First, here is my system.
i5-2500k Processor (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115072
) (Processor is overclocked to 4.3ghz, temp on it never goes over 45-50°C though)
MSI Geforce GTX 660TI PE Video card (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127696
Asus P8Z68-V Pro\Gen 3 Motherboard (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131790
Corsair HX series HX650 Power Supply (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139012
4x4GB of G.Skill Ram (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231314
When my old MSI P67A-GD55 Motherboard bricked a month ago, instead of waiting on RMA I went ahead and got the Asus board, at the same time I went ahead and upgraded my old Asus GTX 560TI card to the MSI GTX 660TI card. Since the upgrade, I am constantly getting display driver crashes "Display driver nvlddmkm stopped responding and has successfully recovered." when playing games. Guild Wars 2 and Starcraft 2 are the only ones I've had time to try, but both consistently give driver crashes after awhile (sometimes as soon as 15-20 mins, sometimes takes several hours of gameplay).
Here is the list of things I've already tried:
-First, I tried the most recent Nvidia drivers. Still crashes.
-Second, I tried running driver sweeper, removing all old drivers and reinstalling. Still crashes.
-Third, I tried disabling TDR in the Win7 registry. Still crashes.
-Fourth, I really ramped up the auto fan speeds. So far it hasn't crashed while doing this, but I can't do it for too long because the fans get so loud that it annoys me greatly.
-Fifth, I thought it might be an old Motherboard driver conflict of some sort, so I completely formated my OS hard drive and reinstalled Windows 7. Still getting crashes.
-Sixth, I used driver sweeper again and rolled back to the last official MSI drivers (the ones from October). Still getting crashes.
I really don't think the card is overheating. The most recent crash happened tonight after playing Starcraft 2 for about 20 minutes, and the temperature of the card never got over 60°C. That's why even with the extremely ramped up fan speeds I tried, I think if I used them long enough, the driver would still crash.
The power supply is the same as what I used with the 560TI and it didn't have these issues. And from my understanding, the 560TI consumed more power than the 660TI.
At this point, I'm at my wits end. The only thing else I know to try is swapping out the old 560TI in with the new motherboard or waiting for my old motherboard to come back from RMA and trying the 660TI in it. Though that means rebuilding the case, uninstalling the new mobo drivers and installing the old mobo drivers and authenticating Windows. Doing all of that is going to kill most of a day and I really only want to do that if I absolutely have to.
I've had such limited time for troubleshooting the card, that I'm regrettably past the 30day limit on RMA replacements to Newegg. So unfortunately that means I'm looking at an RMA directly to MSI and that takes about a month. Before I do that, does anyone have any advice on something to try that might be the cuplrit or can help determine the culprit? I can't find any details in the Event Viewer as to what caused the driver crash. Just that it has stopped responding and has recovered. I wish it could tell me if there was a loss of power, or anything. Power Management Mode is set to prefer maximum performance btw.
Btw, as a brief description of what happens. The screen goes black, and then comes back and the game is running very slowly. There will also usually be a popup above the taskbar saying that the driver had crashed. I keep the MSI Afterburner info window open in my second monitor and Power usage never goes over 80%, GPU Usage is usually around 95-99%. Core Clock and Memory clock drop to about 324mhz (which is what it idles at) temporarily during the crash. GPU Usage of course dips to very low levels while the driver is crashing, as well.
Oh and in an added twist, I've run Kombuster several times. Burn-in test DirectX 11 1920x1600 8xMSAA as long as five hours, and the display driver has never crashed. I'll probably turn it on, and disable the computer's sleep and display off tonight and let it run for about 8-9 hours and see what happens. That's one thing that throws me off, if it's a hardware defect, wouldn't Kombuster cause it to crash?
edit-Here is a screenshot of the Afterburner monitor during a crash while playing Starcraft 2. The huge dip in the bars that I have the cursor over is when the crash occured.