Diagnosing hardware failure (pretty sure it's my video card)

I have a home assembled PC, put it together from parts in December 2011. Today after installing a new GeForce update for my evga gtx 460 768mb, I started getting crashes while playing the Talos Principle.

The crashes worsened until they made my entire system crash. Then, I got a graphically messed up BSOD, and was only able to log back into Windows via Safe Mode at that point. It's at lousy resolution and has a multitude of short horizontal black lines as graphical artifacts now, and this situation is now repeatable: start up normally, BSOD, start up in Safe Mode, same lousy resolution with the same black lines.

I used Piriform Speccy to remind myself of my motherboard type, because at that point I was feeling pretty sure it was the video card.

But Speccy would only report about the operating system and the hard drives, the CPU and RAM and Motherboard and video card all showed a "SPC dll error"

I took a picture of that Speccy screen, I'll try and post it here, but essentially I just would like to confirm it's most likely the video card before I go buy a new one.


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Clarification Request
Here's the screenshot of the Speccy
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@ zantal, I locked your other thread to avoid confusion.


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I think the new thread is a new topic.

Lets see which thread Z wants to close now.

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Feel free to unlock Bob.

I may have read it wrong.

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I love English.

I'm free!

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Irate Welshman here!

By the way, we beat England in the rugby world cup. Are you related to William Wallace. FREEDOM!

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So what's your take on a Fifties?

One of my friends that travel a lot ordered it up a few weeks ago. Nice.

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though i was born in the fifties,

I have no idea what you're talking about. is this an American thing?

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had a re-read.

And you're right Bob. damn my speed reading! I'm going to unlock.

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Clarification Request
Or it overheated.

Tell if you were doing your monthly cleaning and at this age did you try new heatsink compound on the GPU as well as fan checks?

The 460 was not a light draw on the PSU. Is your PSU rated for about 2x max draw of the system?

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The PU is 650w, when I was doing original benchmarks I don't believe it was ever supposed to draw any where's near that

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OK but what 650W PSU?

Some are quad rail units that will barely deliver what the 460 demanded. I'm hoping that we can find another cause but you are likely right the GPU has failed.

At nearly 4 years that compound can dry and crack causing early failures. And no temperature monitoring is sufficient to catch that.

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(NT) It's been too long, I'd have to open it up to find out.
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It's been too long, I'd have to open it up to find out.

It's been nearly four years of heavy on and off gaming and regular use inbetween for videos. If it were the power supply don't you think it would have been a problem before now?

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No. Here's why.

Electrolytic capacitors age over time. It's not solid state as some think. So over time capacity of the PSU declines.

Remember that while all indications are a failed GPU, I always want to try the few dollar work first of canned air, heatsink compound (about 2 bucks between those two) before I pop for another GPU.

There's also another exit at times such as onboard video to let the owner use it as-is but I re-read the post and can't find machine details that would let us try a few things.

The failures in Speccy tell me the OS could be blown in some odd way.

Let me be frank. Working with half the machine details or less mean that my guess is even less likely. I'd try a boot to some Live Linux DVD as a hardware test. No install needed.


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I've only used the air compressor to blow out dust about once per year, no I've never put on any new thermal compound.

My PC was on for a few hours but I wasn't using it for any graphically intense computations since last night

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Hard to find a new card that uses PCI express x16 2.0

Everywhere I look, they're somebody selling their used one.

I can't really avoid a full system overhaul, can I, new CPU, new motherboard, new video card, new RAM... Yikes

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For years I've used PCIe x16 3.0 cards in 2.0 slots.

Is that the question? It's an old one but yes, so far it's never caused me trouble.

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