just stated happening I doubt it.

Finally try and remove and reseat the card its worth a try.

EDIT: You said it crashed while defragging doesn't sound like a GPU overheat after seeing that . Run a Prime95 test utilizing all your memory to ensure its not CPU/RAM related. Might as well run HDTUNE also to check for error on the HDD although unlikely just to be 100% sure

Good luck hope some of this info was useful and you find the problem.
Edited by Rick Arter - 6/5/11 at 11:46pm
    
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post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Well it's definitely something with the GPU. I ran OCCT, and it crashed after about 10 seconds. Probably has something to do with the VRAM temps going up to 120C.

I've done the driver uninstall, cleaner, install already.

Unfortunately I don't have any chance of testing another card.

Already tried re-seating the card.

The crashed while defragging confuses me too, but after running OCCT, at least I know it's GPU and not something else. I doubt it's power related (unless my PSU is going bad), but the biggest indicator to me is that the vram temps are getting ridiculously high. On idle though, they run about 60.

I have an aftermarket cooler for my gpu, that has always had troubles with the vram cooling. I guess that's finally become a problem.

I was worried that when I ran the stress test that it will completely kill my card. Got a nice little scare when I rebooted because it artifacted on the windows loading screen. Turning my computer off for a couple minutes seemed to "fix" that.
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Karnak
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post #4 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by kurt1288 View Post
Well it's definitely something with the GPU. I ran OCCT, and it crashed after about 10 seconds. Probably has something to do with the VRAM temps going up to 120C.

I've done the driver uninstall, cleaner, install already.

Unfortunately I don't have any chance of testing another card.

Already tried re-seating the card.

The crashed while defragging confuses me too, but after running OCCT, at least I know it's GPU and not something else. I doubt it's power related (unless my PSU is going bad), but the biggest indicator to me is that the vram temps are getting ridiculously high. On idle though, they run about 60.

I have an aftermarket cooler for my gpu, that has always had troubles with the vram cooling. I guess that's finally become a problem.

I was worried that when I ran the stress test that it will completely kill my card. Got a nice little scare when I rebooted because it artifacted on the windows loading screen. Turning my computer off for a couple minutes seemed to "fix" that.
After hearing that more then likely the VRAM as you stated. If you had some cash get some heatsinks for them to see if that help maybe.

Try running memtest just to be sure or prime95 with 100% RAM utilized since you crashed while defragging just a tip.
    
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post #5 of 12
Are you able to pop some VRAM heat sinks on that ram... you mentioned an after market cooler.

ahh ninja'd

Have you run OCCT GPU memory test to make sure the VRAMs are okay?
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Arter View Post
After hearing that more then likely the VRAM as you stated. If you had some cash get some heatsinks for them to see if that help maybe.

Try running memtest just to be sure or prime95 with 100% RAM utilized since you crashed while defragging just a tip.
Meh, I'll probably just buy a new card. I get paid in a week, so as long as my card doesn't completely die...
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Karnak
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post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sethy666 View Post
Are you able to pop some VRAM heat sinks on that ram... you mentioned an after market cooler.

Have you run OCCT GPU memory test to make sure the VRAMs are okay?
There are vram sinks on, but they just suck (and always have). I can't run the occt gpu memory test because I don't have an nvidia card. Really though, I doubt that there's something wrong with the vram, since 120C is definitely NOT normal. And even if something was/is wrong with them, I'd have to buy a new card which is what I'm probably going to do.
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Karnak
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post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by kurt1288 View Post
There are vram sinks on, but they just suck (and always have). I can't run the occt gpu memory test because I don't have an nvidia card.
Oops.. me bad. Didnt realise OCCT GPU did not like playing with AMD / ATI
post #9 of 12
Your running on a 4870, it sounds like it might be time for a 5-6,000 series card.
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post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by kurt1288 View Post
Meh, I'll probably just buy a new card. I get paid in a week, so as long as my card doesn't completely die...
Sounds like a good plan think it will last has this long upgrades are always fun not the $$$ part though.
    
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