Artifacting on CPU & GPU upgrade

April 6, 2009 at 18:34:35
Specs: Windows XP

I’ve recently upgraded some parts of my computer. I have added a new Processor, new VGA card, and some more RAM

AMD Athlon X2 6000 3.1 GHz
nVidia 9600GT 1GB
ASUS M2N-E Motherboard DDR2 SATA
3.00 GB RAM (Initially I had 1GB x1 and 512MB x2, now have 2GB x1 1GB x1)
1680 x 1050 Monitor + 1280 x 1024 to the side
OS: Microsoft Windows XP - SP3
160 GB Harddrives x2
Pioneer DVD-RW DVR-108

Initally the processor wouldn’t work, it took hours to figure out that the BIOS needed updating, which I successfully did.

My problem at the moment:

While running full screen computer games, every so often the program will freeze for 5-10 seconds and then have colourful graphical glitches all over the screen. I think this is called ‘artifacting’. It has occurred with Crysis and World of Warcraft. I suspected it was overheating, so I tried monitoring the temperature, the GPU never goes about 50 degrees celcius. I tried editing the fan speed with nTune and RivaTuner, but the fan options were GREYED out. GREYED out. Cannot edit them. The direct fan control tickable box was ALSO GREYED out. I measured the fan speed with RivaTuner and the GPU fan seems to be at 100%. I have installed 2 extra fans blowing over the GPU, no difference.

Also, last night it began to give the blue screen of death upon opening any full-screen game…

Any ideas as to what to fix? Google has failed me.

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April 6, 2009 at 19:15:34
You neglected to post any info about your power supply. Also, which CPU & video card did you upgrade from?

I don't know why you would need a 1GB video card but hopefully it uses GDDR3 rather than slower GDDR2?

And I'm curious about your RAM. Why did you go from [1GB + 2 x 512MB] to [2GB + 1GB] instead of just adding another 1GB stick to what you had? Is your current config running in dual channel mode? Have you tested the RAM with memtest86?

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April 6, 2009 at 19:37:29
Unfortunately I don't have documentation on the PSU, but reading on the side it is a Codegen 400W, Model 400XA, ATX 2.03(P4). It seems to meet the minimum requirements for the VGA card.

I upgraded from a single-core AMD 3200+, and an Asus nVidia 8600 GT.

I believe the RAM is running in dual channel mode, but I haven't tested it with with memtest86. I'll look that up.

Would it be worthwhile to test my system with the 8600GT and see what happens?

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April 6, 2009 at 21:03:26
I just tried with the old videocard 8600GT, and no improvement. Don't know if this means anything?

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April 7, 2009 at 20:55:05
I seem to have fixed the BSoD for the moment by re-installing windows and making sure the motherboard and video has the correct and latest drivers. However the artifacting still continues - games run fine for 10 minutes or so, and then artifact. If I alt-tab and wait 1 minute I can return and play for another 5 minutes or so until it artifacts again.

I put in my old GPU (nVidia 8600GT) and I have no artifacting problems. This seems to imply that the problem is in fact related to the new GPU. Whether it is a faulty card, or if my power supply is not big enough, or doesn't work well with the motherboard, I don't know... Any ideas?

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