Display shuts off and then GPU Fans ramp up to 100%

henry_

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Lately my PC has been shutting down randomly (Usually in Grand Theft Auto IV) with the screen first going black and then the GPU Fans go up to a 100% for about 5-10 seconds before it reboots automatically. I thought it was a overheating issue as my GPU Idle temps used to be usually around 30-40 Celsius and are now 50-60. Then I recently dusted out my computer and it still is having this issue. I really don't know what to do at this point as Windows has been re-installed on it 3 times in the past 4 months of owning this PC.

Thanks in advanced everyone :)
 

clutchc

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It does sound like the GPU is shutting down from excessive temp. The sudden idle temp change from 30-40 to 50-60 might be a sign of problems with the card. Or it might be simply that the thermal paste has dried out from excessive temps over long periods and needs to be replaced.
 

henry_

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I should also mention its in a very small PC case: https://pcpartpicker.com/b/RYr7YJ (Completed Build Post)
Please tell me, do I have to rebuild my PC in a new case and/or RMA my Graphics Card?
 

clutchc

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Yikes! A GTX 780 Ti in that small case? That definitely has something to do with it. Leave the top of the case off for a test and see if the issue still happens. I have a feeling the card dried its thermal paste out. The case isn't tucked away in a small cubby hole like most HTPCs are, is it?
 

henry_

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No it stays in a wide open space and ever since cleaning it out the problem is occurring a lot less but has still happened once. If the Paste is dry, should I RMA it and if so, how do I do this?

 

clutchc

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I doubt you'd get it replaced because the thermal paste dried out, if that is what you are asking. Is the card fairly new? If so, it probably isn't the paste then. But if it has been in use gaming in that little box for several months, it could be. Changing the thermal paste isn't hard to do. I change my cards' TIM about once every two years if I remember.
 

henry_

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Yeah I have been in this little case for months now. Is there any tutorials for replacing 780Ti Thermal Paste? Also what kind should I buy?

 

clutchc

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If you've ever installed a CPU and aftermarket cooler, it is the same thing. Clean the old stuff off with something like this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835100010&nm_mc=KNC-GoogleAdwords-PC&cm_mmc=KNC-GoogleAdwords-PC-_-pla-_-Thermal+Compound+%2f+Grease-_-N82E16835100010&gclid=CN7d4eyh88ECFSFgMgodJRIAGA
I use paper coffee filters because they are cheap and lint-free. But lens cloths work good too. Then apply a tiny dot of any high quality TIM in the center of the GPU. I like to use MX-4: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100007788%2050002107&IsNodeId=1&Description=mx%204&name=Thermal%20Compound%20%2f%20Grease&Order=BESTMATCH&isdeptsrh=1

As far as dis-assembly of the card's shroud and heat sink from the GPU, each card is slightly different depending on manufacturing techniques. Generally you will find 4 large screws on the back of the card that hold the heat sink to the board. Quite often, that is all it takes to separate the parts. But on some cards, there may also be smaller fasteners that hold the shroud to the heat sink that may have to be removed as well. You'll know once you get started.

You can probably google for your card's make/model and the word "dis-assembly" or "thermal paste" if you can't figure it out. But it is pretty simple.
 

henry_

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Thank you very much. Just the last thing I am wondering is do I absolutey have to rebuild this PC in another case?

 

clutchc

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The only reason you'd have to, is if that was the cause of the shutdowns (high temps). If it were mine, I'd try replacing the thermal paste first and see if things return to normal. The shutdowns could even be caused by a failing PSU. But the gfx card fans revving up to full speed just before shutdown/reboot, would tend to indicate the card was the problem. Do you have another lower wattage card you can use instead temporarily to see if the issue is still present?

But to be honest, that is a lot of gaming PC in a very small oven, I mean case ;-)
 

henry_

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No I dont have another Desktop GFX card. :/
And the reason I went with this oven is that I was trying to make something the size of an Xbox ended up being 4x larger than a Xbox 360 Slim xD

 

clutchc

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Yeah, the xbox doesn't have anywhere close to that kind of power/performance. To duplicate the xbox 360, you'd only need a mediocre triple core CPU and a gfx card about the performance of a GT 640. The xbox gets its 1080p display capabilities by downgrading the details immensely.
 

henry_

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I didn't say I want Xbox Performance. DEAR GOD NO.
 

clutchc

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Lol... OK. But the reason they can squeeze it into that small of a case is because it isn't very powerful. Doesn't need much cooling. I guess that's the point I was trying to make.

The new Maxwell equipped GTX 970 comes pretty close to your GTX 780 Ti at 1080p and does it at only 145W compared to 250W:
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/product/1072?vs=1355
Just a thought if keeping the small case is a priority. Used GTX 780 Ti's are going for over $300 on ebay last time I looked: http://www.ebay.com/itm/ASUS-GeForce-GTX-780-Ti-DirectCU-II-GTX780TI-DC2OC-3GD5-/281488346703?pt=PCC_Video_TV_Cards&hash=item418a034e4f
(6 bids at least on that one)
 

henry_

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Hey man here is a little update: I was using MSI Afterburner to monitor the GPU activity and I also used EVGA Precision X to Turn up the fan curve and the GPU isn't even hitting 83 Celsius Its hitting 78-79 Max. but still is crashing... I also forgot to mention before that this was an issue before back in I think August and was fixed after re installing windows until a new issue came. I'm starting to think a competent is bad such as the motherboard. :(

 

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