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PC Freezes While Playing/Editing Video and Gaming

Last response: in Windows 7
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August 19, 2013 6:32:43 PM

I've been having this issue ever since I built the PC last year. Randomly while gaming, or viewing HD video the PC will completely lock up, causing me to do a hard reboot. I've tried almost every solution the web had to offer, to no avail since the problem is getting worse and becoming more frequent (sometimes happening a couple minutes after a reboot).

Specs:
Motherboard: ASUS P8Z68 DELUXE/GEN3 LGA 1155 Intel Z68
Processor: Intel Core i7-2600K Sandy Bridge 3.4GHz
Video Card: HIS Radeon HD 6970 2GB 256-bit GDDR5
PSU: Antec High Current Gamer 900W
RAM: G.SKILL Sniper Gaming Series 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2133 (PC3 17000) Desktop Memory Model F3-17000CL9Q-16GBSR
Case: XCLIO Windtunnel Fully Black Finish 1.0 mm SECC Chassis ATX Full Tower Computer Case

Things I've Tried:
  • Cleaning drivers and reinstalling
  • Reinstalling Windows 7
  • Installing Windows 8
  • Trying different RAM
  • Trying a different Video Card
  • Testing it in Safe Mode (froze)
  • Monitoring temps
  • Doing a clean boot
  • Running Prime95
  • Running memtest+
  • Defragging HDDs
  • Running Virus/Adware/Spyware scans
  • Running benchmark for my GPU (didn't freeze)
    ...and a few other things I'm forgetting

  • I've tried changing various things in BIOs, but that doesn't seem to work either. I'm not really even sure what to do at this point, so I'm just crossing my fingers and hoping someone here can help with this issue. Thanks for any help you can provide.
    a b 4 Gaming
    a b Ĉ ASUS
    a b $ Windows 7
    August 19, 2013 6:42:35 PM

    Have you tried taking half the RAM out ?

    or just setting it to a 1600 MHz profile ?

    Just because the RAM can handle those speeds doesnt mean the processors memory controller can
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    a b 4 Gaming
    a c 118 Ĉ ASUS
    a b $ Windows 7
    August 19, 2013 6:44:13 PM

    Make sure the mb bios code is up to date. Try another power supply to rule out dirty power. Run hdtune read your hd smart info and run a vendor test tool. Use acct tool test your gpu ram for error,stress test it.
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    August 19, 2013 6:44:48 PM

    Outlander_04 said:
    Have you tried taking half the RAM out ?


    Yes, I've tried with 2 sticks, then 1 stick. It eventually still freezes
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    August 19, 2013 6:51:19 PM

    smorizio said:
    Make sure the mb bios code is up to date. Try another power supply to rule out dirty power. Run hdtune read your hd smart info and run a vendor test tool. Use acct tool test your gpu ram for error,stress test it.


    I updated the bios to the latest version a couple months ago, and I bought the power supply brand new since I thought my old PSU was the issue. I'll try hdtune and the vendor tests though. Got a link to acct tool? I cant seem to find it.
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    Best solution

    a b 4 Gaming
    a b Ĉ ASUS
    a b $ Windows 7
    August 19, 2013 6:56:04 PM

    as cpus get older they "wear out" often times requiring a little more vcore to stabilize. try bumping the vcore 1 step and see if the problem goes away. if this solves your problem your cpu is nearing the end of its life.

    sidenote: while SB can run with ram that fast, there really is no advantage to ram that fast. Try downclocking it to 1600, lower the voltage on the ram as well (intel cpus don't like ram with voltages in the 1.6+ range) down to around 1.5 and see if that knocks out the problem.
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    a b 4 Gaming
    a b Ĉ ASUS
    a b $ Windows 7
    August 19, 2013 9:33:13 PM

    You got it ingtar

    The RAM frequency and voltage are too high and the intel cpu's memory controller is overloaded , and perhaps overheating .
    Dropping the RAM voltage to 1.5 and the frequency to 1600 Mhz should solve the problem
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    August 19, 2013 10:58:38 PM

    ingtar33 said:
    sidenote: while SB can run with ram that fast, there really is no advantage to ram that fast. Try downclocking it to 1600, lower the voltage on the ram as well (intel cpus don't like ram with voltages in the 1.6+ range) down to around 1.5 and see if that knocks out the problem.


