TechSpot

Is my Graphics Card Broken?

By NZvista
Dec 19, 2009
  1. Hello Techspot,

    Yesterday, my friend 'sent' me a link to a 'photo' on MSN which was actually a virus. Its one of those messenger.bug things, that sends itself to other people. Although, through research, many people said it was harmless and, following the virus removal steps on this site, I downloaded Malware bytes who promptly found and deleted the infected files.

    Anyway, recently, my display has been acting up. Its been freezing games, projecting empty pixels over my screen, and just generally being 'broken.'

    My Graphics card is 2 years old, 8600GT, and heavily used, i'm wondering if it's finally given up, or if that virus I got has upset it, or if something else is at fault.

    I have just recently downloaded all new graphics drivers, but that has not done anything.

    So, the question is: How can I tell if its my a physical problem with my graphics card, or something more sinister/software related.

    Thank You

    NZvista

    PS: Have been getting Windows errors such as: "Video Hardware Error"
    Problem Event Name: LiveKernelEvent
    OS Version: 6.0.6002.2.2.0.768.3
    Locale ID: 5129

    BCCode: 117
    BCP1: 866C5510
    BCP2: 87FF4C04
    BCP3: 00000000
    BCP4: 00000000
    OS Version: 6_0_6002
    Service Pack: 2_0
    Product: 768_1


    EDIT: One of the major things that happens is I get a yellow error triangle bottom right in the task bar which was a pop up saying: A problem with your video hardware caused Windows to stop working correctly. And then goes on to say its successfully restarted
     
  2. NZvista

    NZvista TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 100

    Bump,

    Neeeeeeeed help. I reformatted my computer and its still playing up. The 3d games get coloured squares all through them, im so lost as to what to do.

    Thankyou
     
  3. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,950   +731

    Sounds like a hardware fault if the card is showing artifacts. Maybe the bug is co-incidence. Have you tried running OCCT graphics memory test ? Can you downclock the card (either with software that came with the card or EVGA's Precision for instance) and see if the video corruption is still as bad ?
    Might pay to check the card's temps-if the VRM's are getting too hot then that could cause the problem, as could faulty (or overclocked) RAM - maybe run Memtest 86+ for a few passes just to make sure.
    The BCC117 error seems confined to Vista 32 bit with nVIDIA cards and while it points to a driver problem that may not be the case.
    Other basic troubleshooting would entail reseating the card just in case it has crept out of the slot, making sure you have the most up to date driver ( 195.62 ) , and checking the power supply -this can be done with the OCCT program as well.
     
  4. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 1,094   +110

    Try removing the card the card from your computer and putting it back again. It might solve the problem. Don't forget to clean it from dust.
     
  5. GameJunkie72792

    GameJunkie72792 TS Maniac Posts: 357

    Yea a virus cant touch your video card.

    If its old it may be giving out.

    Do you have it overclocked any?

    Ive seen some pretty mean oc'd 8600's
     
  6. coldfire1984

    coldfire1984 TS Rookie Posts: 18

    Sounds like hardware problem.
    1. You may want to reseat the card and clean up the dust(if any). Just be carefull with electrostatics. If this doesn't help:
    2. Downclocking (lowering the chip freq) should be one of the test to see if you have artifacts. It could be also video memory.If this doesn't help, your card is probably done.Its time to buy new one.

    If you going to buy new one, be sure that your PSU can handle it (and rest of the system in general).
     
  7. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 1,094   +110

    The best thing you could do is test you video card at a friends card. If the same artifacts appear at his computer too then it's time to buy another one. If not then the problems is another hardware part from you computer.
     
  8. NZvista

    NZvista TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 100

    Sigh.

    So i took my machine into the cpu store, who looked at it over a 3 day period. They came to the conclusion that I had a faulty motherboard, which was running far too hot. So, after replacing the motherboard at $200... It had been running fine...

    UNTILL TODAY

    Where the same problems are beginning to re-occur. Needless to say this is extremely annoying, the fact that it ran fine for about a week baffles me. Perhaps now something else is broken. Getting artifacts all throughout the screen on 3d games, but not on regular desktop. That leads me to think that the newer mobo is keeping it cooler on idle, but it had just started getting too hot for gaming again.

    Im going to download a GPU temp moniter, to see what temp it gets to in a 3d setting.

