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Computer crashes when playing games - unsure if GPU or PSU issue


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#1 Xuco

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 03:21 PM

Hello. As the title says, I am having trouble with my computer crashing while I play games. My GPU is an ASUS EAH4870 Radeon HD 4870 and my PSU is a CORSAIR TX Series CMPSU-650TX 650W
 
I will usually be able to play a game just fine for a couple of hours. After extended gameplay, however, a crash becomes increasingly likely. When crashing, the screen will suddenly turn completely black. I will still be able to hear the game sounds, meaning the game is still running. After a few seconds however, the sounds will start to skip and the computer has crashed completely. The only way I have found to get out of this is to power off the computer manually. It does not respond to any keyboard inputs as far as I can tell. This happens with practically any game, including Guild Wars 2, Trine 2, Brutal Legend, Borderlands, among others. Only really simple games such as Don't Starve seem to be free from this problem.
 
I have monitored the temperatures of my GPU using TechPowerUp GPU-Z. When not running games, the temperature hovers around 55°C. When playing games, the temperature rises to about 80°C, sometimes going as high as 90°C. It was my understanding that these temperatures were acceptable, but now I am not so sure.
 
I have updated my GPU's drivers numerous times, but this hasn't done anything to the problem. I used Driver Fusion from http://treexy.com/ to completely remove all GPU drivers before reinstalling, but again it had no effect.
 
So this whole time I've been suspecting my GPU is faulty and was preparing to purchase a new one, but as I started checking to make sure my PSU could handle a new card, it occurred to me that maybe the PSU could be at fault. Unfortunately I know very little about these things, so I wouldn't know what to check and much less how.
 
I purchased both of these components about 4 years ago, so either could be failing. I just want to know if I need to replace the PSU, the GPU, or both. I'd hate to replace one if I don't have to. Any help would be much appreciated. Thank you for your time.

Edited by Xuco, 28 July 2013 - 03:27 PM.


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#2 jhayz

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Posted 28 July 2013 - 08:43 PM

Welcome to Bleeping Computer.:)

 

The initial suspect basing from your post would be the video card crash due to high temperature readings. Were you able to clean out your desktop from dust, clogging including your card first? In case of a replacement or upgrade, your current Corsair PSU would suffice the wattage output.


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#3 Xuco

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 12:54 AM

Thank you for your response and your welcome :)

 

I have indeed cleaned out the dust from my computer, video card included. This seemed to drop the temperature a few degrees but the problem persists



#4 jhayz

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 01:34 AM

Try using Speedfan and see if it helps. Read also about Speedfan control.


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#5 Xuco

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 08:32 PM

I tried this program but it seems to have little impact on the temperature, and worse, it makes my games lag really badly. So I am not sure it will be a solution for me



#6 jhayz

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 07:44 AM

Perhaps the problem comes from your desktop casing/fans setup itself. Or the card is not good enough for your heavy games and needs to be upgraded.


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#7 Xuco

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 11:18 PM

Well I had been considering replacing the GPU anyway. My only concern was that there is another root to the problem. Should I just go ahead and replace the GPU anywa?



#8 jhayz

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Posted 01 August 2013 - 09:02 AM

The only concern is the video card reaching high temperature so more likely that is the problem basing from your initial post.


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#9 Xuco

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Posted 01 August 2013 - 07:29 PM

I see. But what can I do about that? My case has a fan on the side and one blowing air out from the back. The GPU has its own fan of course, and I've dusted that recently. Not sure what more I could do



#10 jhayz

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Posted 01 August 2013 - 11:44 PM

If you run certain hardware temperature softwares (HWMonitor, SIW, Speccy), look also for the processor, motherboard and hard drive temperatures to oversee the readings as all this components have maximum tolerance to thermal events. If the video card is the only one reading at peak readings and exhibiting sudden black screen, distortion or crashes related to your post, then it could be concluded that the card needs to be replaced. One thing I should have mentioned earlier is the possible overclocking http://www.overclockersclub.com/reviews/asus_eah4870/6.htm


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#11 Xuco

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 01:19 AM

I had been using GPU-Z just to check my GPU temperatures, but I got HWMonitor and Speccy to check that and the other parts. Here are my readings (HWMonitor on the left and Speccy on the right).

 

Idle:

CPU 35°C, 38°C

GPU 55 °C, 56°C

PCH 38°C, 37°C

HDD 47°C, 48°C

 

Running a game (Tested on GW2 and Trine 2, mostly the same readings):

CPU 46°C, 46°C

GPU 82°C, 81°C

PCH 38°C, 39°C

HDD 47°C, 49°C

 

 

I have not overclocked anything. In fact I've used Catalyst Control to slow down the clock on my GPU but it doesn't seem to have done much.



#12 jhayz

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 01:26 AM

The videocard seems to be running on the higher side or near maximum temperature. This also goes for the hard drive so its more likely the desktop tower needs additional fans but not anymore sure regarding the card if it would lower this readings. Try opening the side casings instead and see if the problem persist.


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#13 Xuco

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 01:44 AM

Actually I forgot to mention I've been running with the side panel cracked open this whole time. Before I did this, the GPU was running at around 90°C and at times even went up to 100°C



#14 jhayz

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Posted 04 August 2013 - 01:32 AM

Have you tried updating your motherboard BIOS version including the video card driver? If nothing changes after this updates, then its time to ditch the card and replace it.


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#15 Chris Cosgrove

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 06:03 PM

A truly impressive looking video card, judging by the photos in the link in your first post. But one more chance before you decide to ditch it. I had a look at the head-on photo on the New Egg site and it isn't clear how the heatsink and fan are mounted. I would expect screws to be used.

 

If you can remove the fan and heatsink assembly, it might be worth your time to clean the mating faces between the processors and the heatsink and apply new heatsink compound. £UK 3 or 4 for a tube of heatsink compound is a lot cheaper than a new video card !

 

I agree with jhayz about the airflow through your case - your hard drive is on the warm side as well. Mine sit at just under 30C - warm to the touch but not hot. Your other temperatures are nominal.

 

Chris Cosgrove






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