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My computer works perfectly all the time im not trying to play a game. However, when I try to play games such as HL2, CSS etc, I get this screen after about 1 min of playing.

enter image description here

What is the deal here?

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Provide more information about your hardware(video card name, ram amount..), this is more likely a graphics card problem. –  page4096 Oct 27 '12 at 12:08
    
Graphics= 880GTX, RAM = 4GB –  James Willson Oct 27 '12 at 12:12
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do you mean 8800 ? If its the nvidia family, they're fairly well known for kicking the bucket in unusual ways. –  Journeyman Geek Oct 27 '12 at 12:17
    
You can easily check whether it's memory or not by running the Windows Memory Diagnostic. –  Joey Oct 27 '12 at 12:19
    
Aside from hardware issues, it could also be the drivers. I've had similar issues for a while, and it took a complete driver clean (including five redundant Nvidia drivers, different versions) to fix it up - not a problem since (admittedly, it was only two weeks ago...). –  Bob Oct 27 '12 at 12:25

4 Answers 4

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I'd lean towards the graphics card if its an nvidia 8xxx family - basically the cards in question had a design flaw to do with the way they were designed. They tended to overheat and cool cause small cracks in the soldering between the card and the processor, causing unusual failure modes. The fix, wierdly enough is to bake it and the card this is most typically done with is the 8800GTX - google has lots of hits on it, and videos

I've also seen other failure modes from swedish-chefed bioses to simply dropping dead one day. Its probably the card. Memory should be trivial to test and rule out too.

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That's gotta be the wildest suggestion I've seen. But if you think it's fried, there is no real harm in frying it a bit more, right? –  Ярослав Рахматуллин Oct 27 '12 at 13:03
    
Personally, I've never bothered. My mom would KILL ME if i used her oven for this. –  Journeyman Geek Oct 27 '12 at 13:43
    
Im in a rented house so its ok. If the memory tests come up clean I will give it a go. My friend did it and it fixed his RROD. I want to vote up you and Ярослав but my rating wont let me. –  James Willson Oct 27 '12 at 14:08

It looks like your card is trowing rendering artifacts at you. It means that an error is happening internally and that the "data" coming out of the card are corrupt. This happens often when the memory chips on the card are damaged (due to excessive heat).

In short:

  • It's fried. Get a new one.
  • When over-clocking, make sure the card and the cooling equipment can take it.
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Well there is tools testing both memory and video card.

I completly trust the memtest86, with pendrivelinux you can easly create a bootable pendrive with memtest on it. After you restart your computer and select to boot from usb. Memtest will start automatically and you will understand the process, just leave it go twice fully.

Testing the videocard could be more tricky. For example I had a card which wasn't working properly with games, but still did okay in every test. I know it was bad, cause after I changed it all was good. You could try FurMark and 3dmark, both got free to use versions.

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Check your graphics card temperature to see if it's overheating or not(it should be below 60 degrees celsius, around 40 when idle).

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Mine says on the box that it can safely go up to 75 degrees Celsius under load. Generally, you won't see damage under 80-90, though it may shorten the life a little. As long as it's full load, not idle, then it's quite normal. –  Bob Oct 27 '12 at 12:24

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