Graphics induced freeze/crash in games (HW?)

Intel Core 2 duo e8400 3.0ghz processor
September 1, 2010 at 20:09:22
Specs: Windows 7, Intel Core 2 Duo 6GB ram
My rig:

OS: Windows 7 Ultimate (64 bit)
Motherboard: ASUS P5K
Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 @3.00 GHz
GPU: GeForce 8800 GT 512 MB
RAM: 6144 MB (2 x 1 GB + 2 x 2GB)

Power Supply: FSP Group FSP400-60THA

Been running beautifully since I gut my old tower and put this stuff in a couple years back until tonight. I use it primarily for media and the occasional game or two and I consider myself somewhat tech savvy enough to troubleshoot software problems but I'm stuck on this one, which I believe is a hardware issue.

As of this evening it crashes in any game that I boot up using 3D graphics (for example Bioshock 2, Europa Universalis III). Initially it runs fine in the menus but as soon as I try to actually delve into the game where the heavier stuff is being rendered it causes the game to freeze, twitch all kinds of colours in the background, glitch the sound (inside the game or from other programs running) and lock-up the system altogether requiring me to manually turn off the PC. For older 2D games it seems to run normally throughout, for example I tested good old Diablo 2 on it and it seems to be doing fine.

Could it possibly be the Power Supply? it's about 5 or so years old now and predates the current set up I've put into the tower. Essentially everything has been replaced (disc drives, HDD's as well). But all these changes were done over a year ago and have been working fine.
Could it possibly be the GPU? Is it just dying on me?

All software/drivers are up to date for the system and outside the horrible crash it experiences in these games it runs everything else perfectly fine. I'm even writing this post with this PC at this moment.

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September 2, 2010 at 04:46:08

See what this page says about your card. Seems your card can't handle those games.

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September 2, 2010 at 07:12:53
It's perfectly capable of playing those games. I've been using that card for quite some time playing them at high settings without issue until today.

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September 24, 2010 at 15:58:04
Odd, a couple of days ago I started having the same problem occur on two separate computers. Both computers are running Win XP and have GeForce 8800 GTX 512mb cards in them. They've been running fine for a couple of years and have been able to play games without a hitch. Suddenly on the same day they both stop working.

The only theory I have is that a recent Windows update broke something, but I've been searching the web and this is the only post (so far) that seems to have the same symptoms as mine.

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Related Solutions

October 10, 2010 at 20:38:01
I have a very simlar rig to yours and experiencing the same issue while playing Starcraft 2.

I have a Antec Neo 550 power supply and have a sneaking suspection that it's a power issue. I have just gone to buy new RAM (2x2GB GSkill NT 800) and PSU (Antec TruePower New 750w).

I don't this it's my RAM but upgrading anyway since I currently have 2yr old RAM (4x1GB Corsair 667).

I try it out tonight and see, will let you know.

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October 11, 2010 at 21:14:41

I installed RAM and PSU last night - worked like a charm. I'm still giving credit the PSU - running with out a glitch (apart from my DSL from dropping - separate issue).

So I suggest that you test another PSU to fix your issue.

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November 20, 2010 at 05:42:49
I've solved my issue. In the case of both computers it was a corrupted hard drive. I ran CHKDSK on both machines and repaired a number of bad indexes/sectors and then re-installed DirectX and everything is running fine.

Still have no idea why both computers got this problem at the same time. Probably just random luck. I guess that what keeps life interesting....

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