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    Is my graphics card overheating?


    Hi everyone. I am a big hardware newb and really don't know much about what goes on inside my gaming tower, so please go easy on me and use layman's terms. I appreciate any and all help you can provide.

    Unfortunately, for the past couple of weeks, I have been unable to play any of my PC games for more than an hour. Some games don't last more than a literal minute, but every game I have tested gives me the same result. The application continues to run, but the image becomes overlaid by many triangle shaped artifacts (mostly black or grayish in color). I always shut down the program immediately and my screen returns to normal in a short amount of time.

    I looked at my Catalyst control center temperature gauge the most recent time this occurred and it read 78 degrees Celsius. Am I right in assuming that the graphics card is over heating? Could it be something else? My monitor? A combination of factors?

    I have had the same computer and card for over two years now and haven't purchased a new game in some time. I have never had this problem before and would often log 3 hour sessions for any given game. Has my card simply burnt out? Would purchasing an additional fan solve my issue? Do I need a new card entirely? I have plenty of room inside the case, but don't know what I would need to install a fan.

    My computer was custom built. I have a Samsung SyncmAster 204B monitor, Radeon X1900 512 MB graphics card, AMD Athlon 64 processor 4000+, 2 gigs of ram, and am running Windows XP. There are at least three fans in there already, but only one of them is on the graphics card itself.

    Again my computer is over 2 years old and I have never had a problem with it until now. My climate hasn't changed, my environment hasn't changed, the nature of my applications hasn't changed...I'm stumped. Any insight you guys can provide is much appreciated. Thanks!
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    Anyone? Is my question that dumb? I appreciate any help you available.
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    fans fail. They fail a lot more than people expect. Have you cleaned the fan on the graphics card recently? Say with a can of compressed air?

    80 degrees C is hot. I don't know the spec to see if it exceeds the operating temperature spec. But I'd be uncomfortable with it that hot. Check with your gaming buddies (I'm not a gamer) and see if they see similar temps.

    The good news is that fans are cheap and are just commodities. Its easy to change the fan.

    And there are, of course, trick coolers for graphics cards, check with the folks who overclock, hardoc.com, maximumpc, etc.

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