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weird display artifacts = CPU dying?

Discussion in 'Troubleshooting Help' started by crepuscular, Jun 26, 2020.

  1. crepuscular

    crepuscular Member

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    Hey guys, but I'm bit stumped by the symptoms, never have I been so confused in my years of building and troubleshooting PCs with the symptoms that I'm seeing.


    The initial symptom of something with my rig is as I was playing Guild Wars (yeah, a very old school game), the game suddenly crashed and it just kept on crashing with "Assertion: val >= -0.5f", so I have a feeling there could be something wrong with my RAM, but both Microsoft MDT and MemTest86 came back clean. :confused:

    Chat to their support team, they said maybe the game file is corrupted, tried to reinstall the game, but even the installer is crashing with the same error. So I reinstall Windows 10, no luck; yesterday bought a brand new SSD (cause it was on special) and reinstalled Windows, new SATA cable, still no luck.
    That definitely ruled out SSD being an issue.


    Then about, maybe a week later, I started to notice Youtube videos are starting to display these weird tiny artifacts on Firefox.

    To rule out this is not a driver issue with Nvida's latest driver, so I reverted back to a driver that's about 6 months old, the artifacts persisted.
    To rule out isn't a GPU issue, I switch it out to my old 780, but the same issue persisted.
    Tried a different PCI-E slot, no luck.

    There a visible deterioration of the fault, the artifacts getting worse day by day, it went from random tiny pixels to giant patches.

    The same video is fine in Chrome, task manager shows there GPU activity on Chrome but not firefox, so I'm guessing Firefox is using software rendering instead of hardware acceleration(?)
    Now that makes me worried, that my CPU is possibly dying (?)


    The night before, I decided to upgrade my Nvidia driver, because I was left with an old driver from previous troubleshooting. Now this is where I noticed there could be something very wrong with my CPU (?), the installer would start and just disappear. Looking at task manager, I can see the installer process is still running, but visibly it is as if the process had crashed, it's not coming up as a task with ALT+TAB.

    Tried running Intel's CPU DT, it came back clean though.


    So I'm at lost what component is failing, because all the diagnostic tools came back clean
    Don't want to run out and spend couple hundred, or maybe thousands at the current difficult time, and end up the component(s) is ok
     
  2. power

    power Member

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    sounds like ram/gpu maybe even psu.

    i'd let memtest run overnight, sometimes a single pass isn't enough, be sure to select all tests not just the quickies.
     
  3. daehenoc

    daehenoc Member

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    It's probably not the CPU, but your GPU. Screen artifacts indicated something wrong with your video card - try swapping it out for another, or if you have onboard video, take our your dedicated video card and see if the on-board video still does the artifacts.

    Damn, power beat me to it!
     
  4. daehenoc

    daehenoc Member

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    Nothing wrong with a quickie, but yeah, doing the full test and doing multiple runs of your memory should pick up any memory errors. (I'm usually happy with running memory tests 3-4 times, unless I think it's a very intermittent RAM fault...)
     
  5. power

    power Member

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    plenty wrong with the quick tests - if you fail a quick test this is usually just a confirmation to you, also multiple passes will also heat the memory up nicely. overnight is easy because, well you are asleep!
     
  6. Matthew kane

    Matthew kane Member

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    Usually quick tests only test the first and last couple hundred/thousand blocks of data not the entire thing. Artefacting can be a result of a faulty gpu, faulty gpu vram, faulty RAM, or bad system driver files.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    crepuscular

    crepuscular Member

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    Thanks for the replies :)


    Yeap, already tried swapping, same behavior on both 1080Ti and 780Ti cards
    graphic in my BIOS already set to PCIE instead of Auto; tried swapping to a different PCI-E slots, no luck

    Here's what I was talking about the artifacts on Firefox, but not on Chrome.

    [​IMG]


    Plus, I don't think GPU would cause distortions like this, would it (?)

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    FYI, the game runs fine once I get pass the login screen, no artifacts at all at high settings, hence I do not believe it's a GPU issue ;)








    I've let it run overnight again, still came back clean

    Because I'm running 4 channels sticks, I have tried to pull pairs of them out and run just one 2 channels to see if it is cause by a faulty stick, but no luck

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2020
  8. power

    power Member

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    that so looks like GPU. The only other thing that could do it is a driver but yeah..

    Being that it's doing it on more than one GPU - a fresh install on a spare HDD for testing would be ideal here.
     
  9. daehenoc

    daehenoc Member

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    Goddamit, beaten :p That's what I was going to say, do a fresh clean install of Windows on a spare drive, new clean drivers and see if the problem persists. If it does persist, it's either both your video cards are faulty (unlikely, but possible), or that particular driver version has a problem with the specific BIOS version of your motherboard, and causes artifacts, and no-one has bothered to complain to MS or the manufacturer that there is a problem, so they haven't fixed it. Also highly unlikely, but I have seen things like this happen!
     
  10. FOTW

    FOTW Member

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  11. de_overfiend

    de_overfiend Member

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    my vote is for backup/format/fresh install

    that will rule out any software problems - ram is clearly fine and it is doubtful that it would happen with 2 different video cards
     
  12. OP
    OP
    crepuscular

    crepuscular Member

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    yeah, it's a fresh install, a second time, this time on a brand new ssd


    100% not the RAM, I just got new ones today and I put them on, still reproducing the issue.


    GOD!!! why i skimmed your comment?! thought you said to disable the i-gpu, i happened to try the exact thing you asked me to try!!! pulled out the 1080 and run on i-gpu.
    and YEAP!!! still having these distorted GUIs with certain programs on i-GPU.

    So I'm guessing my hunch was right, that the CPU is busted(?) it's the only component, and the motherboard, that had stayed constant through all these troubleshoot
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2020
  13. mr camouflage

    mr camouflage Member

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  14. power

    power Member

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    OP mentioned it also happened in a game.

    GPU seems to be ruled out, from here it's board or chip. OP should test with as few components as possible to replicate fault.
     
  15. daehenoc

    daehenoc Member

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    Probably not the CPU, but something hinky on the motherboard, e.g. with the PCI-E bus. If you've eliminated everything else, yeah, it looks like you're going to be getting new motherboard and CPU!
     

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