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  1.    02 Aug 2017 #1
    Join Date : Aug 2017
    Posts : 9
    Windows 10 64-bit

    Screen goes Blank or colored while Gaming


    This has been bugging me like crazy. I'll be playing a game and a good chance it'll either cause the computer to reboot or the monitor will shut off (sometimes it'll give a colored screen). Heavy games like GTA5 seem to cause it faster. Dead by Daylight I was able to play, for about week after the issue started to crop up on GTA5, then it occurred on that as well.

    I should mention I've done tests with programs and the temperatures for both the CPU and GPU are within acceptable parameters. I've also done two complete clean Windows installations so I highly doubt it's anything software related. When the computer turns the screen off (acts like it doesn't receive a signal) with the tower still running, or a colored screen, there is sound but it's normal. I can hear programs going on still but after some time it all stops, sound wise, and there's nothing but the blank/colored screen and the sound of the tower running.

    The whole problem only started to present itself about three weeks ago. Like stated above the temperatures are within acceptable parameters. I've kept afterburner open and it got close to 80oC but that's been normal for years. This last time it happened, about 50 minutes ago, I forced the fans to work at 60% which pulled the temp down to 71oC. Unfortunately that didn't stop the colored screen from striking again. I also always use DDU in safe mode when doing clean installs of GPU drivers. I'm even on 384.94 but in all honesty I don't think it's tied to the drivers as I've gone back 10 drivers old and the issue remains.

    I'd say it could be the PSU, the external one this Alienware comes with (330w), but the computer can stay on just fine while on Firefox and 20+ tabs open. Then there's games where it just doesn't, or hasn't, happened yet like Dota 2 with all the settings on high and optional settings turned on. GTA5 and Saints Row the 3rd can trigger this event within a hour or shorter. It baffles me as to why Dota 2 with high settings and all optional settings turned on won't trigger it but other games will.

    Any speculation or help on this would be appreciated.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  2.    02 Aug 2017 #2
    Join Date : Nov 2015
    Posts : 2,863
    64bit Win 10 Pro ver 1709 Build 16299.64

    Hello Corpser,

    Welcome to Tenforums

    The PSU is not very powerful if it is only 330W. Did you add the graphics card later or was it supplied with the graphics card?

    I would recommend a much higher rated PSU for your system such as 650W or even 750W. Depends what combination of hard drives and SSDs you run.
      My ComputersSystem Spec
  3.    02 Aug 2017 #3
    Join Date : Aug 2017
    Posts : 9
    Windows 10 64-bit
    Thread Starter

    Quote Originally Posted by philc43 View Post
    Hello Corpser,

    Welcome to Tenforums

    The PSU is not very powerful if it is only 330W. Did you add the graphics card later or was it supplied with the graphics card?

    I would recommend a much higher rated PSU for your system such as 650W or even 750W. Depends what combination of hard drives and SSDs you run.
    You'd think it wouldn't be enough but this Alienware came with all that. It's been just fine with that 330w for over four years. No part has been replaced in all that time.

    Getting a stronger PSU isn't an option at this point since the Alienware X51 R2 only uses an external PSU, power brick, and the highest wattage for that model is a 330w.

    I did think on several times it could be the PSU, power brick, dying but like I stated above I can play other games just fine (from what I can tell). I do believe it's some part of the GPU dying and I plan on replacing it with a GTX 970 in October but I wanted to make sure that was the point of the issue or at least find out what's the main cause before then.

    Oh and thanks for the welcome.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  4.    02 Aug 2017 #4
    Join Date : Nov 2015
    Posts : 2,863
    64bit Win 10 Pro ver 1709 Build 16299.64

    In that case we can assume that Alienware did their homework and know just how much power is drawn by all the components. With a conventional PSU over time the internal fans can get clogged up and so the PSU starts to overheat which can also lead to shutdowns - it might be worth giving the system a thorough clean and dust extraction - but your power brick sounds like it may not have any fan cooling mechanism - does it get hot during use?
      My ComputersSystem Spec
  5.    02 Aug 2017 #5
    Join Date : Aug 2017
    Posts : 9
    Windows 10 64-bit
    Thread Starter

    Quote Originally Posted by philc43 View Post
    In that case we can assume that Alienware did their homework and know just how much power is drawn by all the components. With a conventional PSU over time the internal fans can get clogged up and so the PSU starts to overheat which can also lead to shutdowns - it might be worth giving the system a thorough clean and dust extraction - but your power brick sounds like it may not have any fan cooling mechanism - does it get hot during use?
    Yeah I normally open up the case at least once a month and use a can of air to clean it of dust.

