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New EVGA Nvidia GTX 660Ti Card Freezing and Crashing

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May 12, 2013 8:01:16 PM

Hi,

I have an Asus Essentio CG5290 prebuilt desktop. I bought it around 2009 and used the stock setup listed on that site ever since. Lately I've been getting back into PC gaming so I bought an EVGA Nvidia GTX 660TI card and installed it over the GTX 260 that was in the machine already.

The performance from this card when gaming is amazing but it has a huge problem with freezing up and crashing. This has happened a variety of times on several games. When it happens the game freezes completely and colored squares (usually blue) appear all over the screen, the sound starts repeating and the computer stops responding to commands entirely. Eventually it just powers off and restarts if I don't turn it off myself.

I've tried a few methods of fixing this - I updated my BIOS to the current version, I did a fresh install of the Nvidia drivers (now using 320.00 beta) and I used the FixIt listed here. It seems to still be freezing, though, typically around after half an hour to an hour of gameplay.

What can I do to fix this? Is the card itself broken? Is there a problem with the PSU (a criticism of the CG5290 is that the PSU might have problems if you upgrade the hardware)?
May 12, 2013 8:59:37 PM

oatmealpacket,

Interesting problem. Checking, it appears that the Asus Essentio CG5290 has either a 500W or 600W PSU and while the original GTX 260 requires over 200W, the 660ti uses less(!) >150W. So unless you have some other extreme draw, my guess is that your problem is not from running out of electrons.

Some guesses>

1> Conflict with previous driver not completely uninstalled > Uninstall GTX 660, enable and run on integrated graphics, reinstall GTX 660 and check "Clean install", disable integrated graphics. It is worthwhile to try running on integrated graphics anyway because if the system misbehaves as before, then the problem is not with the 660. Also, going through the procedure to get the clean installation will also ensure here's no conflict with integrated graphics.

2> Reinstall GTX 260 and see if it runs properly on the 320.00 beta driver

3> Use of beta driver > find previous version

4> As the problem occurs after some time of use, and the system is shutting itself off, is there any chance you're overheating the CPU or other component? > Consider installing CPUID HW monitor and check temperatures- this should also display fan speeds.

5> The i7 920 is a 2.5GHz > Is yours overclocked? If so, reset to standard clock speed and test.

6> Try games on lowest settings and if crashes stop, try each setting level until crashes occur.

Just some ideas- wish I could say something more definite.


Cheers,

BambiBoom
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May 13, 2013 2:11:07 AM

bambiboom said:
oatmealpacket,

Interesting problem. Checking, it appears that the Asus Essentio CG5290 has either a 500W or 600W PSU and while the original GTX 260 requires over 200W, the 660ti uses less(!) >150W. So unless you have some other extreme draw, my guess is that your problem is not from running out of electrons.

Some guesses>

1> Conflict with previous driver not completely uninstalled > Uninstall GTX 660, enable and run on integrated graphics, reinstall GTX 660 and check "Clean install", disable integrated graphics. It is worthwhile to try running on integrated graphics anyway because if the system misbehaves as before, then the problem is not with the 660. Also, going through the procedure to get the clean installation will also ensure here's no conflict with integrated graphics.

2> Reinstall GTX 260 and see if it runs properly on the 320.00 beta driver

3> Use of beta driver > find previous version

4> As the problem occurs after some time of use, and the system is shutting itself off, is there any chance you're overheating the CPU or other component? > Consider installing CPUID HW monitor and check temperatures- this should also display fan speeds.

5> The i7 920 is a 2.5GHz > Is yours overclocked? If so, reset to standard clock speed and test.

6> Try games on lowest settings and if crashes stop, try each setting level until crashes occur.

Just some ideas- wish I could say something more definite.


Cheers,

BambiBoom

Only 182w according to Nvidia.
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May 13, 2013 3:56:54 AM

"Only 182w according to Nvidia."


Mousemonkey,

Yes, while this is trivia that does nothing to help our friend oatmealpacket with his problem, thank you for the almost correct clarification.

The original GTX 260 was rated to use 202W. Apparently, this idled without load at 119W and would draw at it's peak 270W >

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/nvidia-gtx-280,1953...

