it effects "one" game if its only one game that tries to do something very specific...like accessing a specific piece of video memory....
say you have a card with 1gb of video memory... say every other game only access the first 512mb (quite common) and then da origins accesses 756mb....and that last byte is broken...guess what happens , every time it accesses that byte....bam....crash
same scenario would work with regular ram or cpu cache
now for why its happening now....beta drivers....memory starts to overheat...but not in a catastrophic way....but it cooks a few bits or bytes....or maybe a gpu or cpu got cooked a little....only the cooked pieces fail...and if only one thing uses those pieces *shrug*
Before I installed the beta drivers, I was using official drivers and I kept getting graphical glitches on tree foliage. It was then that I tried the beta drivers, which I believe was when I also tried to cast Ice Weapon for the first time and had a crash to desktop.
Now, the latest offical drivers have fixed the tree foliage glitches and sorted out the CTDs when I cast Ice Weapon. Maybe, as you say, somewhere along the line the components in my graphics card have been damaged and some random things in-game are causing the crashes. I'll keep testing DAO to see if it crashes again. You never know, this latest crash might have been random.
Try using "Game Booster" that might help in eliminating your current issue with the game. I use it just before running my online & PC games. It kills all background applications not required for playing. You save on resources and get the benefit of enjoying the game.
BTW "Game Booster" is free.
is Game Booster safe? stable?
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Regarding the possibility that there was faulty RAM on my graphics card, I found out that XFX have been known to use RAM that isn't always reliable. This was in the past though, so they might have improved it seince then.
I spent about a week talking to XFX tech support and we eventually agreed there was a hardware problem with the graphics card.
I have mailed it back to the place I bought it from to get it replaced under warranty. They have to send it to XFX so it can be diagnosed for problems. It is only after this that they will decide whether it needs replacing. I haven't even been told if I'm going to get the same model back, because it is a special factory overclocked version that isn't sold anywhere now.
Note to self: Don't bother buying XFX cards any more. I think that when the Nvidia GTX 380 Directx 11 cards are released, I'll be getting an Asus 'Republic of Gamers' version to match my motherboard.