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Computer crashes - strange pattern displayed on screen

DratatooDratatoo Registered User regular
Hi. I recently stumbled across an issue when playing Mass Effect (Steam version).

The game froze while displaying a pretty strange pattern (see below). It happened twice on the same part while using the same save game. It happened yesterday and today.

What I was doing in both scenarios:

Had Steam downloading Oblivion, while playing Mass Effect. Firefox was with one page (flash video, not playing)

My Specs:

CPU: Intel Core 2 Quadcore 9950
Board: Asus Maximus Formular II
GPU Geforce GTX 280
Windows 7 64 Bit (7100 build still)

Can anybody make head and/or tails out of the pictures? I am used to seeing hard lock ups / not responding screens in most lockup scenarios, but strange patterns on the screen are new to me. Strangely the PC was still responding to ping (although the reported latency was pretty wacky) - I could still reboot the PC with a couple of STRG+ALT+DEL. Something I also noticed that m speedfan isn't reporting any GPU temperature since the last nvidia drivers. CPU-Z reports temperature 40C. Which is pretty normal IMO. Other parts of the PC are below or at 50C after restart. If I would take a wild guess either the RAM on the graphic card is going belly up, its a driver problem, maybe caused by using the RC build of Windows 7. Maybe you have other sufggestions.


Dratatoo on


  • urahonkyurahonky Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Looks like artifacts? Overheating video card maybe?

    urahonky on
  • DratatooDratatoo Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Well I dusted the graphic card out - there wasn't that much dust in it. I try to evaluate the reason of the problem and if it occurs in other games as well. During my Serious Sam HD playaton 2 days ago, everything was fine. Dammit, I hate if a current devices craps out without reason. The PC had been stable since July.

    edit: the graphic card doesn't go over 67C during load (Mass Effect). This seems to be pretty stable temperature.

    edit 2: and I am not using a cheap case either: Coolermaster Cosmos Big tower

    Dratatoo on
  • AceedAceed Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Those are definitely graphical artifacts from either overheating or a defective video card. You should download rivatuner or nhance and try turning the clock speeds of your core and memory by 75mhz and see if that works.

    Aceed on
  • DratatooDratatoo Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    So, I cleanded out the graphic card (with compressed air) and this seems to have done the trick. (Maybe its was a dust build up on the GPU RAM modules). Strangely not _that_ much dust came out and temp readings were normal before that. I'll check some bench marks and see how well the card handles under stress.

    Dratatoo on
  • StormwatcherStormwatcher Blegh BlughRegistered User regular
    edited November 2009
    It think it was a message from another species, and now we lost our chance to make contact!

    Seriously though, try the Riva Tuner video test, I'd say it's a good way of stressing the card to check

    Stormwatcher on
    Steam: Stormwatcher | PSN: Stormwatcher33 | Switch: 5961-4777-3491
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