I bought a new graphics card about a month and a half ago - a Gigabyte GeForce 6800 128mb DDR card (link: http://www.giga-byte.com/VGA/Products/Products_GV-N68128DH.htm
). A rather nice card, since it comes shipped with passive cooling. I was a bit sceptic at first (a friend of mine has difficulties playing computer games in the summer due to a passive-cooling system he mounted on his graphics card), but since this passive cooling came with the card, I believed it to be "guaranteed" to run smoothly.
I didn't play any games on it for over a month, was busy with my school project. I tried Thief 3 first, and I was very pleased with the graphics (my old graphics card was a Creative GeForce 3 68mb...). I then stopped playing it after a while and downloaded the Doom3 demo, to find out what the card was really capable of. The graphics looked nice, and the game ran very smoothly, but in some places (one place where there was smoke seeping from a pipe, and in other places where there were specific objects / lights, i believe. hard to tell) it really Lagged (and I found that odd, since it is a new, fast card on a newly upgraded computer (computer specs below)). I decided to try it anyways, being curious what the game was all about...
...then the computer rebooted after about 30 - 60 minutes of playing. At first I believed it to be one-of-a-time event, but then it did it again, even sooner (and again, and again). I checked the temperature of the graphic card's GPU, and it ran close to 70°C (my processor was running a safe 43°C). Since that isn't exactly low, I tore the side off the cabinet and moved the front cooling fan right under the graphics card, and changed the air circulation of my processor cooler (it was blowing air onto the graphics card). I updated the drivers of my graphic card to the latest NVIDIA Drivers and updated DirectX to the latest version etc., then ran Doom 3 in window mode while having the shipped GPU temperature monitoring software and my ASUS Probe running in the background, to check the temperature during the crash...
GPU Temperature: no more than 55°C
CPU Temperature: no more than 48°C
I am not a guru, but I believe these are very safe temperatures. By testing my old graphics card to try and isolate the problem (I let Doom 3 run over night with my GeForce 3 in - ran a tad bit slower, but Never lagged at those places where my new card did...), I discovered that it must be my new graphics card, despite the temperature, since doom 3 didn't crash with the old graphics card.
The machine works fine in windows and when on the internet, it's just when I play games which require any graphics that it reboots. To, to summarize, these are my essential questions:
1. Why is my computer rebooting, and how do I fix it? Any suggestions?
2. I have the impression that the graphics card temperature limit follows the same principle as CPU temperature limits, since it is a GPU which gets hot. Am I wrong? what is an unsafe temperature? (70°C+ ?)
Some other things worth mentioning:
- The graphics card requires extra power from the same type of cable as the hard drive (and yes, i did not forget to connect it :P ). Does the card consume such vast amount of power that it could be a power issue? (check power supply below)
- There exists a BIOS update for the graphics card (didn't know until now that there actually is a BIOS on graphics cards, but I guess it makes sense). Is there a chance that the updated BIOS would help?
- After disabling "automatic reboot on error", the following errors came forth (not both simultaneously):
Also, in two cases when the computer crashed, my computer didn't register that my USB keyboard was connected to the computer (Keyboard error or no keyboard present). I plugged in a PS2 keyboard, started the computer up and then disconnected it and the computer worked fine. Also, on one occation, after rebooting on error, instead of showing the memory count, drives & processor speeds, it showed a screen parted vertically: half black and half in a blinking rainbow pattern. It has only appeared once, but mayhaps it has a significance?
- I doubt it is a motherboard overheating problem, since the ASUS probe didn't report a heat problem from the motherboard.
What is worth mentioning:
- OS: Wiindows XP Professional w. service pack 2 (+ directx 9.0c and the latest NVIDIA drivers)
- PROCESSOR: AMD Athlon XP 3200+ (Barton)
- RAM: Corsair TWINX PC3200 2x512mb DDR
- MOTHERBOARD: ASUS A7N8X-E Deluxe (Gold Edition)
- VGA: Gigabyte GeForce 6800 128MB DDR (model nr: gv-n68128dh)
- POWER SUPPLY: 300W (think it is from CodeGen)
I hope I have mentioned all worth mentioning. If you need to know anything else, then do say so and I shall see what I can do.
Thanks for reading