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Do I have a faulty graphics card?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I recently bought a refurbished HP Compaq 8710w laptop that was surplus from a large tech company. Its specs:

Intel Core 2 Duo T7300 @ 2.00GHz, 4MB L2 cache
8 GB (2x4GB) DDR2-800 @ 667MHz
Nvidia Quadro FX 1600M 512MB GDDR3 ---> identical to Geforce 8700M GT
250GB 5400 RPM Seagate Momentus 5400.4
17'' WSXGA+ 1680x1050 screen
Windows 7 Home Premium x64 w/SP1

It was sold "as is" with no warranty for a rock bottom price and I purchased it with the expectation that it would be fully functional. So after receiving the unit, I disassembled it, cleaned out the dust, reapplied thermal paste to the CPU and GPU, and installed a fresh copy of Windows 7 Home Premium x64.

Everything works fine now except for games and 3D applications. A few minutes in, the program will artifact and then hang with infinitely looping sound, followed shortly by a black screen or crash to desktop. Checking my error reports, this "video hardware error" pops up every time:


So far, I've already ruled out overheating, bad memory, video drivers, and the physical seating of the fan and heatsink assembly after my repaste. I also disabled GPU Timeout Detection and Recovery (TDR) in the Windows Registry but it didn't help at all.

Unfortunately, it seems to me that the only explanation left is that I have a faulty graphics card. The weird thing is that I only get these crashes when my laptop is plugged in and the GPU is running at its 3D clock speeds. On battery and 2D clock speeds, it's fine, but the performance is unacceptable due to the severe downclocking of the GPU. There's no way I can force 3D clock speeds on battery as it seems to be locked by the VBIOS.

Is there anything I can do to revive this machine? Should I bake the graphics card and hope for the best?
post #2 of 11
My guess is that it's not getting enough voltage on 3D clocks or it's failing. It would make sense that it works on battery because the GPU is throttled.
post #3 of 11
Yeah that's a dying GPU. There's a reason you got it for so cheap. tongue.gif
     
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Intel Core i5-6300HQ Dell Proprietary 4GB Nvidia GTX 960M Samsung 12GB (1x8GB 1x4GB) DDR3L 1600 MHz 
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120GB Samsung 830 SSD + 1TB HGST 7200RPM HDD CD/DVD-RW Stock Windows 10 Home 64-Bit 
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Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
256GB SanDisk M.2 SSD 1TB HGST 7.2k HDD Custom Cooling by Dell Solutions Windows 10 Home 64-Bit 
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post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hermitmaster View Post

My guess is that it's not getting enough voltage on 3D clocks.
Is there anything I can do to test if this is a possibility? Like using power adapter with more wattage and running with the battery removed?
post #5 of 11
I would try baking the GPU first, yeah. I did that with my old 6970M and it worked. biggrin.gif Never happened before but man it was a good thing because that was back when I had no money. frown.gif So it was a godsend. tongue.gif
     
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i5-6300HQ Dell Proprietary 4GB Nvidia GTX 960M Samsung 12GB (1x8GB 1x4GB) DDR3L 1600 MHz 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
256GB SanDisk M.2 SSD 1TB HGST 7.2k HDD Custom Cooling by Dell Solutions Windows 10 Home 64-Bit 
MonitorKeyboardPowerMouse
15.6" 1920x1080 IPS Screen Dell 130w PSU Logitech G602 Wireless 
Mouse Pad
Xtrac 'Ripper' Mouse Pad 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i7-2760QM Toshiba Qosmio X775 Nvidia 1.5GB GTX 560M 8GB DDR3 1333 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
120GB Samsung 830 SSD + 1TB HGST 7200RPM HDD CD/DVD-RW Stock Windows 10 Home 64-Bit 
MonitorKeyboardPowerMouse
17.3" - 1600x900 Standard backlit 180w Power Adapter Logitech G500s 
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i5-6300HQ Dell Proprietary 4GB Nvidia GTX 960M Samsung 12GB (1x8GB 1x4GB) DDR3L 1600 MHz 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
256GB SanDisk M.2 SSD 1TB HGST 7.2k HDD Custom Cooling by Dell Solutions Windows 10 Home 64-Bit 
MonitorKeyboardPowerMouse
15.6" 1920x1080 IPS Screen Dell 130w PSU Logitech G602 Wireless 
Mouse Pad
Xtrac 'Ripper' Mouse Pad 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i7-2760QM Toshiba Qosmio X775 Nvidia 1.5GB GTX 560M 8GB DDR3 1333 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
120GB Samsung 830 SSD + 1TB HGST 7200RPM HDD CD/DVD-RW Stock Windows 10 Home 64-Bit 
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17.3" - 1600x900 Standard backlit 180w Power Adapter Logitech G500s 
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post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Imglidinhere View Post

I would try baking the GPU first, yeah. I did that with my old 6970M and it worked. biggrin.gif Never happened before but man it was a good thing because that was back when I had no money. frown.gif So it was a godsend. tongue.gif
Well, I'm a college student, which means I have no money right now. wink.gif

It's obviously not going to be worth it to replace any components on this 5-year-old machine seeing that any MXM graphics card will cost more than what I paid for the entire notebook, assuming that anything fits in the first place, which you can never tell with these OEM's and their custom boards. Which leaves me with the last resort of baking the board.

