GeForce GTX 980 Ti Troubleshooting

Hi guys, I've been having some trouble with my Geforce GTX 980 Ti, ASUS Strix OC version.

I've used this GPU without any problem for 5 months now. Until today.

I was playing Dota 2 and then, out of nowhere, the screen turned black although I could still hear sounds. I think I could move the cursor, but I'm not certain. Since I couldn't do anything but hear the game while staring at a black screen, I shut down the computer.
When I turned it back on, I started Dota again, it stayed on the main screen, flickering with black and just the cursor moving. I forcefully killed the task, and tried to troubleshoot it.

I changed some configurations like resolution through Geforce Experience, still nothing. Restarted the computer again. Now it has problems out of the game.

I'm using it, then everything but the cursor(sometimes even the cursor) freezes, then the screen turns black for a second, and everything works again. And it keeps happening if I'm using the computer. The moment I leave it alone, nothing happens, no flickering or anything.


1. The display and cable:
I use a two monitor setup, the problem was happening on both of them so I move on.

2. The heat:

It was a hot day. I turned off the computer, let it think about all the bad things he had done and cool down a little bit. Didn't work.

3. The driver:
I try to update my Nvidia driver. But I keep finding errors on the installation. It says the file is corrupt. So I try using my external HD. Same problem. But when I tested on my notebook, it worked. So the problem wasn't on the file but on the computer.

So I decided to uninstall the driver. It worked, so I became sure it was a driver problem. Tried to install it again. Tried many methods (Windows Device Manager, CD-ROM, Geforce Experience, Nvidia website), each one gave me a different problem. So there I was, with no driver.

Still thinking I had a driver problem, I had the idea: I will remove the GPU, boot up Windows using my integrated and then reboot it with the GPU back on and it will auto install the driver. Nothing helpful happened, but I noticed that I had no problem with the Integrated.

4. Windows:
I reinstalled Windows to see what would happen. Everything went fine, I booted up using the GPU, no problems so far. But it hadn't installed the Nvidia driver yet.
Windows gently asked me to reboot the computer, so it could install the driver. I said yes.


5. The driver again:
Now I had an older version of the driver but the same problem. But, at least, now I could install the driver I had previously downloaded.
It installed beautifully, but NO, the problem didn't go away. (It was a clean install if you guys want to know).

6. The GPU:

I noticed that besides the black screen problem, sometimes black squares were all over the screen and somethings like dialog boxes would take some time to disappear. (It wasn't a new problem, but I only noticed it then). So I searched online and found out it could be because of corrupted memory on the GPU. It made sense.
But I asked myself: Why would it only show problems when the driver was installed? It should always show problems if it is hardware related.
Even though I didn't rule out the problem(as it could be my fear of wasting money asking the wrong questions), I think it is unlikely due to some test I ran(Check the test right before the CONCLUSION by the end of the post).

7. The Motherboard connectors:
No, it didn't work changing which PCI port the GPU was on.

8. Corrupted HD or RAM sticks:
Why not test everything? HD is as fine as it could be. I used memtest86, nothing wrong with my memory.

9. Back to the GPU and findings:
I'm quite sure it is a hardware problem, probably on the card. I've tried running some tests, but it is really hard to use the computer with the problems. Sometimes it makes programs crash. So I've been really slow with it. I've even got a BSOD once(video tdr failure nvlddmkm.sys).
Voltages and Temps seem normal.
The GPU clock peaks at 1380 MHz when the BS(blackscreens) happens, otherwise it just sits at 135. The GPU Voltage peaks at 1187 mV, sitting at 862 on normal conditions.
Memory Clock peaks at 7200 MHz, sits at 810.
GPU Usage peaks at 100%, sits at 0%.
Oddly VRAM Usage sits at 2% but right after a crash it goes to 0%.
Everything was found using ASUS GPUTweak II.

I tried using FurMark, but it says Vertex Shader Error and then crashes.

Now the most weird thing that happened. Using EVGA OC Scanner, I started a GPU memory burner test and while the test was running, the problems were gone, I could use my computer freely. The VRAM Usage on GPUTweak was at 100%.


My GPU is malfunctioning because of "underuse". So it would be so under used that it would go to 0% and BS me. I might be totally wrong.

Do you guys have any idea of what could be happening, how to solve, diagnostic tools or anything that could give me any help? I'm not really in the mood to send my GPU to repair.

My Specs:
i5 2500K
Nvidia Geforce GTX980 Ti - Asus Strix OC
16 GB RAM - 4x4GB Corsair Vengeance
Windows 10 Student
Ask me if you need more information.

If you want, I can take pictures and videos of the errors I talked about.

Sorry for the long post and my English. It is not my native language and I didn't proofread.

Cycloid Torus

Posts: 4,867   +1,684
Go back to beginning...card is within warranty, yes? First make backup in case it is a HDD/motherboard problem. Contact support at manufacturer. Begin process to return for with tech all the tests they ask...go through the RMA process carefully - keep notes - keep copies of emails - keep screenshots.