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How do I know if I've shorted my video card?

So I have two 8600 GT's in SLI, and lately I've noticed that the second one was running a bit hot. So I reapplied the thermal paste with some AC5 I have lying around. However, I accidentally got some on/around some of the extremely small circuitry next to the GPU processor. I cleaned it off the best I could with rubbing alcohol, and everything seems to work fine, except I've been noticing some artifacts in my games that weren't there before. I'm wondering if I might have caused a short circuit by bridging some connections with the thermal paste, which would then cause the artifacts. It is the conductive kind after all :(. So is this a plausible conclusion, or would a short circuit have already fried my card? Any other ideas as to what's causing the artifacts?

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Grathio8 years ago
AC5 is conductive, but my guess is you're in the clear simply because the card works at all.

Modern graphics cards are fiendishly complex, either they work or they don't. As for the artifacts, you probably noticed them simply because you're paying more attention to it. (see Confirmation bias.)
RelaxedSoup (author)  Grathio8 years ago
OK, that's good to hear about the GPU. However, the artifacts are pretty obvious, random areas that should be textured flickering in and out of existence, etc. It might just be a problem with the game (I noticed it in UT3) but I also in CoD5 it's not rendering water, but there's probably an easy fix for that. I haven't looked around yet, too busy watching Arrested Development :).
Well I can't argue with Watching Arrest development. Did you check the temperatures after replacing the cards to be sure you've got everything running well? Sometimes overheating can cause artifacting. I'd probably reinstall the drivers as well just to make sure nothing got confused inside your computer while you were working on it.
RelaxedSoup (author)  Grathio8 years ago
I've been monitoring my temps with Riva Tuner, they haven't gotten above 68 C in game, I also ran a stress test using FurMark and got them up to 83 C with no issues. I'm running the latest 186.18 nVidia drivers, I'll try reinstalling and see if that helps and get back to you.
RelaxedSoup (author)  RelaxedSoup8 years ago
I just reinstalled my video card drivers and I did a little cleanup in safe mode as well, and everything seems to be running fine. I think my CoD5 issues are related to my SLI setup, I'm going to download the 1.5 update and maybe set SLI rendering to AF2. However, Left 4 Dead has been crashing randomly to the desktop, (I get in-game for a bit, sometimes 30 seconds, sometimes a half hour) any ideas on why that would be happening?