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Graphics card crashing

I know this is long but the situations involving this problem keep changing as time goes on....

I have a Radeon X1950XT. I've been using this computer for a year or two and it never had any problems before. A few months ago though I started having a few problems. Unreal Tournament 3 would crash my computer after about 2 minutes of playing. I'd be in the middle of a match and it would just restart. But when it started back up and I tried it again, it played fine.

So soon after I start having graphical problems in wow, with objects like grass, torches, or bushes stretching their texture across the screen. Hard to explain. It got worse to where there'd be walls of green prison-bar type things in-game (the grass textures stretching), or where the world disappears when I turn a certain direction or all of my windows flicker and garble up. I figured this was due to heat. Running AtiTool to run my fan harder, the problems went away, but only if i cooled it BEFORE the problems started happening. UT3 was still crashing, but if I ran the fan it helped... at first.

Then my problem slowly escalated to the point that I was getting VPU crashes from my Catalyst drivers every time I ran a game. To play a game, I had to run it, let it crash, then play it. But as long as AtiTool was running, I never had to restart my computer when it crashed (like with UT3).

I come to another point (now) where my computer locks up completely shortly after running the EQ2 demo with AtiTool running. I don't get the VPU error and restart anymore where my gfx card restarts itself instead of locking up my computer. Tried WoW and had no crash. So now what I do is run it and set my fan to run harder, but close it after, leaving the fan speed the same but without the program running. So far no crash. But I don't seem to have the VPU errors saving me from having to restart anymore.

I'd say the problem is overheating with AtiTool just causing a VPU crash when I try to use it for the fan speeds - BUT, I had crashes in UT3 before I started using AtiTool. No other game used to crash (including Crysis), so it couldn't be that UT3 just runs hotter than other games.

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Tell me about...

In reply to: Graphics card crashing

You removing the card to pop the fan, heatsink off to refresh the heatsink compound and all about your cleanup of dust and such in the computer.

Collapse -
heatsink and dust

In reply to: Tell me about...

There's literally no dust in this computer. The whole front of the case is metal mesh with a giant filter put in it. I've opened up the computer before to find everything looking as clean as it was new.

I don't trust myself enough to mess with a gfx card heatsink. I don't have any more thermal paste.

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It's cheaper than a new card. Example links

In reply to: heatsink and dust

Collapse -
new card

In reply to: It's cheaper than a new card. Example links

I had planned to buy a new card anyway but wanted to ask so maybe I could fix it until I get the money. I think there's already been damage done to the card from heat, it never clocked at the right speeds since I got it, and always ran worse than it was supposed to, so I need a new one anyway. I'm going nvidia because the vpu crash problem is with many ati cards, so I'm going to avoid them for this computer.

Another thing to note is that I don't have a Best Buy, Circuit City, OR Fry's Electronics anywhere within several cities of me. I get everything from newegg and I'm definitely not in the position where I'm rich enough (or DUMB enough) to pay someone hundreds more dollars to fix something than the job is worth. Granted, I DON'T know what to do about fixing my problem, but I'd hate to pay a BestBuy the cost of one of their price-jacked graphics cards, and then $300 more for the labor for them to install it for me - just because they were no more intelligent about the problem than I or any of you guys out there and had to replace the card anyway.

Thanks for giving input though, at least now I know buying a new card wouldn't be a bad thing to do.

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My last tube of heatsink compound was 1 dollar.

In reply to: new card

And I used a screwdriver and got it done. Why would we pay someone for this small task?

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meh

In reply to: My last tube of heatsink compound was 1 dollar.

I thought you were saying to take it somewhere and just have them fix the whole situation. BestBuy charged my brother $300 before to basically insert his recovery discs and reformat the hard drive. My brother should've known better, and his wife should know not to delete Windows files to "save space" (or be allowed on a computer to begin with) but hey.

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Yep

In reply to: Tell me about...

use compressed air to clean it out. If you have room add a slot fan:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835106083

Whats the requirement for the power supply for that Graphics card? My new Nvidia 8800 GS GPU has hit the "power" wall with my current 250 watt power supply. Nvidia recommends 400-450 watts. These symptoms sound familiar. I got this yesterday:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817152028

I guess I'll have to live with the blue light. Grin

Make sure you discharge any static in your body by touching metal before work on PC parts. The screws on electric plugs and switches are the good places or get an anti-static wrist band:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&DEPA=0&Description=anti+static&x=20&y=29

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