Thought I’d post this little note in case there’s anyone else out there with a similar problem.
For some time now (over a year), I’ve been suffering crashes of my Zotac GTX 470 graphics card. It’s not a full system crash, as I can still hear whatever was playing, and the screen doesn’t go blank but rather fuzzy (with a buzzing) and covered with white squares. This almost always happened during a game and, in the last few months, became quite frequent. Certain games were virtually unplayable.
After some searching, I can to suspect it was an overheating issue, even though my case has four large fans (in addition to dedicated hard drive fans). I thoroughly cleaned the case and hoped that removal of the masses of dust would help, but it didn’t.
For a long time I was stumped, not knowing how I could check/fix this without buying a new graphics card. But *finally* (and I don’t know why it took so long) I found a few utilities that allowed me to monitor the inner workings of my system — specifically, the GPU usage / temperature (graphics processing unit), and the fan speed. The one that was most effective was MSI Afterburner.
Almost immediately I discovered that my fan speed seemed locked at 40%, despite my GPU usage going from 8% to 100%, and the GPU temperature going from about 52 to 80-ish. After a tiny bit of investigating, I found a little toggle that overroad the programmed fan speed from the card. Now the fan speeds up as the temperature goes up, and, as of yet, I haven’t had another crash (for a week, when I was getting several a day).
The setting can be found by:
- Select Fan Speed (%)
- Choose ‘Settings’ in the bottom right
- Menu tab ‘Fan’
- Click the toggle ‘Force fan speed update on each period’ so it is checked
Then monitor your fan speed vs GPU temperature.
If you had a similar problem and this solved it, I’d love to hear from you in the comments. In any case, keep on surfing and I’ll see you in the Hive Mind.