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I installed a new video card and power supply today. It works, but only for a few minutes. After a few minutes the video will glitch out (on both screens) then the video will usually go out completely. Theres been two kinds of glitching- at first squares of video were repainted mis-sized across the screen. Other times there would be vertical lines. Eventually the screen will go black. If I reboot immediately, it glitches right away. I have to wait awhile for it to work again.

I am trying to figure out the problem. Since it works initially, it seems like I have it hooked up correctly. A few possibilities:

  • Overheating. It is a passive video card with graphics acceleration, maybe its just overheating. This is happening when I have the case open though. If I had a ventillation issue with the case closed, I'd think it'd still be alright open.
  • Bad drivers. I got the drivers with the nVidia Catalyst package, can someone recommend alternate drivers? Now that I think of it, I'm going to try to switching to the system default drivers to see if the problem goes away.
  • Bad video card. Could this be a defective card?

    I'm running Windows Server 2008 R2. The video card is a Radeon AX5670.

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Wouldn't that be AMD/ATI Catalyst drivers? Also, make sure you get the latest drivers. I had similar issues on GNU/Linux with badly installed drivers. – AndrejaKo Jul 23 '10 at 7:12
In the Catalyst Control Center, there's a screen that will show you the GPU core temperature and fan speed. (Edit: Just saw that there's no GPU fan, but the temperature is what ultimately matters, anyway.) – coneslayer Jul 23 '10 at 17:16
What's the verdict on the drivers? Did you ever get around to removing the existing ones and trying the newest drivers? – Uninspired Jul 23 '10 at 17:16
The drivers I first installed where the latest from AMD's site, at I tried uninstalling them to run against the system default drivers (via control panel), windows keeps rediscovering them though. – Frank Schwieterman Jul 23 '10 at 18:23
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Sounds like it is overheating. Can you hear the fans get louder before it shuts down?

Ventilation is better with the case's side-panel on, not off.

Are the case fans working? Can you hear them get faster? Are they adjustable? If so, set them to max RPM.

What size is the PSU?

65C is normal. I don't think ventilation is an issue.

It doesn't sound like an issue with the PSU.

Some video cards have 2 power sockets (although 1 of them is sometimes optinal). Does this one? Have you plugged into 1 or 2 of the power sockets?

What happens if you boot the PC and leave it on the BIOS settings screen for 30 minutes? This will get the card up to a basic temperature but will not stress it at all.

Can you try the video card in another computer?

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The old PSU was 400w, the new one is 700w. The video card required a larger PSU... I have a pretty good fan on the CPU, I can try closing the case and having the fan on max speed. I'm afraid that won't help as the giant heat sink on the graphics card is on the opposite side of the card as the actual fan... Nothing is really pushing air past the graphic cards heatsink. (its passive, no fan). – Frank Schwieterman Jul 23 '10 at 16:52
When you say "it works for a few minutes" do you actually mean 3 minutes? It's very unlikely that 3 minutes is enough time for it to get hot enough to overheat. Can you touch the heatsink still after 3 minutes? – Uninspired Jul 23 '10 at 17:15
What a shame. If the heatsink was on the other side it would have so much more airflow. (I just popped in the old video card and its running fine). I don't recall the heatsink being too hot to touch, though I never touched the card when its live.. On first boots maybe it lasted 5-10 minutes tops. – Frank Schwieterman Jul 23 '10 at 17:18
What are the ratings of the rails? 700W doesn't necessarily mean 700W's all the time. Depending on the reliability of the company who creates that PSU, that could just mean 700W peak (at which it will fail at points). I think the better question to ask is what are the ratings on the rails and who manufactures the PSU? It sounds more of a PSU issue than an overheating issue. You can always check if it is an overheating issue with HWMonitor ( – Steven Lu Jul 23 '10 at 17:37
It is a Silverstone DA700 (…). – Frank Schwieterman Jul 23 '10 at 17:39

I installed a new video card and power supply

Then you go on to talk purely about the video card. In my opinion, these symptoms are more indicative of a busted power supply than a bunk video card. If you've got another power supply around, I'd swap and make sure it's the video card.

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Thanks, thats not intuitive to me really. Power seems fine, just the video sucks. This line of thinking has me double-checking the power connections on the motherboard, and I did find an issue... If the machine stays on I think you got it :) – Frank Schwieterman Jul 23 '10 at 6:41
Hmm changing the connection there did not work. I have not followed your suggestiong of swapping power supplies as my old one isn't sufficient for this video card anyhow. I'm waiting for other ideas first for something I can try thats easier, or more voices saying this sounds like a power supply issue. – Frank Schwieterman Jul 23 '10 at 15:12

It is equally possible that it's a bad card or power supply. I assume the PCI-e slot is good, but you should try swapping the card to another slot, as well as another power connector. Unfortunately, the only straightforward way to determine this is a hardware swap but the behavior as described does NOT sound like a driver problem (unless, as you said, it works fine with the Windows default drivers, which I think is very unlikely.)

The card could potentially be overheating but I find that very unlikely simply given that no manufacturer is dumb enough to ship a passively cooled card that overheats that easily. Are any other components in the machine unusually hot?

EDIT: I'm assuming you've already tried reseating all relevant connectors, as that's sort of a given.

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+1 for trying another slot. Also a good suggestion... – Uninspired Jul 23 '10 at 18:26
Hopefully you have one to try, of course. ;) – Shinrai Jul 23 '10 at 18:31

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