Overheating problem - Do I need a new graphics card?

  malynx 11:23 26 Sep 2011
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Answered

Recently I experienced display problems (freezing display in graphical tasks and the monitor losing the signal briefly, flicking to a black screen during boot up and seemingly random times. Also during boot up there would be a brief display of lines of block graphics reminiscent of 80s home computers) - which eventually progressed to computer crashes (the PC would reboot itself). At first, due to windows error reports, I had believed it was a graphics driver issue and also my attempting to run too high performance settings for the graphics card. Upon realising the problem was more serious, I opened the case to discover the horror of every fan and component being clogged up by fibres from the new carpet! I have now dismantled, cleaned and rebuilt everything, and also restored the hard drive to factory settings (a task I have done several times before). Unfortunately I cannot get my PC to work properly anymmore. And I am not certain of the cause.

Booting up seems normal, however when the computer is restarted as part of the updates / new software installation process, the monitor cannot detect a video signal again. Leaving me with a black screen and no idea of what is going on.

I am not sure how to determine the exact cause. The monitor is only a couple of years old, and should not have been affected by the dust and overheating issue. The graphics card seems to work initially, so I cannot understand if it is at fault. So now my biggest fear is that the processor may have been damaged by the overheating - the adjacent copper surface of the heat sink is now tarnished and I'm not sure if that is normal.

Any advice is much appreciated.

OS: Windows XP Professional, Mobo: ASUS A8N SLi deluxe, Graphics: nVidia GeForce 6800 GT.

Thank you

  gengiscant 12:07 26 Sep 2011

I would look first at a GPU problem, which if you do not have a spare will be difficult.

Motherboard is old by PC standards and I would assume that your graphics card is also. You do not state what make of 6800GT you have but I'm thinking that having its fans clogged up with carpet fibers will not help in keeping it cool.

Try another card if you can, borrow or buy.

A lesson can be learnt here though PC fans suck in cool air as well as blowing out hot,dust etc will come in to a PC through the intake fans as well.If you must keep your PC on the floor buy some cheapo fan filters. They are much easier to clean.

  malynx 14:10 27 Sep 2011

Thanks for the reply.

The motherboard is six years old - it was heralded as future-proof at that time (and almost immediately after my puchase, a new standard for RAM was introduced, thus disproving that claim).

The graphics card is unbranded, except for nVidia. It was from Mesh six years ago, and was an upper-mid-range card at that time.

Sadly I don't have another PCI-e graphics card to test. However I had been considering upgrading anyway, so buying a new card is not such a disappointment - as long as it is the solution, of course!

So, then, it seems time to research suitable budget graphics cards.

The PC is now dust and fibre-free. And I will be strongly adhering the advice regarding fan filters!

  gengiscant 14:41 27 Sep 2011

*The motherboard is six years old - it was heralded as future-proof at that time *

I do not know how many times I have heard that, those of us that build already knew that future proof and PC components do not go together. I would say, and I build high end gaming PC's that a few months after I have built a rather expensive rig it is probably worth less than half what I paid.

so buying a new card is not such a disappointment - as long as it is the solution. Its most likely the problem but there is no way I can guarantee it though.But 6 years is quite old in PC terms so its worth buying a replacement GPU.

  northumbria61 15:13 27 Sep 2011

"it was heralded as future-proof at that time" - There's also another saying "If it's on the shelf it's out of date" - you will never keep pace with technology.

  malynx 18:16 13 Oct 2011
Answer

The new graphics card seems to have fixed the problem :)

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