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I have had this problem on my Asus G51j Intel I5, Nvidia GTS360M graphics card. Just updated the drivers to latest off Nvidias site.

Most games I play, If I hook it up through an external monitor(this happens whether it's HDMI or VGA). The laptop hard shuts down after about 20 minutes, give or take. This tends to happen on more graphically intense games like Call of dutys, bioshock.

I'm running Windows 7, latest nvidia drivers. Games work fine on my laptops screen, and Movies, general computing work fine on the external displays.

The laptop always sits on a cooling pad and the latest time was in front of my AC unit, I ran heatfan or whatever the heat tracking software was, and my temperatures were normal through a shut down.

This has been happening for the life of the laptop. I dont play very many games, and even fewer on an external monitor, so this issue doesnt come up much

Is it possible I have a faulty graphics card? Is there anything else I can try?

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"This has been happening for the life of the laptop." what did Asus tech support say when you brought this up to them during the warranty period? – Bon Gart Jul 7 '12 at 4:36
The dope I am, I misread my warranty period, and by the time I noticed it, and decided to check into it, I was out of it. – mr odus Jul 7 '12 at 20:17
If this has happened for the life of the laptop, then it is most likely a hardware issue. It could be a faulty graphics card, yes. The temperature monitoring software that you used... did it provide GPU specific temperatures, separate from CPU temperatures? It is possible that when made to push the display to a larger monitor, especially at a larger resolution than the laptop uses, it worked just hard enough to overheat. That, of course, depends on the specific GPU temp at shutdown of course. – Bon Gart Jul 7 '12 at 22:43
Ran speedfan again, with output to hdmi. Lasted maybe 10 min. Highest GPU temp was 91C. but the last recorded was 88. hard drive was below 40 and CPUs were below 65C. So assuming my graphics card is broken and out of warranty, is there anything I can do to play games on an external monitor? – mr odus Jul 9 '12 at 23:01
up vote 2 down vote accepted

From the conversation in the comments, and the temps you are reporting, I'd definitely say that the issue is that the video card is overheating. Your temps aren't as high as others have reported out there, but that's still a bit too warm. I've found images of the interior of the G51j that indicate it uses an MXM video card slot... whether it is one of their proprietary reverse MXM video cards or not I could not tell you. However, that same model was sold with a GTX260M bfore it was sold with the GTS 360M.

What's this all mean?

Ok. You could try pulling the heat pipe assembly from the card and repasting it, and hope to drop the temps that way. Tinkering with the assembly might allow you to drop the temps to an acceptable level. All that will cost you is some time and thermal paste. So, it's worth it to at least try.

Since the laptop is off warranty, you could get creative with modifying the casing to increase airflow to the GPU. But... that's ugly.

You could look for a replacement video card... and since it does use an MXM slot, you could look at MXM-Upgrade... but I'd still contact Asus tech support to make sure that you can use a generic MXM card in that slot.

The card isn't broken, per se. It still works as it is supposed to when you are using the laptop display. It is most likely running slightly cooler than when you connect it to an external display, and that minor difference appears to be the difference between the laptop cutting out or continuing to work. So, it is possible that during the assembly at the factory, the heat pipe assembly wasn't put on the GPU as well as it could have been, and tinkering or repasting it takes care of the issue completely.

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Thanks for the info, I really don't have a problem modifying the casing. Especially if replacing the card is going to cost over $200. Asus's service has been pretty good to me in the past. So I may try that route too. I guess the determining factor would be to run speedfan while playing on the laptop screen and see if it hits those same temperatures. – mr odus Jul 10 '12 at 16:00
@mrodus again, since it is off warranty, it is well worth the time and effort to pull the heat pipe assembly off the GPU, and examine it. There was a Toshiba laptop that came across my bench, where the pipe itself was bent just enough to force the copper pad to lift off the CPU when it was assembled in the case... so the laptop would only overheat when assembled (but run fine when taken apart). – Bon Gart Jul 10 '12 at 18:46
Wanted to throw up an update. I recently had to replace the fan (which was a nightmare in itself, due to it being impossible to get the actual part I needed). In doing so, I also took a dremel and cut some extra ventilation under my graphics card and got an excellent cooing pad. I can pretty sufficiantly say that this is not an overheating issue. My last step is to run the setup with something like furmark and see what happens – mr odus Mar 19 '13 at 14:15

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