First off, I'm fairly new to owning and running my own PC. For years I made do with the family home computer and Playstation, but since I bought my own rig at the beginning of this year I've constantly visited these forums for guides and troubleshooting as I learn the ropes. But the past couple days, after some Defiance lag & patching troubles, a problem's hit that it seems simply lurking won't solve. My problem:
During gameplay, be it a minute or an hour (it's bound to happen), the application will crash. At first I may notice black strands spike, thread and distort their way around the screen or general texture/object loading stutter, but in most cases the game will simply hang for a couple seconds, then the display will go black for a couple more seconds paired with audio distortion. Next, if the game doesn't crash entirely, what tends to happen is it returns at around 10-15 FPS and in some cases with drastically increased mouse/camera sensitivity. It fixes itself if I tab in/out, and occasionally if I hit a loading screen, but will happen again shortly after.
After thinking it may be overheating, I've been using HWMonitor to get temperature readings, and these are the results:
- CPU idle, across cores #0-3: 21*C min / 45*C max, 30~33*C value as of typing
- GPU idle: 25*C min / 33*C max, 26*C value as of typing
- In most cases, max CPU temp remained around 50*C and never passed 55*C.
- Defiance (all settings LOW/OFF) pushed max GPU temp to 81*C. Can run from anywhere between 1-2 hrs before crashing, declines from ~65*C after closing application.
- Blacklight: Retribution (DX9, most settings HIGH/ON) pushed max GPU temp to 83*C. If it doesn't crash immediately at the splash screen it may last up to 10 mins before doing so, declines from ~70*C after closing application.
- The Secret World (DX9, most settings HIGH/ON) pushed max GPU temp to 80*C. Runs for about a minute before crashing, declines from ~65*C after closing application.
- Setting The Secret World to DX11 had no effect on temperatures, and again ran for about a minute before crashing. Interestingly though, this time the application stopped responding completely and I received an error message titled "DXGI_ERROR_DEVICE_REMOVED" reading "Driver has crashed, resetting video options to low and shutting down".
- Saint's Row the Third (DX10 & DX11, default low settings) pushed max GPU temp to 82*C. Ran for about 45 minutes before crashing and not responding, and declined from ~60*C after closing application.
- Setting Saint's Row the Third to DX9 made no difference to temperatures, and it only ran for about 30 minutes before crashing and not responding.
- Setting all graphics options to LOW/OFF and setting my resolution to around the ~1280 px wide range let me run Defiance, Blacklight Retirubtion and Saints Row the Third with very few crashes, despite pushing max GPU temp to ~84*C.
So severe overheating doesn't really seem to be an issue? I have a front intake fan, rear exhaust fan, and another on top of the tower whose functionality isn't clear to me, as well as the Intel fan on my CPU. The room is fairly chilly, and the PC has about 6 inches rear breathing space between itself and the wall. Not the BEST temperature readings... but as far as I can tell, nothing to be overly-worried about. It also isn't isolated to DX9, which was another possibility that arose whilst I was searching around. So what else is there?
- I've updated to the latest Nvidia drivers (320.49) this morning.
- I've given my tower a blasting out with a can of compressed air and vacuumed the netting from the outside. It's looking in fairly good shape, except that the fans themselves are pretty dusty as I haven't gone as far as to remove them and clean them separately. But given my temperatures, I wasn't sure this was necessary just yet.
- I would update my motherboard drivers, but would have no idea where to start with this list of utility software for my model on the Gigabyte site.
My rig's still under its year warranty, so if all else fails I may be able to take it back into the company that built it and have them take a look. Before I resort to that though, I would be greatly appreciative and eternally thankful of any help or guidance anybody has to offer!