Question Repeated GPU issue GTX 1080

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Feb 27, 2020
I've been encountering an on-going and repeating problem with a desktop computer I built. I would appreciate any help/feedback regarding what may be wrong. My guess is it is GPU related, so posting in this forum, but let me know if this is the wrong spot.

I've broken this post into three parts: (1) computer specs and history; (2) the issue; and (3) a list of so-far unsuccessful attempts to diagnose/fix .

I. The Computer

I built the computer in November 2018. It's a personal desktop. I use it primarily for online gaming, simple word processing, and basic internet. It worked without issues until approximately January 2020. All parts were new as of fall 2018, except the GPU. The GPU was purchased in October 2016, but was not used until November 2018.


Processor: Intel Core i5-8600K Coffee Lake 6-Core 3.6 GHz
Mobo: ASUS z370-A
RAM: 16 GB
Power Supply: EVGA Supernova 650 G3, 80 Plus Gold 650W
OS: Windows 10 Pro
Monitor: Acer Predator XB271HU (2560x1440) NVIDIA G-SYNC IPS Monitor

II. The Problem

I am encountering this problem playing games. It started in early January playing COD Modern Warfare (the relatively new game). The game would freeze, my display would turn weird colors, and I'd get an error. The game would crash but my computer would otherwise be okay (i.e., it wouldn't restart, and other programs looked fine).

Google searches suggested that this was a known error at the time and so I wasn't concerned. Here is an article about it I found online

Since then, I tried a bunch of tweaks to graphics settings and other fixes, and COD now seems to work fine. But now I'm experiencing a very similar problem in other games. Here are some examples:

A. PubG

When I play PubG, it starts up fine, but about 2 minutes into a game, the game screen freezes, and various pixels around the monitor are off-colored. Like artifacts, but small ones, and the game immediately freezes (there is no time where there are visual artifacts that the game is responsive).

Sometimes this forces my computer to restart on its own. Sometimes the game crashes to the desktop, and everything else works fine.

B. Wolcen

I bought this new game a week or so ago. The game would run fine for about 5 minutes, then the screen would freeze, and I'd get a lot of odd colored pixels throughout the screen. Just like PubG. I used the Steam refund feature due to the technical error. Again, sometimes the game would crash and the computer would be ok, other times the computer would fully restart on its own.

C. Civ VI

I can play just fine for about 2 turns, then the game crashes. Sometimes it gives me a DX12 error: "Display device has failed. Please ensure your display drivers are up to date." Sometimes I get the odd colored pixels across the screen similar to MW, PubG, Wolcen. Sometimes no odd colored pixels, it just crashes. Sometimes no error message, just the odd colored pixels.

III. Attempted Fixes

I initially thought I had a hardware problem with my GPU. Overheating or something. But that doesn't make sense because COD MW runs fine now.

I've entirely uninstalled and reinstalled my GPU drivers. Twice. No change.

Used MSI Afterburner to check the temperature of my GPU and CPU. GPU running about 75-80 C during games. The temp does not seem to spike during a crash at all. I can't check the temperature when the computer totally crashes, but when just the game crashes, the temp seems fine.

Any ideas?
Jan 22, 2020
Hi there,

Welcome to the forums! Nice detailed post; I have a few questions/suggestions, so we'll see what we can accomplish. First, are you running multiple displays? Second, do you have the GPU overclocked at all? Third, does the GPU experience any issues when trying to run stress tests or benchmarks such as MSI Kombustor, 3Dmark Time Spy, Unigine Heaven, etc? I'll run through a quick scenario regarding each question below:

I ask about multiple displays simply because I've experienced some odd behaviors with that in the past. One GPU in particular that I worked on wouldn't run any 3D applications if a second monitor was plugged in, as the driver would constantly crash. I suspect it was a bad card.

If the GPU is overclocked at all, revert it to stock speeds and try the applications again. If the GPU is not overclocked, perhaps try underclocking it and see if everything runs more smoothly.

Also, if need be, try running benchmarks to see if they crash. Do extended stress tests (for 20 minutes or so) and see if it causes the same sort of behavior.

Lastly, when you reinstalled your drivers, did you use DDU (Display Driver Uninstaller)? That's the best way to ensure the drivers were completely erased.

Let me know if anything here works, or if you have any questions. Good luck; hope this helps! :)

Jason H.

Oct 20, 2013
do you have onboard video that you could connect to to see if the issue only happens through the gpu? That would be the quickest test. Keep in mind your FPS may be low in game but if it dont crash and cause artifacts, its the gpu forsure then we could go from there.
Feb 27, 2020
Thanks Sparky Tech and Jason,

Tried a few things. One: I only have one monitor, so I doubt that is problem.

Two: my GPU has two DVI ports, though, so I switched ports. Doubt that matters.

Three: I have never overclocked a card, nor do I know how to underclock one. I'd rather not do that unless that is the only fix?

Four: Ran MSI Kombustor benchmark for preset:1440, it did not crash, nor did it come close to high temps (it was running about 65-80 C). I ran the stress test at 1440 for ~15 minutes. It ran about 45 FPS, never raised temperature about 85, detected zero artifacts. Computer ran fine no crashes.

Five: I had not previously run Display Driver Uninstall. So I ran this in safe mode. Then did a fresh full re-install of drivers.

Six: Any idea how to find out if I have an onboard video card? Maybe my MoBo came with one?

I tried PubG again. Same issue. Big bright artifacts everywhere, game froze, computer totally restarted on its own.

Any other thoughts?
Jan 22, 2020
Hey, sorry to hear none of the fixes worked. Another suggestion would be to try running the GPU in another PCIe lane on the motherboard. The GPU may not run at x16 speeds, but at least you could test to narrow it down to a bad PCIe slot perhaps. Hope this helps :)
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