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About to break my GeForce: Can a vid card's memory go bad?

By public13 ยท 10 replies
Aug 18, 2005
  1. Hey all,

    I'm at my wit's end here and hoping you experts can help :) My Nvidia GeForce FC 5950 Ultra's performance will drop in half mid-way through games and only return to normal after a reboot. The most common time for this to happen is after a "scene change." Here are some examples:
    BF2 Demo: Plays well for one game. The second game is very slow.
    Dungeon Siege II Demo: Plays well until I teleport, then fps drops by half (both in game and at game menu). If I teleport early, then it doesn't happen...but after 20 minutes of play or so, a teleport and ensuing reload will slow the game.
    Rise of Rome: Happens immediately upon loading a battle - but normal game play up until then is OK.

    What I have done:
    Updated the BIOS (Intel D865PERL)
    Run 7 passes of memtest on my RAM (1 gig)
    Tried multiple NVIDIA driver versions
    Defragged, Scandisked, Virus and Spyware-scanned

    The only thing I can think of is that the card is having memory issues, and once it reaches a certain size of cached images, it breaks. Of course, I could be talking out of my ****, which is why I'm here :)

    Any help? Should I run 3DMark? Should I format? Is there some other application that is basically memtest for a video card?

    I'd love to turn to a manufacturer, but it's out of warranty and, besides, was a gift to me.

  2. public13

    public13 TS Rookie Topic Starter


    Someone at work suggested that I check to make sure the aux power cable to the card is plugged in. Yes, it's in...

  3. SOcRatEs

    SOcRatEs TechSpot Paladin Posts: 912

    Hello! Welcome to TechSpot

    What are the specs of your system?
    can you test the video card in another machine?
    G'Luck :wave:
  4. lordxanthrax

    lordxanthrax TS Rookie Posts: 25

    heat....maybe your card is overheating. That's what it sounds like to me if it's running fine until having been under use for a while.
  5. SOcRatEs

    SOcRatEs TechSpot Paladin Posts: 912

    I agree. I've not heard of bad video ram since
    the 2mb s3verge's w/ 2mb addons.
    boy we weren't cooking w/ fire in those days but
    thought we were.
  6. public13

    public13 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    re: overheating...

    I thought that would be the case too, but Nvidia's control panel shows the card at 60 degrees, max, after the slow down. Additionally, it seems a bit funky to me that it would be fine, without fail, up until the one match ended and the next one began. Granted, if the load is exactly the same every time, maybe. But then why, if I slowdown, quit the app, and then start it again 2 hours later, would I still go slow? Seems like it should cool down by then, right?

    Re: specs
    vid card: Nvidia GeForce FC 5950 Ultra
    processor: P4 @ 2.4
    ram: 1 gig
    mb: intel d865perl
    os: xp pro

    re: testing in another system...unfortunately not :( I gave my last homebuilt to my parents, and don't have another one to play around with.

    If you all think formatting could help, I don't mind doing that. I just wonder if something this quirky could be solved by that!

  7. AtK SpAdE

    AtK SpAdE TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,341

    Bad card?

    SOcRatEs im suprised that you havent heard of VRam going bad? Yea it doesnt happen often, but when unexplained artifacts all over the screen, bad vram is one of the first on my list...

    anyways, as far as formatting the OS, i have heard of that fixing random Gfx card problems, but it ussualy occurs only when the card is new (which i dont know in this case) not after it has been setup for awhile.
  8. SOcRatEs

    SOcRatEs TechSpot Paladin Posts: 912

    Oh absolutley, I know vram does go bad from time to time but
    these days I very rarely ever see it.
    Usually the gpu fries or bad agp slot...

    I think it was told to me that we still don't use all the vram, in my case
    256 ddr, but who's to say anymore. I'm not even sure where the bottle
    neck(s) are anymore. At one time it was vram, then software, then
    fsb, then ddr, now ddr2, single channel, now dual channel, now back
    to software (OS 64bit). Now lets top it off with pci-express & sli.
    now to really get myself cunfused, let throw uli chip set into it.
    dual pci-e + agp & pci on one board...Then dead pixels on lcds,that you
    can rub out :eek:
    yeah from time to time thing do get past me....
    But thats why I'm here to learn more, and maybe help out some..
    Have a good weekend :grinthumb
  9. AtK SpAdE

    AtK SpAdE TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,341

    no your right i simply put VRAM to make things simple. Actual VRAM is not used (to my knowledge) on anything any more. But i know how you feel, its the same way for me, i remeber (i know you oldies will laugh,but what is old for you and what is old for me is wayy off) when i got my first 566 Mhz celron, then my whopping fast 1ghz coppermine core p3. Now with current technologies, i get confused alot. You have a nice weekend too (altough i have to work ugh)


    BTW-sorry for hijacking your thread....lol
  10. SOcRatEs

    SOcRatEs TechSpot Paladin Posts: 912

    Would that be Cyber terroristic?

    Hi-jacking :giddy:
    My very 1st cpu:
    amd(when they were still rocket scientist) 586 133mhz w/ a wopping 16mb ram, I paid $150.00 for it!
    I was beta 2 testing windows 95 (actually alpha 2).
    I had the very first, in Az, (retail burner) HP 7221i 1x burn 6x read. Blank cd's
    were $15.00 ea. single burn took 45mins +,sound blaster 16 & s3verge
    4mb video.
    The fastest intel I believe was 166mhz @ $300.00usd
    windows 3.11 for workgroups was a big deal, no gui (graphical user interface)
    pointing devices (ever popular mouse) had just come out.
    Out of all the BSOD's there were white ones too! the most unusual one:
    "failed to hook ring "0" "
    no one wanted to own it. Not MS, amd, MoBo maker.
    No one knew how it was generated. Turned out it was the s3verge generated it.
    When video bios failed to hook ring "0" it hooked ring "1". No one then knew how
    the video was able to report it to windows,(still don't I think)
    Now that I have REALLY dated myself :haha:
    time for a glass of the dark stuff!
  11. lordxanthrax

    lordxanthrax TS Rookie Posts: 25

    wow, this video card problem has got me stumped now. i wish my card came with a temp monitor :( i just have to touch it to find out about how hot it is. If it burns me, it's probably not good hah. But maybe it is the ram on the card, you never really know. If it's under warranty still....go for it.

    hah, and to the last guy, i've had a computer a little worse than that before. Back in first grade...my dad brought home our brand spanking new Pentium 133mhz, 16mb ram, .5mb video card, 12x cd rom drive...oh wow...we were in business. I think i managed to play Fallout 2 on it once...and that's as far as the technology would allow.
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