I think my GTX470 is having VRAM issues :(

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I think my GTX470 is having VRAM issues :(

Postposted on Thu Apr 24, 2014 6:52 am

Nowadays, when I play a 3D game for some time, the screen occasionally freezes, with a corrupt pattern over the screen, and sometimes I have to reboot, sometimes the display driver recovers. This is all at stock clocks 625MHz/851MHz*4 (eVGA's slight factory OC).

I ran memtestG80, but after 26000 repetitions over 1100MB of the VRAM, it still reported 0 errors. Is there anything I can do? I don't want to have to replace the old faithful!
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Re: I think my GTX470 is having VRAM issues :(

Postposted on Thu Apr 24, 2014 7:10 am

You've updated the drivers recently? My 560Ti didn't work well with recent drivers so it could be an issue.
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Re: I think my GTX470 is having VRAM issues :(

Postposted on Thu Apr 24, 2014 7:16 am

I think I've gone through 3 versions of WHQL drivers from nVidia already. This problem has been around for ~10 months now, I'm just starting to complain about it now because I'm taking up Minecraft again (Hexxit!). What do you mean, didn't work well?
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Re: I think my GTX470 is having VRAM issues :(

Postposted on Thu Apr 24, 2014 8:20 am

Crayon Shin Chan wrote:I think I've gone through 3 versions of WHQL drivers from nVidia already. This problem has been around for ~10 months now, I'm just starting to complain about it now because I'm taking up Minecraft again (Hexxit!). What do you mean, didn't work well?


Later versions of the drivers started to give problems like driver failures and recovery, the card worked fine with older versions though.
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Re: I think my GTX470 is having VRAM issues :(

Postposted on Thu Apr 24, 2014 9:19 am

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Re: I think my GTX470 is having VRAM issues :(

Postposted on Fri Apr 25, 2014 8:45 pm

Notes for myself
314.07: same problem. testing with Crysis 2 now, not as addictive as Minecraft
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Re: I think my GTX470 is having VRAM issues :(

Postposted on Sat Apr 26, 2014 7:25 am

Underclock the GPU by 25% or something, run with the case side panel off - just in case it's a heat/voltage-sag thing - because that's the easiest thing to test first.

My hunch with cards of that age is going to be board sag, but I'd almost all GTX470s have a coolers that act as structural support, so it's unlikely to be that.

I think we're all making the assumption that you've checked temperatures with something like GPU-Z/Furmark and you've checked that the blower isn't clogged with dust, right?
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Re: I think my GTX470 is having VRAM issues :(

Postposted on Sat Apr 26, 2014 9:36 am

I have a Gelid Icy Vision Rev. 2 on it, and I just oiled the fans several months ago, so it's not overheating. With Minecraft, the GPU alternated between 405MHz and 623MHz because it's not very demanding - the temperature never went above 40C, but the artifacting crash happens just as often as when I was playing Crysis 2. I don't think it's overheating at all, because even when folding, it reaches 60C max. It's a very good cooler.

How does board sag affect the board? I think if it was a serious hardware issue like that, I wouldn't be able to run it for long anyway.
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Re: I think my GTX470 is having VRAM issues :(

Postposted on Sat Apr 26, 2014 11:15 am

Ah, so it could be board sag with that cooler then. I'm no expert on the matter but I've seen it affect several cards. My guess is that over time the flex causes very small stress on the some of the solder joints on the outside curve of the sagging and this affects or even cracks some of the joints. In a really bad case of board sag, I once saw screen corruption go away as I pushed the board back up as the PC was running.

I don't know if your problem is board sag but you can try to eliminate it by running the case on its side for a few days, to stop the board flexing under its own weight, see if that stops the crashes. Make sure the PCI-E power cables aren't pulling it out of shape too.
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Re: I think my GTX470 is having VRAM issues :(

Postposted on Sun Apr 27, 2014 9:40 am

OK today I ran the computer on its side, and I gave the card a nudge to make sure it wasn't keeping its old 'bent' shape (if it was bent), and rearranged the PCIe power cables. Then I played Crysis 2. Still crashed after an hour or so of gameplay.

