Wall of text, but I figure I should be as absolutely detailed as possible.
I was wondering if someone way smarter than me can solve this for me.
I used to think I knew what I was doing with computers, but not anymore.
I have a graphics card (EVGA gtx 470) that locks up only this computer. When it locks up, the screen doesn't update but things still flash. In memtest86+, there are a few things on the screen that still blink, but it's locked up. When in windows and it locks up, it hard reboots with bluescreen of the nvidia driver fail.
What's weird is that the card works 100% fine consistently in 2 other computers that I have tested. Stress test all day long even if I play with it.
I have tested 2 alternate cards in this rig (the one that fails), a Saphire Toxic 3870 and some ATI 1550. They both work flawless and consistently every time.
This made me think it's a power supply weakness. I didn't have one to test so I just bought a SeaSonic MII 620W power supply brand new... same problem. I'm not sure if this is dangerous, but I even tested it with two power supplies (the other being an some OCZ modular 500w, pretty new.. a year max. In reality, way under). I did this by jumping the OCZ and having that only connected to the video card, while using the SeaSonic for everyhting else. It was awhile back but I think the exact same problems happened.
Also.. my motherboard at one point stopped booting completely (I think some solder came loose, it was super glitchy and would turn on if you barely touched the ATX power cable but not do anything out of the blue one day), so that was RMA'd and the one I received (new supposedly) does the exact same thing only with the GTX 470.
The 470 began acting weird at one point as well and started artifacting at really low temperatures and locking up (maybe they are related), so that was RMA'd at one point as well.
So the problem is, this thing locks up only in my computer. When it locks up, the display... doesn't update but doesn't die? Things still flash, I'm not sure what that means. Like memtest will be stuck at 10% and not doing anything. The ram led's still go (but now I think it is only the same pattern because I left it for awhile and it didn't change) but the cursor and the + in memtest86+ still blink. The time stays the same and is otherwise locked up. What's weird though is on the older, pre-rma'd parts, when it locked up the ram lights would be frozen. It seems to lock up slightly differently now hahaha.
I tested the SeaSonic 620W with a cheapo voltimeter. The card requires both pci-e connectors, so I can't test those if it's connected. I'm not sure if they are on their own rail.I tested each of the pci-e connectors with it not plugged in, all of them read within 11.99 - 12.01 with no draw. I tested it with a molex connector with the 470 plugged in and the absolute highest I saw was 12.06. It is usually 12.01-12.03, I think at one point I saw 11.97.
It appears to me that all the parts are good except lock up only in this combination.
I have a switchec mpc655-B pump pretty close to my card and I thought maybe it was vibrating on it (the tube naturally very very barely touches the pic-e power connector), so I moved that and it didn't help. Then I thought maybe it's putting out EMI or something crazy (doubtful from what other people say), so I moved it out of the case and have a microfiber towel around it so very minimal vibrations even transfer through the case from it directly at least.
Still locks up. It seems arbitrary, when I first moved it out of the case it went from often locking up during the logo of the motherboard, or at any point varying from 0 to maybe 2 minutes if I'm lucky to running memtest for hours. Making real real sure not to touch or move anything, I pushed the power button off.... and back on... locks up at the motherboard screen. Back to locking up within 30 seconds of boot most of the time. Maybe get to 10% memtest.
I'm fairly sure nothing is shorting (nothing is moving, plus I've taken this apart a good 20 times and all the exact same results)
I kind of think it is a slot connection (I guess they are called edge connectors) issue. I tried screwing the card in as much as I could, using 3 screws around it with washers even. At one point, I found if the card wasn't fit snug it would work. If it was pulled out a bit rotationally say on the angle that the card is towards the slot. So the left side (looking down) of the slot would theoretically have less contact. And also, pushing down on the card (towards the bottom of the case), seemed to work. I noticed because when I put it straight in (different motherboard and different video card), it wouldn't boot. But some positions worked. I systematically went through them a little and found that to be the best position. The problem was, without being able to screw it in, the card would sag down over time and eventually start locking up again. I had to reset and find the position every few days. I'm not sure if that was bad for my card or motherboard to do, but both of those pieces have been replaced anyway hahaha.
So now, here I am... with a computer that barely boots consisting of what appears to be all tested parts, stripped down to the core. Good temps (window open in the winter, room temp 16c with a massive box fan blowing on high)... What do I do?
I really think it's just not making the right connection, it seems like some positions work better than others but the ones that work, the screws don't even line up. I had it for a few days 100% when it was super screwed in with the 3 screws... but then it locked up during load and then didn't even boot at all multiple times. (fail at windows loading) I don't quite understand how that's possible because I couldn't budge when I was trying to move it.
Does anyone have any ideas or any experience with anything like this? Is there anything I can do to improve the connection to the edge connector slot for the graphics card? The slot and the card both look pretty clean. Is there any way I can determine the best position? Are the slots on either side of the female slot on the motherboard the same, would pushing it into it work better?
I've been kind of dealing with this for a year and I'm really trying to figure out how to fix it. If it is a connection thing and I could somehow find the perfection position, I'd gladly find a way to mount it permanently. I got a ton of rubber grommets that I was planning to cut up and some combination of mounting it with washers to put foce down and grommets to hold it up. I just can't find the position. Maybe it's something else silly. I'm really at a loss.
SeaSonic MII 620W
Asus p7p55d-e LX
1333MHZ ddr3 crcucial ballistix
EVGA gtx 470