    I dropped the RAM voltage and frequency, and at first I thought it did the trick...until it froze yet again. Should I try dropping the frequency more, or is there something else you think I should try?
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    a b 4 Gaming
    a b Ĉ ASUS
    a b $ Windows 7
    August 19, 2013 11:21:25 PM

    try 1333 Mhz
    1.5 volts

    If it works then tighten the timings
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    a b 4 Gaming
    a b Ĉ ASUS
    a b $ Windows 7
    August 20, 2013 12:28:47 AM

    ecomog said:
    ingtar33 said:
    sidenote: while SB can run with ram that fast, there really is no advantage to ram that fast. Try downclocking it to 1600, lower the voltage on the ram as well (intel cpus don't like ram with voltages in the 1.6+ range) down to around 1.5 and see if that knocks out the problem.


    I dropped the RAM voltage and frequency, and at first I thought it did the trick...until it froze yet again. Should I try dropping the frequency more, or is there something else you think I should try?


    yeah. i'd try it at 1333 and 1.5V; the core i cpus really don't get much benefit from fast ram, and ram voltages can cause issues. If playing with the ram doesn't solve the problem i would also look into giving your cpu a little more vcore... cause older cpus sometimes need more vcore to stabalize.

    ~btw: i know you said you ran memtest86. how did you use it? cause your problem also is mimicking bad ram.
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    August 20, 2013 1:22:08 AM

    ingtar33 said:

    yeah. i'd try it at 1333 and 1.5V; the core i cpus really don't get much benefit from fast ram, and ram voltages can cause issues. If playing with the ram doesn't solve the problem i would also look into giving your cpu a little more vcore... cause older cpus sometimes need more vcore to stabalize.

    ~btw: i know you said you ran memtest86. how did you use it? cause your problem also is mimicking bad ram.


    Dropped it to 1333, and I'm still getting freezes when I attempt to edit video. As for memtest, I believe I ran about 20 passes (it took a little over 5 hours). At one point I thought it could've been faulty RAM, so I bought brand new RAM and got the same freezing issues.

    I've upped the vcore as well:

    but I'm still getting freezes.
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    a b 4 Gaming
    a b Ĉ ASUS
    a b $ Windows 7
    August 20, 2013 1:29:52 AM

    what is the hard drive set up in this PC ?
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    August 20, 2013 2:25:09 AM

    Outlander_04 said:
    what is the hard drive set up in this PC ?


    5 internal HDDs (regular SATA drives, no SSDs), 5 externals. No RAID setup or anything



    The C drive is a 3TB drive split into 2 partitions (C and K). I had to use ASUS Disk Unlocker to be able to use all the space. I thought maybe the Disk Unlocker was causing some kinda issue so I deleted it and formated the other partition. Unfortunately that didn't solve the problem so I reinstalled it.

    I also tried disconnecting all the hard drives except for C, and that didn't work either.
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    a b 4 Gaming
    a b Ĉ ASUS
    a b $ Windows 7
    August 20, 2013 4:11:44 AM

    Have you tried booting from another drive ?

    Install windows on another physical drive if you havent
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    August 20, 2013 4:25:14 AM

    Outlander_04 said:
    Have you tried booting from another drive ?

    Install windows on another physical drive if you havent


    Yeah, tried that too. My older Windows 7 installation was on a different drive. Also, when I installed Windows 8 I used a different drive, and the results were the same.
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    a b 4 Gaming
    a b Ĉ ASUS
    a b $ Windows 7
    August 20, 2013 12:24:13 PM

    your vcore is set to 0.996V on a i7-2700k?

    that is very low. I'm pretty sure stock vcore on the i7-2700k is something like 1.200V
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    August 20, 2013 2:36:09 PM

    ingtar33 said:
    your vcore is set to 0.996V on a i7-2700k?

    that is very low. I'm pretty sure stock vcore on the i7-2700k is something like 1.200V


    It's not letting me raise it any higher. Is there something else I'd have to change to be able to do that? I was looking at these but I'm not sure if changing them would help



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    August 21, 2013 5:42:25 AM

    I upped the CPU Voltage, which apparently raised the Vcore. I also slightly upped the +12v, +5v, and +3.3v levels, but I'm still getting freezes. Is there anything else I should try to adjust?

