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Computer's first BSOD, possible graphics card issue

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Hey guys... I was in the middle of playing a round of Battlefield 2 about an hour ago when the game hung, the sound started looping, then the textures went crazy--some were lost, there were blocks of TV-like static, etc., followed by a half-second BSOD and an automatic reboot. This computer has never had a BSOD or a crash in the 3.5 years it's been running, and this was the first time it generated a minidump.

After it rebooted, I started to research the issue when suddenly a square of blue-green pixels surrounded my cursor and started following it, then the computer rebooted again. This time, the Windows XP loading screen had yellow vertical lines all the way down. The monitor went blank before the Welcome screen. Now everything, including the DOS-like BIOS and boot-up screens, is completely garbled.

I figure the memory on the video card went bad. It was a Gigabyte GV-NX66128DP, basically a PCI-x16 GeForce 6600 vanilla. I don't have any spare PCI-Express cards, so I'll need to order a new one.

What do you guys think, and would the GeForce 8500GT be a sufficient replacement? I'm looking for a sub-$100 replacement.
post #2 of 20
Quote:
then the textures went crazy--some were lost, there were blocks of TV-like static, etc.
Guaranteed GPU problem. Could be overheating or could just be dying. An 8500GT should do you fine.
post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arainach View Post
Guaranteed GPU problem. Could be overheating or could just be dying. An 8500GT should do you fine.
Thanks for the confirmation. I always expect the worst when a hardware problem happens, like I'll buy a video card and find out it's a problem with the slot in the motherboard and/or the power supply or something. At least I can rule out the PSU, since this card doesn't require direct power.

I had another video card develop a similar problem (Diamond Viper V770 Ultra) back in the day, but it never caused a BSOD, and the computer was still usable despite the video weirdness.
post #4 of 20
Sounds an awful lot like the "Red ring of death" symptoms on my 360, supporting the GPU theory.
post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 
Hrm... Since this isn't my main computer, I might go with the 8400GS, since there are some fanless models on sale for about half the price of the 8500GT. As long as it has similar or better performance compared to the vanilla 6600, I won't mind, unless the 8400GS has other issues (do all models turbocache?). [Edit: It looks like 8400GS uses turbocache even if it's not listed in the specs.]

My only hope is that this doesn't happen again with the new card.
post #6 of 20
I remember owning the 6600gt when oblivion came out and it actaully plays. I bought a 8400gs for our home media computer, and it can't even play source games at lowest graphic setting, it could handle video playback alright, but you would want a little more smoothness. It is only about as good as a decent integrated motherboard video card, but the image quality is more acceptable. There is the fanless MSI 8600gt you could get for $100 at several websites, it seem to have all 512mb on the card itself.

btw, your wtb thread is in the music section.
post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by terrymx View Post
btw, your wtb thread is in the music section.
I know, but unfortunately there's no Computer FS/FT section... Maybe if the computer was considered a source, the video card would be a "source component."
post #8 of 20
Thread Starter 
I spent the morning reading through threads about this issue, and it seems that a large number of people have experienced identical problems. The screenshots in this guy's thread are almost a perfect match with what I see when I try to boot. The solution in all cases: buy a new graphics card.

It was a fanless card, so it was probably death by heat due to dust, or the heatsinks no longer being well-connected to the chips. Sort of disappointing, but I guess it's an excuse to upgrade.
post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 
Since the hardware measurement / benchmarking program Everest hasn't been free for a while, what have you guys been using to measure temperatures, etc.? The CPUID stuff? SpeedFan?

I plan to run a few passes of memtest86+, Prime95, and 3DMark once I get the new video card just to be sure everything is stable.
post #10 of 20
I use cpu-z and coretemp
post #11 of 20
It sounds like a dead GFX
A 8500GT would be a suitable replacement card. If you have the money then go for the 8600GT or on the of the 8500GTs with a better cooling solution on.

My 2 cents!

I hope you find a good GFX!

Cheers,
Frederik
post #12 of 20
Thread Starter 
I thought about going with the BFG 8500GT for $25 after rebate, but I figured I might as well spring for something a little better. I went with this one, a fanless MSI 8600GT with 256MB GDDR3. I'm eager for it to arrive.
post #13 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wanderman View Post
I use cpu-z and coretemp
Oh yeah, I forgot about CPU-Z. Thanks for the reminder.

I guess I'll pick up the whole CPUID suite while I'm at it.
post #14 of 20
i think cpu-z only is for cpu. but there is a version called gpu-z, i don't think it tells temperature though.

If you are buying an Nvidia card, you can install Ntune, it's monitor software can tell the temperature. but after that installed RivaTuner, it can control the fan speed (in this case, unused), but you can also underclock the card's speed and save its setting for the next bootup, which the Nvidia driver doesn't do.
post #15 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by terrymx View Post
but after that installed RivaTuner, it can control the fan speed (in this case, unused), but you can also underclock the card's speed and save its setting for the next bootup, which the Nvidia driver doesn't do.
Pretty interesting... I could probably reduce the heat by lowering the clock speed, right?
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