Just over 2 years ago I built my son a gaming machine (complete specs below). For about 2 years it ran perfectly. It never crashed and it did everything he wanted it to. The video card I put in it when I built it was a Radeon HD 6870. A few months ago I upgraded my own video card and sent him my old card, a Radeon HD 7870, to install as an upgrade. After he installed the 7870, it would run games fine for a while but after 0 to 60 minutes of heavy gaming on the new card, the game would crash and the computer would blue screen shortly thereafter. A sample blue screen image attached.
At that point I had him update his video drivers, try beta drivers, roll back to some older drivers, but nothing worked. So admitting defeat and thinking either there was an incompatibility between the 7870 and his machine or the 7870 somehow got damaged while shipping it to him, I had him put the old 6870 back in. He did that, and the crashing problem persisted – even with the previously rock solid 6870.
So at this point we were thinking it was a driver problem or some software incompatibility. Since the OS install (Win 7) was over 2 years old and he was having problems anyway, I walked him through reformatting and reinstalling Win 7. I thought for sure that would fix the problem, especially with the old 6870 which had been so stable, but it hasn’t. The machine still blue screens after 20-60 minutes of heavy gaming.
The really weird thing here is that the problem started when we tried to upgrade to the 7870, but after putting the 6870 back in the problem persists – even after a complete OS re-install. Prior to that, the machine was solid. That, and the 7870 has since been given to my daughter and it runs fine in her machine.
A few notes about the crashing:
- Most crashes start with the game crashing back to the OS, soon followed by a BSOD.
- Some games crash instantly upon launching, some a bit later.
- Vanilla Minecraft crashes instantly, but heavily modded Minecraft doesn’t crash much
- Seems to not happen as often with games that are less demanding on the video card.
- Does not happen when using the computer for other things – only 3D gaming.
Things we have tried:
- Updated video drivers to both current and beta versions.
- Rolled back drivers to a slightly older driver version.
- Complete reformat and re-install Windows 7, along with complete updates.
- Ran Windows 7’s included mem test to see if it was RAM, but the RAM checks out fine – at least with that particular tester.
- CPU: Intel Core i5 3570K Ivy bridge at 3.4 GHz (not overclocked)
- Motherboard: MSI Z77A-G41
- RAM: 8 GB G SKILL (2 x 4GB) DDR3 (PC 14900)
- Card: Radeon HD 6870 1GB – Radeon HD 7870 2 GB started the problem
- PSU: Fatal1ty FirePower 750W ATX
- HD: 2TB Seagate 7200 rpm
- Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit (fully updated)
Thanks for any help/suggestions anyone can provide!