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GTX 560 Ti dying? What can I do?

I have a Zotac GTX 560 Ti that's been giving me a truckload of issues for the past couple of days.

So every so often it gives me an issue where the display drivery stops working and recovers again, which indicates to me that it's time to open up the case and give it a spray dusting. I usually spray it out every two or three months. But now it's giving me tons of issues and I don't understand why. Among the things it's been doing:

-crashing whenever I view Twitch.tv in Firefox.
-crashing when I watch YouTube videos.
-putting a crapload of small white squares all over the screen.
-suddenly making the screen all garbled.
-BSODing with strange pixel artifacts whenever I reboot into Windows (this had me concerned for a while, but I managed to get around it by selecting Last Known Good Configuration)

Things I have tried:
-updating the display driver.
-windows update.
-downloading display driver uninstaller, booting into safe mode, running DDU, then rebooting into normal windows and only installing the latest driver.

So far nothing has solved the problem and only delayed further crashes from happening. I can't afford a new graphics card right now. What should I do?

My system specs (from what I remember):
Windows Vista 64bit SP3
Intel core i5 Sandy Bridge (with integrated graphics)
500w Power Supply
Gigabyte motherboard
Zotac GeForce GTX 560 Ti
8gb ram
Reply to tokotigerjosh
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More about gtx 560 dying
  1. Sounds like you've already done most of the normal recommended fixes, so probably isn't a driver issue. Did you monitor temperatures? I know that you cleaned it, but over time the thermal paste between GPU and cooler becomes less effective.
    Assuming for now that it's not a temperature problem either, then it could well be the GPU is dying, if so go easy on it. This means, try underclocking it a bit and seeing if that helps, use something like MSI Afterburner and play around with the clock speeds and voltages....you may find that a slight underclock or under-voltage fixes the issue.
    Reply to pete_101
  2. Try cleaning any display related connectors, cables and so (monitor, gpu). Check for any sign of rust or damage. Check for any loose connection also.

    Also try connecting to another display using another output port on the card.

    If none of the above seem to work, the GPU itself might be dying for good.
    Reply to DarkEvonik
  3. I have no idea how old your card is, but if the thermal compound on it dried up it could be overheating. Use a program like MSI Afterburner to monitor the temperatures. First just on your desktop doing nothing. How hot does it get? Then run a game or watch a high definition video, how hot does it get? If it's high temps, that's an issue that can be dealt with.

    If it's a component failure, like a bad capacitor, there's nothing you can do.
    Reply to dontlistentome
  4. pete_101 said:
    Sounds like you've already done most of the normal recommended fixes, so probably isn't a driver issue. Did you monitor temperatures? I know that you cleaned it, but over time the thermal paste between GPU and cooler becomes less effective.
    Assuming for now that it's not a temperature problem either, then it could well be the GPU is dying, if so go easy on it. This means, try underclocking it a bit and seeing if that helps, use something like MSI Afterburner and play around with the clock speeds and voltages....you may find that a slight underclock or under-voltage fixes the issue.


    Checking the temperature with Speedfan tells me that the resting GPU temperature (when not gaming or watching any videos) is 40C. Right now it seems stable but I'm not entirely sure what causes it to glitch out.

    My GPU doesn't have a heatsink pasted to it, it only has its three internal fans and I keep my PC in a very cool room (although I have to keep it spray-dusted because it's low to the floor). It uses screws to connect to the Mobo. I never hear the fans unless I'm playing a graphically-demanding game. I bought this thing in 2011.
    Reply to tokotigerjosh
  5. tokotigerjosh said:
    pete_101 said:
    Sounds like you've already done most of the normal recommended fixes, so probably isn't a driver issue. Did you monitor temperatures? I know that you cleaned it, but over time the thermal paste between GPU and cooler becomes less effective.
    Assuming for now that it's not a temperature problem either, then it could well be the GPU is dying, if so go easy on it. This means, try underclocking it a bit and seeing if that helps, use something like MSI Afterburner and play around with the clock speeds and voltages....you may find that a slight underclock or under-voltage fixes the issue.


    Checking the temperature with Speedfan tells me that the resting GPU temperature (when not gaming or watching any videos) is 40C. Right now it seems stable but I'm not entirely sure what causes it to glitch out.

    My GPU doesn't have a heatsink pasted to it, it only has its three internal fans and I keep my PC in a very cool room (although I have to keep it spray-dusted because it's low to the floor). It uses screws to connect to the Mobo. I never hear the fans unless I'm playing a graphically-demanding game. I bought this thing in 2011.
    Those 3 fans will be attached to a cooler (it has fins for the air to pass through), that cooler will be attached to the card by some screws.....well that cooler will be sitting on the GPU, and between the two there will be thermal paste.