    NZvista
     
  9. NZvista

    NZvista TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 100

  10. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 1,094   +110

    test the card at another computer and also try putting another card to test the motherboard. you need to check which one is broken again.
    It might be possible that the video card is blowing hot air directly on the motherboard and that's why it only lasted a week. this could be a problem that can be solved by putting an aftermarket cooler on it (but it might be best to try buying a better card with that money - 8800gt AGP?--> second hand ones are cheap).
     
  11. coldfire1984

    coldfire1984 TS Rookie Posts: 18

    I agree with Puiu,
    you NEED to test your video card on another PC.Be sure another PC can handle your video card(PSU especially), and try another video card with your PC. Ideally you will get same brand/chip, so you don't need to install new drivers and mess up even more.
    In my experiance, artifact never showed up because motherboard was too hot, it was always because of graphic card. Motherboard will freeze or reboot.
    Do you have warranty for your graphic card, if so, just send it back and let them find out. Just say it doesnt work well.
    Also, if this is too complicated for you,go back to the shop where they remplaced you your motherboard and tell them it doesn't work again. You payed 200USD.You must have warranty for that.But don't pay nothing before you ask us here,I am sure somebody will give you good advice.
     
     
  12. dikbozo

    dikbozo TS Enthusiast Posts: 106

    Not a good sign. IIRC that series of NV chips had a tendency to go bad suddenly. Again, IIRC, there was a problem with the substrate and they would tend to lose the Magic Smoke. If it was me I would have spent the 2 large getting a groovy new ATI card. I have had few good experiences with NV since the days fo the GeForce 2.
     
  13. NZvista

    NZvista TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 100

    So, I took into the computer store, who had the nerve to tell me that they did suspect the grapics card was running far too hot when they replaced the motherboard. So, im thinking that the motherboard waa most likely NOT the problem, but they keen to make me spend $200 anyway.

    So, they put a ASUS 9600GT 512MB in it, which is 2nd hand, and they said, I can buy it on the 5th of January, for $150, or give it back. Now, (bearing in mind this is NZ dollars), im not entirely convinced its worth $150 second hand.

    Do you guys think it is, or should I buy something like:

    http://www.playtech.co.nz/product.php?action=showdetail&id=8542

    Which, as far as I can tell, apart from being ATI and brand new, has basically the same specs (all be it, GPU clocks 50MZ less, but has 1gig Ram) and will only cost $100.

    Or, is there any other better card that you guys can vouch for. Bearing in mind I can only spend about 100US, now that I practically wasted $200 on a mobo.
     
  14. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 1,094   +110

    All you have to do is check some benchmarks on the internet.
    BTW the 9600gt is under 100USD new (just be careful of the specs, cuz some have different gpu clocks and memory speeds). check this link for prices and specs:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...E&N=1068310557&Description=9600 gt&name=512MB

    The 9600gt is better than 4650 in games.

    PS: if you have pci-e, i recommend looking for some better SH cards (like the 4850/4770/4830). The 4850 should go for 100$ on second hand,.
     
  15. coldfire1984

    coldfire1984 TS Rookie Posts: 18

    Well,I would definately stretch spending to about 150 NZ Dolars and get Radeon 4770 or Nvidia 9800GT. check on www.pricespy.co.nz.
    Radeon is especially interesting as it is made in 40nm (latest).Nvidia 9800 GT is about 2 years old, but still rocking though.I have both and very satisfied regarding price/quality ratio.
    Radeon would be first choice.
    As for shop where you did change your motherboard,I would never go again there. Maybe you should tell them since they made bad choice they should give you back 50 $ ,so you can get better card.
    And also,check for second hand, good thing is to get one that still has warranty.
     
  16. NZvista

    NZvista TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 100

  17. coldfire1984

    coldfire1984 TS Rookie Posts: 18

    Yes,its great choice.Its fast, low power(for the graphic power that gives) and this is special series.
    Would be my choice too.
    Good gaming.
     
  18. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 1,094   +110

    If you're not planning on doing some serious gaming then that video card is a really good choice as will play every game new or old (but only the old ones at high details).

    PS: that website has some really high prices. if you are from the US try newegg (they have hd4770 at ~ 130$ and the hd 5750 at 150$)
     
  19. NZvista

    NZvista TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 100

    Im from New Zealand, so things will appear more expensive. Also, after exchange rates, NZ is still more expensive due to our location in the world.
     
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