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-   -   Fun times with artefacting. Suggestions for fix? (https://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/troubleshooting/34907-fun-times-artefacting-suggestions-fix.html)

the Sliver August 5, 2010 02:51 PM

Fun times with artefacting. Suggestions for fix?
I'll try to keep the story brief:
So back in February 2010, my year and a half old computer (bought it in August 2008) randomly froze on me during a game (screen got all messy with colours... artefacted!!). Did a hard reboot, seemed to fix the problem as I was back to gaming! However, the next day when I booted the system up and played a game: BAM! Same thing happened. Did a hard reset, didn't happen again all day.

For the coming weeks, this became a daily occurence, but never happened more than once a day! The freeze would occur within the first 5 minutes of play time, but then wouldn't happen again after the reset (at least until the next time I shut down).

Obviously, I figured it was the graphics card: a GTX 280 from EVGA. Before they would accept an RMA, they made me do some tests: voltages from the PSU? All good. Errors with the RAM? Nope, did a test: all good. CPU? Did a test: all good. Ran a GPU test with OCCT: froze. Then I rebooted and did the test again: all good.

Naturally, I figured overheating next. So I bought some compressed air and sprayed it nice and clean. Didn't fix it. Tried reseating the card. Didn't fix it. According to OCCT, my graphics card goes up to about 80 degrees C when pushed to the max. That's a lot, but shouldn't overheat it.

Anyways, (I know this story is getting long) I couldn't afford to RMA the card yet because I still needed the computer for school and work, so I dealt with the problem (it became a joke, as I had to purposely artefact my computer before I could play with my friends properly. This happens with pretty much ANY recent game. Bioshock 2 is when I first noticed it. It happens with Mass Effect 2, League of Legends, Bad Company 2, Starcraft 2. But NOT with old games like Diablo 2!).

Bringing the story to a close, I finally had time in July to RMA my card (I had access to a laptop for work) and wanted to get it fixed before the Starcraft 2 release. Got the replacement in the mail and: yay! No artefacting!.... for three days. Then the problem completely resurfaced. Infuriated, I started taking parts out of my computer. Nope, not the sound card. Not the secondary hard drive. Finally, I convinced my brother to swap video cards with me to see what would happen. He has a GT 9600. With the 9600 in my computer and the GTX 280 in his, so far no problems, but I want to keep it like that until one of us freezes lol.

Can anyone provide some insight here? I'm at my wits end on this issue! It's small, but extremely annoying!

Asus P5Q Deluxe motherboard
GTX 280 video card
4gb RAM
Intel 9450 Quad core
HT Striker 7.1 sound card
Windows 7 64 bit
PC Power and Cooling: Turbo-Cool 860W
22 inch Samsung monitor (I know it's not this that's the problem because both of my screens artefact when the PC freezes)

EDIT: And yes, I kept all my drivers up-to-date throughout this issue. In fact, I would get excited every time Nvidia came out with a new driver as I was hopeful it would address my issue!

LaughingCrow August 5, 2010 06:17 PM

I'm leaning towards the video card or the monitor. Since you have a new card, I'd suspect the monitor.
But first, try a new or different monitor cable if you can - rare but I have seen the cable as the culprit - it was about the only thing left to change.

Do you get artifacting when not playing games or only playing games?

Next, check the monitor settings - i.e. is it running at optimum settings for card/monitor? If so start out with lower rez settings and see if that improves anything.
Also check out Win 7 display settings - try calibrating your display (Display Calibration)


22 inch Samsung monitor (I know it's not this that's the problem because both of my screens artefact when the PC freezes)
What do you mean by 'both of my screens'? Do you have 1 or 2 monitors?

_dangtx_ August 5, 2010 06:34 PM

could be the slot too.

put it in the other one, dont worry about 4x

the Sliver August 6, 2010 09:14 AM

I used to have 2 monitors, but I unplugged the secondary one when the artefacting occured as it could have maybe solved the problem. It didn't.
I'll try swapping monitor cables when I get the chance, but mine's the only DVI cable in the house.

I only get artefacting playing games. And then: it only happens playing recent games (within the last 3 years or so).

As for putting it in a different slot, the size of the card and the type of motherboard means it's in the only slot that will fit it :S.

Rison August 6, 2010 09:32 AM

I honestly have never heard of a monitor cable causing artifacting from a GPU. Could happen I guess.

What dangtx said - motherboard slot. Otherwise RMA card.

the Sliver August 6, 2010 10:03 AM

Well, interestingly, neither computer has frozen/artefacted with the cards swapped although it has only been a day.
If they continue to run without error, why would my GTX280 run fine in his computer and his 9600GT run fine in mine, but not the GTX280 in mine?

Any ideas?

sswilson August 6, 2010 10:11 AM

Power supply.

the Sliver August 6, 2010 10:16 AM

Voltages from the power supply are fine, though... 12.152V!
Unfortunately, I don't have a spare power supply powerful enough to try swapping out...

sswilson August 6, 2010 10:27 AM

It's really the logical conclusion... if the card works fine in somebody else's PC, and you can run a card which has lower power requirements without any problems, not much left other than the PSU.

The only other thing I can suggest you try would be to bump the PCIe voltage up a bit in bios, although IMO that's a long shot.

the Sliver August 6, 2010 10:49 AM

Sigh.... the stupid thing is supposed to be SLI ready! lol
It's still under warranty, so I could RMA it.
Maybe I could try different connectors... hadn't thought of that.

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