    The mst important temperature is the maximum it gets to when under load.....maybe there isn't a problem there, but it's something you should check out. If you see temperatures over 90C, then it's too hot.
    Reply to pete_101
  6. I tried doing a clean install of the driver and this is what I've been getting.

    https://i.imgur.com/VQIcDwxh.jpg

    Now I can't boot into Windows without being in 800x600 mode.

    I've forgotten how to switch my computer back to Intel integrated graphics, which I probably have to do for the time being. Can anyone remind me how to do it?
    Reply to tokotigerjosh
  7. tokotigerjosh said:
    I tried doing a clean install of the driver and this is what I've been getting.

    https://i.imgur.com/VQIcDwxh.jpg

    Now I can't boot into Windows without being in 800x600 mode.

    I've forgotten how to switch my computer back to Intel integrated graphics, which I probably have to do for the time being. Can anyone remind me how to do it?
    Just take the graphics card out and plug your monitor into the motherboard and you'll be on integrated. You will need to install the Intel drivers as they will be long gone.
    Reply to pete_101
  8. Alright, I haven't switched to the Intel graphics yet but now I'm getting artifacts and weird graphics glitches on the pre-Windows startup sequence (still hooked to GPU). Confirm or deny my fears: does this indicate that my motherboard could be damaged?

    I've shut it off for the night. I'm going to bed now and will look into all this further tomorrow. Please leave any advice, I'd be grateful.
    Reply to tokotigerjosh
  9. tokotigerjosh said:
    Alright, I haven't switched to the Intel graphics yet but now I'm getting artifacts and weird graphics glitches on the pre-Windows startup sequence (still hooked to GPU). Confirm or deny my fears: does this indicate that my motherboard could be damaged?

    I've shut it off for the night. I'm going to bed now and will look into all this further tomorrow. Please leave any advice, I'd be grateful.
    Why do you think your motherboard is damaged? Everything you've told us so far is graphics related, the BSOD crash (that you took a photo of) is typical of faulty display drivers or a bad GPU, there is no reason to suspect the motherboard.
    Reply to pete_101
  10. I just wasn't sure because I didn't think the GPU was responsible for displaying the pre-boot sequence.

    So I took out the GPU today and apparently the bottom part of it (the side touching the mobo) was really dusty. Lot of dust bunnies in it. With the issues I've been having does this mean it's permanently damaged? Is it even worth it to keep trying to use this same GPU?
    Reply to tokotigerjosh
  11. tokotigerjosh said:
    I just wasn't sure because I didn't think the GPU was responsible for displaying the pre-boot sequence.

    So I took out the GPU today and apparently the bottom part of it (the side touching the mobo) was really dusty. Lot of dust bunnies in it. With the issues I've been having does this mean it's permanently damaged? Is it even worth it to keep trying to use this same GPU?
    All graphics seen on the screen, even the pre-boot, comes from the graphics card. The only difference being that pre-boot is using a basic display adaptor until the drivers can load.

    If you carefully clean all the dust off the card and the motherboard slot, it would be worth trying the card again. It's possible for dust to cause interference if it makes contact between the contacts, so clean everything and see if that helps.
    Reply to pete_101
  12. pete_101 said:
    tokotigerjosh said:
    I just wasn't sure because I didn't think the GPU was responsible for displaying the pre-boot sequence.

    So I took out the GPU today and apparently the bottom part of it (the side touching the mobo) was really dusty. Lot of dust bunnies in it. With the issues I've been having does this mean it's permanently damaged? Is it even worth it to keep trying to use this same GPU?
    All graphics seen on the screen, even the pre-boot, comes from the graphics card. The only difference being that pre-boot is using a basic display adaptor until the drivers can load.

    If you carefully clean all the dust off the card and the motherboard slot, it would be worth trying the card again. It's possible for dust to cause interference if it makes contact between the contacts, so clean everything and see if that helps.


    Sorry for bumping this ancient thread but I have an update on my situation and it's not good.

    Finally had time to reinstall it today. I tried to clean it as thoroughly as I could but unfortunately it looks like I was too late. Seems like it's toast to me.

    https://m.imgur.com/a/l9jXK

    So this is the first time I've ever had a GPU crap out on me. What are my next steps? This is an old machine from 2011 but it still works otherwise. Was planning on using it as a living room PC. So what's the cheapest nvidia card I can currently get? And what do I do with this one now that it's fried?
    Reply to tokotigerjosh
  13. tokotigerjosh said:
    pete_101 said:
    tokotigerjosh said:
    I just wasn't sure because I didn't think the GPU was responsible for displaying the pre-boot sequence.