The original version was replaced only about three months later by the "Core 216" having the GT200-103-A2 65nm and then the GT200-105-B3 55nm GPU's which increased the CUDA cores from 192 to 216, while the power consumption was reduced from 202W to 182W to 171W. So, by the time oatmealpacket bought his system in 2009, the GTX was rated at 171W with a peak draw of 236W.

The GTX 660 (28nm) was introduced in three versions in Fall 2012, 950 cores at 140W, OEM 1152 cores at 130W, 660ti had 1344 cores at 150W.

In my view, as power supply capacity specifications and video card choices are affected by what is often the heaviest single load on the system- the GPU- it's best to be conservative - provide PS overhead- and use the peak consumption value of the least efficient version. In this context, my interest was in the trend of video cards becoming more efficient-the 660 being more capable yet using less power than the 260.

Cheers,

BambiBoom
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May 13, 2013 4:24:17 AM

bambiboom said:
oatmealpacket,

Interesting problem. Checking, it appears that the Asus Essentio CG5290 has either a 500W or 600W PSU and while the original GTX 260 requires over 200W, the 660ti uses less(!) >150W. So unless you have some other extreme draw, my guess is that your problem is not from running out of electrons.

Some guesses>

1> Conflict with previous driver not completely uninstalled > Uninstall GTX 660, enable and run on integrated graphics, reinstall GTX 660 and check "Clean install", disable integrated graphics. It is worthwhile to try running on integrated graphics anyway because if the system misbehaves as before, then the problem is not with the 660. Also, going through the procedure to get the clean installation will also ensure here's no conflict with integrated graphics.

2> Reinstall GTX 260 and see if it runs properly on the 320.00 beta driver

3> Use of beta driver > find previous version

4> As the problem occurs after some time of use, and the system is shutting itself off, is there any chance you're overheating the CPU or other component? > Consider installing CPUID HW monitor and check temperatures- this should also display fan speeds.

5> The i7 920 is a 2.5GHz > Is yours overclocked? If so, reset to standard clock speed and test.

6> Try games on lowest settings and if crashes stop, try each setting level until crashes occur.

Just some ideas- wish I could say something more definite.


Cheers,

BambiBoom


Hi,

Thanks for your prompt reply! I should have mentioned that before posting the thread I tried a clean driver install; I should also mention that at this point I've tested with three different drivers. I've used the drivers that the card came with (very old), the latest stable release listed on Nvidia's site and the latest beta. All three produced the same issue - the drivers the card came with froze with red squares when I booted a game for the first time after installing the card (Crysis, the freeze was as the game was displaying copyright information before even getting to the main menu), the stable drivers lasted a bit longer but eventually crashed, the latest beta drivers lasted the longest but also eventually crashed.

The last install was the 320.00 beta drivers; I uninstalled with add/remove programs, rebooted in safe mode, used Driver Fusion to remove all Nvidia display drivers, rebooted to normal mode and installed the beta drivers. Is it possible that earlier drivers would solve the issue?

I've installed CPUID HW Monitor. Without running it at load, the temperatures include:

Temperature 0 41°C (105°F) [0x29] (SYSTIN)
Temperature 1 47°C (115°F) [0x5D] (CPUTIN)
Temperature 2 25°C (77°F) [0x32] (AUXTIN)

Temperature 0 30°C (86°F) [0x1E] (TMPIN0)

SYSTIN - Current: 42c, Min: 41c, Max: 42c
CPUTIN - Current: 47c, Min: 46c, Max: 97c
AUXTIN - Current: 25c, Min: 25c, Max: 50c

Core 0 - Current: 61c, Min: 60c, Max: 64c
Core 1 - Current: 62c, Min: 60c, Max: 63c
Core 2 - Current: 62c, Min: 60c, Max: 63c
Core 3 - Current: 61c, Min: 60c, Max: 63c

GPU - Current: 30c, Min: 34c, Max: 37c

I can get more information from the logs HWMonitor produces if that would help at all.

I haven't intentionally overclocked the CPU at any point; again, I've just run it stock. The machine came with a program called EPU-6 engine which was running in "High Performance" mode; I've turned that down to "Medium Power Saving" mode but haven't tested with it like this yet. Would this make any difference?