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    a b 4 Gaming
    a b Ĉ ASUS
    a b $ Windows 7
    August 21, 2013 2:10:08 PM

    :( 

    set the voltages back. did you ever run memtest on 1 stick of ram at a time? I hate to come back to this time and time again but it seems to me like bad ram... and memtest really only picks up problems reliably when you test the ram 1 at a time.

    if you don't want to waste time with memtest try using the system with just 1 stick in and see what happens. if you don't crash the 2nd stick OR ram slot is likely the issue.
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    a b 4 Gaming
    a b Ĉ ASUS
    a b $ Windows 7
    August 21, 2013 2:28:05 PM

    It still sounds like RAM to me too

    but a thing worth trying at this point may simply be to reset the BIOS to the fail safe defaults and see if that makes a difference
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    August 21, 2013 9:33:26 PM

    ingtar33 said:
    :( 

    set the voltages back. did you ever run memtest on 1 stick of ram at a time? I hate to come back to this time and time again but it seems to me like bad ram... and memtest really only picks up problems reliably when you test the ram 1 at a time.

    if you don't want to waste time with memtest try using the system with just 1 stick in and see what happens. if you don't crash the 2nd stick OR ram slot is likely the issue.


    I tried with just 1 stick of RAM awhile ago, and the system still eventually froze. When that happened I bought 4 sticks of brand new RAM, tried them and still got the freezing.
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    a b 4 Gaming
    a b Ĉ ASUS
    a b $ Windows 7
    August 22, 2013 12:05:22 PM

    well... now we've hit the point where we're at our limits of what we can do. If you don't want to replace the motherboard i suggest you spend a great deal of time working with that ram and memtest86. not much else I've got for you... maybe someone else can suggest something but i'm about at the bottom of my barrel. I'll just tell you in 20 years of working on computers your symptoms are closest related to
    1) temps
    2) bad ram

    i suppose we could try one other thing. pop the side of your case off and stick a room fan into the opening, see if the problem goes away. if it does something is overheating. Even if it's not being reported as such.
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    August 23, 2013 12:19:45 AM

    ingtar33 said:
    well... now we've hit the point where we're at our limits of what we can do. If you don't want to replace the motherboard i suggest you spend a great deal of time working with that ram and memtest86. not much else I've got for you... maybe someone else can suggest something but i'm about at the bottom of my barrel. I'll just tell you in 20 years of working on computers your symptoms are closest related to
    1) temps
    2) bad ram

    i suppose we could try one other thing. pop the side of your case off and stick a room fan into the opening, see if the problem goes away. if it does something is overheating. Even if it's not being reported as such.


    Replacing the motherboard is something I've done as well (got an RMA on it last year, and got a brand new replacement), which is why this problem is extremely frustrating. I'll try checking the temps again to see if overheating is the issue. I've used programs like RealTemp, ASUS' AI Suite, GPU-Z, HWiNFO64, and CPU-Z, but what do you think is the best way to monitor temps in my case?

    EDIT: I ran a sensor test with HWiNFO, and I'll post the snapshots here in case something is off





    I also ran a more complete report, and I can post that if you want to check it out.
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    a b 4 Gaming
    a b Ĉ ASUS
    a b $ Windows 7
    August 23, 2013 11:35:16 AM

    no... your inside the case temps are very high. 50C-60C on your hard drives?! that's some terrible dead space in your case airflow. I highly doubt that's the actual temps around your hard drives, but know that temps that high can cause a hard drive to fail and cause the lockup problems you're having.

    The reason i suggested popping the side of the case off and using a room fan is because until you can prove they're working correctly, all the temp monitors should be treated as suspect, one of the most common part failing on a computer is the thermometers. They're often poorly calibrated and report wrong temps all the times.

    Its easier to check if temps are your problem by simply normalizing the inside of your case with room temp using the room fan and seeing if the problem goes away, if it does when you know there is a temp problem (even if your computer is claiming everything is fine)

    sidenote: i suspect the true issue is your gpu's temps. The 6970 is a space heater, so for it to be reporting temps 20-30C lower on the VRMs then everything else in the case is simply impossible. It should be one of the hottest parts on your report, not the coldest, and certainly not 20C colder then parts inches away.

    I'll tell you the more i look at that temp report the more i think temps are the basic problem. try what i suggested and see if the problem vanishes. if it does we'll have to work on your case and it's airflow.

    unless you're stressing the computer when you took that snapshot the case temps are all very high. which makes me wonder if this isn't the end problem. I live in phoenix az, i have a hotter cpu that needs to run at 58C or lower to function (AMD and intel cpus have different thermal ceilings) nothing in my case breaks 30C when the ac is on, and absolutely nothing overheats when it isn't. generally if the inside of your case (minus the cpu/gpu) is ever more then 10C hotter then ambient air when stressing you have a case airflow issue. Unless your room is 100+ degrees you probably have a case airflow issue.
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    August 23, 2013 8:36:15 PM

    I opened the side of the case, turned the AC higher and put a fan next to the PC, and the temps are indeed lower. I'll report if/when it freezes again



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    August 23, 2013 10:05:31 PM