    For the brick yeah that thing is lukewarm to the touch but all brick power supplies are like that. This is a photo of the same thing I got off of google just so you know what I'm talking about. This is extremely similar to other power bricks that are used for other appliances like consoles or such.

    https://hothardware.com/articleimages/Item1794/x51-power-brick.jpg


    Like I said I doubt it's the power supply or the GPU would be shutting off on all games indiscriminately.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  6.    02 Aug 2017 #6
    Join Date : Nov 2015
    Posts : 2,863
    64bit Win 10 Pro ver 1709 Build 16299.64

    Try a GPU test program to see if it will trigger the problem. There is a utility called GPU-z built into Furmark which lets you monitor the system via the sensors tab. Keep an eye on it during the run and post a screenshot of it.




    Screen goes Blank or colored while Gaming Diagnostic test Screen goes Blank or colored while Gaming
     GPU TEST

    Run Furmark to test your GPU. Furmark tutorial

    Note   Note
    Run Furmark for around 30 minutes


    warning   Warning
    Your GPU temperatures will rise quickly while Furmark is running. Keep a keen eye on them and abort the test if temperatures rise too high
      My ComputersSystem Spec
  7.    02 Aug 2017 #7
    Join Date : Aug 2017
    Posts : 9
    Windows 10 64-bit
    Thread Starter

    Alright I did two separate tests.

    The first one I did:
    -fullscreen
    -1920x1080
    -4x msaa
    -and the basic 3d test option burn-in

    Click image for larger version. 

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      My ComputerSystem Spec
  8.    02 Aug 2017 #8
    Join Date : Aug 2017
    Posts : 9
    Windows 10 64-bit
    Thread Starter

    Second test I did:
    -fullscreen
    -1920x1080
    -anti-aliasing off
    -all 3d options except dynamic camera

    Click image for larger version. 

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Name:	Test2 30min.jpg 
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ID:	146791

    I should mention both tests I did run for 30 mins each and the second right after the first. So that's a total of 1 hour of testing. No automatic shutdown+reboot, colored screen, or screen turning off.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  9.    02 Aug 2017 #9
    Join Date : Nov 2015
    Posts : 2,863
    64bit Win 10 Pro ver 1709 Build 16299.64

    Those tests would suggest your GPU is working fine. I'm not a gamer so I can't advise on the differences between games and why one might trigger the problem and others don't. At this stage I would not be certain that a new GPU will fix the problem. Are there any game forums that can help or can you search to see if any one else has problems with this type of PC and GTA5?
      My ComputersSystem Spec
  10.    02 Aug 2017 #10
    Join Date : Aug 2017
    Posts : 9
    Windows 10 64-bit
    Thread Starter

    Quote Originally Posted by philc43 View Post
    Those tests would suggest your GPU is working fine. I'm not a gamer so I can't advise on the differences between games and why one might trigger the problem and others don't. At this stage I would not be certain that a new GPU will fix the problem. Are there any game forums that can help or can you search to see if any one else has problems with this type of PC and GTA5?
    I had some inkling my GPU was fine but I was hoping it was that. Not that I can think of at least not when it comes to software/hardware issues. I did try typing something similar on Tech Support Guy, a site I normally go to for issues, but it's a...sort of dead site compared to other support/help sites.

    It's not just GTA5 four games, possibly six games, have caused the same issue. That's what's confusing me since I heavily assume it's not software since I can't find any conflicts and I did two complete clean Windows 10 installs, from a USB, which would naturally rule out conflicts or software related issues.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

 
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