Videocard problem or maybe something else?

tazzy88

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Jun 13, 2015
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Hey all,

Recently my videocard has been acting up under load. Or atleast I think its my videocard.
When I play a game it will either freeze when put under a heavy load then i'm forced to power off the pc or it will just remain around 50-70% gpu usage and power usage. When something extra taxing happens the power usage goes up and the gpu usage and fps drop down and it stutters or it freezes the pc up again. This also happens under stresstesting gpu while stresstesting cpu is all fine. All the power saving options are off vsync off no framerate cap and drivers are all updated and all the temps are all way within the safe zones.

At first I thought it was my PSU not being able to give enough juice anymore because it was kinda old but I replaced it and nothings changed. Now I also noticed under load that theres a buzzing sound coming from the pc. (most likely coming from the GPU). I also reinstalled windows and drivers etc.

Am I right to put the blame on the gpu or might it be the motherboard or ram or something else?(ran memtest86+ the whole night and no errors) I replaced those recently aswell. the videocard is the only older part left in my pc which I was planning to replace with the upcoming Volta GPU's The weird thing is my gpu was working fine until I replaced the older parts with new parts.

Specs
8700k stock
Asrock z370 fatal1ty k6
EVGA GTX 970
Corsair 3200 mhz 16c on xmp settings
Seasonic 750w Focus + gold
 
I don't think it is your PSU. You'd have to be some new special sort of unlikely to replace a PSU with an odd problem and get a new one with the same problem.

I wonder if you jostled or otherwise impacted your graphics card with you moved it from your old build to your new one.
Have you examined your GPU? Are the fans turning as they should?
Is the card seated in the slot?
Is the card very dirty?
Have you checked the power leads from the PSU? Tried a different one? Or a different modular plug on the PSU itself?
Could the card be overheating? Is the heatsink still nice and tight?
Is the computer in a warmer location or has something else environmentally happened?
Is there something new on the same circuit such as a space heater?
 

tazzy88

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Jun 13, 2015
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Yeah It's highly unlikely that its the PSU after I got a new one. I was careful with taking the GPU out the old motherboard and putting it in the new one but theres always a possibility something went wrong ofcourse. I've tried different PCIE slots and the results are the sameish
Though I notice less lockups in the second PCIE slot for whatever reason but the utilization is the same. I've taken the pc apart already and put it back together with no luck. As far as I can notice the card looks fine and tight it just makes weird electronic sounds under load ( Can't see under the cooler though.)
Here is an example for what I mean with utilization and power usage ( next to GPU temps if you are unfamiliar with MSI afterburner)



Temps are fine, infact the gpu temp is quite low because its running way under the limit. It's just the powerload and utilization thats just fluctuating constantly and dropping low constantly which is weird because before my new build utilization was always 98-100%. I'm kinda newish to windows 10 but Power savings are off in the control panel and nvidia settings.
Could there maybe be a Bios setting for the new motherboard thats reducing power through the PCIE slot? As far as I know everything is either on auto or disabled but I am unsure what exactly to look for. I'm guessing the gpu is dying but theres 0 artifacting going on its just freezing the screen when its demanding too much power and I have to force the pc off with the power button because its unresponsive to everything.
 

tazzy88

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Jun 13, 2015
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By the way I did a short GPU-Z sensor log where I boot up a game. Maybe someone way smarter than me can see something wrong going on.

https://pastebin.com/raw/YwU23UGF

It's a simple paste that doesn't make sense unless you copy paste the data into Notepad to put things in the right order.
 
I haven't seen a bios with a power limiter for the PCIE bus, doesn't mean it doesn't exist though.
I looked through the log and it looks ok. As usage ramps up and stays near max, the temps climb. The power usage climbs linearly with the load and drops again like it should, power usage is not absolute but a percentage of TDP (and so looks right). That log seems to look like it should look. Although the afterburner one seems off.


Do you have or can you borrow another GPU to test with?

 

tazzy88

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Jun 13, 2015
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Unfortunately I don't have a spare videocard to test with. Just a onboard VGA. I asked a friend if I could borrow one just now and he'll come by with his card when he has the time. But looking so far it's gotta be the GPU or either something with the motherboard considering I eliminated the PSU as a suspect.
For example this 3dmark score in the picture below and the performance in general in games is just way off than before with the same card just new everything else.



That and the freezes, weird sounds from the pc and weird gpu loads gotta point to the videocard I believe?
If this happened with my old pc I would purchase a new GPU right away but it's kinda weird how it happened the moment I swapped the parts. (unless I broke it somehow during it)
 
The freezes and weird sounds actually point to the PSU, but I believe it is the GPU. I'd wait to test with your friends PC. If he can bring the case you can do several double tests. His GPU in your PC and yours in his, and then his PSU in yours and vs versa.
It could be the motherboard, but seems unlikely. Still you can test the other system components by running something like prime95 and stressing everything except the GPU and see what happens.
 

tazzy88

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Jun 13, 2015
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I opened the case and tried to pinpoint exactly where the sound was coming from. Was pretty hard until I used a empty toilet roll and put it against my ear and listened (Heh gotta improvise:pt1cable:) But I'm 99% sure its coming from the gpu under the cooler area and not the PSU. But weirdly I just plugged in headphones for the first time (in the motherboard sound plug) and when I move my mouse theres this weird noise coming through the headphones. Could this still be gpu related though?(or it could be unrelated but it does kinda faintly sound like the noise the gpu makes)

Also I ran Prime95 and RAM and CPU works fine. Only GPU stresstests like furmark act up with gpu loads and the familiar weird noise.
 

Good improvising with the toilet roll. That the noise is coming from the gpu seems to follow the theory that it is going.

The mouse movement generating noise??? Very strange. Most stray noises from a PC are due to grounding issues. They can be from a bad PSU as well.

A ground checker from amazon is like 5 bucks. Good to have one laying around.
https://www.amazon.com/Power-Gear-3-Wire-Receptacle-50542/dp/B002LZTKIA/
A line conditioner is always a good investment. The cheapest one I've found is 80.
https://www.amazon.com/Furman-M-8X2-Outlet-Conditioner-Protector/dp/B003BQ91Y6/
Monster cable also makes several good ones, but they tend to cost more.
 

tazzy88

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Jun 13, 2015
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I'll check into those. Unfortunately I live in Europe so shipping would take a long time from Amazon. But maybe I can find something similar around here. (the noise from the headphones disappeared when I put the PSU cable in a different plug for some reason though, atleast for now.). Anyway about my videocard I'll take it out tonight and bring it to a friend and test it in his pc. I should find out more by then hopefully.
 

tazzy88

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Jun 13, 2015
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Well I just went by my friend, turns out in his modular psu he only had a 6 pin and a 8 pin connector connected. the latter not being a 6+2 one but just 8 and he lost all his other psu cables during moving. And I needed 2x6. I can't get a break. I couldnt borrow his card because he needed it for work this evening and the next. I just pulled the trigger on a new card and ordered it because I'm kinda tired of it. Hopefully this will resolve the problem and if not I'll just send it back.
 

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