I am having problem with my hardware

My computer keeps crashing. When just looking at websites or writing emails it runs for perhaps an hour or two then crashes. If I start using CAD software, or zooming in and out in Google maps it usually crashes after a minute or so. The computer includes:
Intel Core I7-4790K processor (not overclocked), Asus Z97-K motherboard, AMD Firepro W5000 2Gb graphics card. Temperatures are reasonable. When the system crashes it usually just freezes, but sometimes it goes to a black screen. Sometimes, but not always, there is a message 'AMD display driver has stopped responding and has recovered' - sometimes it does recover, sometimes system then crashes. After a crash the bios gives a message to say that anti-surge has been triggered and that the power supply is unstable. Power supply was Seasonic 450W, I tried a Corsair 650W one, and also an OCZ 550W one - made no difference. Disabling the antisurge system stopped the messages about the unstable power supply but did not stop the crashes although it may have made them a bit less frequent. I have re-formatted the system drive and reinstalled Windows 8.1 64 plus software twice. All drivers and software are up to date I think.

I am thinking I have a dud graphics card, would that be likely?? If I buy another graphics card I am thinking of either NVidia quadro K620 (2Gb) or NVidia quadro K2200 (4Gb). Any recommendations? I want to be able to run quite large Solidworks models, can anyone tell me just how large a model has to be before 2Gb graphics memory is not enough? People seem to talk about the size of models in terms of numbers of parts in an assembly. I tend to make my models with relatively few parts in an assembly but using multi-body parts which may have perhaps a thousand or more bodies in each part - is that wrong? Is it the total number of bodies that matters or the total number of parts?

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5 Answers

My guess is your graphics card, as Wilhelm said, you should check your heatsink and clean it. if your problem still exists, you should consider buying a new graphics card, and go for the bigger card if your wallet lets you.

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what I would do: you say the temperatures seem alright, but I think it may be the graphics card that is overheating (the black screen). check that the heatsink on the graphics card is clean (while you're at it check the cpu heatsink too). if it still crashes take the heatsink off and clean the surfaces (alcohol and earbud) and reapply a little (just enough to cover the area between the heatsink and the gpu) heat transfer compound (it's a grey paste - not very expensive). you can do this to the cpu too...

I do hope it is not your hardware (bad DDR5 ram on the graphics card) - if it is still under guarantee - I'd take it back before doing the above.

If you've got the money go for the bigger Quaddro - the multibody parts will keep the graphics busy.

My thinking on the multibody issue. Multi bodies are better because you don't have the projected external links from other parts - they just work easier. But the main thing with graphics are actually the faces that it needs to render - irrespective of parts / bodies. Ram works with the part / body definitions - meaning parts and multi-bodies end up having the same RAM due to features inside the parts that needs to be processed.

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I dont like to leave these conversations open ended so my thanks to those who responded to my plea for help, I think the problem must have been the graphics card but I dont know what exactly was wrong with it - hardware or drivers. I tried to check if the heatsink was clean and correctly seated which probably invalidated the warrenty. I continued to have intermittent and varying problems with my computer - complete crashes, failure to boot, messages saying that the graphics card has stopped responding and has recovered etc. Eventually I purchased and fitted an Nvidia k2200 card and since then all has been fine, my computer is reliable at last.

I suspect the K2200 is more than I need, thinking about it my models are more in the hundreds of bodies rather than thousands but they are growing all the time.

I read somewhere that it is best to stick with NVidia graphics cards if you have an Intel processor, AMD graphics if you have an AMD processor. Is there some truth in that ? - it would be in line with my experience.

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'AMD display driver has stopped responding and has recovered' it is clear you have some issues in your graphics card !!! buy a new one buddy!

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