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Is My Videocard Dying? GTX 970

Robdude
  • 13 months ago

I bought a GTX970 a few years back. The full product description from Frys.com was: (ASUS STRIX-GTX970-DC2OC-4GD5 GeForce GTX 970 4GB 256-Bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 SLI Support G-SYNC Support Video Card)

Recently, my Windows 10 PC has been BSOD'ing about every day or so. Sometimes 2-3 times per day, I haven't changed the hardware in a long time, and I hadn't update drivers before it started happening, it just sorta started one day.

The error itself is DPC_WATCHDOG_VIOLATION and I've used some tools to look at the minidump that windows generates and it seems to call out the NVidia drivers (nvlddmkm.sys) as causing the problem.

I've tried a handful of things - updating as many drivers as I could find and then blindly following instructions on the internet to change my SATA driver and to disable NVidia HD Audio in Device Manager.

The crashing happens when I'm surfing the web or whatever, I haven't been doing anything GPU intensive.

Does this sound like a hardware issue/does anyone have any advice to fix it? I will mention, probably about six months ago, I'd hear a weird buzzing that I assumed was a fan but it happened super rarely and I was never able to track it down. Whenever I looked, everything seemed to be spinning fine. I don't hear that noise anymore, but it also makes me think maybe something is physically wrong.

Finally - if it is broken - can anyone recommend an affordable replacement that would be about as powerful? I'm probably looking at it wrong, but the PassMark GPU benchmarks make it seem like I'd have to spend $250-$300 to get a card that is on par with what I bought in 2015 (for $350)?!?! Or can I buy a much better video card that would still be decent enough to go in my new build that I plan on doing in 14 months (March of 2020)

Thanks a lot

EDIT: I forgot to mention - I did a fresh install of Windows 10 about a week ago.

Comments

  • 13 months ago
  • 1 point

GTX 1060 or RX 580 would both well outperform a 970. Both(580s all the time, 1060s are a tad more) can be found around $160-170 with free games if you look.

With that said, have you done a fresh install of Windows? If you have an easy way to backup, this is my first answer to any crashing issues. In my experience, a fresh install is good to do every once in a while even if it's not crashing. Just speeds it right up again.

  • 13 months ago
  • 1 point

GTX 1060 or RX 580 would both well outperform a 970.

They are marginal better, not worth buying at all if you are coming from a 970 since there is no point in basically doing a sidegrade for ~$170. You might as well spend the extra and go for something significantly better such as a GTX 1070.

  • 13 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for the input. I'll look into some better cards too. It does seem like a bit of a waste to spend so much for an 'equivalent'. I really figured that, since it's kind of old, I'd be able to replace it for like $50 or something.

  • 13 months ago
  • 2 points

I mean you could always buy a used GTX 970 for like $90 if you really want a replacement cheap as possible. Or your other option is buy a 1070 for ~$300.

Also FYI Passmark is a awful site for GPU's, it is biased towards Nvidia cards.

  • 13 months ago
  • 1 point

Used, it wouldn't be $50 but you could get something good for pretty cheap. Not sure what 980Tis are going for but they used to be awesome for the price on the used market.

  • 13 months ago
  • 1 point

They are marginal better,

Actually, the GTX 1060 3 GB version performs slightly worse than the GTX 970.

You might as well spend the extra and go for something significantly better such as a GTX 1070.

Yeah, I would do the same. Spend a bit more and get something that will last longer.

  • 13 months ago
  • 1 point

I meant to exclude the 3GB 1060. Although, in my personal testing it came out virtually the same as the 970 if not just a tad better in some games.

The 580 and 6GB 1060 do perform a noticeable bit better.

And again, the jump to a 1070 is worth it, but of course only if the budget is available. I did not notice he said he might want to buy something much better.

  • 13 months ago
  • 1 point

But if his 970 is dead? Not saying it is, just giving options. The 1060 6GB performs a good bit better, and the extra VRAM is a big plus. Same with the 8GB 580.

It's almost double for a 1070. Worth it? Yeah probably. But not everyone has that. Depends on what the OP does.

  • 13 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for the response. My bad - I should have included that I did a fresh install of Windows 10 about a week ago hoping it would fix any weird driver issues.

I guess, as a sanity check, I could install and boot into Linux for a few days. If it doesn't crash at all, then it might mean it's just a software issue. And then, if that is the case, I could start trying older drivers or spend a lot more time digging into things.

  • 13 months ago
  • 1 point

Did you try rolling back to some older drivers?

  • 13 months ago
  • 1 point

This doesn't sound like a hardware issue, any artifacting? That noise you were hearing is coil whine, I had that on my gtx 970. It's nothing to worry about. What version drivers are you running for nvidia? Have you tried an older version? Can you play games?

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