Has my GPU died?? :(

Evga Geforce 8800 gts video card - 512mb...
July 15, 2010 at 19:56:01
Specs: w7, P4 q6600/2gig ram
I turned on my PC last week and was greeted with






I assume its the vid card...Gutted.

What shall I do now?

Links wont link properly, if you have trouble viewing please try http://s834.photobucket.com/albums/...

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July 15, 2010 at 20:59:43
This site uses software that automatically shortens links that are longer than a certain length to save visual space in the posts - the shortened link has dots at the end of the line and is a link to the actual full length link.
Sometimes that software chops off the original link part way through, such that the shortened link cannot work.

When you hold the cursor over the shortened links that don't work, the original link has been chopped off at P
(icture etc. is not there)


You could try a different monitor, or make sure the the pins on the end connector of the video cable are not bent, but there's probably nothing wrong with the monitor.

If you get the video corruption before Windows loads, your symptoms cannot be caused by any software on the hard drive - that can only be caused by a hardware problem.
A problem with video card, or your ram, or the power supply.

If the video card has a fan,
- if it is not spinning when you have booted the computer, the video chipset on the card is probably damaged
- if the fan is spinning but the fan and it's heat sink are filthy, the video chipset MAY be damaged.

You could try re-seating the video card - remove the AC power to the computer, remove the card, replace it, make sure it's all the way down in it's slot. While you're at it, make sure the ram is all the way down in it's slot(s).
Restore AC power try the computer.

If your mboard has onboard video as well, remove the AC power to the case, remove the video card, connect the monitor to the onboard video port, restore AC power, try the computer - if the video is not corrupted, the video card is probably damaged.

Check the current readings in the bios Setup for what is supposed to be +3.3v, +5v. and +12v. They should be within 10% of the nominal values. If any of those are too low or too high, you must replace the power supply. If any are too high, especially for +12v, the video card MAY be damaged.

If you don't get any video corruption before Windows loads, try booting into Safe mode. If the video is not corrupted in Safe mode, you may have a software problem in Windows, probably with the video drivers that are loaded in normal mode, or the video card chipset may be damaged, but you don't get the video corruption until the specific drivers have been loaded, as they are when you boot normally ( I've seen that latter situation).

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July 16, 2010 at 10:09:36
My guess is the text was written in another program & pasted into the CN post window. This picture pretty much says it all:


Being that the artifacts are show on the splash screen before Windows even loads, you can be pretty much assured that it's a hardware problem, not a software problem. Other than that, Tubes pretty much covered it.

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July 18, 2010 at 11:50:32
Tubesandwires, thanks so much for getting back to me so quick. Busy with work at the moment but in the next few days im going to try all you suggested hardware wise.

If it is the GPU as suspected I will replace the video card with a 2nd hand one off ebay. I dont need better graphics I just need my PC back for work/simracing/Left 4 dead!!

Is it a danger to get a 2nd hand card?

Really appreciate your time mate, thanks

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Related Solutions

July 18, 2010 at 13:10:43
You can get low end NEW cards for not much cash. I don't buy computer hardware from ebay. Look at the link below. Use the advanced search features to filter for the interface you have.


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July 18, 2010 at 14:02:04
I wouldn't buy a used card if it has a fan on it - they limited life, the smaller it is, the worser. Otherwise it doesn't matter, as long as it's guaranteed to work.

If you live in a larger sized location, you can probably buy a cheap new card locally. The smaller places that custom build computers and have lots of computer pieces usually have the lowest price for the same things.

newegg.com won't ship outside of the US.

If you're in Canada, go to http://www.newegg.ca instead.
They ship from the same place(s) in the US, but newegg.ca adibes by Canadian regulations, so they can ship to Canada, at rates very similar to what you pay for buying from a web site that has stock in Canada.

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November 2, 2010 at 14:35:22
Moved house and unpacked my PC so finally had chance to have a proper look.

Same problem, so I thought I would fit an old card, which doesnt fit. So I took out the 8800 GTS problem card and decided to replace it and clean up the rest of the system. I grabbed my can of air duster and went to work. The dust was TERRIBLE. For 2 years I looked after my system but the past year before it broke I suppose I didnt dust as much as i *should* and as a result it was a disgrace.

I looked at the graphics card and you couldnt even see the fan it was so clogged up with dust. So I cleaned it up and popped it back in, booted up and it was FINE! Bios to windows load was clear as it should be, no artifacts or graphical issues. So I figured it was dust which was stopping the fan?

So I turned the pc off, happy that I dont need to buy a new card and I could have my desktop back again!! When i turned it back on, it was back to the original problem :(

Here is what I have done:

tried the card in the other PCI slot (can do SLI on my mobo) and its the same.

Checked and tried a diff power cable. Same.

