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Thread: Low frame-rate & pixelated text. Is my GPU fubar?

  1. #1
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    Default Low frame-rate & pixelated text. Is my GPU fubar?

    specs: Asrock z68 extreme3 mobo, i5 quadcore, radeon 6950 gpu, 8gigs ram, 500gb hdd, 900 watt power supply, win 7.

    My machine was in cooled storage for 4 months. Now that I've pulled it out, I am noticing slower performance and low picture quality when running internet and games. I suspect the source of the issue may lie with my Radeon 6950. However there are no unusual beeps, BSOD and the heat transfers normally. I have re-installed the video drivers, removed all the components and used a can of duster but nothing has helped. Tonight I am going to take out the GPU and use my on board to see what happens. Any ideas or suggestions on a resolution?


    results: benchmark test http://imgur.com/a/rHxfk#2, GPU results http://imgur.com/a/rHxfk#1 and smart status http://imgur.com/a/rHxfk#0
    CPU, Memory and Disk in Resource Monitor http://imgur.com/a/ezwLZ#0

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Hi Blackduck and welcome to the MySuperPC forums,

    Quick thoughts on my part. Since the computer was in a 'cooled' storage (can you tell us what 'that exactly means' ? Actual cold storage or some other meaning? If actual cold storage, how low the temp?)

    My thought with the unit sitting with no power for 4 months particularly with cool temps, that there is a 'negative effect' on the cpu thermal paste between cpu and 'cooler' (be it fin type or liquid cooled). After sitting for 4 months in the cold environment, what happens to the relative 'fluidity' of the paste from normal 'warm/hot' to 'cold for 4 months'.

    If you called Intel I am not even sure you could get a 'guaranteed answer' in that storing the computer under those conditions are rare and therefore, not much experience on performance after the cold storage available.

    It is worth a call to Intel, describe the problem and the cold storage, see what they say. You are looking for some one to tell you that the paste is effectively not working right.

    Running slower may mean that the cpu is 'repeating it self' due to built in software safeguards regards 'inaccuracy'.
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    Same comments apply to the RAM memory, but perhaps more so.
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    Any chance that during storage, that the 'humidity' in storage went from 'low during cold temp' to 'high humidity' with warmer temps.
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    When bringing the computer back up after removing from storage, assuming you were careful with the wiring hook up, then 'some problem' during storage was likely the problem.
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    Other possibility: Trip to storage and back to old or new location, involved a lot of miles from original home to storage, then from storage to new location, and, some miles there.
    Point here is the position of the computer when subjected to automobile travel. My opinion here only, but the case should be level on the back seat of a car with decent suspension. Case should be laying down with motherboard parallel to car seat. Cooler and video card standing up (better if both removed).

    If computer travels in a vehicle standing up in normal operating position with video card installed and fin type large mechanical cooler sticking out horizontal, this is serious cause for concern.
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    Apologize for the 'rambling on' but they are my thoughts on possibilities -- obviously I do not know what exactly were all the 'parameters involved' -- trying to give you ideas to relate too !

  3. #3
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    Hi Blackduck,

    I wanted to emphasize one of my comments above. Comment starts with 'Other possibility:' towards the bottom of the post. Assume a tall air cooler, for example. For example, assume this cooler to be approximately 6.0 inches tall. For torque calculations as to an approx impact on the cpu, you would assume one half of the 6.0 inch height of the cooler which is 3 inches of the 6.0 inches (as the average distance for a torque calculation). Assume the cooler's weight to be 3.0 lbs. For calculation purposes, assume this weight to be concentrated of 3 inches from the cpu surface.

    Multiplying 3 inches x 3 pounds equals 9 'inch pounds' of torque. So if you transport the desktop computer in its normal upright condition with the long and fairly heavy cooler attached to the cpu, every 'bump' or 'every jarring' of the computer case, causes some 'mechanical force' of approximately 9 lbs or more (depends on the height of the bump or 'jolt') to be transmitted to the cpu and also to the motherboard. Examples of bumps are 'hitting a pothole' is really bad; much smaller bumps create proportionally less force than a pothole would.

    If you transport the desktop in a car, that is better than a 'small delivery van'; the small delivery van is better than a large truck.

    The above comments are not purely theoretical; some several years ago on this forum, a member described 'sending a desktop computer' from one city to another by a regular package delivery company. The computer arrived in 'pieces' according to the owner. Point being that careful consideration of 'what precautions to take when shipping a desktop computer' is very important.
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    Comments about the paste above still stand. I would recommend removing the cooler, clean off the old paste, very carefully, and reapply. It might be a good idea to call Intel, describe the slowness problem; ask them about redoing the paste, etc.. Not sure what to use to remove the paste, and you obiviously need to be very careful removing the paste. You might ask Intel or, google the question, for the best way to remove the paste.

    Your comments about the graphics card being a problem is certainly possible. If you have integrated graphics, you could remove the gpu card, and see if the slowness goes away when using onboard graphics.

    I would just be very careful and, take your time, to be sure of the next move.
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    The 'slowness comments' are of some concern as to what component is responsible. I would ask Intel and the mobo manufacturer for ideas or comments before doing anything ! !
    Last edited by zburns; 09-04-2013 at 11:34 AM.

  4. #4
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    Another comment about the slowness. Assume vibration due to fin type cooler or just vibration for whatever the reason was present during transport. Assume this vibration was strong enough to affect the motherboard printed circuit board circuitry as regards specifically the circuits for 'one stick of RAM'. The net effect being that one full stick of RAM or a significant portion of one RAM stick was now taken out of service. Result the slowness due to lack of some RAM memory.

    You could check with your mobo manufacturer and see if they agree with the above.

    Take this idea one step further, and, carefully inspect your RAM sticks to see if they are fully plugged in. The motherboard should have vertical latches that 'lock' each end of a RAM stick in its pcb socket. Check to see if one is not engaged.
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    Is it possible that you removed a RAM stick from a socket and plugged it into a different RAM socket. Your motherboard likely uses dual RAM stick sockets, meaning 'paired RAM Sticks from the factory' are to be installed into paired RAM sockets on the motherboard. You have 4 RAM sockets. They should be color coded in pairs of two. Your motherboard memory is for 'dual channel' matched RAM sticks.
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    EDIT Thursday am Sept 5:

    By vibration in this post, I am assuming one of the long fin type coolers and the case in a vertical position during transport. As stated in the previous post, the motherboard is vertical and the fin cooler with attached fans is perpendicular to the motherboard (the fin type cooler is horizontal). The vibration of the cooler during shipment is, primarily, in a vertical position and parallel to the mobo; but since the cooler is attached to the mobo, the cooler is vibrating up and down vertically and, therefor pushing on both the cpu and the motherboard. No way to know which component, cpu or motherboard, is affected or not.

    The cooler vibration puts stress on the printed circuit motherboard, perhaps resulting in a bad connection that interrupts 'the correct operating circuitry of the motherboard and/or its electronic components. The cooler vibration, in the position just described, also puts stress on the cpu housing, but it is unknown if the cpu is directly affected or not affected by the vibration.

    Transporting the computer with a long fin type cooler in the horizontal position described is just not a good idea. OEM factory coolers are much less in height and will exert much less torque on the motherboard.
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    I hope the above is helpful. Please let us know the outcome ! Good luck. Any questions regards this post, just ask !
    Last edited by zburns; 09-05-2013 at 11:12 AM.

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