When Stress Tests Go Wrong: Analyzing GPU Performance Through Furmark Trials


In preparation for a clean Windows installation, I executed a Furmark stress test, which perplexingly only caused a crash upon exiting the program after 15 and 5-minute intervals, but not after a 1-minute test. However, a subsequent 3-minute test resulted in a crash during the Furmark run.

Given these symptoms and the error codes provided, including a fault in ‘dwm.exe’ and ‘dwmcore.dll’, could this indicate a failing GPU? I plan to reinstall Windows and reseat the PC components to eliminate any potential slot connection issues. Your insights on whether the GPU is malfunctioning would be greatly appreciated.”


When it comes to diagnosing potential hardware failures in a computer, particularly those related to the graphics processing unit (GPU), the symptoms and error codes you’ve described can be quite revealing. The Furmark stress test you’ve conducted is a well-known method for pushing a GPU to its limits, and the results can sometimes point to underlying issues.

Your experience with crashes occurring upon exiting Furmark after longer stress tests, but not after a brief one-minute test, is intriguing. This behavior suggests that the GPU can handle short bursts of intense activity but struggles with sustained stress. The crash during the test after multiple attempts further indicates that the GPU’s ability to manage prolonged loads is compromised.

Error Codes Analysis:

The error codes related to ‘dwm.exe’ and ‘dwmcore.dll’ are particularly noteworthy. These files are associated with the Desktop Window Manager, which is responsible for rendering visual effects on the desktop. An exception code of `0xc00001ad` indicates an abnormal situation that the operating system couldn’t handle, potentially due to hardware failure.

Could It Be the GPU?

While these signs may suggest a failing GPU, it’s also important to consider other factors. The GPU is heavily reliant on other system components, such as the power supply unit (PSU), memory, and motherboard. An 800W Gold PSU should be adequate for your setup, but if it’s not delivering power consistently, it could cause similar symptoms. Similarly, faulty RAM can lead to system instability, and issues with the motherboard’s PCIe slot could disrupt the GPU’s operation.

Next Steps:

Reinstalling Windows is a good step to rule out software issues. Reseating the PC components, including the GPU, can also help ensure that all connections are secure and not contributing to the problem. If the problem persists after these steps, it may be worth testing the GPU in another system or trying a different GPU in your current setup to isolate the issue.


In summary, while the symptoms and error codes you’ve encountered could point to a failing GPU, they are not conclusive on their own. A thorough process of elimination, starting with software and moving through each hardware component, is the best approach to pinpoint the exact cause of the crashes. Your proactive steps to address the issue are commendable, and with careful testing, you should be able to determine whether the GPU is indeed the culprit.

Remember, this article is a general guide and should not replace professional diagnostic services. If you’re uncomfortable with any of the steps or need further assistance, consulting with a certified technician is recommended.

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