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Crash to pixelated screen, help!

This is a discussion on Crash to pixelated screen, help! within the Video Card Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. Good afternoon! My computer has been recurringly 'crashing' to the attached image file whenever under stress and nearly every boot


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Old 04-17-2011, 06:40 AM   #1
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Question

Good afternoon!

My computer has been recurringly 'crashing' to the attached image file whenever under stress and nearly every boot up attempt just as the windows desktop is about to load. Understandably, this is incredibly annoying and I've tried many times to fix the issue. I was wondering if anybody could identify the cause of the problem and whether there are any cheap solutions to fixing it.

I am pretty certain it's due to my graphics card due to the nature of the problem. I have had it for over 2 years now, and only cleaned it out for the first time yesterday. It was a horrific mess of dust clogged heatsinks and crumbling thermal paste. Having cleaned it out and replaced the paste, the temperatures are dramatically better, but I fear the damage has already been done. The problem remains... that is, if it is the graphics card that is causing this problem.

My computer specs are as follows:
All are at default clocks.

Intel Q6600 (2.4ghz)
Gainward GTX 280 (602,1107)
Corsair XMS2 (2x2gb, 800hz)
OCZ StealthXStream 2 700W (only a couple of months old)

All components have stock coolers. There is a 12cm intake and 12cm outtake fan on my case.

I have 4 internal hard drives as well of all sizes, from 80gb to 1tb, 3 being SATA, one being IDE. I haven't tested these much, but they seem reliable enough and don't expect them to be the cause of the problem.

The computer temperatures are around 30-50 degrees at idle. The graphics card specifically will be around 45-50 at idle, but can rise to 75-85 at full load. Before cleaning it would idle around 60 and had gotten to just over 100 degrees on several occasions (which lead me to believe damage was caused).

Just for clarity, this corrupted, glitchy, pixelated (whatever you want to call it) screen only seems to occur under stressful situations, after playing a game for a minute or two or just starting windows. The actual colour and pattern of the glitch varies slightly each time, but always just comes out of the blue and instantly into it. I will still hear some sound for a few seconds after the crash. I always have to restart to get past this.

I've hit the point where I've tried everything I can think of to fix this, and I ideally want to know whether this is still fixable, whether it is definately the graphics card or not and what I should do next.

PS: I'm broke.

I hope you can help. Thanks for reading!
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Old 04-17-2011, 06:46 AM   #2
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Your description of the problems do point to the GPU.
What PSU were you using with the GTX 280 before you got the OCZ?
You could try it on another PC or try a different GPU in your PC to be certain.

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Old 04-17-2011, 08:11 AM   #3
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Before the OCZ it was a fairly cheap AOpen 880w modular thing. When I turned the computer on it fizzed and the lights flickered. Often it wouldn't get past post to the point where it wouldn't work at all.

Unfortunately I don't have another computer or another PCI-e card to test. It would have been a good testing method too. :(
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Old 04-17-2011, 09:28 AM   #4
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It sure does sound like gpu to me. Is the ram matched and bought at the same time?
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Old 04-17-2011, 10:48 AM   #5
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Yep. One of the older components in the case, probably nearing 3 years old each. They are in the correct slots too. I haven't done a long test on them in a while.
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Old 04-17-2011, 10:58 AM   #6
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I reckon that your last PSU had damaged your GPU by dodgy power ups.
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Old 04-17-2011, 11:50 AM   #7
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Well then why not run memtest on the ram then to get that out of the way. Do you know how to do that?
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Old 04-19-2011, 01:18 PM   #8
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I do indeed. I shall do that overnight.

I'm pretty much resigned to thinking the cards borked and there isn't much I can do about it... besides getting a better paid job, then replace the card. :P
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Old 04-19-2011, 01:54 PM   #9
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Great let us know what happened...
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Old 04-19-2011, 01:56 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sikph View Post
I'm pretty much resigned to thinking the cards borked and there isn't much I can do about it... besides getting a better paid job, then replace the card. :P
I also believe your GPU is the problem. You could try it in another PC or try another GPU in your PC to be certain.
If/when you replace it I would consider a better brand also.
EVGA & Asus are good choices for Nvidia chipped GPU's.
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Old 04-20-2011, 04:41 AM   #11
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Ok, I did 15 passes on memory diagnostics last night and found nothing. Seems these Corsair sticks are holding up nicely.

If I remember correctly, I only went for the Gainward at the time because it was on offer considerably cheaper than the others. I think it's about time I stopped opting for the cheapest option. Speaking of which, it seems I'm running out of tests and the crashing is pretty much constant now. I can no longer boot into windows out of safe mode a small percent of the time. So, do you guys have any suggestion for a suitable upgrade on a gtx280? Something that's better, but not too expensive. I see the gtx480's are at a much more attractive price now, around £200.
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Old 04-20-2011, 05:08 AM   #12
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I am currently using two 480gtx's in SLI, and not a thing is wrong with them. No problems what so ever

With Nvid GPU's i would always suggest going with EVGA or Asus brands
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Old 04-20-2011, 05:30 AM   #13
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I concur with Evga and then XFX are what I like to build with.
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Old 04-20-2011, 04:17 PM   #14
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I use EVGA & Asus for Nvidia chipped GPU's.
All Nvidia GPU's use Nvidia chips but they do NOT all use the same quality circuitry. That's why the Gainward was cheaper.

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