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Old 12-06-11, 12:36 PM   #1
stecklum
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Join Date: Feb 2009
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Default How to keep the GPU alive ?

The extended warranty for my M1330 sporting a 8400M GS expired in November. Until then I had no issues with the graphics card which was not used for gaming at all. The trouble started a few days ago when I tested the most recent flash beta together with the 290.10 driver (both rendering and decoding accelerated). Screen flickering and system freeze happened. The other day the same occurred when the T9300 did some intense number crunching which, by design of the cooling system, resulted in an increase of the GPU temperature as well. On the following boots a dark screen showed up. Using an external monitor I found that the GPU is not completely dead. The logs contain well known messages like "NVRM: failed to copy vbios to system memory" and "NVRM: RmInitAdapter failed!". Every now and then, it comes back to real life (right now for more than 6hours - keep fingers crossed). Nevertheless, it seems that the infamous thermal problem struck. So what can be done to keep the GPU alive as long as possible? As a first measure, the powermizer performance level was frozen to the lowest one. Shall VDPAU be avoided since it puts more workload onto the GPU? In the end it might be irrelevant, given that a hotter CPU will also warm up the graphics chip. Any recommendations are appreciated.
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Old 12-06-11, 12:47 PM   #2
dinosaur
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Default Re: How to keep the GPU alive ?

I had the same issue with a no-brand 8800GT. It ended up refusing to run without crashing even under light load unless I under-clocked it. I suspect that the issue is not with the GPU itself, but rather with the voltage regulation of the card (either the voltage regulators themselves are dying, or some chemical capacitor(s) dried up over time...).

I gave up on it and upgraded to a GTX460 from a well known brand.

I don't think I'll buy no-brand cards any more...
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Old 12-07-11, 07:01 AM   #3
jpterj
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Default Re: How to keep the GPU alive ?

Is the fan(s) spinning constantly and with high speed?

Laptops usually suck in lots of dust which blocks airchannels in the heatsinks.
The thermal paste between heatsinks and CPU/GPU will also dry out over time.

I have disassembled a few Dell laptops that crashed when getting hot or running the fans at full speed all the time.
Dell have good online descriptions on how to disassemble their laptops.
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Old 12-07-11, 07:10 AM   #4
hhg42
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Default Re: How to keep the GPU alive ?

I had problems with my 8400GS until i replaced my power supply with a more capable one. Now i have no problems at all, other than that i am running anemic graphics hardware.
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Old 12-07-11, 08:56 AM   #5
stecklum
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Default Re: How to keep the GPU alive ?

Shortly after writing the first post I made the attempt to watch a flash video which led to almost instant freeze. That was enough. I called DELL today, and they accepted to replace the laptop MOBO. There is a subtlety concerning the warranty since I had originally one year plus two years extension. Just counting that the warranty run out one month ago. However, in 2008 DELL offered a warranty enhancement of one year for all NVIDIA-fault-affected models. So this was taken into account, and I just have to pay the technician which is acceptable. BTW. I cleaned fans regularly, replaced the thermal paste, and did no gaming at all. Obviously, it was not enough to prevent the damage from the design flaw.
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