    So I took out the GPU today and apparently the bottom part of it (the side touching the mobo) was really dusty. Lot of dust bunnies in it. With the issues I've been having does this mean it's permanently damaged? Is it even worth it to keep trying to use this same GPU?
    All graphics seen on the screen, even the pre-boot, comes from the graphics card. The only difference being that pre-boot is using a basic display adaptor until the drivers can load.

    If you carefully clean all the dust off the card and the motherboard slot, it would be worth trying the card again. It's possible for dust to cause interference if it makes contact between the contacts, so clean everything and see if that helps.


    Sorry for bumping this ancient thread but I have an update on my situation and it's not good.

    Finally had time to reinstall it today. I tried to clean it as thoroughly as I could but unfortunately it looks like I was too late. Seems like it's toast to me.

    https://m.imgur.com/a/l9jXK

    So this is the first time I've ever had a GPU crap out on me. What are my next steps? This is an old machine from 2011 but it still works otherwise. Was planning on using it as a living room PC. So what's the cheapest nvidia card I can currently get? And what do I do with this one now that it's fried?
    How cheap do you want? If it's just for web browsing and watching videos/streams, then the integrated graphics would be fine for that. If you're after a GPU of equal power to your old 560Ti, then you may need to spend $100.
    Reply to pete_101
  14. pete_101 said:
    tokotigerjosh said:
    pete_101 said:
    tokotigerjosh said:
    I just wasn't sure because I didn't think the GPU was responsible for displaying the pre-boot sequence.

    So I took out the GPU today and apparently the bottom part of it (the side touching the mobo) was really dusty. Lot of dust bunnies in it. With the issues I've been having does this mean it's permanently damaged? Is it even worth it to keep trying to use this same GPU?
    All graphics seen on the screen, even the pre-boot, comes from the graphics card. The only difference being that pre-boot is using a basic display adaptor until the drivers can load.

    If you carefully clean all the dust off the card and the motherboard slot, it would be worth trying the card again. It's possible for dust to cause interference if it makes contact between the contacts, so clean everything and see if that helps.


    Sorry for bumping this ancient thread but I have an update on my situation and it's not good.

    Finally had time to reinstall it today. I tried to clean it as thoroughly as I could but unfortunately it looks like I was too late. Seems like it's toast to me.

    https://m.imgur.com/a/l9jXK

    So this is the first time I've ever had a GPU crap out on me. What are my next steps? This is an old machine from 2011 but it still works otherwise. Was planning on using it as a living room PC. So what's the cheapest nvidia card I can currently get? And what do I do with this one now that it's fried?
    How cheap do you want? If it's just for web browsing and watching videos/streams, then the integrated graphics would be fine for that. If you're after a GPU of equal power to your old 560Ti, then you may need to spend $100.



    Yeah, I'm looking for something that'll just support my needs until I'm able to buy a new PC (which I'm looking to do around Boxing Day). $100-$200 is my ideal range, although I'm aware Black Friday is soon and I'm hoping to take advantage of some deals. Was thinking of holding out on buying a new card until then.

    Tell me what you think is best for me based on my specs.

    Microsoft® Windows Vista™ Ultimate - Service Pack 2 (6.0.6002)
    Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-2500 CPU @ 3.30GHz (x64)
    8GB G.Skill Ram
    Gigabyte Technology Co., Ltd. H67MA-UD2H-B3
    Antec Sonata III case with 500W built-in PSU

    (Before you ask, I'm still running Vista because I've been waiting to upgrade my PC before I format my HDD and change the OS, since I'd rather wait to have all the new stuff)

    Also, I'd like to know what can be done with the old card. Do I just throw it in the trash?
    Reply to tokotigerjosh
  15. tokotigerjosh said:
    Yeah, I'm looking for something that'll just support my needs until I'm able to buy a new PC (which I'm looking to do around Boxing Day). $100-$200 is my ideal range, although I'm aware Black Friday is soon and I'm hoping to take advantage of some deals. Was thinking of holding out on buying a new card until then.

    Tell me what you think is best for me based on my specs.