Checked RAM and moved it to another slot, took one out etc. Same

Unplugged EVERYTHING (hdd & cdrom etc) and its the same.

Tried monitor with DVI cable and standard cable. tried both outputs on card. Same.

So im at a loss at what to do! For 30 mins it was perfect and I had svideo running too to my TV.

Anything else I can do? Did the dust damage the chipset? why did it then work for awhile and not now?

I also checked voltage readings in BIOS, all spot on and good.

I have, since writing this, stripped every component out, all cables so its just bare motherboard in the case. Rebuilt the system from scratch, guess what? SAME PROBLEM :(

Shall I give up now?


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November 2, 2010 at 20:09:03
Your last post is confusing.

"So I took out the 8800 GTS problem card and decided to replace it ...."

"I looked at the graphics card and you couldnt even see the fan it was so clogged up with dust. So I cleaned it up and popped it back in,..."

You installed the same 8800GTS ?

Did you check to see if the video card spins a reasonable speed after you cleaned it?

If the dust and lint was that bad, if it's the same 8800GTS, it's quite likely the video chipset the fan cools was damaged - it's more likely to produce symptoms when it gets hotter

"Rebuilt the system from scratch, guess what? SAME PROBLEM :( "

If you didn't replace the video card, of course, you're still going to have the problem.

If you did replace the video card, if the video fan and heatsink were filthy, the cpu fan and heat sink probably were too. In that case, you symptoms could be caused by a heat damaged cpu.

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November 2, 2010 at 20:22:36
I meant I planned to take it out and order an upgrade and replace it in a few days. I put the card back in just to try something else, then it worked. Briefly!

The fan is spinning at a good speed yes, no problems there. After a few mins the heatsink on the back of the card is pretty warm, but that might be normal i dont remember. Built this PC 3 years ago and not used it this last year so im out of the loop tech wise!

I think I will upgrade to a Sapphire HD5770 1GB GDDR5 card, another 2 gig of ram. That should be ok with a Q6600 and P5ne SLI mobo? its all 3 years old now but it was pretty quick back then, was still playing modern game on good detail. Hoping a new GPU and ram will bring me back to PC land!

Cheers for reply

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November 2, 2010 at 20:49:53
"I think I will upgrade to a Sapphire HD5770 1GB GDDR5 card, another 2 gig of ram."

How much ram do you have installed in the mboard now?
If you have a 32 bit version of Windows 7, I recommend that you DO NOT install more than 3gb of ram total.

The 4gb virtual memory address limit for 32 bit operating systems.
An example of 3gb working better than 4gb in a 32 bit operating system.

See Response 6:

jam's explanation refers to links on other sites:

Your power supply must have at least the minimum capacity required to support a system with the graphics card you are using installed, or the max graphics card you might install in the future.
(Onboard video - video built into the mboard - IS NOT A CARD ! )
If that info is not in the ad for the video card, you can go to the video card maker's web site and look up the specs for the model - often under system requirements - the minimum PS wattage, and, more important, the minimum amperage the PS must supply at 12v is stated. If you don't find that, any card with the same video chipset including any letters after the model number has very similar minimum PS requirements. Some power supplies have two or more +12v ratings - in that case, add those ratings to determine the total +12v current capacity.

If you're a gamer...
In most if not all cases, the max capacity rating of the PS is an intermittent rating. It's recommended that you do not load your PS to any more that 80% of that rating if you are going to be using something that puts a constant load on it, such as playing a recent game for hours on end. In that case, you multiply the min capacity stated for the system with the particular video chipset on the card by 1.25 to find the min. capacity of the PS you should get.

E.g. HD 5770 requires:
Under System Requirements
450 Watt or greater power supply with one 75W 6-pin PCI Express® power connectors recommended

If you're a gamer...
450 X 1. 25 = 562.5 watts minimum recommended.

If you need to get a PS with more capacity, you can usually replace it with any decent standard sized standard ATX PS.

Standard (PS/2) power supply size - 86mm high, 150mm wide, 140mm deep, or 3 3/8" h x 5 7/8" w x 5 1/2" d , or very close to that, though the depth can be more or less for some PSs.

Don't buy an el-cheapo PS.
See response 3 in this:

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November 2, 2010 at 21:24:41
Hi mate, thanks for the lengthy reply, plenty of reading and new info to bring me upto speed!

I currently have 2x ocz 1 gig ddr 2 800mhz ram which WAS enough but no way thesedays. I have 2 free slots so will put a 1 x 2 gig stick in. 4 should be ok for me on W7 64 bit. Didnt know that about 32bit windows tho...

I was just looking at the rest of my system, CPU and mobo are still good, got a big hdd, then i saw the PSU. Its a 540W corsair tx. Its all in a Antec 900 gaming case. It was a really good system when I built it! Would be nice to bring it upto date tho!

