New games are crashing my computer
September 1, 2013 6:55 PM   Subscribe

My computer started crashing to a black screen a few minutes into any new game. I just got payday 2, and 4-5 minutes into the introductory map my computer would crash to a black screen, I thought it was the game, so then I tried the other new game I just gotten, Saints Row IV, same thing, it let me play for like 10 minutes then the same crash to black screen.

Black screen, no sound, but all the fans in the computer are still running.

I searched, couldn't find anything, no administration tool logs or game logs had any clue to what was going on. My nvidia drivers and windows are up to date.
Older games still seem to work with no problem, even Bioshock infinite works fine.

I eventually tried lowering the detail and resolution, and that let me play Payday2 and saintsrow 4 (at least until a boss mission, then it does the black screen again, unless i lower the quality even more)

So I think it must be something wrong with my video card overheating or maybe my power supply?

Is there a way I can narrow this down without buying anything first?

If i do have to get a new video card, whats good nowadays?

I much preferred how it used to be if I had the details to high, I should just get a low FPS not a complete crash.

Geforce GTX 570
Windows 7
Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-2500K CPU @ 3.30GHz (4 CPUs), ~3.3GHz
Antec 620 watt power supply
4 harddrives.

posted by Iax to Computers & Internet (12 answers total)
Is it *crashing*, or is it just turning off? Is the machine still running after the screen goes black?
posted by Sequence at 7:00 PM on September 1, 2013

Response by poster: The computer is still powered up, all the fans are going, and the cd can go in and out, but the sound stops and ctrl alt del does nothing. I think the capslock and numlock stop working (light on the keyboard will not change).

I have to hold down the power button for 5 seconds to turn it off, then press again to turn it back on.
posted by Iax at 7:13 PM on September 1, 2013

Install EVGA precision (stupid login required) and tell it to run your fans at full blast. If that fixes the problem, you have an overheating issue.
posted by TimeDoctor at 7:22 PM on September 1, 2013

That sounds like the graphic chip overheating.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 7:22 PM on September 1, 2013

Most common cause for heat-related stoppage in a computer more than about a year old is dust buildup on cooling fins. Before spending money, open up the case and give everything a good phoofing. If you have access to a compressed air handpiece, so much the better (just hold the fan blades still so you don't spin them off their axles). If not, just shut your eyes and turn your head and step backward out of the dust cloud before breathing in again.
posted by flabdablet at 7:35 PM on September 1, 2013

if cleaning the fan out and EVGA precision don't work, and the problem is definitely the graphics card I would get a 770 and try to RMA your video card if the warranty is still valid.
posted by TimeDoctor at 7:51 PM on September 1, 2013

Find your 'My Computer', right click it and pick 'Manage', then select Event Viewer>System. This is a complete log of your computer's errors and messages, and is invaluable for troubleshooting. Look for red errors and google the error text. This is my first step for all windows errors.

In your case, yeah, probably overheating. Compressed air should fix it.

Might also want to check all your internal power connections and reseat your memory.
posted by Sebmojo at 7:52 PM on September 1, 2013

Best answer: NVidia's new drivers seem to be causing some issues on older cards, including overheating and black screens. You might want to experimentally roll your graphics driver back.
posted by Betafae at 9:19 PM on September 1, 2013 [2 favorites]

I had the same problem with World of Warcraft a few months ago. The video card was getting too hot (I hated the graphics card software, so I downloaded Speccy for free and kept an eye on temps that way) and even with cleaned fans and the case off, the screen would go black when I ran a dungeon or a raid.

I now have a GeForce GTX 660 and it's running much cooler and the crashes don't happen anymore.
posted by kimberussell at 9:36 PM on September 1, 2013

If you want to monitor your temps, try Speedfan.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 9:52 PM on September 1, 2013

Response by poster: Betafae had the most correct answer!
I tried down grading to the 320.18 drivers and now everything works.

When the games get intense I can hear the video card's fan speed up now, before it would just crash to a black screen.

Thanks everyone, looks like i can hold off buying something for a little longer.
posted by Iax at 12:00 AM on September 2, 2013 [1 favorite]

I was having a similar but opposite problem; a black screen crash with all the same symptoms, but only when I was NOT playing games! Changed my nVidia drivers and it is stable again.
posted by curious nu at 3:39 PM on September 2, 2013

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