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I've just installed some sort of relatively old video card and now computer freezes while playing certain video games (Civilization 4, HOMM V). Some other video games with far better graphics works well (Dawn of War I). Note that "freezing" games run nicely and smoothly for about 10-15 mins, no lag or any other indication that video card may be not good enough. And then PC suddenly freezes, nothing works but rebooting.

The question is, is this a normal behavior of a video card which is simply "not good enough" for the games in question, or is there something broken? Card itself or motherboard or whatever?

OS is Windows 7 if that matters, and I don't know exact videocard specs but that probably doesn't matter for this sort of question... thanks in advance!

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What videocard? Did you check temperature? Latest drivers? – Bobby Dec 23 '10 at 7:57
it also may not be an issue with the video card. were the games running fine on the previous graphics card in the system? have you checked the temps of CPU, NB, SB etc? have you tried running a test on the system RAM to make sure there are no issues with that? have you run a scan of your harddrives? – Xantec Dec 23 '10 at 13:16
Yes games did work properly before, as far as I know. Thank you all for your responses, I will try to look more into it, doing all the procedures you listed. – Sejanus Dec 23 '10 at 13:43
up vote 7 down vote accepted

You have a few issues you need to diagnose here, as it could be few problems:

  1. Temperature is likely to be a cause of the problem. If you can, identify the manufacturer and model of the card (run dxdiag) and see if there is a thermal sensor application for it.
  2. While you are on the site, check for new drivers. Windows Update has been helpful in that category as well.
  3. If you've done anything else to the system, like overclocking, it could be an artifact of that. Try changing the base clock speed and voltages back to the motherboard's default and see if that has any results.
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+1 for good answer. This really sounds like a thermal problem to me based on the amount of time it takes to happen. (Just because the graphics are subjectively 'better' doesn't mean they're necessarily more stressful on the card!) – Shinrai Dec 23 '10 at 15:22

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