Will look into the PSU issue, its all getting expensive now! Always happens this, next i will want a new CPU and mobo, a few HDD's, new TFT etc etc lol


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November 3, 2010 at 07:35:44
OK then, for a 64 bit operating system, adding more ram is no problem.
However, 800mhz and faster ram can use various ram voltages that are NOT necessarily the standard JEDEC standard specified voltage - make sure whatever ram you get is specified to use the same ram voltage as the ones you already have, because the mboard's bios will automatically use the lowest voltage, if "by SPD" or similar is used to determine that (the default is that's what is used).
The ram voltage and timing numbers are often on a label on the modules, or you can look that up by using the part number of the modules.

Corsair makes decent PSs. You'd probably be okay for gaming if the minimum PS capacity specified for a particular video chipset is 450 watts, no higher.

People often assume there system isn't fast enough because it doesn't have enough ram. 2gb is a decent amount of ram for Win 7, and you're unlikely to notice any difference in performance except possibly with certain recent games. Almost always, slowdowns in Windows are caused by a combo of other situations that have absolutely nothing to do with the amount of ram, if you have at least a decent amount of ram. E.g. changing your anti-malware software to a different one that impacts the performance of the computer less commonly has a lot more noticable effect on performance than increasing the amount of ram does.

The amount of ram a video card on a slot has, has very little if any affect on the performance of the video, except that more ram allows for a better frames per second rate if your display resolution / physical size is huge. Most people are not using a display resolution that needs the higher amounts of video ram. The frames per second rate for lower resolutions, which usually will support the max resolution you can use with your monitor, is usually identical whether the card has, say, 256mb or 1 gb of ram.

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November 10, 2010 at 15:45:37
Hi mate, read what you said and done some research. I was admittedly only upgrading the ram from 2gig to 4 as I figured I 'might as well' while im putting in a new video card... To be honest the video card im looking at is £115 so another £50 for memory is too much right now, the main thing is getting the PC up and running again.

I feel with a GTX 460 768mb card plus my existing P5Ne SLi MOBO, P4 Q6600 CPU and 2 gig of RAM I will still have a pretty competent system that will play the latest DX11 games and suffice for my music/video needs. Agreed?

Now my Geforce 8800gts 640mb card is broken and I replace it with the GTX, what will my weakest system area be? The CPU? I understand the Q6600 is very good to OC but the mobo model I have restricts this? I know that before my video card broke I was still playing the latest games, not a high resolution but still respectable at 1680x1050 with 4X AA.

Reading up on what you say, I will not get the 1gig ram video card as the maximum resolution my monitor can handle is 1680x1050, and when i output to HDMI to my TFT TV that resolution wont be that high anyway. Based on this I am choosing my Geofrce GTX 640 with 768mb ram which is cheaper than the 1gig model which I dont need. So thanks for that, saved me £20!

My old HDD is still big enough and I found my old sound blaster card which is better quality than my mobo's onboard sound, so everything is ready, just need to buy my video card and I should be back gaming!

Thanks for your help with all this, Im starting to get to grips with it all again and Ive really really missed 'tinkering' with my PC, way much more fun than putting a disc in a ps3!!!!


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November 10, 2010 at 19:23:26
After you have, say, 3gb of ram, for Windows 7, you don't see much if any increase in performance when you add more ram than that, unless you have programs that actually benefit from more ram and they use it. Other than possibly high end games, most people don't have such.

Going from a 8800 GTS to the GTX 460 will probably yield a much more noticeable increase in performance, at least video wise. You would probably be fine with a 512mb card as well.

If you wait a bit before you buy.....

There are often sales or mail in rebates for ram and video cards in the holiday season, coming up soon - a good time to buy them. There may be local places that have either. Local places often have web sites, and if you don't know what their URL is, it's often in their ads in the yellow pages, or you can do a search on the web and find the ones in or near your location . Places that can build custom systems and have lots of computer parts are more likely to have lower prices than, say, big box stores that have other stuff as well. The mail-in rebates are usually ram or video card manufacturer's rebates, so the same modules have the same rebate no matter where you buy them, within the time period the rebate applies.

Don't randomly buy ram. Use your mboard model with a ram configurator or similar on a ram manufacturer's web site to find the right ram, then, optionally, look for the same part numbers locally. Or - look up the brand of ram that is on sale or has a rebate to see if those modules are listed for your mboard model. Make sure the ram you get is specified to use the same voltage as the ram you already have.

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November 11, 2010 at 04:51:08
If the GPU heat sink is removable then I suggest you try refitting it with thermal paste after cleaning off all old material. Severe overheating can damage the GPU and may have. However the fact that the card worked OK for a bit may indicate the cooling is still an issue.

When thermal compound is overheated it can be rendered infective.

Worth a try before tossing the card.

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