I'm kind of hesitant to do this because baking, at least to me, seems like a boom or bust proposition in which you either fix your GPU problems or render it completely borked and unsalvageable. I've had two experiences with baking in the past, both desktop graphics cards, and one came out fixed while the other one died a horrible death and could not be revived with subsequent bakings. It's a hard decision to make seeing that this laptop can do everything fine except play games. Do I want to leave the GPU alone and use the notebook for non-gaming purposes, or bake it and risk having a completely dysfunctional unit?

The good thing is that I'm not completely shorthanded if I can't get this thing to work properly as I've got an ASUS G73, but it sure would be nice to have something smaller to carry around sometimes.
post #7 of 11
It could be a a bad GPU but it could also be bad drivers. Before you do anything more drastic you should try some newer or older drivers. Also you said you took the laptop apart and reapplied the thermal paste. Are you sure the vram thermal pads made proper contact after you reseated the GPU cooler?
    
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Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Samsung Spinpoint F1 1TB Western digital 300GB Western digital Caviar Blue 1TB Samsung 840 EVO 250Gb 
Optical DriveCoolingOSMonitor
generic LG DVD WC'd , Supreme LT, NexXxoS Xtreme III 360, Phob... Windows 7 x64 Samsung 27" LED S27A550B 
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ACER 23" x233H Dell U3415W Logitech G11 Chieftec 850W 
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post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bit_reaper View Post

It could be a a bad GPU but it could also be bad drivers. Before you do anything more drastic you should try some newer or older drivers. Also you said you took the laptop apart and reapplied the thermal paste. Are you sure the vram thermal pads made proper contact after you reseated the GPU cooler?
Well, I've tried about 10 different drivers, ranging from the original ones on HP's website to the newest ones from Nvidia and modified drivers from laptopvideo2go.com to detect the GPU as an 8700M GT, but to no avail.

I've already double-checked my reassembly once to make sure everything was put back properly, but I guess taking it apart for another look won't hurt. I'm pretty sure the VRAM thermal pads are in the right place as the were stuck pretty good to the bottom of the heatsink and didn't move or come off during the repaste process.
post #9 of 11
It's obvious that temps aren't the problem. Reseating the GPU again isn't going to fix this. You've already seen to this. tongue.gif

I would try flashing to the 8700M bios and see if that changes anything. usually the consumer side of the GPU market tends to operate at higher voltages. Might be worth it before you dismantle the thing again.
     
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i5-6300HQ Dell Proprietary 4GB Nvidia GTX 960M Samsung 12GB (1x8GB 1x4GB) DDR3L 1600 MHz 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
256GB SanDisk M.2 SSD 1TB HGST 7.2k HDD Custom Cooling by Dell Solutions Windows 10 Home 64-Bit 
MonitorKeyboardPowerMouse
15.6" 1920x1080 IPS Screen Dell 130w PSU Logitech G602 Wireless 
Mouse Pad
Xtrac 'Ripper' Mouse Pad 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i7-2760QM Toshiba Qosmio X775 Nvidia 1.5GB GTX 560M 8GB DDR3 1333 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
120GB Samsung 830 SSD + 1TB HGST 7200RPM HDD CD/DVD-RW Stock Windows 10 Home 64-Bit 
MonitorKeyboardPowerMouse
17.3" - 1600x900 Standard backlit 180w Power Adapter Logitech G500s 
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Harmon/Kardon Onboard 
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i5-6300HQ Dell Proprietary 4GB Nvidia GTX 960M Samsung 12GB (1x8GB 1x4GB) DDR3L 1600 MHz 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
256GB SanDisk M.2 SSD 1TB HGST 7.2k HDD Custom Cooling by Dell Solutions Windows 10 Home 64-Bit 
MonitorKeyboardPowerMouse
15.6" 1920x1080 IPS Screen Dell 130w PSU Logitech G602 Wireless 
Mouse Pad
Xtrac 'Ripper' Mouse Pad 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i7-2760QM Toshiba Qosmio X775 Nvidia 1.5GB GTX 560M 8GB DDR3 1333 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
120GB Samsung 830 SSD + 1TB HGST 7200RPM HDD CD/DVD-RW Stock Windows 10 Home 64-Bit 
MonitorKeyboardPowerMouse
17.3" - 1600x900 Standard backlit 180w Power Adapter Logitech G500s 
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post #10 of 11
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/HP-8710P-8710W-Laptop-Video-Card-451377-001-FX1600M-512MB-Nvidia-G84-975-A2-/330804854914?pt=PCC_Video_TV_Cards&hash=item4d05818082

not sure where you are but worth a try also.
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