Asus Strix GTX 970 seems to cause abrupt restarts

Mar 16, 2018
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I've built by gaming rig around October 2016 (1.5 years ago), it has always worked fine until now. While I'm playing Dota 2 for some time (under 1 hour typically), the system abruptly turns off with no warning, BSOD etc, just as if the power has been turned off. If I remove the GPU entirely and operate the PC on the integrated Intel graphics, the problem disappears (though of course, with less than ideal framerates).

Here are my specs:

CPU: Intel Core i5 6600k (No overclock)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212X)
GPU: Asus Strix GTX 970 4GB (clocked down to ~1150Mhz from the default 1253Mhz OC)
PSU: Corsair RM 750x (gold)
Mobo: Asus Z170 Pro Gaming
RAM: G Skill Ripjaws V 2x8GB DDR4
SSD: 2 x Samsung EVO 850 256 GB
HDD: 1 x Seagate Barracuda 2 TB
Case: Corsair SPEC-03
I have scoured similar threads on this issue and most of them point to a faulty PSU, or an overheating problem. However, I've been constanly monitoring my temperatures with HWMonitor, and they stay under 50C and 70C for the CPU and GPU respectively. I also opened the case up, cleaned the dust inside, re-did mobo connections and kept it around an area with sufficient airflow to eliminate the heat variable. I have tried directly on wall switch as well as through UPS, the problem appears every time as long as the GPU is inside.

The PSU was also bought at the same time in Oct 16 and is gold standard and everything. 750W should be sufficient juice for the system, since my max power on PC PartPicker came around 380W, and the fact that it worked very well till now. The RM 750x also had good reviews at the time.

Can the GPU be faulty here? Or can it still be the PSU despite the reputation (considering the symptoms). I haven't played around much with driver versions, can it be a faulty driver? I am completely stumped by this and any kind of help will be really appreciated. I would like to be sure of the cause and try out all possible solutions before I initiate any RMA procedure, since that will mostly involve me sending over the defective component and make my PC unusable in the meantime. Where I live, RMA is gonna take a while.


Thank you in advance.
 
Mar 16, 2018
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I have never seen a BSOD though, it's always an abrupt and complete halt. I have done a clean install of the driver after using the DDU from here. But no success.
 
Mar 16, 2018
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I'll add a few more details. The problem is deterministically possible to reproduce. If the GPU is connected, it is possible to turn on the computer, but as soon as I play any game, it is just a matter of time before this restart happens. This ranges from 30-45 minutes. If I don't play a game (max load would be watching videos), the system pretty much runs without any hiccups. Once the restarts have started happening though, they happen very frequently and even if the system is under no load, like just the Windows desktop. At this point if I ignore the system completely for a while, eventually it will start running, but again fail, as soon as I play a game. If I remove the GPU, it works fine, but my games don't :(
 

terry4536

Glorious
Herald
I have made the distinction because of the current problem of Microsoft Windows updates. Windows occasionally updates device drivers. These updated drivers have many issues. When they are successful in updating the driver, there are usually many failed attempts in the event logs. Also the driver itself is often worthless. If you try to update within the device manager, you are only able to use the windows version. I have to manually update the driver again, and then both monitors work fine. This issue has been much more prevalent since the Windows 10 version 1709 feature update in late 2017.

Personally, I use two monitors. The Windows update of the graphics card works on one monitor. The other monitor has a signal (no monitor error) but it turns black.

I've also had the same thing happen to my audio driver.
 

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