    Just had another freeze.
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    a b 4 Gaming
    a b Ĉ ASUS
    a b $ Windows 7
    August 25, 2013 10:45:31 AM

    ecomog said:
    Just had another freeze.


    well your temps are better... i mean that's nearly a 20C drop across the board. So we know airflow is one of your issues. But you still froze? i'm banging my head against a desk right now. I would have wagered good money the issue would have went away if you lowered the temps.

    you've got one hell of a ghost in your system... and it's making me fear its the one part we haven't touched. You might have a bad CPU core.

    is it possible to disable cpu cores in your bios? cause i would start with core 1... it's the one constantly reporting significantly higher temps then the other cores. Lets start with that one and see if the problem vanishes. (i hope you can, i'd like to identify the problem before suggesting you spend yet more money on this build. one hell of a money pit you've got going, so lets see if we can't find the issue first before you spend cash)
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    August 25, 2013 10:50:26 AM

    ingtar33 said:
    well your temps are better... i mean that's nearly a 20C drop across the board. So we know airflow is one of your issues. But you still froze? i'm banging my head against a desk right now. I would have wagered good money the issue would have went away if you lowered the temps.

    you've got one hell of a ghost in your system... and it's making me fear its the one part we haven't touched. You might have a bad CPU core.


    That doesn't sound good at all. Is there any way to be sure that's the problem?
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    a b 4 Gaming
    a b Ĉ ASUS
    a b $ Windows 7
    August 25, 2013 11:03:27 AM

    ecomog said:
    ingtar33 said:
    well your temps are better... i mean that's nearly a 20C drop across the board. So we know airflow is one of your issues. But you still froze? i'm banging my head against a desk right now. I would have wagered good money the issue would have went away if you lowered the temps.

    you've got one hell of a ghost in your system... and it's making me fear its the one part we haven't touched. You might have a bad CPU core.


    That doesn't sound good at all. Is there any way to be sure that's the problem?


    well you have a pretty good motherboard. you probably should be able to disable a core or two in the bios. I would just do it one at a time. if you still freeze up going through all 4 cores... i would try disabling them 2 at a time, then 3... i generally would just tell someone to get a new cpu at this point but you've replaced like your whole system trying to find this problem. Lets see if we can't hunt it down without making you spend more money just yet.

    buying a new $300 cpu only to find the problem is still there would make me flip my lid. If we can find the problem in the cpu you'll need to replace it. If we can't we'll keep looking elsewhere (like in the ram).
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    August 25, 2013 11:17:53 AM

    ingtar33 said:
    well you have a pretty good motherboard. you probably should be able to disable a core or two in the bios. I would just do it one at a time. if you still freeze up going through all 4 cores... i would try disabling them 2 at a time, then 3... i generally would just tell someone to get a new cpu at this point but you've replaced like your whole system trying to find this problem. Lets see if we can't hunt it down without making you spend more money just yet.

    buying a new $300 cpu only to find the problem is still there would make me flip my lid. If we can find the problem in the cpu you'll need to replace it. If we can't we'll keep looking elsewhere (like in the ram).


    I just looked through the bios, and I didn't see any way to disable cores. These were the only options concerning cores I saw:



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    a b 4 Gaming
    a b Ĉ ASUS
    a b $ Windows 7
    August 25, 2013 4:06:09 PM

    the active processor cores option, looks like the one.

    you should be able to chose cores to turn off with that.
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    August 25, 2013 5:23:53 PM

    ingtar33 said:
    the active processor cores option, looks like the one.

    you should be able to chose cores to turn off with that.




    Doesn't look like it lets me turn off individual cores. I reduced the number to 3.
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    a b 4 Gaming
    a b Ĉ ASUS
    a b $ Windows 7
    August 26, 2013 2:00:51 AM

    that's a start. with a little luck the one core turned off will be the issue. on the bright side you should be able to just keep knocking the cores back until the problem goes away. i mean there is a 75% chance you can turn off the defective core (if there is one), so lets give this a try and see what happens.
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    August 26, 2013 3:06:56 AM

    ingtar33 said:
    that's a start. with a little luck the one core turned off will be the issue. on the bright side you should be able to just keep knocking the cores back until the problem goes away. i mean there is a 75% chance you can turn off the defective core (if there is one), so lets give this a try and see what happens.


    It froze again, so I knocked it down to 2. Hopefully that does the trick
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    August 26, 2013 2:19:47 PM

    Froze even when set to 2, and the PC moves too slow when I set it to 1. This is becoming more and more frustrating every day. I know we've pretty much gone through everything, but is there something I should try again?
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