I'll need to test with progressively increasing settings later, but does any of this information provide further insight that might lead to an answer? Would it be wise to RMA the card and try using a new one?
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May 13, 2013 7:43:17 AM

oatmealpacket,

Gosh, you've been very methodical. From the CPUID, your careful driver uninstall and installation, and other results, I believe you are not having multiple driver conflict, temperature or power problems, and this isolates the problem to driver version, firmware, or hardware.

I did see a site that confirmed your earlier mention of problems when updating hardware >

http://supportforasus.iyogi.com/essentio-cg5290/essenti...

> but it seems you have addressed the items central to the video card mentioned.

However, the items in that list that are interesting are mention insufficient memory or a CPU bottleneck may be responsible for problems when changing the video card. There may be something in the idea of upgrading memory and CPU when changing video card. A quick look on Passmark Performance Test baselines showed that all 9 Asus Essentio CG5290 systems still had the original i7 920 and 8 had the GTX 260. Four systems had overclocked, 2 to 3.0, 1 to 3.5, and 1 to 4.0. RAM was 10, 16, and 24GB. > Perhaps significantly, the only system that had a different Video card used a Radeon HD 5770 and that system used overclocking to 3.5GHz and 24GB RAM- and had the highest performance. The system ratings ranged very considerably from 1396 to 3157 and systems with the GTX 260 had 2D/3D scores ranging from 527-791/1120-1257, while the HD5770 system 2D/3D score was 708 /1833. There are two systems on Passmark that have and i7-920 and 660ti with ratings of 2148 and 2713 and 2D/3D scores - 557/3533 and 544/4696 < on an ASUS Sabertooth. Neither was overclocked.

You might consider the CPU and/or RAM bottleneck idea, and poke around on sites that might discuss that in your system. You could try overclocking and if that is not the problem, but I would say that if you were to try a driver version that worked on a particular game (**same version) at the same settings on the GTX 260, but didn't work on the GTX 660, that you will have isolated the problem to faulty hardware / firmware and it would be logical to go the RMA route. **[I'm not knowledgable about games, but did Crysis go from v.2 to v.3 relatively recently?]


Cheers,

BambiBoom





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May 13, 2013 9:34:45 AM

I am having the exact same issues. I just installed an ASUS GTX 660TI, and after using the card for 10-15 minutes at or above 30% power, the computer goes non-responsive, the screens black out, and then windows tells me the drivers crashed but they successfully recovered. Only to have the entire computer start to lag with any input, and then finally crash and blue screen after another 3-5 minutes. I've tried the windows suggested drivers, as well as a clean install of the Asus site recommend drivers, and then a clean install of the Nvidia recommend drivers. The only thing I haven't tried is the 320 beta. I did find one thread that suggested upping the vcore by 10% through afterburner, but that didn't work for me.

I also found a different thread that suggested running DirectX9 rather than 11 of the game causing the crash might work... but that didn't work for me either.

I am just shy of reinstalling my OS from scratch and RMA'ing the card back to Newegg. My only thing is, I don't want to get another card with these same driver issues.
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May 13, 2013 11:37:15 AM

toofly and oatmealpacket,

Now it's beginning to look serious as a googlization of "660ti crashes" "freezes" and so on produce many, many similar stories. The range of machines affected were all over the map, and included very high specification computers all with the same problem.

A solution that others found worked >

http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?t=271587

> but there were so many ideas- google "crashes 660ti" returned 316,000 replies- that included just everything- CPU, memory, drivers, installation procedure, overclocking, overheating, registry, power supply that I feel a bit dizzy- can't make sense of it. Wow- there were a lot of posts from people obviously very frustrated- on some threads I could feel the flames rising all around.

The other successful solution> There were several mentions for 660ti and 670's- there were 902,000 hits on "GTX 670 crashes"- that said they RMA'd and the replacement worked perfectly, so perhaps that the best solution.

Will keep poking around and see what makes sense. It seems as though it must be a driver issue, but if the RMA works, it must be firmware as the many sufferers of this problem all tried all kinds of drivers and configurations.

Cheers,

BambiBoom
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May 13, 2013 2:34:27 PM

bambiboom said:
toofly and oatmealpacket,

A solution that others found worked >

http://www.swtor.com/community/showthread.php?t=271587

Cheers,

BambiBoom


Thank you! This seriously sounds like it could fit the bill. Excited to get home tonight and try it out. I'll let you know my results.
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