Then I took it out. Placed it on a flat marble top, took the PCI bracket off, and tried to see any bending. I didn't see any bending, and the board was flat as far as I could see.

Then I took the stock cooler out (because it has a metal midframe that everything screws to), and put it on, screwing in each screw extra tight to make sure that the PCB followed the contour of the midframe (which should be flat). Then I plugged it in and played Crysis 2 again. It crashed within 10 minutes. I started the game again, crashed within 5 minutes. EDIT: just tried again, crashed within 10 minutes

Maybe if it was board flex, then my putting the original cooler on must have straightened out some curve ever so slightly on the PCB, exacerbating the problem. That's probably why it's crashing more quickly now.
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Re: I think my GTX470 is having VRAM issues :(

Postposted on Sun Apr 27, 2014 10:53 am

From 60 minutes before a crash down to 5-10 mins doing nothing other than changing the cooler?
It's not a lot to go on but changing the cooler would affect only two things:

  • cooling
  • structural support.
If you're sure it's not a heat problem then the only likely alternative is that the board flex has caused some issue. It may not be recoverable but mechanical errors are almost always cracked solder causing poor electrical connection.
I've heard of oven-cooking PCB's to re-flow cracked soldering, but I've never done it and I'm sure it's not without risk of further damage. Worth investigating/asking around if you're not ready to replace the 470 yet.
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Re: I think my GTX470 is having VRAM issues :(

Postposted on Sun Apr 27, 2014 1:36 pm

Makes me think that the aftermarket cooler was giving enough cooling to marginally keep the thing stable. The stock cooler having less cooling power than the aftermarket couldn't keep whatever is overheating cool enough, hence the reduction in stable time. Does the card have a VRM heatsink? Try re-seating that, maybe it came undone (especially if it was a stick-on..aka no screws).
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Re: I think my GTX470 is having VRAM issues :(

Postposted on Sun Apr 27, 2014 1:51 pm

As I was taking the Gelid Icy Vision off, I noticed that all of the heatsinks were very well stuck to the chips and that I had to twist them off. I also noticed that the VRMs had made some of the 3M adhesive discolour.

So I'm very sure that nothing on the card was overheating with the Icy Vision.

I'm on 306.97 drivers now, which I had installed at one point in time - so I know these should work perfectly. Still crashes. On stock cooler now, loud as hell. I can see why I had to get rid of it.

I would send it back for warranty, but unfortunately while putting the stock cooler back on I messed up the sticker. Oh well, it's not like I should be playing games anyway.
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Re: I think my GTX470 is having VRAM issues :(

Postposted on Sun Apr 27, 2014 3:31 pm

I had a GTX 470 from EVGA give myself similar symptoms. Random driver crashes and artifacts in games was becoming a common occurrence. EVGA's amazing customer service replaced it with a GTX 660.
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Re: I think my GTX470 is having VRAM issues :(

Postposted on Mon Apr 28, 2014 11:59 am

GeForce6200 wrote:EVGA's amazing customer service replaced it with a GTX 660

:o
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Re: I think my GTX470 is having VRAM issues :(

Postposted on Mon Apr 28, 2014 12:28 pm

I had the opposite issue. 337.5 made my system completely unbootable with my 780, so I switched it for my 470 and it's running fine. Haven't tried switching it back yet. It's amazing how well the 470 holds up, as it can run everything but crysis 3 level games fine. Terrible overclocker though, or at least very finicky. Both my 780 and 470 have crappy asic's that weren't worth retail pricing.
EVGA's amazing customer service replaced it with a GTX 660.

I had asus replace a 4870 with a 6850. I'd say it's standard procedure when they don't have an exact replacement on hand.
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