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Thread: Video Card Artifacts / Crash -- Caused by Power Supply?

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    Default Video Card Artifacts / Crash -- Caused by Power Supply?

    Hi,

    I am receiving artifacts like this when gaming: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/31...lems-artifacts. The colors vary, but usually they come in three shades of blue, green, or red vertically.

    My PSU: OCZ 600w StealthXStream. The buy date was in July, 2008.

    I have used my OCZ 600w for all revisions of my build. My current build revision is a 2500k overclocked to 4.4 ghz and my 7850 is sitting at stock to ensure I'm not having any stability issues with the 7850.

    The problem: I can game for several hours without problems, yet sometimes I can play 5 minutes and receive the same artifact screen as I linked to. Is my PSU in need of replacement?

    Other information: I am using the 12.8 August 2012 Drivers for the 7850. I'm pretty sure I was getting these artifacts with the Q6600 + 5850 I had before the Summer.

    Replacement PSU: Thermaltake XT 675w? Review Here!

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    Probably not PSU related. Probably a faulty graphics card.

  3. The Following User Says Thank You to Jon Gerow For This Useful Post:

    Dick Butkus (10-13-2012)

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    Thanks for the reply. I have had crashes / artifacts in all sorts of games including BF3, CoD4, BC2, Borderlands 2. I really rather not spend the money, but I am almost tempted to get a better PSU. What do you think of the Thermaltake XT 675 I linked to? I read the review for the 775, and you really seemed to like it.

    By the way, I have Windows 7 64 bit. Someone pointed out that the default is for Windows control the PCIe power management. The video card drivers already take care of that, so it allows for more problems, I would think. Anyway, I turned it off, so the OS has nothing to do with controlling the video card power. Hopefully it fixes it. I maxed out CoD4 and set the framerate to the highest (1000) to ensure my video card stayed pegged at 100% for the duration of the test. I just AFKed in a server. It's been 3 hours, and I haven't had a crash. Hopefully that fixed the problem. If not, I have to deal with Sapphire :S

    I'm going to run Intel Burntest and Furmark at the same time. I recall doing that a few months back without any problems.

    Update: I ran Furmark with Intel Burntest, and everything went fine. I ran IBT @ 4 GB of RAM. Although the system stuttered sometimes with both tests running causing my GPU to not stay pegged at 99%, all 30 passes of IBT were fine, and Furmark ran for an hour.
    Last edited by Dick Butkus; 10-13-2012 at 08:58 PM.

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    Well, that Thermaltake is kind of old. That review was from 2.5 years ago and we've sort of upped our standards since then.

    First off, if your current PSU is fine, I don't see replacing one mediocre unit for another. Second, you don't even need that much power for a single graphics card. Heck, that much power is overkill for Crossfire even.

    You said you were "pretty sure" you were getting these artifacts with the another card. Do you still have that card? If you were actually getting artifacts with both cards, you might have a mobo problem.

    If you're insisting on getting a new PSU and you only have the one 7850, I would suggest something in the 500W neighborhood. In Bronze, you'll save a lot of money. You might even be able to score an 80 Plus Gold for the same money as that Thermaltake.

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    Hmm, OK. I thought that one was still a big upgrade. I don't ever see myself getting multiple video cards. If my understanding is correct, there is the most microstutter with AMD CPUs used with crossfired or SLI'd video cards. I hope the setting I changed in Windows controlling the PCIe power management fixes the problem.

    I do know my current power supply has crap efficiency compared to today's power supplies. 10% or even 20% of 300 watts (rough max load) isn't that much money. I'm probably around 150-200 watts normally for most of my activity. It would be 5-10 years before I recovered the cost of a new power supply from savings in electricity.

    From the number I've seen on the GTX 680, I could easily power it with my current OCZ StealthXStream. By the way, what is so bad about the Thermaltake? I thought I was at least replacing a piece of crap with a better piece of crap.

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    It would be 5-10 years before I recovered the cost of a new power supply from savings in electricity.
    It is indeed difficult to justify an upgrade for a recent working PSU.

    However, the small, or nonexistence price difference certainly make it worth while on a new build, or when circumstances already dictate a replacement.

    By the way, what is so bad about the Thermaltake? I thought I was at least replacing a piece of crap with a better piece of crap
    fairly accurate, = just a sidewise move...there are just so many better options with bigger steps of improvement.

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    OK. I guess I would settle for a 550w gold or something from one of the better makers.

    Concerning power efficiency, it also has a lot to do with heat. I've noticed a huge difference going from a Q6600 + 4850, to a Q6600 + 5850, to a 2500k + 7850. There is a substantial power savings, but the 2500k and 7850 run so much cooler. People don't realize how hot older gen parts are. Earlier in the year there was a deal to get a gtx 480 for $200 or so. People were comparing the performance of two GTX 480s to a gtx 580. Performance wise, the 480s win, but at what cost?

    Two 480s might be a better performance to cost ratio than the 580 at the time and would continue to be more cost effective for 5 years until the electricity bill caught up, but they produce an absurd amount of heat. Cooling buildings in the Summer costs money, and it definitely sucks to be in a small room with mini heaters running in a computer case. Anyway, the newer power supplies would be cooler, but I don't know how much of a difference it would make with two monitors in front of my face, since they use 50 watts each or something like that. I my next power supply will be at least gold or silver, modular, and reputable. I've come a long way from my early days (2008, apparently) of building a computer for as cheap as possible.
    Last edited by Dick Butkus; 10-14-2012 at 01:34 AM.

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    By the way, what is so bad about the Thermaltake? I thought I was at least replacing a piece of crap with a better piece of crap
    It is quite a bit better than your current OCZ (DC-DC vs group regulation, longer cables, overall better built), but also pretty loud and if you don't ever want to go 2x GPU, sth like Capstone 550W would indeed suit your needs better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dick Butkus View Post

    Concerning power efficiency, it also has a lot to do with heat.
    Yes it does. But with a power supply, the heat is all exhausted out the back and not into your chassis like a hotter running CPU, GPU, etc.

    I'm not saying the Thermaltake is a bad PSU. It was great a couple years ago when we reviewed it. But, like I said, given that Bronze efficiency isn't that big of a deal any more and that 600 to 675W is way overkill for your system, if you feel you MUST replace your power supply, you could do so more wisely with the newer choices available today.

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    Fair enough. I did read the the Thermaltake XT 775 was really silver efficiency in your review

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