    Microsoft® Windows Vista™ Ultimate - Service Pack 2 (6.0.6002)
    Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-2500 CPU @ 3.30GHz (x64)
    8GB G.Skill Ram
    Gigabyte Technology Co., Ltd. H67MA-UD2H-B3
    Antec Sonata III case with 500W built-in PSU

    (Before you ask, I'm still running Vista because I've been waiting to upgrade my PC before I format my HDD and change the OS, since I'd rather wait to have all the new stuff)

    Also, I'd like to know what can be done with the old card. Do I just throw it in the trash?
    Yes, throw the old card in the trash, it's not worth anything and unless you know of somewhere that takes electronic waste, the trash is the easiest way to dispose of it.

    You know your old PC still has respectable specs, it's much newer than the OS you're using on it....which will be holding it back, there's a reason why Vista is considered the worst OS ever. A clean install of windows 10 would do wonders, it would be like having a new computer. So, unless you're wanting a powerful gaming computer, I don't know why you need an upgrade.

    As for which new card. If you don't intend to use it for heavy gaming, then a GT 1030 would be more than enough, they start from around US$70. If you do want to do some moderate to heavy gaming on it, then a GTX 1050Ti would be a good match for your CPU, it would be quite an upgrade from a GTX 560Ti, they start at around US$150.
    Reply to pete_101
  16. pete_101 said:
    tokotigerjosh said:
    Yeah, I'm looking for something that'll just support my needs until I'm able to buy a new PC (which I'm looking to do around Boxing Day). $100-$200 is my ideal range, although I'm aware Black Friday is soon and I'm hoping to take advantage of some deals. Was thinking of holding out on buying a new card until then.

    Tell me what you think is best for me based on my specs.

    Microsoft® Windows Vista™ Ultimate - Service Pack 2 (6.0.6002)
    Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-2500 CPU @ 3.30GHz (x64)
    8GB G.Skill Ram
    Gigabyte Technology Co., Ltd. H67MA-UD2H-B3
    Antec Sonata III case with 500W built-in PSU

    (Before you ask, I'm still running Vista because I've been waiting to upgrade my PC before I format my HDD and change the OS, since I'd rather wait to have all the new stuff)

    Also, I'd like to know what can be done with the old card. Do I just throw it in the trash?
    Yes, throw the old card in the trash, it's not worth anything and unless you know of somewhere that takes electronic waste, the trash is the easiest way to dispose of it.

    You know your old PC still has respectable specs, it's much newer than the OS you're using on it....which will be holding it back, there's a reason why Vista is considered the worst OS ever. A clean install of windows 10 would do wonders, it would be like having a new computer. So, unless you're wanting a powerful gaming computer, I don't know why you need an upgrade.

    As for which new card. If you don't intend to use it for heavy gaming, then a GT 1030 would be more than enough, they start from around US$70. If you do want to do some moderate to heavy gaming on it, then a GTX 1050Ti would be a good match for your CPU, it would be quite an upgrade from a GTX 560Ti, they start at around US$150.



    I was planning on upgrading this machine to Win 7 and putting in a new GPU so that it could be used in my living room. Then my next computer would be a powerful gaming computer.

    I'm aware that I should upgrade from Vista right away, and I have a Windows 7 disc I never used. However I am waiting until I can afford a new hard drive to install it to since I have a lot of essential files on the one I'm currently using and I don't want to wipe them. I suppose I'll wait until Black Friday to get an SSD and a new GPU that I can install with Win7 unless you have a better idea.
    Reply to tokotigerjosh
  17. Best answer
    tokotigerjosh said:
    I was planning on upgrading this machine to Win 7 and putting in a new GPU so that it could be used in my living room. Then my next computer would be a powerful gaming computer.

    I'm aware that I should upgrade from Vista right away, and I have a Windows 7 disc I never used. However I am waiting until I can afford a new hard drive to install it to since I have a lot of essential files on the one I'm currently using and I don't want to wipe them. I suppose I'll wait until Black Friday to get an SSD and a new GPU that I can install with Win7 unless you have a better idea.
    That sounds like a good idea to me. I still like Windows 7, the user interface doesn't look much different from Vista but it certainly runs much smoother. When you do put a new drive in, unplug the old one until the new OS is installed, then plug it back in, the computer will them go through a process to make that drive part of the "new" computer.

    I assume you'll know this, but I'll remind you. When you install a new OS, you need to install all the drivers for the motherboard too, usually it's best to download these from the manufacture's website as you'll get the latest version. If for some reason you can't connect to the internet until you've installed the network drivers, either use the old network drivers from the original motherboard disc, or use another computer to download them onto a USB memory stick.
    Reply to pete_101
  18. Right, thanks a lot for your help.
    Reply to tokotigerjosh
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