Overheating graphics card?

BlueRevolution

macrumors 603
Original poster
Jul 26, 2004
6,054
2
Montreal, QC
Lately I've begun to experience a problem where, after a reasonably prolonged period of gaming, I'll start to see square artifacts on screen like in the attached screenshot. (Look particularly at the floating windows.)

Is this likely to be related to an overheating graphics card? Anything I can do about it?
 

Attachments

grahamnp

macrumors 6502a
Jun 4, 2008
969
4
Artifacts can sometimes be cause by overheating. Before you do anything else, what is the actual temperature?

If it is within warranty I'd take it back. If you are not comfortable changing anything, take it for repair. Otherwise, you can undervolt and/or underclock the card. Some people have dropped temps by reapplying the thermal paste.
 

dusk007

macrumors 68040
Dec 5, 2009
3,386
61
It is memory or calculation errors. Unless it is over clocked that shouldn't happen and fall under warranty. More heat could be the cause but it could also be a faulty chip that is cool enough. In either case it is a warranty problem.
I agree check the temps.
 

thekev

macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2010
6,739
1,908
You can check temps, but these are classic signs of a dying graphics card. If it's under warranty, take it in. What mbp do you have?

By the way, overheating is sometimes a misconception. You're more likely to notice problems when hardware is being stressed.
 

Donka

macrumors 68030
May 3, 2011
2,771
1,396
Scotland
Very likely to be heat related with the GPU given it only starts happening after a while and I assume is isolated to gaming?
 

BlueRevolution

macrumors 603
Original poster
Jul 26, 2004
6,054
2
Montreal, QC
I had two separate incidents this evening that prompted me to restart the games. Each time I took a screenshot. The third I took just now, showing the readings after an hour or so of web browsing.

It's a 13" Mid 2010 MacBook Pro, so yeah, out of warranty. However, I've been thinking about buying a desktop on which I'd do my gaming and anything requiring more than 13" of screen space, so the problem isn't necessarily serious so long as less intensive activity isn't affected.

Yes, this only happens in games, and has only started happening in the last couple of days.

Thanks everyone for your responses.
 

Attachments

Queen6

macrumors 604
Clean out the fans & heat-sync`s, if your usage pattern has not changed this may well be the key. I have an Early 2008 with the suspect Nvidia GPU, I use SMC Fan Control or UltraFan to keep the GPU below 70C as much as possible. So far so good and this MBP has been "hammered" since day one, I recently replaced both fans due to temperature related issues.
 

BlueRevolution

macrumors 603
Original poster
Jul 26, 2004
6,054
2
Montreal, QC
Well, by way of a followup, I just got a new 120 GB SSD and 8 GB memory upgrade, and took a can of air to the innards while I was at it. (I'd never had this computer apart, so there was a fair bit of dust in there.) Lo and behold, no more graphics artifacts. Which one of those factors did the trick, though, I can't say.

Thanks everyone for your help.
 

Attachments

Donka

macrumors 68030
May 3, 2011
2,771
1,396
Scotland
Pretty certain the clean out fixed this. Dust build up in confined spaces hampers airflow and the hot air cannot be expelled properly causing overheating.
 

alphaod

macrumors Core
Feb 9, 2008
22,167
1,212
NYC
Do you have mods installed? It looks like only text and some windows have artifacts.
 

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